ONCE a scout, always a scout, or so the saying goes. But as far as scouting veteran Terry Biglands is concerned, this is definitely the case.
All his life, Terry has lived and breathed the movement.
Now, he’s putting together the entire history of the 46th Sheffield St Paul’s at Norton Lees, ahead of its centenary celebrations in 2014.
There’s a lot to research but fortunately, Terry’s retired.
Terry said: “It’s a big job and one of our biggest problems is contacting past members and seeing if people are interested in talking to us. This is a gradual process and it’s only in its infancy at the moment but it will snowball over the next 18 months. We really want people to get in touch with us with their stories though.”
But there is one major setback.
Terry and Kathleen are funding all of the project – the printing, the photocopying and correspondence – out of their own pockets.
Ideally, Terry, along with the scout group, would like to have a series of events to celebrate the special anniversary, including an session for former members, but this would cost money.
He said: “It would be nice to have booklets for people to take away about the club and a screen with images on. It will provide a nice opportunity for people to catch up with people they haven’t seen for a long time.
“There must be hundreds and hundreds of people who have been involved with that group over the years.”
Indeed, Terry and Kathleen are among them.
They have fond memories of the group as Terry was a scout master, then a scout leader and eventually a district commissioner, overseeing scout groups across the Norton Meersbrook area. Kathleen was often behind the scenes helping out.
She said: “He’d go to these meetings and before he’d leave the house I’d say ‘whatever you do, don’t volunteer me for anything and then he’d come back and say ‘I’ve said you’d cook ....”
“It was hard with holidays though, because we only got two weeks off in a year. I didn’t like taking the kids on the Scout camps because I didn’t think it was fair on the other children as Terry’s attention would be on them, so quite often his holidays were Scout camps.”
The 46th scout group was established on May 20, 1914, just before the First World War started.
Barely 20 years later, the group was forced into upheaval again with the advent of the Second World War, but its scouts rolled their sleeves up and got stuck in.
Terry said: “The scouts did a lot to help the war effort, many of them were collecting jam jars for recycling.”
Terry himself joined the 16th Sheffield St Paul’s group in 1944 as an eight-year-old boy.
Since then, there have been lots of changes in the Scout movement, not least the introduction of girl scouts.
Now Terry and Kathleen have the task of putting together this enormous history for a celebration worthy of 100 years.
“They just need some help along the way.
“It would be nice to get a bit of funding for this as well,” he said.
If anyone has any memories, photos or information about the 46th Sheffield St Paul’s scout group, contact Terry on 0114 2551979.