3rd Tynemouth

(Ritsons Own) Scout Group

Billy Mill Lane, North Shields, NE29 8LP

Fred Beaumont

Fred Beaumont was a former scout with us and leader at the 11th Tynemouth as well as being one of the founding members of the guild.

On the break-up of Ritson’s Rover Crew Tom Turner arranged a meeting of Crew Members at the home of George Pilgrim in Camp Terrace, North Shields. This was very well attended - so much so that many of us had to sit on the floor! Tom suggested that we should continue to meet socially - once a month or once a quarter but George was against this saying that the Crew was finished and we should just forget it. On a vote he, unfortunately, won.

However, some years later he contacted me to ask if I was still in touch with Crew members as the Scout Association was to form Guilds of old scouts and he thought Ritson’s should form one. As it happened I was still in touch with many of the Crew through our meeting at Scottish Country Dances. A meeting was called at the Old Hundred pub and a Guild was formed - Eggy was Chairman, I was Secretary and Ron Hind was Treasurer. Ron agreeing to be treasurer on the understanding that if we ever failed to make a profit on any function which we ran he would resign! The rest, as you know, is history.

Eventually due to the financial demands which were being made of us from HQ, we withdrew from the National Guilds and decided that we would concentrate on supporting the Ritson’s Group. We did a great deal of work in building the new HQ, help to build Powburn, ran Father and Sons Camps.

For a number of years we met at the Dolphin pub in Tynemouth and gradually welcomed members from other Guilds and some who had not been in Scouting but proved to be valuable members such as Robert Swan.

The Troop had its HQ in an old army but at Billy Mill and when this was demolished moved to the Sea Scout Hut at the Havens. I joined in 1938 attending the last camp before the war at Alnwick. In the Owl patrol with Billy Whip being the patrol leader and Arthur Wright the Second (Arthur eventually being killed when the plane he was flying blew up over the Wash).

I remember George Greenacre being killed in an air raid. I was out that night helping to coil up telephone wires which had been blown down in the blitz. George had apparently changed his ARP duty with another colleague which cost him his life.

Shortly after the war the Crew played a big part in the first and following Gang Shows. In 1947 four of us - Davy White, Chris Craig, Arthur Davis and myself went to Oslo on an exchange visit to the 2nd Grefson Troop and they came across to us the following year spending a week with the 11th Tynemouth, St. Peter’s of which I was Scout Master, and a week with Ritson’s.

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