Wednesday, June 19, 2019


imagination is sparked by an Ethrick Brown Novel. Book with images exploding from it

Read Scottish thrillers with great plots and laugh out loud humour

Friday Night Scouts
Waiting in the centre of the troop after all the patrols had marched in; footsteps in the corridor
Scout Leaders enter:
“Troop, Troop Alert!”
About turn
March to the flag
Grasp the halyard (Is this the right one?)
.........the flag breaks (Phew)
Step back
Salute – about turn
March back to the Fox Patrol
Another Friday night begins
From age 11 to 19 my Friday nights were spent at Stoney Brae.
Gleniffer Scout Group. Gleniffer with one “n” and two “ff”s.
They always began with the chatter of voices in the patrol rooms – an expectant buzz of excitement – what had the Scout Leaders dreamt up for us to do tonight? Would we be staying indoors or have a dash outdoors to the Black Rock in the pouring rain to search for the last vital clue? Had last week’s log been handed in?
19.30 approached and over the voices we heard “Stags! Stags! Alert! Stags quick march! Left! Left!
Left!...... The orders were barked out by Don Noble; his patrol was first in tonight.
Tramp, tramp ‐ the noise of boots as they marched into the hall.
Soon the Foxes, Peewits and Kestrels repeated this ritual all vying to get in through the narrow sliding door.
PLs checked uniforms.
“That’s not a square knot, Bruno – this is how you do it”. The dreaded inspection. Too late to do anything about it now.
The flag’s been broken and Alistair Wallace is on his way round. Looking for the slightest deviation from regulation scout uniform. After inspection we march back to our patrol rooms where we change for games – trying to find a small corner to stow our uniforms. The PLs disappear to get the programme for the night.
The noise of 30 voices is heard again until the PLs come back and explain what is happening. A hush descends over the HQ. It is a games period first tonight followed by the main competition. There is also a period of instruction.
The County Flag is coming up shortly – we need to brush up on our skills – I hope I make the patrol.

Friday Night Scouts (second half)
We march back into the hall, ready for games.
“Right, Ian Watson in the middle” says Alistair. A cheer goes up – we all know what that means – British Bulldog! Our favourite.
The older scouts walk to the end of the hall – a smile on their faces. The young ones look less self- assured. Go! The sprint is on for the smaller scouts to get past Ian – Alan Grassie, Norman Brown, Alan MacFarlane.
Soon there are more scouts in the middle than there are trying to get past. “Let’s get Andy Clark” – the whisper goes round – but Andy hears this and roars like a lion and charges through the crowd, shaking aside the efforts of us normal mortals. Reinforcements are required.
Soon he succumbs too however, as sheer force of numbers force him to the ground.
The competition was next. We once again retreat into our patrol rooms but not for long. People could be heard scurrying out of the headquarters into the night to fetch an old Scouters hat. Norman McLeod lives nearby – “my dad has one” he cries.
A 1963 florin was next on the wanted list and a bus ticket from Glenburn to Paisley Cross.
Another 2 scouts are dispatched. The rest of us have to build a bridge over the burn using patrol staffs. That burn has been the source of many competitions and working parties. All this before 20.45hrs.
Our instructions tonight fell into 3 categories. Paul Gilgallon was teaching the younger scouts how to do a square lashing. David Middleton taught a few of us how to treat a broken leg in the middle of nowhere. (Lessons learnt when Gordon Breingan broke his leg out in the wilds of Renfrewshire). Whilst Campbell Muirhead showed the rest how to make and start a fire.
The leaders came round and gave assistance where required.
The programme was running late. We only had 2 minutes for dismissal.
Once again the tramp, tramp of marching feet as we made our way back into the hall.
The leaders were waiting in silence. We have an award ceremony tonight. Russelll Muirhead was presented with the Fireman’s badge. A round of applause for his efforts. Alistair asks for volunteers to distribute leaflets round Glenburn, Thornliepark and Braehead announcing our jumble sale next month and requesting people to look out jumble. Can anyone’s parents provide transport to collect
it all?
Finally Skipper, who had joined us later in the evening, led us in a hymn and a prayer. Friday night was almost over.
“Troop, Troop Alert! , Duty Patrol” , March to flagpole in the corner
Lower flag , Step back ,Pause, About turn, March back to Fox Patrol
“Troop, Troop Dismiss!” ,Left turn, Stamp foot. 

Gordon McKellar
One of my memories of Dad was when we went to Windsor Castle where dad was presented with the bar to the Silver Acorn. It was for his services to international scouting. I remember being with my family in the courtyard of Windsor Castle, Douglas and I all dressed up in our kilts, watching the queen make the presentation to dad. A proud moment.

I joined the cubs in 1966 and was in the group until 1979, going up through the ranks. I remember when I wanted to join the Venture Scouts there was no-one to run the troop so I became a Scout Leader immediately until I left the area to start work. It is great to see the group still continues.