On parade to mark Scouting centenary

wp1263c4e1_05_06THOUSANDS of scouts marched through Dorchester to celebrate the start of scouting in Dorset a century ago.

More than 4,000 young people came from all parts of Dorset for a service at Maumbury Rings.

They met at Charles Street car park and paraded through the town centre before gathering at the Roman amphitheatre.

The eye-catching parade was headed by a colour party bearing flags and accompanied by six bands. It is believed to be the biggest march through Dorchester since the end of the Second World War.

Pam Marsh, Dorchester assistant district commissioner who was one of the main organisers, said: “We always have a St George’s parade in Dorchester and this year I thought it would be a good idea to hold it here for the whole county as it’s the centenary.

“Maumbury Rings is just about the only place big enough for us all so I’m

glad we’ve been lucky with the weather.”

The event, which marked 100 years since Robert Baden-Powell held the first scout camp at Brownsea Island, featured his voice in a recording from 1937 when he recalled the early days of scouting.

Dorchester town clerk Dennis Holmes said the town council, which manages Maumbury Rings, had been pleased to help with the event.

He said: “This is the county town and it seemed right with the centenary to have the gathering here in Dorchester.

“There’s never been anything like it here at Maumbury Rings and I hope it gives everyone a really good experience that they’ll never forget. It’s also a credit to all the adults who support scouting and make it happen in Dorset.”

Scouts – including Beavers from the age of six up to adults still associated through the Scout Fellowship – plus leaders came from all parts of the county. Guides and Brownies also attended.

Special trains were laid on and coaches used to bring a total of 4,300 young people to the county town.

Among the guests and civic dignitaries attending were mayors from across Dorset.

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