Alert Trophy

Cambridge District Scout Archive

Presented in 1945 by W A Mackrow and still being competed for in 1987.

He presented it for an annual competition in the ‘non-athletic part of Scouting.  In other words such competition that improves and trains any of the five senses.  I would like the terms of the competition to be on a Patrol or part Patrol basis.’   District Minute book 1944

The Alert Trophy was awarded to the Scout Patrol with the highest place in the ‘Query???’ competition that ran from 1945.  Guides also competed in the ‘Query ???’ competition.

It was originally proposed in 1944 and entitled a ‘Utility ???’ in the terminology of war time austerity, all inessentials being eliminated to support the war effort.   The first competition ran at Easter 1945

The form in the early days was that of a set of questions based on Cambridge knowledge that Patrols could complete over a weekend in and around Cambridge.  A report was entered for judging.   Later competitions altered the format

from the Cambridgeshire Collection Box 2

In 1952 the question was ‘what form should it take this year’, and it was noted that it was given with the intent of ’developing observations in Scoutcraft’ (Grafton Gazette & Abington Advertise).

In 1978 it was ‘Find out about a village’

The Query was not held every year and in later years the Alert seems to have had a separate existence.  It is not stated but was possibly part of the discussion that as the word queer as a term for homosexual gained prominence the word query was less acceptable as a title

The following was taken from the cup.  Records from the Grafton Gazette are often given without dates and annual reports do not specify what the year is they bracket.  The 1952 individual name was the format for the year.

1952J Boocock5th
1969Squirrel1st Histon
1973 5th & 11th/9th
197427th & 13th
197613th & 26th
197713th & 1st Histon

An Alert Trophy was awarded to Guides, as recalled by a Guide, and reference is made to a Cub Alert trophy.  This is probably as the Query Trophy fell into disuse.

The pictured cup is held by the 11th/9th Cambridge.

When the Alert trophy was opened to Guides in 1950 they won both the Junior and Senior events.  The District initially proposed to give a Certificate then a Prize voucher to the Guide winner (if they won).

JWR Archivist Feb 2019