Burton Latimer Scout group renames home for anniversary

John Addis (son of Jack Addis), John Lowery (group chairman 1st BL Scouts), Mr Darren Addis (grandson) with his son Jack Addis , 4, and Mrs Cheryl Addis and son Toby Addis, 2, 'l-r front row Morgan Finn, 10, Mason Middleton , 8, Lynley Wynne , 7, Eilish Jarrett
John Addis (son of Jack Addis), John Lowery (group chairman 1st BL Scouts), Mr Darren Addis (grandson) with his son Jack Addis , 4, and Mrs Cheryl Addis and son Toby Addis, 2, 'l-r front row Morgan Finn, 10, Mason Middleton , 8, Lynley Wynne , 7, Eilish Jarrett

A town’s scout group has celebrated its 75th anniversary by opening a new hall named after its founder.

The First Burton Latimer Scouts tracked down founder Jack Addis’s son and daughter to mark the occasion earlier this month.

Jack Addis founded the group in 1939, and now the scout hall has been renamed the Jack Addis Centre in his honour.

Current leaders of the group were able to track down Jack’s daughter Celia – via census records and Facebook – to tell her about their plans to rename the hall.

It was the first contact the scouts had had with their founder’s family since Jack’s death almost a decade ago in August 2005.

Celia, who now lives in Grantham, Lincolnshire, got in touch with her brother John, who lives in Northampton, and both were invited to the ceremony.

Celia was unable to attend but John and his family – including a grandson also called Jack – were able to be there.

John Lowery, chairman of the First Burton Latimer Scout Group, said: “Jack Addis is no longer with us, but through the wonderful world of social media we were able to track down his two children.

“We thought it would be quite nice to get them along to rename the hall. It was a fantastic day. The hall was absolutely jam-packed – we invited old members of the group and old leaders.”

Mr Lowery estimated up to 250 people helped mark the occasion, which included memorabilia and old newspaper cuttings telling the tale of the scouts’ 75-year history in Burton Latimer.

A plaque explaining that the group had been founded by Mr Addis was also unveiled by his son John, and the group also received a letter from the chief scout, adventurer Bear Grylls, offering his congratulations on the 75th anniversary.

Among the guests at the party were local scout commissioners and the mayor of Burton Latimer.

The event finished with a traditional sing song around the campfire and prayers led by the rector of St Mary’s Church Jez Safford.