I remember as a young Cub, late 1940s, helping wire brush curved corrugated iron sheets and then tar coating them ready for erecting the Scout Hut. My uncle, Bill Croot, was the builder. It was a messy job. Uncle Bill was a First World War veteran who knew how these buildings were built.
In 1949 I was one of ten Scouts chosen in Essex to go to the first international Jamboree. It was held in Belfairs Wood Hockley, and was spread over three or four fields. We had to walk a fair way to get water and we had to queue. You can imagine thousands of Scouts, all talking different languages, queuing for water.
I can remember the camp fire field. It had a large circular hole, which was terraced for seating, rising out of the hole. The fire consistently stoked up with trees etc. It was a good camp fire every night for a week.
Each night Scouts from different countries would do a turn, singing acting etc. It was great round the camp fire (no health and safety then)
I remember the Latvian Scout. He stayed with the Pearce family for a couple of weeks after the Jamboree. He then left to find his lost parents who had vanished under Germany/Russian rule 1949/50. He promised to keep in touch with the family but was never heard of again!
We used to have a great carnival in those days. My father would take his lorry (John Sadds) up to Freshfields, which is now Greenways Brock Hill.
We would decorate it and ourselves and then proceed to Castledon Road . The procession would leave and proceed down London Road , through Wickford and on to the fields opposite the Quart Pot and behind the Old Rectory.
It was mostly the Dagenham Girl Pipers who led the parade. They had their own marquee and played to an audience inside. Being a young Cub I used to pull a tent peg out and crawl underneath to watch (they were some stalwart ladies).
One year around 1947 I won first prize in the raffle. It was a no.3. Meccano set (for those of you who remember Meccano sets)
Norman Simmonds erected an aerial rope way between large trees that were behind the Old Rectory (again no health and safety).
The Runwell allotments were the site of the Gymkhana. Farmers and horse lovers would use this field for their games and jumps. It must be good for vegetables now.