Bolton School Former Pupils
The Lipscomb Years (1910-1924)
Lipscomb ran the first camp at Filey in 1910 with the help of Jefferies (Maths Department) and the Sergeants under Colour Sergeant Charrington (Baths/Swimming). In his school history WEB describes reveille at 6 – six before breakfast: the general feel of the programme is military, an influence brought no doubt by the growing international situation and the importance for several decades of the School sergeants as chief camp personnel.
It seems that Lipscomb had acquaintances in the area which influenced the choice of venue. The amazing strength of these hidden influences is illustrated when we see that the second Filey camp in 1911 had a death to cope with.
Stanley Crossley, known as a great pianist, as well as a birds' egg enthusiast, fell from a cliff during the camp and died from his injuries at the local hospital. The oddest part of this sad episode is that the report of the camp in The Boltonian describes the appearance of a Blackburn monoplane on a round-Britain circuit as the highlight of the camp!
The following year, not surprisingly, the venue was changed to Abergele in North Wales, where it returned until 1920, with 44 boys of all ages. The appearance of the Scouts and Cadets with camps of their own, and the eruption of the Great War, played a part, with radio becoming the highlight of the camp, affecting numbers drastically.
No camp is recorded in 1915 and 1916, but the revival in 1917 is noted by Harvest Camps at Runcorn and in Northants, established by the National Service Department in village halls. In 1918 the camp revived at Beaumaris under the Headmaster and Mr Gwyn Jones, who took over the organisation (later with H V Brookes) until shortly before the Second World War (1935). The School received a letter of thanks from the Lord Lieutenant.
In 1919/1920 and 1921 the camp reverted to Abergele and the pattern from this time, with School sergeants cooking, before-breakfast bathing, advance parties, visits to castles and strenuous walks in Snowdonia, was set until nearly the present. A camp photograph of those days was obviously taken on 'Visitors Day' with tablecloths and glasses out!
One exceptional year was 1924 when the School camp took place near Wembley Empire Exhibition. The camp included a visit to the Houses of Parliament.