8 thoughts on “Can you name these 1st Norton Scouts?

  1. Athol Sholto Douglas gave me my reference along with C.V. (as he was known) Armitage to apply for my application to Leeds Dental School & Hospital for work. He came back from the RAF where I believe his rank was Wing Commander.

    He was based at The Grange ICI Billingham as resident Dental Surgeon.
    Frank, I concur with all you have said in your reply to me about old times in our area, I would go as far as saying we lived in the best times to be brought up.
    My parents never had money to spare, it took them all their time to pay for their house and provide food and clothes. They never got into debt despite the temptation to do so with drink and “keeping up with the Jones’s”. It is a practise I also have followed. Fortunately Dad was never out of work when he was demobbed in 1918, and his job was secure with ICI in the Second World War, but as I said no welcome home Joe!

    I was born in Milner Road, then moved on in 1933 to Grantham Road where I lived until 1951. We knew many people from that area. Horton, Willey, Newman, Love, Hogg, and many more and happy times with them. Anything from catching newts and taddy’s, rafting in the quarry, playing on the grass sods, when they built The William Newton School. In those days children could play out safely. Today you can no longer carry a knife, or just let the children go off and play. That is a freedom gone forever. Neighbours gave you carriers of fruit from the fruit trees already in their gardens. Anyone remember hazel pears ? nearly all Norton fruit trees came from Pershore in Worcestershire by train to Norton Station. Where has all the taste and flavour gone ?. You and I are the lucky ones, we are still here with so many happy memories. But still remember the poverty and the hard times for many people. Richard Hind “raggy behind” was a popular saying in those days. But despite such things as not much money,some great people came from this area.


  2. Frank Mee, I recall Carrols the Auctioneers well, my mother had a few nice pieces of Worcester china that went to auction, one was a white sculpture of an Egyptian man called The Water Carrier carrying a pitcher on his shoulder, he was bearded and wore long caftan which showed the folds so beautifully. I think the porcelain was called parion ware. The next thing was her new piano bought from Burdons Music shop in Yarm Lane.
    Mum sold that to buy our first car, a secondhand Ford 8 XG 5294 Ford green and black mudguards still with the white lines around them for wartime. It was in disgraceful condition with muck and dirt and had been owned by a chicken farmer who had drilled through the roof and fitted a wooden roof rack. to carry I presume chickens. That was just bolted on through the roof and headlining what a state it was. When Dad finished it it all shone like a new pin. He was as black as a sweep from cleaning underneath the car.
    I had been through a tough time with health but getting that little car pulled me out of a very difficult time. I had been in Norton Army Cadets and was doing well Sgt McNally would let me drill the squad and march them off at the end of a parade at William Newton School. I failed my medical and that was so disappointing as Dad was in both wars and my Grandad was RSM of the Worcestershire Yeomanry so army was in the blood.
    J.Norman Kidd


  3. Frank Mee, I think you and I must be about the same vintage 1928. I keep sending the odd recollection but do not get much response from people I knew in Norton and the schools,Scouting and general information. I had to leave Norton to earn a decent living in Leeds which was a turning point of my life. I was an apprentice with C.V.Armtage the ICI and Norton Private practice Dental surgery and where all the work for ICI was completed in the laboratory. The staff at that time were teaching me in the laboratory were Mr Ernie Taylorson and Mr John Atkinson. Mr Taylorson had worked at ICI Billingham and was the most experienced in handling Kallodent which was the new acrylic resin which superseded the old vulcanite dentures. This was to help me greatly in my new job at the Dental School in Leeds and led to my promotions. There had been an ignorance in the processing of this material due to the fact that gases were unconverted due to incorrect processing, causing porosity and soreness of the mouth. Mr Atkinson was perhaps the most skilled technician in that he completed all the metal work required by this big practice. This included gold and white gold. I owe a lot to these people that taught me my job freely as an apprentice, not all people are willing to do that in case they lost their jobs. Thanks chaps in that great laboratory in the sky.
    J. Norman Kidd


    • Norman Kidd, the lack of reaction to your postings could well be they are no longer here either in spirit or body. When I came on leave after being in the Middle east I was surprised at how many people I had known had left the area, in the Forces or to work in other places where labour was in short supply. We Stockton people had very good training from the Schools and the many Industries around at the time including Kidds Engineers. I was approached to go back to the Middle east working in the Oil Industry, Iran and Iraq were still under British control at that time, they said my experience of being out there would help me settle in. The answer was no.
      I go to put flowers on my Wife’s plot and see new stones with names I went to school with or knew from the games dances and things we did as we grew up, reading the gazette I see names of those peoples children who have passed on, I understand your thoughts it gets very lonely when all you know has gone.
      At least I am surrounded by family including four Great Grand Children born in the last two years two of them this year. We had a big family party at the weekend with children grandchildren and great grandchildren two on Holiday from Canada, even today they family tend to move on.
      I have great memories of 2nd Norton Scouts and Mr Douglas the Scoutmaster, it was war time and until he left to go in the RAF we went camping often in Hawes wood and as far afield as Sedgefield camping on Farms, most of what we did would never be allowed these days with H&S and what the children miss. We lit fires cooked food played our scouting games and sang round the fire before sleeping in our tents. An experience I never forgot and what we learned apart from being able to cope and look after each other was to make me much more confident and act accordingly when things got a bit sticky. We may cosset our young people today but there will come a time they find life is not the bed of roses they think.
      Many Names stick in my tired brain just do not ask what I did yesterday, maybe because of the times those memories are engraved in stone after all it was a live for today existence for many years. I cannot knock it as it gave me what I have today and that is peace of mind and bodily comfort at our age that is all we ask.


  4. David. Norton at that time was still a village and most people knew everyone else. My Father lived in Beaconsfield Street after the family came from Prudhoe my Grand Mother being Norton born, Mill Lane Norton. They lived in the end house on the left hand side at the bottom of the bank. The only other building at that side was the Tea Pavilion one of two in Norton during the 1920’s, in my time it was a store house for Wreford Carrol to put his overflow furniture in from the Auction Rooms at the bottom of Norton High Street. Across the road was Carrol’s General Dealers Shop one of two in Beaconsfield Street at the time we were often in there as my parents knew them though as a lad I was more interested in the sweets. They were all it appeared to me a group of people who hung out together in early years so may well have been in the Scouts together. The Wades owned a garage on Billingham Road opposite the street, Hendersons, Forresters, Fletchers Yorks, Goldsbroughs, Lamberts and so many more who must have grown up and gone to school together as I did with the next generation.

    The Scouts were quite a large entity during those years and I could not wait to get in them but as the war progressed a lot of us Joined the three Cadet Groups Army Navy and Airforce, The Scouts Boys Brigade Girl Guides were still well attended and we all met up at the various Dances held at the William Newton School as well as Jamborees and Plays put on by the various groups at the same venue, my claim to fame being a recalcitrant tyre that would not remain inflated. Alas my acting efforts did not lead to the bright lights.
    Those various Groups gave us the confidence needed to get on in life, we were taught skills that came in very handy in later times and different climes, We were a band of brothers or sister depending on gender and many off us went on through life as friends.
    An experience I never forgot always enjoyed and say thank you for what you taught me.


  5. This picture would show a very early Scout group as the military stripes on the arm of one boy were done away with as it was too militaristic. The first Scouts were 1908 and it took off after Scout Masters were trained around 1910-11. My Father was in First Norton during the first world war, he would be thirteen in 1915, he had the Book of Scouting from that time, (no idea where that went) the whistle and a knife with a blade screwdriver and splicing prong for splicing ropes which he was very good at. He obviously loved his time in the Scouts as he spoke fondly of that time. I followed him into the Scouts Second Norton during the Second World war, like Father like Son, no H&S back then so we had freedom to learn how to manage when let loose camping, lighting fires cooking First Aid among the many skills the Scouts taught us.
    I cannot date the picture although knowing some of the History would put it back in the 1920’s.


    • I think my late uncles, James Carrol, and Wreford Carrol of Beaconsfield Road, were in the 1st Norton Scouts. I remember my late mother saying something about it. Some of her other brothers may have been in the scouts also. If this photograph was taken in the 1920’s, it’s possible that they may be present in the group, although I have no photographs of them when they were young, to compare faces.


      • My great uncles were in the 1st scouts in the early 40s the Boundry brothers, whos house was bombed 160 Norton Street, my nana was the only member of the family left, I know its a long shot but any info on the family would be great! 😊


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