Were you in one of the uniformed organisations as a young person?

Did you know that the first Scout group on the island was the 1st Malew group and were originally called 1st Isle of Man? I didn’t.

These days there are 15 Scout groups and six Explorer Scout units.

I was a Cub and then a Scout at 5th Douglas. We would meet in the hall on Derby Road, just opposite the former Park Road school site.

That is a brownfield site overdue development but for what purpose?

The options are town centre housing development or the provision of school facilities as far as I understand.

There are other ‘brownfield’ sites in the Douglas area which need to be repurposed, such as the former prison area on Victoria Road.

The provision of affordable first-time buyer or local authority housing is a prerequisite if we are to retain young people on our island or attract skills required.

But that’s for another day!

Our Scouting leaders included Stan Hunter and Henry Brew, who dedicated lots of time and energy into encouraging us.

Other packs nearby included 10th Douglas at St Ninian’s and 1st Douglas at Demesne Road.

At the latter premises some people will remember discos for younger people. Another was in a church hall near where Barclays bank’s car park is today.

First Douglas which is the oldest continuous Scout group on the island still meets in its original premises. I was pleased to see 5th Douglas still operates but now out of Cronk y Berry School.

I was always keen on gaining proficiency badges for my mother to sew on to my uniform and it’s nice that my grandson Stan is now a Cub, having graduated from Beavers.

I don’t think they existed in my day. He is also very keen on his badges and is enjoying the activities!

I remember going camping at Baldwin at Easter time with all the others.

We had a great time making camp fires and enjoying the countryside.

We travelled to our camp on the back of an open wagon, something that wouldn’t happen today!

As it was Good Friday we had a choice for tea being cooked on the open fire on a large frying pan. Food always seems to taste better when enjoyed in the open air.

Anyway, we had a choice of fish fingers or sausages and all the Catholic boys had fish fingers. I asked and was allowed to have a few of both.

I always was a bit cheeky. Fancy remembering this from what must be at least 60 years ago!

Another event I remember was at Noble’s baths in Victoria Street, where an annual swimming gala for Scouts and Guides would take place.

Like lots of local youngsters I had been taught to swim in these baths by Mr Brady but I don’t think I did very well when it came to the gala!

‘Bob a Job’ week was always great fun where for a donation of at least one shilling (5p) we would carry out whatever task the householders required.

Brushing up, washing the car or going for messages were just three things I remember.

Today I am told that, with various concerns, it has mutated into Scout Community Week.

I have a special memory of a family in a very large house near Ballakermeen School who gave me a lovely old large metal toy car. I must have been well-behaved that day!

We would all be in attendance at the Tynwald Day ceremony and would travel to St John’s by steam train before taking our places in the parade.

Another memory I have from all those years ago, but not one that reflects well on me, was an example of my ‘naughty boy’ period.

As we were travelling to St John’s and having a bit of rough and tumble on the way I got a hold of another boy’s shoe and threw it out of the window.

Like most of the boys it was a real thrill for me to be selected to be a Scout on the TT scoreboard and still have my pass from 60 years ago.

There were a number of jobs allocated and I remember being a ‘runner’ delivering notes from behind the scoreboard to those at the front.

I was also on the ‘clocks’ where we had ancient headphones and were instructed to move our allocated riders’ positions forward so those in the grandstand opposite could follow progress.

The most important signal was when a bulb lit as the rider reached Signpost Corner (nowadays Cronk ny Mona). One of the perks of the job was being delivered a little brown bag of sandwiches, a pie or pastie, crisps and pop.

The winners in 1964 from which my pass dates were Hugh Anderson from New Zealand in the 50cc race, Jim Redman, a British-born Rhodesian in the Junior and Lightweight, Mike Hailwood in the Senior, Max Deubel and Emil Hörner from West Germany in the Sidecar, and Luigi Taveri from Switzerland in the Ultra Lightweight event.

Little was I to know then that later in my life as a result of my position I was to become acquainted with each of these TT heroes, apart from Mike Hailwood and Emil Hörner.

For those of us to whom the history of the TT and Manx Grand Prix races is important the loss of the scoreboard and its promised replacement has been a disappointing episode.

The only good point being that parts of it alongside other elements of TT history remain as exhibits in the TT gallery at the Manx Museum.

After Scouting I joined the Army Cadets who met at the drill hall in Tromode.

I didn’t know one end of our demonstration guns from another but I think the discipline probably did me no harm.

I remember attending camp at Altcar, Lancashire, where I was awarded the most improved cadet at camp after owning up to breaking a small window.

We also had the Sea Cadets and RAF Air Cadets. Both units are still going strong and providing programmes of activities to experience outdoor pursuits, training, drill, leadership, teamwork and first aid amongst other opportunities.

The Sea Cadets meet at TS Manxman and Air Cadets 440 (1st Manx) squadron at the drill hall, Tromode, as do the Isle of Man Army Cadets and, unlike my day, it is good to see both boys and girls playing an active part.

For the girls there have been long-established groups of Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers and I am informed that today they are the island’s largest voluntary youth organisation comprising no fewer than 65 groups catering for ages five to 26.

They are involved in organised activities and field trips with an award scheme of different badges to encourage learning new skills and try new challenges.

Visitors from all age groups are welcome to visit Tynwald and the House of Keys. When I was at school it depended on a particular teacher having an interest but it is much more open these days.

Please feel free to contact myself or [email protected] in particular for an afternoon, school or early evening tour.

The official Tynwald tours are held each Monday at 2pm and Friday at 10am on 685500 or [email protected]