Opening of a Jewish Scout Hall, Glasgow
This treasure is a photograph from the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre of the opening of the Jewish Scout Hall in Queen’s Drive, Glasgow, on Sunday 1 June 1958. It shows the 93rd Boy Scout Group, which was formed in 1941 at the Queen’s Park Synagogue. After the Second World War there were proposals to set up a second scout group in the area, but this did not happen because of a shortage of adult helpers. Eventually it was decided to amalgamate the 93rd with the proposed new group and form the 93rd (Norman) Boy Scout Group. The group was named for Norman Markson, an Assistant Cubmaster who had died on active service in the Second World War.
The new scout group met at first at Strathbungo School, but raised funds to build its own scout hall. It opened in 1958 on a site in Queen’s Drive provided by Glasgow Corporation. The scout hall closed in 2002 and since 2004 the building is home to Poppins Kindergarten. Here’s a picture of the building today.
Jewish Boy Scout and Girl Guide troops were first organised in Glasgow, London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Liverpool in the 1920s and 30s. After World War Two, increasing competition from the various Zionist youth movements, plus the disruption caused by the war, led to a reduction in numbers. The Jewish Lads’ Brigade (JLB), a rival movement, was founded in 1895 as a Jewish equivalent to the (Protestant) Boys’ Brigade. This also had fewer members after the war. The Glasgow JLB had the world’s only Jewish bagpipe band.
Today there are about 16 Jewish Scout Groups in the UK, with approximately 750 Scouts, both male and female. Many Jewish Scout Groups are sponsored by their synagogue.
Hidden Treasures: Celebrating the documents, photos and artefacts in British archives that tell the story of Jews in Britain