1 SPONDON CHURCH BOYS' CLUB CAMP, AT COMBE MARTIN, N. DEVON
2 CAMP FIRE. The general, and last, Camp Fire was a great success, although we thought it was never going to start. All the Tent Leaders brought their girls along. The Camp Fire started with a community song, "Here we are again", in which everyone sang lustily. The first item was our vagabond lover, Eric Hibbert, known as "Pip", who sang us two songs. He was followed by Glyn Roberts and Jack Lawson, who sang a song that pleased Jim Dickens very much. Mr. Sykes then sang "On Ilkla' Moor Ba' Tat", and John Macdonald, "New Jerusalem". The Camp Fire Officer then conducted a round introduced as "Halfpenny Cornets". Ray Bowler and Mick Kelly provided the entertainment for the next fifteen minutes, and they succeeded in starting a sing-song Next on the bill was Jack Lawson singing the "Blues" away. "Heil Hitler", a sketch performed by No. 10 Tent nearly started a riot when "Hitler" walked in. Then came a change from hearing manly voices, and the sweet voices of Paddy and Marion brought silence to the audience. But alas! What next! Why! Big-hearted Arthur singing "Susanna's a funicall man". After Arthur, came Garth Ward with the George Formby favourites. Then No. 1 Tent caused laughter and screams with a three-minutes sketch. Coming nearer to the end of our programme, another round was introduced. Kay Miller, our comedian and songster, was the last artist, and the Officers' choir finished with a negro spiritual. At last the great moment had arrived for the winning tents of the camp competitions to be announced. No. 2 Tent won; No. 3 were a good second; No. 7, were third, and No. 4, were fourth. Presents from the boys were then given to Mr. Barber and Mr. Slater, and also to Mr. Page, Mr. Smith and Mr. Martin. They all thanked the boys very much. Prayers were then said, followed by "Auld Lang Syne". Mr. Barber was surprised to find himself being carried round the field to the song of "He's a jolly good fellow". For the other Camp Fires, Nos. 1 & 2 Tents were the best, and are congratulated on their good show. No. 7 Tent showed us how to improvise when No. 8 had not got a programme ready, whilst the other Tents pulled together very well. SPORTS Inter-Tent games were very evenly contested. Stump Cricket and Rounders were the two chief games on the programme but, owing to the field not being suitable for playing purposes, everything went well till we began to lose one ball after another, making seven in all. No. 3 Tent, ably led by Max Millar, obtained highest points, 30. Well done, No. 3. Nos. 4 and 7 Tents were runners-up with 26 points each.
3 by blowing cookhouse for us. He was never up in time to blow Reveille though. George Barrett and Eddie Poyser brought the tramp back to camp who figures in our ghost story. TENT No. 12. Ilfracombe brought this Tent to a state of financial ruin. Ken Parkin's face was decorated with tooth paste like a pre war wedding cake as retribution for losing his equipment. Tommy Clarke was made up as Geronimo, the famous Red Indian, by his tent fellows. MR. SLATER'S TENT. The long suffering members of this tent were trampled upon three times a day when Mr. Slater opened the Bank, and a horde of impecunious boys came for money. Ray Bowler sought solace from this on his mouth organ, whilst Graham Wharmby thought out the Camp Fire programme. THE BIG MARQUEE. After trying for two hours to put this up, Jack Lawson let i; down on his head with a bump. The marquee was used as a British Restaurant in wet weather. The nippers found the Officers' kit very comfortable to have meals on and afterwards useful to wipe their plates on. THE AMERICAN MARQUEE. Apart from the difficulty of sharing out two pairs of pyjamas between three Officers in the black out (one pair having been lost early in camp), life in here was fairly peaceful until we were invaded on the last night of camp by the Officers from the Big Marquee. Charlie Mills and Arthur Evans played King of the Castle until they both sat on Arthur's watch. We don't think the works were damaged much, but it took some time removing the glass from Arthur's trousers pocket. Hen taught us all the Yorkshire dialect, and told us at camp lire that even if we didn't come from the best county, here was the best song ("On Ilkla Moor). THE HOSPITAL TENT. We had many patients suffering from sunburn, headaches, minor cuts, bites, ete. Jim Dickins was a frequent visitor. He came to the Hospital tent moaning and groaning, muttering under his breath "flipping heck", "Christopher Columbus", and similar swear words. At first, the Doctors were unable to diagnose anything abnormal. However, after careful investigation, and with the aid of a magnifying glass, a small cut was discovered in his little toe. During the first week of camp there was a rush for Calamine lotion, but when the weather changed, the most popular bottle
4 TENT NEWS TENT No. 1. Eddie Poyser and John Taylor are congratulated on catching the right train from Taunton according to them, everyone else missed it! This Tent started without cutlery, or washbowl, but finished up with a complete set, and a bottle of anti gnat ointment in addition. Jerry Taylor was camp postman, and had to bear all the blame when there were no letters from home. The Officers' clothes line was stolen by the occupants of this tent, and much energy was expended on its recovery. TENT No. 2. This Tent was very unlucky with horses. Roy McDonald had to walk one and a half miles, and Tony Roberts had to walk three miles, each leading his horse back to the riding school. Tony and Ronnie McNeil did involuntary circus tricks with a bucking broncho called "Darkie", but what Tony and Ronnie called it is left unrecorded. A wail of disappointment went up when Tony's tuck box arrived with the contents in ruins. Pete Lane scrubbed the nippers' ears every morning, and their howls could be heard all over camp. The tent did a roaring trade in brown shoe polish, as they possessed the only tin in camp. TENT No. 3. Derek Wilkins was preparing a midnight feast, and had just put it down inside the tent when it disappeared from before his astonished eyes. The culprit has not yet been found, although suspicion fastened on one of the Officers who did not want much breakfast the next morning. "Barber" Winfield has done a slashing trade, Pete Lane having needed tins of sticking plaster for repairs afterwards. John Brown is unofficial draughts champion of this tent. The 'Love Test' Machine at Ilfracombe said Ray Miller was cold! TENT No. 4. This Tent led a very hectic life, three of its occupants having been 'ducked'. Maurice Middleton is wondering what his mother will say to the blank post card he sent her. They all enjoyed the 'Dodgems' at Ilfracombe.
5 Henry Hardy and his pet shrimp were one of the star turns at camp fire. TENT No. 5. One of the funniest things this Tent did was when Gordon Lark pulled the communication cord in the train to camp in mistake for the lavatory chain. Every time the tent spider falls down, Keith Johnson gets blamed for bumping into it. Frank Binns rolls the nippers out of bed in his sleep. TENT No. 6. Eric Hibbert was easily the most harassed man in camp. He had such a squad of rebels to keep in order. Noel Charratt made life exciting for everybody as Robin Hood with a bow and arrows. Garth Ward asked if he could bring a condensed milkmaid as his guest to camp fire. Clive Pointon found out how to sprain his ankle to dodge water fatigues. TENT No. 7. Jim Dickens was more than usually unlucky with horses. He had to send for the riding mistress to bring his horse back to the stables whilst he ran behind. Ronnie McNeil had a water fight at kit inspection. TENT No. 8. Revolution broke out in this Tent on Friday morning, and Ray Coulton and Brian Osborne got beaten up by four nippers. Alan Hardy sang for his tent at camp fire. Gilbert Gallimore rolled out of the tent one night, but was none the worse for his adventure. TENT No. 9. This Tent had an exciting time when their tent pole collapsed cause of dispute was the ownership of a bucket. The tent leaked, so Jack Deakin and Don Johnson improvised a ridge tent made with ground sheets. The drainings from this ran over Tony Mills, who woke looking for his lighter, and Don put his feet in Jack's Wellingtons, which were full of water, and then went outside, and fell down in the mud in his pyjamas. TENT No. 10. This Tent had an exciting time when their tent pole collapsed in the night. Sabotage was suspected. TENT No. 11. Mick Kelly brought his pet ghost back to camp on Monday night and scared the other tent leaders, but made up for this
6 became the Cascara. The Doctors were at first perplexed by the rush for these pills, but it was discovered that young McNeil had been advertising the delicacy of chewed cascara. A number of the smaller boys made a regular habit of asking for aspirin tablets. It was thought at first that the air was responsible for headaches, but later it was learned that they were being taken as sleeping draughts. Two in-patients were admitted to the Hospital Tent, one with a temperature of nearly 104, but after careful nursing he had recovered completely after two days. The other was only in for one night, suffering from stomach ache. The Hospital Tent is now closed until another year. COOK HOUSE. The cooks were too busy catering very efficiently for 105 boys to have much time for fun. It was surprising how quickly the meal dmes came round, even though the cooks day did start before 6 a.m. Mr. Martin said he'd never seen some of the funny fishes that the boys brought to be cooked. Mr. Smith, who was a new-comer to camp, was a great help in the cookhouse. EVENTS THE CAMP GHOST. The sun sank below the hills in a crimson sky which turned to jet black as boy after boy crept to sleep in his tent, leaving only the bare flagpole as a gaunt sentinel to keep a skeleton guard over a camp which, but for the eerie wheeling of the almost silent bats, was as quiet as a cemetry with the rows of tents like tombstones. A sudden shriek pregnant with fear rent the air as some boys returning with late leave saw a ghostly figure with a woman's legs and red blood-like shoes rise fr^m the ground with a cry like a baby's, and vanish through a thick hedge which would have resisted the strongest human. Yet another headless ghost lay white on a heap of gravel. Horrified, the boys saw this slowly rise with the boneless movement of a snake about to strike a helpless animal. Petrified with fear, they fied in a body to camp, and roused the Officers with their shouts. A search party went out with a torch, and though no more ghosts were found, an old tramp with a curious cracked voice was found lying on a heap of gravel, under a white mackintosh. ILFRACOMBE. An enjoyable, if somewhat expensive, day was spent in Ufracombe. We walked there just in time for dinner, and then spent the afternoon mostly in the amusements and buying presents to take back home. We arrived back at camp tired, and so hungry, but Mr. Barber had made a special supper to revive us, after which all was well with the world once more.
7 Now comes the 'Tit-Bit'. "Camp Sports". We set off for Sandy Cove under the direction of Mr. Barber, but found ourselves nearly at Healy Bay, some miles further on. Calling a halt, we eventually found the way down to this unexplored beach. What a descent, straight down a cliff side. How we all managed to get down and back again without mishap, no one knows. No. 2 Tent excelled in the sports, scoring no less than 7 wins out of 11 events, but considering that Tony Roberts and Pete Lane were both in No. 2 Tent, there is little wonder. Things we should like to know (1) Who only spent One Halfpenny while at Camp? (2) Who pushed the tent pole through the top of the tent? (3) Who went for a ride on a horse and had to lead it back four miles? (4) Who shot the arrows through No. 2 tent? (5) Who went out to dinner, and put the fish in an envelope, and threw it away? (6) Who didn't queue up for a second helping? ADVERTISMENT Anyone capable of playing a musical instrument of any description is asked to give his name to Mick Kelly, who is trying to start a Band up in the Club. CAMP After weeks of preparation and waiting, July 26th dawned. We were all up with the lark, and down at Spondon Station in good time. The 7.35 steamed in, and after boarding it we were off. We were given reserved accommodation as far as Bristol, but we had not travelled further than Birmingham when our coaches were invaded by a seething host of humanity. When we arrived at Bristol, we were so late that we missed our connection and had to catch the next train to Taunton. Here we lost two of our party who decided to have tea. After another change at Exeter, we eventually arrived at Ilfracombe at 7.30 p.m., and caught a bus to Combe Martin. We shall never forget our first glimpse of North Devon and Combe Martin the narrow lanes, the hills, the cliffs, the flowers, Big and Little Hangman, etc. After arriving at Camp, we found our tents, had a meal, and then went to have a look round the village. On Tuesday morning, there was a sea mist, which meant kit inspection in the tents. After fatigues we played games, and in the afternoon, when the sun had appeared, we had our first bathe. It was grand, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. After free time, we ended the day with camp fire. The next few days, we spent in the same way except that the weather became hotter. On Sunday, we started the day with Mass in the marquee.
8 There were 85 present, and it was a most impressive Service. After kit inspection, we all made our way to Sandy Cove for sports. At night it rained, but quite a few of us went to the Church for Evensong, The day ended with a camp fire in the marquee. On Monday, the weather was fine but colder, and so those who did not bathe in the afternoon played games in the woods. On Tuesday, we had an outing to Ilfracornbe, when we spent most of our' money. After returning home we found that Mr. Barber had cooked us a wonderful supper. Wednesday afternoon, it started to rain again, and at night we had the final camp fire in the marquee. It was a grand show, and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. At the end of the Camp Fire, Charlie Mills presented Mr. Barber with a silver ink-stand and candlesticks,. Mr. Slater with two silver cruets, Mr. Page with a knife, and Mr. Martin and Mr. Smith with cigarettes. Thursday, we were busy packing up when the rain began to tumble down again until it turned into a real deluge. We caught the 7.45 p.m. train back to Spondon, and had a' wonderful journey home. We arrived in Spondon about 7.30 a.m. So ended another Camp, possibly the best we have ever had. How can we ever thank those who made it possible for us to have such a wonderful holiday at such a small cost. Anyone who does any grumbling is not worthy of being a member of the Club. If I may add one thing, may I say that I shall never forget when we went to play the Lincoln boys at cricket. The parents and boys all said to us "you do not know how lucky you are in having Mr. Barber; we would give anything to have him back in Lincoln". It is quite true, we are lucky. I do not. know anyone else who would befriend us as he has done, so let us do everything we can to keep him with us, and let us always remember that we are a Church club and that it is our duty to attend Church every Sunday. A CLUB MEMBER. Winners of the Tent Competition. We congratulate Tent No. 2 on winning, Tent 3 for coming 2nd, Tent 7 for coming 3rd, and Tent 4 for coming 4th.