The Adventurer

Cambridge District Scout Archive

The following articles are from The Scouter September and October 1948.  The double entry for a Scouting enterprise is indicative of its worth.

Written by GSM W A Mackrow of the 12th Cambridge

The conversion was a major undertaking of 12000 hours work over 14 months, by the Senior Sea scouts, Senior Scouts and Rovers of the 12th. One of the major donors was John Murrish, the founding SM of the Group. On completion the boat was valued at £2000 1947 and by 1954 was ‘marked down to realistic price ‘ of £800. Smaller boats and marine gear were deemed to depreciate at a rate of 20% a year in the Group accounts whereas land based gear depreciated at 10% a year.

A log of a fortnights cruise in 1951 along the rivers of East Anglia is retained in the Cambridgeshire Collection and many details of the cruise have been incorporated into other articles on this site. ‘Mac’ was definitely ‘Skip’ when on board. One cruise at least went to Bedford.

The boat was eventually sold in 1956 and became a House Boat on the Thames.

Other records exist showing the boat as originally delivered and the naming ceremony.

Mr Murrish ‘anointing the bows of the craft with champagne and naming her “The Adventurer”‘

Note: The incomplete list of Groups labelled from c 1932 gives the 12th Cambridge Rovers address as Rovers : “The Adventurer”, Scout Dock, Riverside Court, Chesterton Road, M. 8 . It is currently the only known reference to an earlier boat. The c 1932 is a very uncertain date indeed.

The picture below shows the Adventurer shortly before being sold. The Scout Boat shed was built in 1955/6, the Adventurer sold in 1956. The maintenance costs had become a burden and the Scout Group were in the process of funding to build a Scout hut. It was sold for £450.

Outside the 12th meeting place behind the New Spring, later the Boathouse, pub.

In the years following the sale of the Adventurer the 12th Cambridge hired a vessels, taking two10 berth cruisers for fortnightly camp in 1959. Costing £10 ahead they took several auxiliary craft owned by the Group. The participants were all, at least, 1st class Scouts.

In 1962 they went on a major sailing expedition in an ex German ‘windfall’ yacht from Portsmouth to Cherbourg, the Channel Isles, St Malo and back. Having no engine they struggled with some of the very significant tides in these waters.

JWR Archivist Apr 2019