Scouts celebrate seventy years

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1st Anahilt Scout Group, who are celebrating 70 years of scouting this year, held a special evening on Friday 15 April in Anahilt Presbyterian Church Hall.

The Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers entertained the parents, guests and scouters to a variety of sketches and songs, and of course it would not be a scout event without some campfire songs.

Mr Joshua (Josh) Toombs, who started 1st Anahilt Scouts, was there on the night, as were some of the early scouts.

Mr Laurence Hooke gave a brief history informing the audience that Mr Josh Toombs had been a scout in Rostrevor and Warrenpoint before moving with his parents to the Hillsborough area where he was a scout in Eglantine Troop for a while before it closed.

Josh, being very keen on scouting, found his way to Ballycrune (now known as Anahilt) where he went round the schools on a Wednesday because that was his afternoon offas most children worked at the age of 14, to encourage boys to join Scouts.

1st Anahilt Scouts began on 5 April 1946 and met on a bank at the side of the road near Anahilt crossroads close to the doctors house.

Dr Kirkpatrick felt sorry for them and allowed them to use the loft above his garage.

Soon the loft was too small and they moved to the Orange Hall were they paid two shilling and six pence per week.

Parents raised money and bought two old nissen huts from Ballykinlar Army Camp and were able to make one good hut, many years later the present scout hall was erected.

Mr Josh Toombs was given a presentation to say thank you for his enthusiasm, dedication and delivering first class scouting for over 70 years to 1st Anahilt Scout Group.