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New book recounts scouting adventures around Stroud


Stroud author Melvyn Wilkins has just released his third book, Dehydrated Chicken Supreme and other great Scouting adventures.

“It chronicles my time in Scouting in the district between 1961-1987. From a Cub Scout in Rodborough through to Assistant District Commissioner (Venture Scouts),” explained Melvyn.

“It is 120 pages, glossy A4 with over 200 photos and illustrations which cover not only my time at Rodborough and Randwick but also expeditions and trips abroad along with other local events. I have included alongside my recollections many quotes and stories from participants in some of these – it is nostalgic, amusing, amazing, bizarre and in some cases not very H&S conscious!”

PXL 20240216 103827566 | New book recounts scouting adventures around Stroud

The book is packed with photographs and memories of a bygone era: “As a Rodborough Scout in 1968 we had a summer camp at Rockfield near Monmouth, we travelled there sitting on our tents and kit on the back of an open lorry. We brought a ships bell with us and rang it like mad as we went through towns and villages on the way,” added Melvyn.

“As Assistant Venture Scout leader at Randwick around 1973 we took the Venture Scouts on a weekend camp at English Bicknor. The Venture Scout leader borrowed a lorry from C M Downton and as we approached Highnam he realised we needed diesel so promptly drove onto the filling station forecourt there to fill up – demolishing the overhead canopy.”

The book also recounts the first Cotswold Jamboree, which was held at Middleyard, Kings Stanley, in 1980.

“We had Scouts from various European countries including Switzerland. In 2013 I was in Luzern, Switzerland and needed a taxi one evening. Like all taxi drivers he started up a conversation and asked where I was from. UK (he had been there, he asked whereabouts?), just North of Bristol (he said he had been in that area too, so where north of Bristol?), Stroud a small town in Gloucestershire (he had been there, in 1980 at a Scout Jamboree). Small world we live in!”

The book is only available directly from Melvyn at £15.50 plus £2.65 P&P. Email: melvynwilkins@gmail.com or text: 07866 459170.  

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