Home Guard & Lightcliffe Scouts

The members of the 1st Lightcliffe Scout Troop in the photograph are Gordon Cockroft, David Maude (whose father, Raymond, had been a prominent Lightcliffe cricketer), John Millington, Trevor Booth and Peter Manning.  Seated at the front is Donald Thompson, assistant to his brother Geoff, the scout-leader.  They had just arrived at Bangor Station in 1951 (their luggage is piled on the cart) for a week’s walking in Snowdonia, the highlight of which was the ascent of Snowdon.  The party camped at the rectory garden in Llanberis.

The summer camp was the highlight of the scout calendar and weeks were also spent at Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Settle, Bainbridge, Jersey and Anglesey.

Geoff and Donald Thompson were original members of the troop when it was formed in 1939 by Alfred Ramsden of Mountfields, a reader at St. Matthew’s Church.  Geoff Thompson took over when Ramsden joined the forces, his assistants being his brother and Michael Ambler, the son of the church organist.  They met at the Longlands lodge, the last building on the left as the Leeds Whitehall Road descends past the golf course.  When Longlands became a home for the elderly in 1956, the scouts acquired their own wooden building, which was placed on land at the top of Coach Road

In the following year a cub patrol was formed.  Florrie Leach was cub-mistress, her niece Bunty Asquith, later Keighley, assisting her.

The heyday of the 1st Lightcliffe Troop was the 1970s, when Derek Milligan was leader, assisted by John Millington and Ken Walls, whose father had been cub-master during the fifties and sixties.  Their big band won many competitions and acquired a national reputation for the quality of their playing.



  1. Additional names for the scouting article are Mr.Reg Best who was, I think, Cub Master during the 1950's. His son, Alan, was also in the scouts. They were our next door neighbours at the top of Bentley Avenue on the Stoney Lane Estate for many years from 1950 onwards.
  2. I remember Mr Best well from the 1950s. I think he was assistant cubmaster to Mr Walls, who lived at the bottom of Bentley Avenue. Mr Walls's son, Ken, also assisted at the weekly meetings.

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