The Hag Dyke 75th Anniversary Day last month was attended by three hundred people, with attendees from all over the UK and as far as Canada and Holland.
The Kettlewell mountain home of the 1st Ben Rhydding Scout Group is admired and visited from all parts of the country and is administered by the the scout group which is a registered charity.
The day’s main focus was a special service of commemoration plus memories and future thoughts at 3pm at the hostel's chapel, the highest in England, lead by Revd Tom Lusty.
Organisers appealed for details of peoples most enjoyable, first experiences and any other memories of Hag Dyke and some of these were read out at the service.
Wardens were on hand to show visitors around and to explain the facilities to previous and new visitors, and a display showed pictures were on show dating back from the 40s & 50s.
Ian Womersley ,County Commissioner, gave a vote of thanks and praised Hag Dyke for its superb work over many years providing Scouting at its best.
Tim Haskins, District Commissioner, presented a fifty year certificate to John Sharp, Cub Leader of 1st Ben Rhydding.
David Shaw MBE – Chair of The Organising Committee said: “Over the 75 years of Hag Dyke becoming a Scout hostel there have been only five Chairman/Administrators. Ronald Ibbetson, Jonathan Wright, Bill Midgley,Clive Swann and now Robin Beaumont. Wilf Ian Williamson, leads the Working parties and the ongoing maintenance projects which have been extensive in recent years and therefore I feel he also should be named in dispatches today assisted by Matt Carter.
“Reading from the History it says Ronald Ibbetson was the instigator, inspiration and facilitator behind the Hag Dyke project. He joined the 1st Ben Rhydding Scout Group as Scout Master in 1933 some two years after its formation. Whilst he may be best remembered for Hag Dyke the link he created in 1948 with a Dutch Group of The Hague comes a close second. Each Group calls themselves “de Mohicanen” and wear the same neckerchief. The link with the Dutch Group continues to the present day and next year celebrates its 75 years. We welcome and thank all our Dutch Guests for traveling & attending today.
“Now Ronnie’s father Captain Frank, in 1906 was one of Lord Baden Powell’s first Scoutmasters and Scout Commissioners. These links with our Founder & his teachings, inspiration & vision I believe are key to Scouting’s Success and clearly are still here today at Hag Dyke.
Robin Beaumont, Scouter in Charge, said: “We are here to celebrate today the remarkable achievements which have kept Hag Dyke running for the past 75 years. Many hundreds of individuals have given thousands of hours of their time and skills to keep this centre available for young people. It is even more remarkable when we consider that parts of the building are almost 300 years old.
“For many years they were working without power tools and without the off road vehicles which, as you see around you, are now almost taken for granted.”
Robin added: “Hag Dyke is like an elderly Land Rover – it is difficult to start, especially in winter. It often breaks down in unexpected ways when it is least convenient. For all that we still love the place and we want to see this unique facility for young people go forward, possibly for another 75 years or longer.
“We can call on some professional help with maintenance but not all are prepared or able to travel up the hill and the cost of such work is always a concern.
“We need the skills of Builders, Joiners, Roofers, Electricians, Plumbers and Decorators. As this is the 21st Century we also need Electronic Technicians, Alternative Energy skills, I.T. experts and Web designers. Some of the present team are thinking longingly about retirement but need to pass on their knowledge and experience.
“If you think you can help and would like to spend a couple of weekends (or more) a year in the company of like minded (if slightly crazy) people we would love to hear from you. We also need additional wardens who can supervise our visitors and help them to get the most out of their time here.
“Most, but not all of our present wardens have a background in Scouting but this is not a requirement. As they say – full training will be given.
“We are also hoping to set up a ‘Trainee Warden’ scheme aimed at the Explorer Scout age group. If you are here today as an Explorer you have already taken the first step and your leaders will be in touch.”