In the early days, the Troop comprised four Patrols each of six boys making a total of 24, which, apart from being a very comfortable number to manage, was about all that could be accommodated in the early headquarters including the World War II Motor Torpedo Boat. The four Patrols were Gannets, Herons, Kingfishers and Swans.
However, by the 1970s the Troop had a long waiting list and once the ‘Doug Fenner’ building was fully in use, Ajax was able to reduce the waiting list by expanding into two ‘watches’ each of three Patrols, with the Port Watch meeting on Tuesday evenings and the Starboard Watch on Thursdays and both watches meeting together on Saturday afternoons. It was at this time that the Seagull and Skua patrols came into being. George barber led the Port Watch and Mark Marriott the Starboard Watch, each helping the other and both ably assisted by a number of young Leaders who had progressed from the Venture Sea Scout Unit. One of these, Tony Forbat who sadly died in 2018, took over and led the Starboard Watch until he moved out of the area.
Today the Troop is operated as a very successful single unit, still with six Patrols, under the leadership of Diane Davison and a strong team of Assistant Leaders and Instructors.
Over the years, as well as water activities, members of the Troop have taken part in diverse activities including winter camps, weekend camps, and District Scout events such as swimming galas, day hikes, night hikes and camping competitions. It is great that, as a Sea Scout Group, our team has recently won the District Scouting Skills and First Aid competition.
This is an edited excerpt of George Barber’s “70 Years of Ajax and 65 Years an Ajaccio”, first published in the 2018 Ajax Group Annual Report