The Gilwell 24


I attended the Gilwell 24 at Gilwell Park, just inside the M25 at Chingford. North London on Saturday 7th July. It was held at the Scouting Movement Headquarters, which was a 24hour endurance.


We were asked to sign in by 7.30 am so all was got ready Friday evening, that’s all food and drink, assorted tools and a drill chuck that I thought I might need, also a box of turnings to put on show, and my smock (with Bury club logo on it).


So, up at 4.45am loaded the car all ready to go just before 6am. Drive to Willingham to pick up Ely club member, reset the satnav and off down the M11 to Gilwell Park, arriving about 7.20. Now to find the Essex Chase part of the park amongst hundreds of acres.


Signed on, unloaded the car and put on show on the long table. I was allocated a lathe (an Axminster 330) hung my smock and put my tools and cold box by the lathe, and off to the kitchen area by the curtained off corner of the marquee.


Coffee and roll inside I met a lot of the East Herts members, plus other turners with some professionals amongst us, Tony Walton who was demonstrating, and Andy Coates who was instructing with the rest of us.


There were about 26 lathes most donated by Axminster, Charnwood and Jet plus a large number of four wheel Camvacs, also a table with assorted hand tools.

At about 8.30 in came the scouts, male and female, a safety talk first, then over to us.


My first student arrived. “What’s your name? mines Howard” “what would you like to turn?” “I don’t know” “How about a dibber, honey dipper, mushroom, weed pot, Spurtle plastic bag carrier, Harry Potter wand, does your Dad go fishing, how about a priest” I had to ask what shape a Harry Potter wand looked like before hand!


At about 7pm 253 scouts had made something to take home.


Bearing in mind the scouts had a choice of activities such as abseiling, water rockets, quad bikes, air riles, laser clay pigeon shooting, bush craft, flying trapeze, skittle alley, African Drumming, brush boarding, segways, archery, zorbing, argocats, prussiking! Plus a few others and an all day disco.


So we packed up our showpieces, tools, cold box and smock into the car, Colin and myself made our way home, dropped Colin off in Willingham and the homeward bound about 9pm k**k**d


Howard Dyson


By Ron Davis on July 17th, 2012