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The Elusive Lydia
May: Hythe, Kent, England

(Information above on performance dates is derived from newspaper archives and is therefore likely to be incomplete.)

Raising Funds for Annual Camp

Two splendid performances of a variety entertainment were given the Institute recently by the 1st Hythe Troop B.P. Scouts and Cub Pack, with the object of raising funds for the annual summer camp.

The very large audience at the first presentation included Brigadier General R. A. C. Wellesley, the Assistant District Commissioner for Scouts, and Major E. Lattimer, Assistant District Commissioner for Rovers.


The programme opened with the Scouts‘ sang. " Be Prepared," followed by a pianoforte solo, " The Merry Skaters," by Sixer D. Dray, who was deservedly encored, and then gave the "Blue Danube Waltz," displaying admirable technique in each case.

The first of four sketches was “The Fish Shop," which proved vary amusing.
In this, a coster (B. Boorman) opened his fish shop, and proudly displayed the sign "Fresh Fish Sold Here." Of course, then four customers came along, namely A. Peake, R. Fright, R. Rust and W. Hopkins. One pointed out that the fish should be fresh, otherwise it was a bad advertisement, so the word “Fresh” was eliminated from the sign. The next comer remarked that the fish must he sold here, and not elsewhere, so out came another word, leaving "Fish Sold.” A third customer said the fish was obviously being sold, because it was not being given away; and a fourth caused the coster to remove the remaining word. " Fish," because " it could be smelt a mile away." Result, the total disappearance of the sign, and the collapse of the coster.


The next sketch was in the nature of a fantasy, and was entitled "The Secret of the Trunk." It related how a young lad, very fond of reading of pirates, derided the work of the "Cubs," until he fell asleep and in a vivid dream was confronted by three bloodthirsty buccaneers. At the close he was only too glad to lend his support to the "Cub” movement. Sixer D. Dray was splendid as "Tommy Mollycoddle," and received excellent support from Second R. Brown as "Dick”; Senior-Sixer D. Mepham, as "Bloodthirsty Bill”; Senior-Sixer D. Hyde. as "Cuttythroat Sam”; and Senior R. Sherwood, as " Ditchwater Pete."

A shadow play followed, and proved something in the nature of an innovation so far as local entertainments are concerned. splendidly arranged by Mr A.H. Etchalls, the item showed, on a white sheet, a most gruesome operation which followed the swallowing of a watch by a Scout. The undertaker, the surgeons (and what surgeons they were!), some most alarming instruments and various intimate organs were clearly seen, and the must amazing operation ever conceived was successfully performed. Those who participated in this remarkably successful item were A.S.M. R. Bull, Scout J. Marshall, Rover L. Bailey, Rover T. Smith, Rover W. J. Bailey, and Rover H. Dearling.


The second half of the programme opened with "Uncle Joseph," another capital farce, in which Rover L. Smith appeared as "Sam Smith." Mrs Sherwood as "Mrs Selina Smith,” Rover F. Carrick as “Kitty” (their daughter), Group Scoutmaster J. E. Sherwood as "Dick Saunders,” A.S.M. C. May as “Jan,” and Cubmaster L.C. Whiting as "Joe Tubb." This was one long laugh from beginning to end, and there was an enthusiastic "curtain."
Sixer E. Smith recited "The Loss of the 'Royal George’" and " In England Now," with the maximum of expression, and the entertainment concluded with a burlesque entitled "The Elusive Lydia,” with the roles filled as follows: Sgt Lessergrade, Scoutmaster L.C. Whiting; P.C. Heavysides, Rover T. Mascall; Sheerluck Coombes, Scoutmaster B. Lepper; Dr Whatson, Rover W. J. Bailey; Percy Softleigh, Rover T. Lepper; Arthur Cholmondley, Rover M. Cubitt; Professor Mortuary, Rover-Mate P. Walter; and Lydia Perkins. Rover V. Warner. This hilarious farce was a fitting climax to a really meritorious entertainment.


In a short speech during the interval, Brigadier-General Wellesley said they had a very flourishing Group of Scouts in Hythe, of which he was sure they would be very proud, under the able guidance of Group Master B. E. Sherwood. Scoutmaster B. Lepper. and Cubmaster L. C. Whiting, and altogether there were about one hundred Rovers. Scouts and Cubs. They were a very jolly lot, and he was sure they would all agree with him that they should congratulate Mr Sherwood very much on his Group.

There were one or two things that struck one during the last few days when reading the newspapers or listening to the wireless. and one was the number of accidents on the roads through motor cars. The man on the wireless told them very nearly every night of accidents on the roads; last year about 7,000 people were killed in road accidents, and a number of people were injured. But perhaps they were wondering what motor cars: had in do with Scouts. They were going to try to bring in legislation regarding the speed of motor cars, on that there would be fewer accidents, but it was very difficult in do anything like that by law. America tried to stop drinking by legislation, but it was a failure, and he thought it would be the same with the speed of motor cars, although, of course, he did not know.

What they wanted was the right spirit in everybody, and if people could not get the spirit of thinking of others rather than of themselves they could not start on those things. War was a terrible thing, but if they were fighting against some other people,  and could get the right spirit into both nations, they would soon stop war. The same applied to accidents on the road. It all came from people thinking of themselves rather than of other people.


In the Boy Scout Movement they tried to make a point of thinking of others
rather than themselves, and tried to induce the members to form their own characters, so that when they grew up they would be healthy, happy and hearty citizens, thinking of others rather than of themselves. That that was a very worthy object he was sure they would all agree. The more they could encourage the Boy Scout movement throughout the country the happier they would be.

Brigadier General Wellesley thanked Mr R. S Barnes, the producer of the show; Miss C. Dale. for "making up" the boys; Mr A. H. EtchelIs, for superintending the lighting arrangements; Messrs. G. Duruz and Sons, for loaning the plants; and the parents of the boys for attending that night and for the encouragement they had given. He hoped all the parents would agree that their boys were well looked after in the Scouts, and that really the Scout movement did a great deal towards helping them. The entertainment that night was to provide funds for the annual camp which the Boy Scouts had. Last year they had a very successful camp near Tunbridge Wells, which was attended by 54 of the 100 members, and they had a very happy time. He hoped that this year, thanks to the presence at those at the entertainment, they would have an equally happy camp, and that the boys would have an equally happy time. (Applause).

Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, 2 June 1934
found at www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk