Norwich Sea Scouts celebrate leader’s 40th anniversary

Forty years of fun and learning was celebrated by the 1st Norwich Sea Scouts this week, with a surprise ceremony for their long-serving cubs leader.

Charles Bartram had no idea what was waiting for him at the group's Old Lakenham base when he returned with his troop from a Halloween hike.

The surprise was around 50 people, including Lord Mayor of Norwich, Jenny Lay, and Sheriff of Norwich, Chris Higgins, all waiting to celebrate the landmark with him.

Mr Bartram, 59, who lives on Wood Street in central Norwich, said: 'I was definitely surprised, I had no idea at all as it had been kept a secret for six months.

'I knew I had been there for a long while but I didn't know it was the 40th anniversary coming up, but it was a good surprise.'

Mr Bartram has taught his fair share of map reading and knot tying and led plenty of hikes and outdoor camps since 1971, and as well as cub leader he is also now assistant group leader of the 1st Norwich Sea Scouts as well.

His wife, Emma, was presented with a bouquet of flowers and Gary Burfield, county commissioner for Nofolk Scouts, and Matthew Burrell, district commissioner for Southern Norwich Scouts, were also on hand to congratulate him and present a 40-year service award from The Scout Association.

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Mr Bartram added: 'I didn't have any idea that I would still be doing it in 40 years times, I've just always enjoyed it and been relatively successful.

'One of the earlier escapades I always remember is when there was a cubs football league and I was probably the worst football manager ever because I don't really know that much about football, but that was great fun.'

Mr Bartram was also given another lasting keepsake of the night, a caricature of him playing his banjo by a local artist, signed by all of his current cub troop.

Do you know someone approaching a landmark anniversary? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email

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