Memorial service for well-loved Hastings Scout leader Roger Plumb

A memorial service to remember a well-loved Scout leader will be held.

Roger Plumb SUS-210915-090057001
Roger Plumb SUS-210915-090057001

Roger Plumb will be honoured at the 24th Hastings Scout HQ, at Ark Alexandra Academy, on Saturday (September 18).

The service, from noon to 2pm, is being held for those who were unable to attend Roger’s funeral earlier in the year due to Covid restrictions.

Roger died, aged 79, on January 12.

Scout leader Graeme Stoodley said Roger was a ‘prominent figure’ in the Scouting movement.

He said: “Roger was our Scout Leader and Group Scout Leader of 56 years. His service to the community since the 1960s has been impeccable.

“He always had set his heart on being a teacher. His first, and lifetime job was at what was then Hastings Grammar School, later to become William Parker School in 1978.

“Roger taught German at all levels, from year 7, through to O-level, GCSE and A-level. He was involved in several extra-curricular activities, among them in the earlier years using his state-of-the-art Ferrograph tape recorder to provide music and sound effects for school plays and for several years running a year 8 or 9 cricket team. He was also a qualified cricket umpire.

“Although he had never been a Scout as a boy he got roped in to assist with the 24th Hastings very soon indeed after arriving at the school.

“From the start he was Assistant Scout Master from January 1965 and became Scout Leader in July 1974. He was then appointed Group Scout Leader in January 1988.

“Almost immediately he took over responsibility for organising the training programme, ensuring that every scout took and passed all the tests required to qualify for each step in their development. He continued to do that throughout, as the rules and regulations changed over the years.

“In the early 1990s it became apparent that the current hut was dilapidated and falling apart, especially after the damage sustained from the great storm of 1987. Roger and several other group members who became life-long friends started out a fundraising campaign to raise the much sought after funds to build a new HQ.

“They held boot sales once a month for about 10 years and at the height of their success the sales were attracting more than 100 stalls and raising quite large sums for the cause. They raised nearly £50,000 towards the cost of a new hall. Isabel Blackman Foundation with a very generous donation and the National Lottery fund meant we were able to build and open our new HQ in 2000.

“During his time in Scouting it wasn’t just the group he supported. He was Assistant District Commissioner in the late 1970s. He also had hill-walking permits, training the scouts up for overland hikes, and was Duke of Edinburgh Advisor for the district along with being a member of the appointments committee interviewing new adult members of the movement.

“Later he took on the role of running of the Young Leader scheme within the district and was also a member of the district executive committee. He was a highly decorated leader earning all awards available to adult leaders, receiving the Silver Wolf, the highest award in scouting, for his services just weeks before he died in January 2021.

“It is a tribute to Roger’s long-term and devoted service, along with that of all the other leaders under his guidance that the 24th Hastings is such a thriving group, with large numbers of enthusiastic members in all sections – Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.”