February 2013 Newsletter


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February 2013 Newsletter

February 2013



Sadly we report this month the calling to Higher Service of two stalwarts of Scouting, Don Woodhouse and Harold Burgess.


Captain Donald Woodhouse OBE

8th October 1920 – 28th January 2013

Don was 92 and his Scouting Record shows 74 years of Adult Service. He was the County Chaplain and Adviser for Faiths and Beliefs for GLMW since July 1986, and he was an active member of the Anglican Scout Fellowship. He was at an event at 4th Eastcote a week before he died. He attended most major county events which he was always asked to open with a prayer.

During his Scouting career he was a Cub Scout Leader in Huddersfield and Germany, District Chairman for Greenford and from 1954 – 1975 was a Headquarters Commissioner in various roles including being responsible for Scout Groups connected with Anglican churches in the UK and abroad.

Don went to Birmingham during the Second World War, where he built Spitfires by day and was a member of the Home Guard by night. At the local mission church he attended in Birmingham, he met a Church Army Sister. It was she who said the fateful words to him:  “I’ve had a word with God and he’s told me you’ve got to be in the Church Army!” He joined the Church Army and when he retired continued to work actively in part-time Christian Ministry. In particular, he is famous for his short books that combine humour, scripture and words of wisdom to inspire Christians in their walk with God.

Don leaves a wife, a son and a daughter and his funeral is to be held on Monday 18th February 2013 at 2.00 p.m. at St Lawrence Church, Bridle Road, Pinner, HA5 2SJ


Harold Andrew Burgess

30th July 1918 – 14th  January 2013

Harold was born in Hove, Sussex, and in his younger days the family moved to West London and he joined scouting in Southall. He joined the Army in 1938 and served around Europe and North Africa, and at end of the war he remained in West London. He worked in a welding company in Park Royal and his mother (who incidentally later wrote for many years a weekly column on Scouting for the Middlesex Gazette) introduced him to 20th Ealing Scouts, (now part of 1st Ealing North). He started as Assistant Scout Master, in 1946 and as he had  a young family he could not take time off work to go to camp. But was always known as ‘Skip’ to all in the group, members and parents alike.

The troop in those days was one of the largest in the county and for many years there was a ’b’ troop because of the numbers. He was always present at District activities and later became GSL of 20th Ealing, when the founder of the Group Dom Kevin Horsey of Ealing Abbey retired. The Group continued to grow under his leadership and he and his family moved to Worthing in 1975. His successor as GSL was Anthony Phillips. He then continued in Scouting, as a member of the fellowship, Appointment Secretary and many other posts whenever required. He recently received his 60 year certificate and was awarded the Silver Wolf for services to Scouting.

His funeral, attended by many Scouting members was held in Worthing on 30th January. A former ASL in 20th Ealing , Kevin Read-Jones and myself attended.


The year moves on and the District Secretary has been hard at work collating all the statistics for the annual census. Details will be published next month. The annual St George’s day parade is having a revamp and will be different from previous years in format. It will be on April 21st in Ealing with the service returning to The Abbey this year.





You may remember from last month that I wondered how many people in the district read this newsdesk each month.  So I’ve polled the leaders at their regular meetings and found that about half had read it and most could remember some of what I’d written.

So you represent about 50%.  Thank you for taking the time, I hope you find it useful / informative.  Please recommend to it to your colleagues.


There is currently a renewed initiative in scouting to ensure that we all run our activities in a “safe” way.  There will shortly be a “Safety” module being offered in the training scheme and you’ll see these courses advertised.  Please do sign up.

As far as I can remember safety has always been at the heart of what we do and one of the ways we achieve this is by regular risk assessments.  There are the formal risk assessments that we (should) do for our camps and special events, risk assessments of our premises, visual checks of the equipment we use and the regular safety eyeball that we employ all the time.  Every parent naturally does this and we in “loco parentis” take on this role every time we have young people in our charge.

You will see in this newsdesk an article about a Trangia accident (not scouts) and it’s well worth looking at this to remind ourselves what can happen if we don’t take the rudimentary precautions we should!


Does this subject vex your section/group?  Subs? Camp fees? Materials? Trip costs? Uniform?

Well perhaps there is district help at hand.

We’ve been generously gifted money by 25th Ealing to help promote/develop scouting in Ealing and Hanwell and some of this has been ring fenced in our Hardship fund.

Look on the website, Members area (do not try to sign in, just click Members area), financial support, where you will find an “Application for Assistance” form.

This money is available to any young person or leader that needs financial support to participate in Scouting with large or small amounts available.

We are also going to look at ways we can use this money to help develop and expand the provision of scouting in E&H. I’ll remind you that we have had one of the longest waiting lists in the county and would dearly love to expand capacity so that we can offer the scouting experience to every young person who wants it. I’m convinced that it is not for the lack of money but am hoping that a little “seed money” might just grease the wheels of progress in this area. If you have any ideas about this then I’d love to hear from you.

Keep up all your great work and be safe.



Winter Camp 2013ExpWC1


The weather forecaster was smirking as Brigantia (17 Explorers, 2 Leaders) packed up the equipment ready for our third annual venture to Winter Camp. Based as Gilwell park, over 3,500 Scouts, Explorers and Leaders braved the wintry conditions.

The event is a mixture of activities, including everything from fair ground rides, though to horse riding and white water rafting at the Lea Valley Centre (the course of the Olympic Games). In the evening campfires and discos entertained. Nighttime temperatures dropped below freezing which ensured a covering of frost over the tents in the morning. ExpWC2Slightly warmer temperatures during the day created the famous Gilwell mud bath.  Rumours suggested it was excellent for the skin, and Brigantia, having returned with significant quantities attached to our equipment, can happily supply mudpacks to any parents or leaders at extremely reasonable rates.

Many thanks to all the Explorers for their support – and especially Dave Folkerd, GSL of 25th Ealing for letting us borrow his kit and transporting it back and forth from the site. ExpWC3





Check out the Scout Association Youtube video of the event…

If you’ve got a Scout who is approaching 14, and thinking about Explorers – let us know so we can make contact.  As ever – you can follow us @Brigantiaesu, like us at Facebook.com/brigantiaesu and visit us at www.ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk/explorers.

From a gently thawing,

Ben & Simon

ESL & AESL Brigantia Explorers.


Safety First

Do you use Trangia methylated spirit stoves in your section?  They are considered to be the most suitable stove for Scouts and are heavily used for Chief Scout’s Challenge Award and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award hikes but as with anything involving an open flame, they are not without risk.  Please read this Health & Safety Executive report on an incident and ensure you take precautions so that you are safe.

Date: 25 January 2013 Release No:  LSE/21/13

A London borough council has been sentenced for a serious safety breach after a 15 year-old girl was engulfed in a fireball from a cooking stove during a school camping expedition.

The teenager, then a pupil at East Ham’s Plashet School, was caught in a flashover when another girl poured methylated spirits on to the cooking stove as she believed it was going out.

The erupting flames set fire to the girl’s clothing and headscarf. She suffered severe burns to her hands, arms, face, neck and legs and was in Chelmsford Hospital’s Special Burns Unit for three weeks. She has since had to have a skin graft and has permanent scarring.

The teenager, who has asked not to be named, was one of 25 girls on a three-day Duke of Edinburgh’s Silver Award camping trip near the West Sussex village of Henfield. The incident, on 9 July 2011, was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive, which brought a prosecution against Newham Council for safety failings.

Southwark Crown Court was told today (25 Jan) that HSE found the incident could have been avoided if basic precautions had been taken. Fuel should have been kept in the correct containers, safely stored and simple procedures followed for lighting the stove.

The Duke of Edinburgh camping group was led by an expedition leader employed by the Council along with two teachers and a school administrator.

The court heard the group was enjoying the second night at the camp and some were cooking food for the evening meal.  One of the girls wanted to cook some more food but thought the stove was going out. She picked up a five-litre container of methylated spirits and poured some into the stove causing the instant flashover.

The expedition leader ran to the burning teenager and rolled her back and forth on the ground while shouting for others to bring water and call 999. At the same time, he was beating her trousers with his hands to try to put out the flames.  He saw the girl’s headscarf on fire and quickly removed it while a man from another group poured water over her face. They continued to dowse her with water until paramedics arrived minutes later.

Newham Borough Council, of Dockside Road, London E16, pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.  It was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £17,246 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector John Crookes said:

“This incident was avoidable and the failure to take simple safety measures has led to a young girl being unnecessarily scarred for life.

“Councils, schools and voluntary groups that organise camping trips involving the use of highly flammable stove fuel must ensure they implement effective precautions to prevent the ignition of fuel or vapour.

“A five-litre container of methylated spirits should never have been used to fill a camping stove. Any fuel needed for the trip should have been taken in containers incorporating a safety cut-off valve and kept away from ignition sources. There also should have been a better procedure to follow when filling or refilling the stove.

“This is not about stopping school trips or burdening staff with excessive paperwork. It is about identifying simple precautions and ensuring they are in place.”


If you are a user of Trangia stoves and would like some advice on the safe usage of them, please contact Ben or Simon at Brigantia ESU as we are regular users and part of GLMW’s Expedition Training Team.


There is now a Members section on the District website at http://www.ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk/members/. It is still work in progress and there will be more additions to come. Is there anything you would like to see there? Email admin@ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk with your requests.



Activities e-news

The latest Activities eNews is now available to view. Read the all at http://members.scouts.org.uk/documents/activitiesnews/e17.pdf

Quality Balanced Programme

The definition of the Balanced Programme is as follows:

“Young people experience Scouting through regularly taking part in quality activities drawn from each Programme Zone. Personal achievement can be recognised through earning awards and badges leading to the Chief Scout’s Awards and the Queen’s Scout Award.”

Awarding badges to young people is a great way to recognise achievement and a motivator to try something different. The Balanced Programme Matrix has recently been updated and can be found here:


Director of Youth Programme 6-25 + Strategy & Development

Paul Dickson has now been confirmed in the role of Director of Programme with all the sectional ACC’s reporting to him, along with International and Activities.

Review of Media & Communications

Over the last three months we have conducted a review of the internal and external communications structure to best support the needs of developing an effective international communications network and also playing an important part in how we grow the County through effective media relations.  A new structure is attached “GLMW Media & Communications Structure” with all internal and external communications reporting into the Deputy County Commissioner through three managers responsible for:

  • Media
  • Website & Digital Media
  • Internal Communications

GLMW Hillwalking Training Weekends 2013

Next Trip: Yorkshire Dales – March 2013, now taking bookings

Scotland June 2013 also booking now.

Visit http://www.glmwhillwalking.org.uk/ for more information on this or to book a place on an upcoming trip.

County Banners

If your Group is holding a fund raising event, and would like to use the County pop ups to help promote Scouting, these can be borrowed by contacting Jan at the County Office. You will need to collect, and return them, to the Office at PACCAR Scout Camp, Denham Lane, Chalfont St Peter.

February Freezer 2013 – 22nd –24th Feb 2013. Have You Booked Your Place?


If you are not receiving the original notes as above please contact jan.vanderplank@glmwscouts.org.uk and ask for your name to be included in the distribution list