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4th Carrickfergus
(St Nicholas)

Although I believe the group started back in the 1940s, the earliest records I have acquired are the group accounts dating back to April 1956 when the group made an amazing £38-14s-6d from a jumble sale! In November 1957 the Cubs visited a pantomime in the Grand Opera House – total cost £15-10s – 5 shillings per seat! You might be interested to know that in the Group Census as at 31 March 1966 membership stood at 49 including leaders and capitation was 5 shillings per head – a total of £12-5s. For those too young to remember in 1971 one shilling was equivalent to 5p in decimal currency!

We skip a few years to 1962 when the year commenced under Scouter Billy Powers, and T Bunce received his Queen’s Scout award. Robert Kay took over as Scouter at the end of January with Alex Powers, E Kay and J Morrow as his Assistants. Billy Powers was Group Scout Master and Roy Skelton was Troop Leader over 12 Scouts. St George’s Day in this year was to the Congregational Church and guess what - it rained - heavily! Sound familiar?

In the early 1960s the Troop kept a record of their meetings. They had 3 patrols, Woodpigeons, Peewits and Curlews. By January 1963 the Troop had increased to 18. We can see from the record book that every week each patrol competed to gain points for attendance, presentation of uniform, and games. By April 1963 the total points awarded were Woodpigeons 298½, Peewits 288 and Curlews 284½. Unfortunately this is where the record book ends. In 1977 our current and extremely enthusiastic Cub Leader Brian Patton joined the Group as ACSL. Brian wasn’t from a Scouting background although you’d never know. He became Akela in 1979. In 2005 he was presented with the Silver Acorn at a presentation dinner in Belfast Castle. Ian Boyd came from a Belfast Troop to 4th Carrick as a Scout in 1975.
The SL at that time was George Boyle. Mike Bradshaw was ASL with 1st Jordanstown before joining Robin Gray at 4th Carrick as SL in the early 1980s. Their ASLs were Jonathan Cross, Mark Defleury, and Ian Boyd who became SL in 1983. Mike then took over the role of GSL from Dean Herron.

I got involved in Scouting as a mum around 1989 when my twin sons joined Beavers under the leadership of Kate Gibney. It wasn’t until my youngest son joined Beavers in 1999 that I became a parent helper and secretary of the Group Executive Committee. Mike Bradshaw had been thinking of stepping down from GSL for some time and in 2003 I took over from him as GSL (I wonder how that happened!) I’m proud to say that we have a very successful Group with membership this year of 82 including the aforementioned SL and CSL, ASLs Michael Sinclair, Neil Millington, Paul Spence; ACSLs Pamela McKeown, Peter Gray, Ann Hodge, trainee ACSLs Gail Snoddy and Deborah Griffin; BSL and ADC Special Needs Catherine Irwin, ABSLs Sharon Maxwell and Andrew Cochrane. We also have a pool of parents who are always willing to assist with Scouting activities. Many thanks to all my Leaders and Parents for their continued support.
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