Longcraig is nearly 50!

Longcraig is nearly 50!

Send us your memories for an anniversary scrap book covering the whole period.

Next year will mark 50 years since Scouts, and Guides, first made use of Longcraig Pier, nestled alongside the famous Forth Bridge at South Queensferry, for a few tentative sailing and canoeing activities.
This was ground-breaking stuff, as adventurous activities in Scouting were in their infancy, and many of these activities were otherwise out of reach of many Scout Groups.
In anticipation of things to come next year, we are starting to put together recollections, stories, experiences and perhaps some of the things you might not have told anyone about at the time.
If you have a tale to tell, or a memory to share with others, or simply want to let everyone know how some time at Longcraig shaped or changed your life, please tell us. Or was it simply that you just enjoyed the experience of a dip in the Forth on a freezing April evening?
We are aiming to gather all the inputs to generate an anniversary scrap book, so please dig out your old memories and send them to us. It doesn’t have to be from 50 years ago – we need material from 50 years, 40 years, 30 years, 20 years – even last year! If you have a story, please share it with us!
Ian Harrower, Longcraig ASU

Where snow and water meet

Where snow and water meet

Longcraig in the winter – as seen by Explorers

If you thought that winter maintenance of boats involved cleaning off seaweed and then a long snooze until spring – read on!

Over the winter, the Bore Stane Explorer Unit from Pentland District has been actively engaged in helping the team at Longcraig to carry out an extensive programme of winter maintenance. This has not only involved learning new skills about fixing boats, it also involved fixing trailers with dodgy brakes, clearing out drains clogged by the winter storms, clearing the beach and the land side of washed in debris and seaweed, as well as a range of cleaning and mending.

This winter in particular has been a bit taxing, with nearly all of the work days so far accompanied by snowfalls and freezing temperatures. So, no early swims in the Forth (yet) for this team of hardy helpers, but lots of indoor jobs undertaken.

Longcraig in the snow

Longcraig in winter

So, what’s in it for the Explorers, I hear you say?

Well, firstly, they are learning new skills over the winter about how boats go together, why they need mended, painted and varnished; how they get repaired and put back together for the new sailing season; checking and servicing safety equipment and clothing.

Secondly, they have the opportunity to work together as a team, and to work together with the experienced folks from the ASU who can then pass on their skills.

Then when the spring comes and some warmer weather, they will get involved in preparing and launching boats and start to learn seamanship skills leading on to kayaking, dinghy sailing, and powerboating over the summer months.

There is now a badge available for Scouts who assist and support ‘Activity Centres’ and these guys are working towards that. But more than that – in a year or two those who wish will become the instructors of tomorrow and will then pass on their skills to others – perhaps even to their own Scouts!

This same opportunity is available to other Explorer Units across the Region. Interested to find out more? Contact us on lscmanager@longcraig.org.uk or via Bonaly office on 0131 441 1878.

Ian Harrower, Longcraig ASU

St George’s Day Silver Acorn awards

The specially distinguished service given by the adults listed below has been recognised by the award of the Silver Acorn in this year’s St George’s Day Awards.

  • Margaret Aitken Borders District Secretary
  • Bruce MacDonald Scout Leader 108th (Colinton)and Regional ASU member (Longcraig)
  • Diane Marshall Deputy Regional Commissioner
  • Lawrence Mitchell 51st Group ASU member and AAC member Pentland District
  • Peggy Wills AAC member Borders District
  • Robert Young ASU Manager Craigalmond District
  • The Silver Acorn has also been awarded to Evelyn Rose AAC member Borders District who sadly died in December 2015