Centenary of service

On February 10, 1912, in the lesser hall of Giffnock’s United Free Church that the Boy Scout movement was introduced to Giffnock following the initial camp on Brownsea Island, by Baden Powell.

The boys met in the present Giffnock School on Academy Road. Soon after, the troop accepted a £53 estimate to build their own hall which was constructed in 1913 where Giffnock Police station now stands and then moved to a site near Braidbar quarries.

During the Great War, two scoutmasters were called to the colours and the Troop was run by patrol leaders.

In 1923 the group comprised of 43 scouts, 36 cubs and six officers, in its centenary year the group now numbers 240.

As the Troop grew, it was decided in 1929 a new scout hall should be built and all activities were directed towards the fund.

The new hall in Arthurlie Drive was opened on October 17, 1936, by the Marquis of Douglas and Clydesdale and dedicated by the Rev E Rodger and Rev H McKenzie.

The Rover Scouts were disbanded in 1939 at the start of the Second World War as many of these young men were again called to the colours.

Cubs met on a Saturday afternoon during blackout hours and group members distributed gas masks and served with the Home Guard as messengers.

More than fifty served in the forces and eight young men made the supreme sacrifice. A war memorial plaque was erected in 1949.

The Troop managed to continue thanks to Mrs Florence Weir and she was rewarded for her service with the medal of merit presented by the Chief Scout.

From these early days of the Scout movement, thousands of Giffnock boys were introduced to the concept of the outdoor life and service to others.

Giffnock can be proud of the contribution so many of the young have made to society.

While the contribution of families such The Kyles, The Weirs and The Ross’ can still be seen today.

Camping has always been a big part of the 28th are no exception — from Bridge of Orchy to Switzerland to Spean Bridge Pyrenees.

Numbers dipped in the late sixties and in 1972 a fire badly damaged the hall and much camping equipment was destroyed, however the 28th were not defeated and the hall was reopened in 1973.

By 1980 we were the second biggest group in Eastwood District with 195 members.

As we reach our centenary year it is pleasing to report that the group remains very healthy — the third largest Scout Group in Scotland.