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Here we are in February and this is my first Blog of the year. Although I have been busy, it has mostly involved meetings of one type or another. However, I have managed to keep out of mischief rehearsing for the Shotley Panto, this time I'm dancing cheek to cheek with one of my ex cubs. I think my little fillers of Charades must have impressed as quite a few of my cubs and scouts caught the acting bug! The show, Sleeping Beauty, runs from the 15th to the 19th Feb.......weather permitting.


Last Tuesday, on what must have been the coldest night of the year, I visited an Executive meeting at 1st Southwold. As many of you know a Scout HQ in the middle of Winter can be an icy experience. Southwold is no exception! We all warmed up with the help of a hot drink and I was able to present Sarah Britten with the Award for Merit. This was a fine example of dedication. A drive across country to 2nd Beccles and what seemed like a trek up and over Mount Everest. For those of you who know 2nd Beccles, you know that you have to cross over the railway bridge, which is rarely used so it hadn't been gritted. We all held on for dear life, slipping and sliding our way over. A very warm welcome awaited us with another hot drink. The Explorer Scouts gave a presentation of what they had been up to during last year. Very professional I might add. Awards were presented to them by me and the DC, Hilary Prior.

I presented Ric Holmes with his Award for Merit and Hilary presented a 5-year award to Cub Leader Mark Langford. We then negotiated the steps and ramp over the railway line with a few more giggles and got safely back to our cars. Well done and thank you Beccles and Southwold for giving me an evening for my memoirs.

I had a super evening last month when I visited 5th Woodbridge for their Naval inspection. They passed with flying colours of course. I am always impressed by the high standard and the behaviour of the younger members. They do have to stand still for quite a long time. Well done to you all - you deserve your RN Recognition.

I'd like to take this opportunity to remind you all of the Draw in aid of the Bradfield Park camp site. GSLs and ADCs will have received an allocation of tickets to sell. Please remember that these can be sold to parents and friends of the Group. For only £1 you all have the chance to win a 7-day cruise to France and Spain courtesy of Fred Olsen Cruislines, a meal for two valued at up to £80 or some bottles of wine, both of which are courtesy of New Zealand Meats . Please contact Peter Buckle at County office for tickets, they come in books of five. Tickets and stubs need to be back at the County Office by 24th March and the draw will take place on 31st March. This gives the winner of the cruise plenty of time to plan the time off in October. The proceeds of the Draw will go to help the provision of additional facilities on the site. If you haven't camped there yet, why not try it. You can book through their website at bradfieldparkcampsite.org.uk.

Youy may already be aware that Lesley Biden died recently. I attended her memorial service on Friday last. It was a fitting testament to Lesley's life and her work with both Scouts and Guides over a period of nearly 60 years. A lovely lady, Lesley provided much help and encouragement to Leaders not only in Bury St Edmunds but also, over the years, in Felixstowe and Ipswich.