Mystery Portsmouth Scout troop given grand title of 'Reserve Fleet' - Nostalgia

John Hocking has contacted me about a scout group that used to meet at Stamshaw Junior Girls’ School in Portsmouth. As you can see, the address on the registration form is the Royal Sailors Rest Mission Hut, Tipner.

Thursday, 13th June 2019, 11:51 am
Updated Thursday, 13th June 2019, 6:02 pm
A registration form to join the 49th Portsmouth Scouts who were attached to HMS Adamant. Image: John Hocking

John tells me the group were not Sea Scouts but part of an original group of scouts although the neckerchief was mauve with a square horizontal black and white emblem. They were known as the 49th Reserve Fleet, somewhat dramatic for a boy scout group. This would have been in the early to mid 1950s.

They were attached to the submarine depot ship HMS Adamant and the group held church services on board.

They also held a church service on board the navy’s last battleship HMS Vanguard then part of the reserve fleet in Portsmouth Harbour.

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Fire after a thunderstorm at Fareham, 1916. Picture: Stephen Cribb/Robert James collection

They were taken on board both by a boat from HMS Excellent, Whale island. John was also given a guided tour around the ship and visited the gun turrets which, he tells me, was a great thrill.

John has been in contact with several scouting groups to ask if anyone can remember the 49th but there is no record anywhere.

If you were part of the 49th scout group John would like to hear from you. Please call him on (023) 9246 5973 or e-mail me please.

• Does anyone recognise these Pompey players from yesteryear? I believe that is the Milton End of Fratton Park and somewhat different to today’s Milton end. A Longs brewery hoarding, perhaps a Pompey sponsor of the time, is displayed to the rear.

Pompey players, but who are they?

The players seem to be wearing plimsolls (remember them?) and heavy sweaters. Anyone recognising the players, please let me know.

• There was a serious thunderstorm in the Fareham area in 1916, so much so that this house was struck by lightning and caught fire.

In the photograph we can see a beam with mortise cuts which fell from the roof. It appears to have fallen across the brass bedstead so let’s hope was no one asleep at the time. If the house had a thatched roof then it would have been disastrous of course.

• A photograph taken from the Pier Hotel looking along Pier Road to Clarence Pier on a Boxing Day at the turn of the last century shows heavy flooding.

Flooding along Pier Road, Southsea With all the recent rain we might see sights such as this again with heavy flooding along Pier Road towards Clarence Pier. Photo: S. Cribb

With all the rain we have had recently let’s hope scenes like this are not repeated.

Having said that, the young boy seems to be happy paddling in what must have been very cold water in December.