3rd Gidea Park Scout Group
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HQ. The Rowswell Hall, St Michaels Church, Gidea Park.
 Beavers (6 - 8 years) Tues & Fri | Cubs (8 - 10.5) Tues & Fri | Scouts (10.5 - 14) 7:30 Thur

The following is taken from the parish magazine.


As in 1950, we travelled in the steps of St. Paul. The Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles recurred to our minds as we stood on the Acropolis in Athens and looked upon Mars Hill, the ancient Areopagus. For we were standing amid the same buildings as the Apostle saw before him when delivering his speech to the philosophers and lawyers. In front of him were these same temples, the Parthenon, the Erect-theum, Athena Nike, and, away to his left, the same Theseum, almost unchanged now; he muct have pointed these out to his audience when he talked of "Temples not made with hands."

Performing "School for Scandal" to the back row of the Gallery at Epidauros

We travelled to Corinth by the same route as the Apostle, along the ancient Sacred Way to Eleusis, where we visited the remains of the vast Temple of the Mysteries. At Corinth we stood before the very judgment bench on which Gallio, brother of the great philosopher, poet and Imperial tutor, Seneca, sat to hear the charges against the Apostle. We were on the same stones as those on which the Greeks whipped the ruler of the synagogue when Gallio looked the other way, caring for none of these things.

Athens took our minds back to the classical days of 480 B.C. But this was a thousand years after the golden age of Mycenae, our next port of call. Here, in the times of Moses and the Exodus, ruled Agamemnon and Menelaus, the Greek leaders in the Trojan War. These were, we believe, the Javans of Genesis and the "People of the Isles" of the Prophets. Here was the citadel, with walls, throne-room, great gateway cisterns and cemeteries, revealed again to the eye. On one of the walls of the throne-room some wall painting in Cretan style has recently been discovered.

The Temple of Apollo

We were also here in the country of the legendary heroic era: for Mycenae is the scene of much of Hercules' labours. We traversed the Pass of Nemea, where he was said to have slain the lion; passed the surviving cyclopean walls of Tiryns, his alleged birthplace, and looked out on the marshes of Lerna, scene of the contest with the Hydra.

On our journey, we saw more of Milan this time, and had an opportunity of visiting the sorely-damaged ancient church of St. Ambrose, the saintly bishop of 390 A.D.

Camp Fire
Anglo-Greek Campfire Vouliagmeni

The Anglican chaplain, Rev. Passmore, M.A., kindly allowed us the use of All 'Saints' Church in the city for our own Evensong, in which some of the Milanese Scouts joined. Like the Italian churches, it was decorated with olive branches for Palm. Sunday. Mr. Benson, of Brentwood School, played the music for us, and Mr. Osborn, of St. Augustine's, Rush Green, read the lesson.

We hope soon to show about an hour's film of the tour, much of it in colour, so that some idea of the beauty of the site can be obtained.

Camp cooking provided some unusual oppor-tunities, such as that of cooking an octopus, which we found to be a very tasty dish indeed.

Greece is a beautiful land of colour and light; no wonder the poets peopled it with nymphs and naiads. It is a land of primitive life still, for we observed that outside Athens most transport was done by pack mule, and the donkey was to be seen drawing the plough.

F.W. Rowswell - Writing for the St Michael's Parish Magazine - June 1954

The following Account is taken from the Group Annual Report.

In April, we achieved fame by being the first UK. Troop, as distinguished from a national contingent, to camp in Greece. The hospitality of the Greeks was overwhelming. The chief organisers of it were George Legakis, their International Secretary, and Air Vice-Marshal Papaspiros, who arranged for us a site within the Greek Commando Corps camp at Vouliagmeni near Athens, on the Aegean sea. Here we were helped in every way by the Greek Army, and we take this opportunity to publish our deep gratitude to General Kalinsky, of the Greek Army, and Colonel Yanasaris, Commandant of the Camp, and our great admiration for the Corps, skill and efficiency which we noticed. Their Officers' Mess contained the Shooting Trophy, by a Uruguayan artist, awarded to the best shots in the United Nations Forces in Korea.

On the journey we were met at Milan by a keen party of Italian Scouts, who conducted us on a Palm Sunday tour of the city, visiting the Cathedral, and the churches of Santa Maria delle Grazie and St. Ambrose. The English church was kindly placed at our disposal by the chaplain for evensong; we noticed that this, too, was decorated with olive branches for the festival.

At Brindisi we embarked on the new Nomikos line ship Achilleus, making her return maiden voyage. Next morning we anchored off Corfu, where Greek Scouts came aboard to greet us, the rest of the day being spent in brilliant sunshine, and the night under the stars, sleeping On deck.

We had time to visit the classical sights of Athens, especially the Acropolis and the Temple of Zeus Olympus, and a very long day's coach ride took us to the monastery of Daphni, the Temple of the Mysteries at Eleusis, Old Corinth, Mycenae, Nauplia and the Theatre of Epidauros. Thus we visited the great sites of the ancient world of 400 B.C. and even of 1,400 B.C. when Agamemnon ruled in the palace at Mycenae; here in fact we had. travelled back 'to the time of Moses and the Exodus, perhaps to that of Joseph even.

We were invited, to the Hadjidakis High School, where we played basket ball against a crushingly superior side, but enjoyed the visit none the less. The Scouts took us to their Greek "GiIwell" ,at Pyrgos Vassilis, where we had an international camp-fire sing-song which we repeated in our camp on Easter Monday, when we were highly honoured by the presence of the British Ambassador, Sir Charles Peake, as well as General Kalinsky and Air Vice Marshal Papaspiros.

On Easter Sunday we helped to fill the English Church in Athens, which was, in fact, so well at tended that we had to sit on the chancel stops or else stand. We made a recording, at the Athens Radio studio of songs and speeches, which was eventually broadcast on May 17th, but could not be received here.

Greek food and drink proved delightful, even the fresh octopus which we cooked.

The Greek Scouts presented us with handsome inscribed mementoes upon our departure, for which a farewell lunch was carefully prepared by the Piraeus Sea Scouts. And so ultimately we returned home, after a memorable and unprecedented 4,000 mile tour, traversing France, Switzerland and Italy, with distant glimpses of Albania and San Marino.