Halloween Ghost Train

Posted on Monday, November 26th, 2012

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Some of you had realised that with the time span now extended to nine days I was beginning to find it a strain both physically and mentally. In great scouting spirit a number of leaders and associates came to offer their help and support. I am very grateful to them.

This year 47 young people from City District took part and what had seemed just a few days before could be a flop, turned out to be one of the best ever. The Exbury staff were amazed at their politeness, good behaviour and enthusiasm and the feedback from the public was very positive. They will all receive a “thank you” letter from Exbury and a voucher for entry to the Gardens for their family.

In the midst of our efforts came the sad news that Lee had died. That morning I gathered them together and told them what had happened and that Lee would have wanted them to do their very best. They certainly did that and continued to do it throughout the week.

One particular Explorer deserves a special mention. A few weeks before the event Nigel asked if I knew of anyone with acting experience who could act as a stand-in for him or his colleague Stuart, who give a humorous commentary as the Train does its’ half hour journey round the Gardens. Jeff Brixton (“JJ” to us) does amateur dramatics and volunteered his services. It meant learning a lengthy script and putting over the humour. This he did very successfully on a number of occasions during the week. I am glad to say that Exbury have rewarded him for his efforts.

Our highlight came on the last afternoon when we hi-jacked the Train!
The full team of Scout ghosts appeared on the Station and an announcement was made to the passengers. Colin our DC appeared and presented Nigel with a “Thanks Badge” from the District. He was very moved by this, especially, as we found out later, that this was his last day as an Exbury employee.

Thank you to all who took part it was a splendid effort throughout from the District. Exbury have bought us an Event Shelter in appreciation. The scouts collecting at North Station received £382.69 which has been given to “Clic Sargent” one of our regular charities.

What about next year – well as always, if they change their minds, we’ll Be Prepared.

From ”Jack o’ Lantern”
aka Geoff Johnson,