Cub leaders photographs show joy of fake fires and fresh air

021011 REMEMBER WHEN REP: CO''CAPTION: Portsmouth cubs enjoying their camp on Portsdown Hill, Portsmouth, in 1951
021011 REMEMBER WHEN REP: CO''CAPTION: Portsmouth cubs enjoying their camp on Portsdown Hill, Portsmouth, in 1951

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Ah, the days when a mock camp fire could keep dozens of young lads enthralled and ‘camp’ was just a short trip to Portsdown Hill.

These two pictures come from Gez Groom on behalf of his mother Sylvia (nee Howe).

021011 REMEMBER WHEN REP: CO''CAPTION: How to build a camp fire - complete with light bulb and trailing flex

021011 REMEMBER WHEN REP: CO''CAPTION: How to build a camp fire - complete with light bulb and trailing flex

She was a cub leader in Portsmouth in the late 1940s and early 1950s in the Buckland area, with, Gez thinks, possible links to the Congregational Church in Sultan Road.

Gez says the first picture here appears to be a demonstration of how to light a fire, complete with a lead trailing across the floor for the light bulb to ‘ignite’ the fire.

Gez guesses that the venue was the Congregational Church Hall.

He said: ‘I can remember being in the hall at different times, but would have been far too young to remember the layout of the building. Perhaps some eagle-eyed readers can confirm its location.’

Sylvia is one of the women at the back sitting in the front of the ladies’ cloakroom.

His second picture had the words Sixers Camp written on the back and was taken on Portsdown Hill. Although the photo clearly shows five cubs, you can make out a sixth head, hence six names on the picture in the inscription which reads: ‘Sixers Cub Camp 7 – 9/9/51. Alan Tooes, Derek Dickinson, Peter Ryder, Peter Spreadbury, Edward Russell, Michael King.’