I started as a Cub and I never left, says retiring leader Alan

HANDOVER The new district commissioner for Gosport Ian Batchelor, left, congratulates former district commissioner Alan Seymour on his retirement. Inset, Alan in 1971.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves (121237-5)
HANDOVER The new district commissioner for Gosport Ian Batchelor, left, congratulates former district commissioner Alan Seymour on his retirement. Inset, Alan in 1971. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (121237-5)
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HIS team members have praised him for his focus on getting Scouts active and he has won an award for distinguished service.

Now after 12 years in the post, Alan Seymour, 62, is finally hanging up his woggle as district commissioner for Gosport Scouts.

HANDOVER Former district commissioner Alan Seymour in 1971.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves (121237-3)

HANDOVER Former district commissioner Alan Seymour in 1971. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (121237-3)

He juggled that voluntary position with his job as a civil servant at the Ministry of Defence until two years ago.

But Scouting has always been his passion.

Alan, who has been involved in the movement for over 40 years, said: ‘I started as a Cub Scout and never left.

‘When I became commissioner, it was a case of there being no-one who wanted to do the job and I happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time!’

‘Obviously, it’s not just down to one person. I’m sure the district wouldn’t be where it is now if I tried to do it by myself. We all worked ever so well together.’

As soon as he took the job, Mr Seymour put a new emphasis on getting Scouts active in the outdoors with activities like air rifle shooting, archery and climbing.

He added: ‘I’d rather be doing activities with youngsters than sitting around shuffling papers – we can all do Scouting in a hut.’

And this lifelong dedication to the Scout movement might not come to an end just yet. Ian Batchelor, who took over as district commissioner on April 1, has other plans.

He said: ‘I’m not letting him go. I’m trying to find him something to do within the district because I don’t want to lose someone with that much service and experience.

‘Alan has motivated the district over the past 12 years. It’s a testament to him that the individual groups and the district have provided a balanced programme. We run an awful lot of activities in Gosport and a lot of that is down to Alan’s initiative.’

His colleague, district secretary David South, added: ‘He’s done a very good job indeed for keeping up the numbers.

‘It’s not the young people, it’s finding the leaders and the volunteers. To manage volunteers is far more difficult than managing those who are paid.’

But Mr Seymour does not seem to be going anywhere soon. He still volunteers as a site warden and training adviser to new Scout leaders, giving them the skills they need to run camping groups.

He said: ‘I’ve been in Scouting so long now I can’t just walk away from it.’