Web Page No 2358
1st April 2017
Top Picture: Bob a Job Sticker
Second Picture: 1950s kitchen
Third Picture: Cubs at work
Hey Lads were you ever a Wolf Cub or Boy Scout and if so do you remember the dreaded Bob-a-Job Week? For nearly forty years, bob-a-job week saw enthusiastic boy scouts and wolf cubs lending a hand in their local areas, helping out with tasks from washing cars to shining shoes, going shopping, weeding the garden and cutting the lawn and one enterprising troop even managed to clean a jumbo jet at Heathrow airport.
Bob-a-job week was introduced as a one-off fund raiser in 1914 by Lord Baden-Powell himself as a good turn day and after WW2 it was revived during Easter week in 1949 and it became a regular community from then onwards.
The scheme was officially known as Scout Job Week and was re- launched after the Second World War in a bid to encourage young people to assist friends and neighbours within their community and also to make money for the troop or pack.
The idea of the scheme was that in exchange for a small payment, boy scouts and wolf cubs turned their hand to any minor unskilled job including gardening, car cleaning, shopping and household chores from dog walking to window cleaning. Although it was not unknown for some unscrupulous householder to work the boys much harder that was expected.
The scheme got its nickname from the shilling or 'bob' - that the youngsters were paid for completing their good turn. During the Easter Holidays eager scouts and cubs would knock on doors in their local areas, offering to do jobs for neighbours and friends of their parents. The rivalry really began when there were more than one troop in the area, this is when the leaders had to stipulate specific boundaries for each troop.
Over the years, 'bob-a-job' became one of the Scout Association's most familiar catchphrases, giving scouts a reputation for helpfulness and entrepreneurialism.
The scheme helped raise the profile of the organisation, with scouts getting publicity for taking on unusual jobs such as washing elephants at the zoo. Bob-a-job was also an important source of funding for the scouts bringing in around £100,000 a year by the 1980s.
The cash earned was shared between scouting headquarters, regional divisions and the troops providing funding for camping trips, scouting equipment etc.
By the 1990s, however, the scheme was scrapped following concerns over health and safety and child protection legislation.
Leaders said there were too many young people organising fundraising activities on their own without adult supervision, and Scout Job Week officially ended in the UK in 1992.
Since then, many scout groups have continued to take part in unofficial bob-a-job weeks throughout the year, with modern chores including supermarket bag packing and volunteering work.
But looking back to when I was a Wolf Cub and Boy Scout the world was a very different place. Our parents would happily wave goodbye to us for the day as we marched off in groups of two or three dressed in full scout uniform (this was a requirement to prove who we were), with our Job Record Card and pen in our hands and our packed lunch in our pockets. We would wander all over the neighbourhood knocking on door and looking for jobs to do. Once those jobs were done to the customer’s satisfaction a Job Done sticker was placed in the window or doorway and members of the movement were then honour bound not to call again. After a day out Bob-a-Jobbing we would go home tired and happy having had a good day and the important thing was that our parents did not worry because they knew what we were doing and were safe.
Mind you great rivalry used to develop between Patrols and individuals as to who could collect the most money, there was never a prize just the satisfaction of completing the task. This was just a boy thing, I assume that the powers that ruled the Girl Guide movement would not have been happy sending the girls out on similar missions.
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PS the 1st of April 1945 was my parents Wedding Day, what a day to choose!
On this Day 1st April 1960-1965
On 01/04/1960 the number one single was My Old Man's a Dustman - Lonnie Donegan and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Wagon Train (ITV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions
On 01/04/1961 the number one single was Wooden Heart - Elvis Presley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 01/04/1962 the number one single was Wonderful Land - The Shadows and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was the first military satellite TV broadcast.
On 01/04/1963 the number one single was Foot Tapper - The Shadows and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top rated TV show was The Budget (All Channels) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 01/04/1964 the number one single was Can't Buy Me Love - The Beatles and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was British troops in Cyprus fist fights.
On 01/04/1965 the number one single was The Last Time - Rolling Stones and the number one album was Rolling Stones Number 2 - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.