Life is full of surprises! Yesterday, this message popped into my Scout Group eMail from Rob Bishop who grew up in Fulwood. I wonder who else remembers the Jumble Sales, apart from Rob and me?
Hello 142nd Fulwood Scouts,
I recently stumbled across your website by reading your URL: from the front door of the Scout Hut on Google Earth. I was a member of the 142nd from 1962 to 1968 until I went off to university. I could write a book about the influence and benefits that my scouting experience had on my life.
My father, Arthur Bishop, was an architect and it was he who designed the new Scout Hut that you mention moving into in 1968 in your “History.” When he passed away in 2006, I remember finding a set of the plans he had prepared amongst his effects.
This new hut was the result of a very long fund-raising campaign. Every year at Easter or “half-term,” we held a Jumble Sale in the Guild Hall. For the week ahead, we scouts would go out every day canvassing for donations from households in roughly your current “catchment area.” It was organized with military precision to make sure we covered every street. Some donations we brought back immediately on a hand cart. Larger items were collected by parents in the evening. On the Friday evening, the items were sorted and laid out on tables or hung on racks in the Hall. They filled the main floor, the stage and the basement and usually overflowed into the old Nissan Hut that stood on the site of the eventual new Scout Hut. It was a well-known annual event in Sheffield at the time and on the day of the sale (Saturday), people started lining up at 7am to wait for the doors to open. Many of them were second hand dealers and when the doors opened, they would run to the tables containing their specialty items to get first pick. Scouts and parents would oversee the tables and haggle with the customers from 9am to mid-afternoon and then a scrap merchant would come in and buy everything remaining. If memory serves, by 1966/7 we had reached a certain target and were able to get some type of grant to top up the funds to the amount needed to build the hut.
Ironically, I headed to university in 1968 and only visited the new hut a few times before I emigrated to Canada in 1971. It’s good to see it still exists although in a modified format. I was also very surprised to read that the Guild Hall had been turned into a private residence. Lots of fond memories of that place including almost getting annihilated playing British Bulldogs at my first Scout meeting! All the best, Rob Bishop.