Duke of Edinburgh hosts Scouting event

One hundred years of Scouting was marked by the Duke of Edinburgh in Norfolk at the weekend as he brought together hundreds of Scouts - some who had not seen each other for more than 50 years.

One hundred years of Scouting was marked by the Duke of Edinburgh in Norfolk at the weekend as he brought together hundreds of Scouts - some who had not seen each other for more than 50 years.

The event, at Sandringham Visitor Centre, saw Scouts who had gained King's and Queen's Scout Awards who live in Norfolk gathering for the unique occasion, from 88-year-old Ronald Judge, who gained his award in 1937, to 17-year-olds Ben Haines and Martin Page, who both achieved their awards this year.

Two of them the duke reunited - David Woolnough and Bob Hubbard had not seen each since February 1952 when they escorted the coffin of King George VI, the duke's father-in-law, from Sandringham to Wolferton railway station to be taken to London.

Mr Woolnough, who lives in King's Lynn, said: "It was a bitterly cold day but funerals always are. And I had not seen Bob since then."

As Scouts, they had both been involved in the search for bodies in King's Lynn during the 1953 floods.

But Scouting has changed since then.

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David Clarke, who is still a member of the Scouts with the 43rd Scout and Guide Group at Saxlingham, was one of the last King's Scouts - his award was signed by King George in 1952 but awarded shortly after his death.

He said: "There was less red tape and more freedom then and we did not start out with so much so there was less expectation.

"But boys are still the same and I hope the movement will go on another 100 years."

The duke said Sandringham was an apt place to celebrate 100 years of Scouting as it was started in King Edward VIII's reign and this was where the king built a home.

He spoke to Ronald Judge, who lives in King's Lynn, and was the oldest King's Scout at the gathering, aged 88 and having got his award in 1937.

Mr Judge joined a Scout group at Reepham, set up by the local rector, the Rev BP Luscombe.

"We camped out all the summer in the rectory grounds, it was great fun," he said. "We used to bike home to have breakfast before going to school and then work because we left school aged 14 then."

The duke also spoke to Ben Haines and Martin Page, both 17 and from the Costessey Explorer Scout Group, who got their Queen's Scout award this year.

Ben said: "He was really easy to talk to. Scouting is brilliant, it is the best thing I have done in my life, I have met my best friends."

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