Back to the Hills!

On Saturday 17th July 2021, 10 Scouts and Explorers from across Newcastle District travelled to Edale, Peak District.
The aim; to climb Kinder Scout; at 636m (2086 ft) Kinder is the highest point in the Peak District.

The pandemic has stopped Scouts from getting outdoors for the last year; so it was a great sight to see Scouts heading into the Dark Peak for a days hillwalking.
With clear skies, sun and low winds we knew it was going to be a hot one.
Extra bottles of water and sun lotion were thrown in for good measure.

Splitting into three groups we headed in three different directions to reach the peaty plateau.
All three managed to reach the trig point at Kinder Low (633m) with one group heading all the way over to kinder downfall completing a 20km circuit.
After a long successful day on the hills we were treated to ice creams.

A challenging yet fantastic day was had by all, Scouts, Explorers and Leaders.
Thanks must go to all of the Leaders who helped to plan and run this weekend.

Keep an eye out for details of the next mountain weekend in 2022.
Watch this space…

If you’re interested in the next adventure, please contact us.

More photos are in the gallery.

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Paul Wilkinson’s Funeral

On Tuesday 22/06/2021, we said goodbye to District Leader, 87th Holy Trinity Leader and friend, Paul Wilkinson.

his funeral was held at St. Mary’s Church, Knutton. Unfortunately, due to the current restrictions, the number of people able to attend was limited, so a video of the funeral was made. This can be seen below.
The eulogy was made by ADC Cubs, 14th Basford Cub Leader and Paul’s friend Laura, and this can be read below the video.

RIP Paul.

Paul Wilkinson Eulogy

On behalf of myself, my family, and all of Newcastle District, I would just like to say, Tony and Andrew, we are so very sorry for your loss and hope you can take some comfort in the knowledge that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

As Sir Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give” With this in mind, and though Paul’s time on this earth has been short, through his generosity and ability to help others, I know he had a great life.

He was one of the most generous and caring people I’ve ever known, and this was most evident in the precious time that he shared with us all.  As Barbra Davies said, “Paul was one in a million” and I couldn’t agree more!

When Tony asked me if I could talk about our memories of Paul and what we got up to, it took my right back to the start of our Scouting adventures as fresh-faced leaders some 20+ years ago, when Paul became a leader with URC, now known as 79th NBC, and I joined Basford, unfortunately for Paul, and lucky for me, along with Richard, Chris and Vicky, we were put on the same leadership courses and from there we became firm friends!

It was at one particular training event I learnt a number of things about Paul.  Firstly, his car is like the Tardis or Mary Poppins bag, if you needed something, Paul would have it.  On this particular occasion it was beverages, and I don’t mean soft drinks….. and yes Rach Gray, even at the very beginning, Paul had the special cool box which would always be carrying a beverage of some sort (This became a regular fixture of pretty much every camp.) Paul loved a good camp fire, However, I soon learnt on a leader’s only camp, never ask men to put the camp fire out.  I shall leave it to your imagination how Paul suggested they did that!

In 2013 Paul became a district leader, and in 2014 I became ADC Cubs.  Prior to accepting the position, I had a discussion with Paul about changing my role, but Paul told me “I’m not being funny ‘Lau’ stop thinking about it, and just do it” and said he would support me 100 percent. So, along with Sharon as administrative extraordinaire, we became the dream team, or as I used to say to Paul, we were partners in crime. Our mission was to try and support the Cubs section within our district, and I know that Paul absolutely did that!

Paul meant so much to us all, and for the majority in Scouts, our memories of Paul surround camps, Den team’s at Kibb, leading the Cooks team or Castle Capers where he was a significant part of the back stage crew!  What some of you might not know, is that one year Paul also had to become my quick-change assistant! I went from wearing my opening costume, to Indian dress, and then back into my opening outfit! That dress went on inside out, back to front, and on the odd occasion the right way, but no one ever noticed, and I was always back on stage in time thanks to my assistant!

Paul’s love of the theatre wasn’t just held for back stage, and this was displayed in 2007, when Paul took to the front of stage for one of the most memorable performances in Flying High, when he appeared in a red jacket performing ‘is this the way to Amarillo’ – Secretly, I think he loved it, as I’m sure lots of you did too.

In his district role, Paul helped out at lots of groups, including Holy Trinity, and following changes at NBC, in 2015 he became a permanent member of their leadership team.

We all knew Paul would fit in well because of his love for carrier bags, in particular bags for life – When doing the Camp shopping, packing was never an issue as he almost had as many bags as Janet and Angela!

Paul loved being part of the Holy Trinity Group, he loved helping and supporting all sections, maintaining the up keep of the scout hut and grounds. His time as part of the Cubs section at HT is where some of Janet’s fondest memories occurred. This included teaching the Cubs a song and dance routine for their Spanish theme at the Indaba Camp, as well as helping to make the costumes for this!

Janet also loved that Paul never forgot any of the Cubs birthdays, and always made sure they were celebrated.

It was on a joint Holy Trinity and Basford Cub Camp at Copeland Cabin; I remember Paul’s love for a good camp fire was demonstrated.

At a time when risk assessments weren’t so popular, the Cubs were all asleep in their tents, and the leaders were having a chat and catch up around the camp fire, with Chris and Paul tending to it as they frequently did.  Myself and Sylv went up to the Fox glen and, on our return, Sylv suddenly stopped me and said, “I can see the bloomin fire”. I replied “yes, you can always see a glow from the fire on the trees”. To which Sylv responded – “NO I can see the fire”! I remember looking across the field and being able to see flames above the Cabin! When we got back – Chris and Paul proudly informed us they had been playing Pallet Jenga and seeing who could get the top pallet on.  However, they decided to stop at 12, I was relieved they had stopped and said to Paul “is this because it’s not safe!” Paul laughed and said “no Lau it’s because we don’t want the flames to keep touching the power lines”.

2016 saw the Cubs celebrate 100 years of Scouting, and it was during one of the county events, an overnight stay at Chester Zoo, Paul was presented with his greatest Scouting achievement; his award for merit by the then County Commissioner, Paula Evans.  The same year, we also had the Cubs on Tour in Paris.  As a district leader, Paul was instrumental in helping to organise and fundraise for this trip.

Paul was a good friend of Silverdale Scout group, and helped on many of their camps and events.  In 2019, Paul returned to Paris with Silverdale for their 90th birthday celebrations, it was lovely to see the pictures and hear the stories of his return trip.

Paul was generous to a fault, always checking in to make sure you were ok.

He also gave the biggest and best hugs – as Rach said “Nobody did hugs like Paul!”

This speech barely scratches the surface of the amazing memories we shared, and as I think of one, so many more pop in to my mind, and I will cherish each and every one dearly.

As Baden Powell once said “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it” and my goodness, he most definitely did.

So, finally, thank you Paul for being the greatest scouter, cook, and best friend a person could ask for.

As they say, goodbyes are not forever, goodbyes are not the end.  They simply mean I will miss you my most precious friend, that is until we meet again.

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Paul Wilkinson: Gone Home

Newcastle District is devastated to hear that Paul Wilkinson, Leader from 87th Holy Trinity Scout Group, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly this morning (Wednesday 26th May 2021).

Paul was a dedicated and talented Leader, who brought his own unique style, friendship and enthusiasm to Scouting in our District and more broadly across the County to support others.

Everyone in the District sends our sincere condolences to his father Tony, brother Andrew and to his family and friends.

Funeral details will be announced when we know them.

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St. George’s Day 2021

The 2021 St. George’s Day celebrations and Promise renewals have, like last year, had to be online due to the COVID pandemic.

However, a live event was hosted in Queen’s Gardens in Newcastle, where we normally meet up for our parade. You can see the video below.

Hopefully, in 2022, we will be back in the Town centre to parade along the Ironmarket in force!

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Gretta Bloor: Chief Scout’s Commendation for Meritorious Conduct

We are very please to announce that Gretta Bloor has been awarded the Chief Scout’s Commendation for Meritorious Conduct Medal.

Gretta has been involved in Scouting for over 35 years, and her dedication and support to Newcastle District, and more broadly Staffordshire, has been recognised previously in the award of long service and the prestigious Silver Acorn award.
However this particular award, which has only been awarded in our District to one other person, Paul Bailey, and we are very pleased to be able to recognise the determination and willpower Gretta has shown many of both the adult and youth members of our District to overcome many difficulties.
Gretta’s journey over the years from an initial stoke in 2006, atrial fibrillation, a fall resulting in a fractured pelvis and arm, osteoporosis, a number of other debilitating conditions, to her latest retinal haemorrhage in 2020 has been long but she has always undertaken any treatment with bravery and fortitude.
Despite long periods in hospital and rehabilitation she has never lost her belief that she could improve. Learning to walk again and to live in a world that she could no longer see clearly. Learning to rely on other senses rather than her vision. Gretta gave a short presentations to the West Midlands Clinical Network Meeting in Birmingham on the impact of early supported discharge on recovery from her stroke.
Prior to the initial stroke Gretta had been the District Commissioner in our District having recently stepped down after 10 years of service. She had then taken up the role of District Chair to support the new District Commissioner a role which it was thought she would not be able to return to. This however was not the case and with support she was able to gradually return to these duties. Gradually increasing her input until she was fully undertaking the role again despite the further setbacks. At the same time she was also successfully chairing the executive Committee of Kibblestone International Scout Camp. In 2014 Gretta stepped down from the role of District chair when a new District commissioner was appointed. In 2010 Gretta also joined the District ASU becoming a very active member with the support of her husband attending sports days, swimming galas and District camps providing invaluable advice and support.
She has always shown determination and strength to regain as much independence as possible whatever has happened and following each setback. She has remained an active member of our scouting family within her abilities and has been an inspiration to many.
Following her second stroke and then her fall despite her further difficulties with the help of her husband, Roger, she still continued to attend many events, supporting her husband as Group scout leader at Ashley and was as active in the Active Support Unit, as she could be attending scouting and social functions.
She has remained a valued member of the ASU and we are hoping that despite the latest retinal haemorrhage in February this year once the lock-down through Covid 19 is over that she will be attending the ASU meetings once they can start again.
As well as her continued commitment to Scouting she also maintained her love and support for her local football team even following them to Wembley. Above all her love and care for her family never faltered.

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Prince Philip: Gone Home

Newcastle District Scouts are very sad to hear of the death of HRH Prince Philip. Steadfast in his support to Her Majesty, The Queen, and he had the foresight before many others for conservation work & in setting up the Duke of Edinburgh scheme which has inspired and enabled countless young people .

This is a  very sad day for the country, and absolutely devastating for our Queen.

RIP Your Royal Highness from Newcastle District Scouts.

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Paul Bailey: Chief Scout’s Commendation for Meritorious Conduct

Many congratulations to Paul Bailey from 14th Basford Group, on being awarded the
Chief Scout’s Commendation for Meritorious Conduct Medal.
Group Scout Leader Ian said “Paul does so much for our Group, very well deserved!”
Paul works as a volunteer for the Stroke Association going onto two stroke wards giving advice and information. He also helps run an art group for stroke survivors. He is an Assistant Scout Leader, mainly at the hall as camps tend to be a bit of a challenge, but he says never say never!
Paul has overcome everything life has thrown at him proving that with determination and the support of his family and friends. Life continues to be slightly different but with everything that’s happened he still finds time to help others in anyway he is able. Recovery is ongoing and he says it will continue ie swimming / gym / massage and his own doctor says he probably fittest he’s ever been!
Paul has also won an award from the NHS for the work he does on the stroke ward at the Haywood Hospital!

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You shop. Newcastle District Scouts gets money. Free.

Did you know that whenever you buy anything online – from your weekly shop to your annual holiday – you could be raising free donations for Newcastle District Scouts with easyfundraising?

There are over 4,000 shops and sites on board ready to make a donation – including eBay, Argos, John Lewis, ASOS, and M&S – and it won’t cost you a penny extra to help us raise funds.

All you need to do is:

1. Go to and join for free.

2. Every time you shop online, go to easyfundraising first to find the site you want and start shopping.

3. After you’ve checked out, the retailer will make a donation to Newcastle District Scouts at no extra cost to you whatsoever!

There are no catches or hidden charges and Newcastle District Scouts will be really grateful for your donations.

Thank you for your support. 

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Congratulations: Mike Deakin BEM

We are very pleased to announce that that District Active Support Manager, Mike Deakin, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for Services to Scouting in the New Years Honours.

Mike has been involved with Scouting and especially the 74th Silverdale Group for 70 years. This is honour well deserved and we send Mike our congratulations.

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Happy Christmas

Well, its been one crazy year, we went into 2020 with plans for District Events, Weekend Activities, Summer Camps and Gang Shows which by April all had to be packed away.
During all of the year though all our adult volunteers have endeavoured to provide activities for the young people in the District within the rules, guidance and tiers that applied at the time.
The innovative ways our adult volunteers have managed to deliver this has proved what incredible leadership qualities everyone possesses.
Our adult volunteers efforts are greatly appreciated and we would like to send heartfelt thanks to each and everyone of you.
We wish you all, the best Christmas you and your families can have and let’s look forward to an event in 2021 when we can all be together again.
Thanks again and stay safe
Vera Bloor and Paul Bailey
On behalf of all the District Executive

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