The 1980s

Back to the 1970s


Golden Jubilee Year. Dinner held. Pottery commemorative plate produced.
Fête – Opened by Lord Baden-Powell. Raised over £2,000 (shared)

W.J Sandford (‘Sandy’) retired from Chairmanship of Executive Committee,
after 17 years, and became a Trustee. Presented with a Wine Decanter by
Lady B.P on behalf of the Trust.

A.J. Pearson (‘Andy’) became Chairman of Executive Committee.

Assets and Investments exceeded £100,000 for first time.

New Burco boiler and mains gas water heater in laundry, and new fridge and
Burco water heater in kitchen.

Draining boards stripped and treated with marine varnish.

Kitchen fire rebuilt.

Store behind equipment store completed. ( £1000.)

10 new tents.

New Woodlarks badges in gilt.

Durham Camp had to be cancelled owing to illness of leader. (Jenny

One of Pathfinders handicapped girls did a 5-mile swim in the pool (about
420 lengths)

Death of Don Burt – helper and Crew member for London for many years. He
frequently obtained gifts of equipment for the site. Ashes scattered at

Discoverers held a reunion Camp over Fête week-end.

15 camps.


International Year of Disabled People.

New sink units in laundry as a memorial to Don Burt (see 1980).

Award of Silver Wolf to Sandy Sandford – ex Chairman, now a Trustee.

New incinerator.

New soakaway outside dining room.

New commercial washing—machine in laundry.

New drying room with de—humidifier.

New tent and Tran-sit seats presented by Friends of Woodlarks.

14 beds and 24 mattresses obtained from Warwickshire Health Authority.

Parachute drop sponsored by the Nelson Arms raised £1000 and the cheque
was delivered by the Red Devils parachuting into the Camp Site.

Pool now costing £160 per week for heating, filtration and purification.
Souvenir sales produced £2020 (profit £237)

Christening held in the Camp Chapel – (a “first”) – (Edward, son of
Tony and Anne Hunt, members of John Kitchener’s Working Party.)

Death of Miss Macquay (Mac?) of 1st Hants Trefoil – memorial service
held in the Chapel and donations used for a new projector screen.

15 camps (507 handicapped, 574 helpers.)


All doors and windows in dining room replaced, and those on veranda
lowered to give better view for chair—bound. Roof made good. (£6000, of
which Farnham Round Table gave £2000)

Thermal blanket for nightly use over pool installed (£635) to reduce
heating costs.

New bottom to oven.

1″ water supply pipe to ablution block.

Thinning of woods carried out, and large fir tree by dining room felled.

N.A.S.C.H donated 36 sets of stainless steel cutlery.

Deer seen outside Kathleen Marshall House (eating the roses!)

Andy Watts and Chris Abbott took on responsibility for tent care, together
with Eileen Greenway on repairs.

Fête raised nearly £1400 (shared)

See Year Book 1982/83 for “thumbnail” sketches of Committee Members.

Alan Percival relinquished leadership of Pioneer I after many years, being
replaced by Prof. W. (‘Bill’) Biggs.

2 campers at Adventurers (Boys) from U.S.A, after International Extoree

Death of Frank Peacock, camper for many years, who left a coin collection
to Woodlarks.

“Shadow” the camp site cat, had to be put to sleep.

17 camps (474 handicapped – 513 helpers.)


Major refurbishment of pool started.

Gas central heating in Kathleen Marshall House (much work by David

Drives re-surfaced (£4000)

Barriers inside entrances, to prevent unauthorised access to the valley.

Old recreation hut (originally equipment store, later the Workshop
recreation hut demolished.

External painting of Kathleen Marshall House.

New concrete dustbin shed (Gift of Bill Brown)

Problems with algae in pool.

Continuation of forestry thinning (90 full—grown pine trees felled and
sold, and chestnuts coppiced.)

Donations by Friends of Woodlarks — axes and tools, tumble drier, shower
curtains and bath mats, and table cutlery.

New shower chair.

‘Ali’ Cann relinquished leadership of Pathfinders after many years, which
then split into two — Adults (over 15’s) led by Rev. Gillian Bobbett,
and Juniors (Explorers; under 18’s) led by Alexine Crawford nee Strover)
from 1984 onwards.

Death of John Wicken, Insurance Adviser for many years – brother of Geoff
Wicken, treasurer for many years.

Death of John Fletcher, camper since before the war.

Death of Bert Hooker, long—standing helper and popular violin player with
Pioneer. A piano was donated in his memory.

Death of Fred Knight, helper in the early years.
16 camps (581 handicapped, 617 helpers)

’ The carved wooden sign from the hut was re-erected in the Dining Room, above the window by the fireplace.


Death of Reg Cain, Working Party Organiser, Year Book Editor, and great
friend of-Woodlarks for over 20 years.

Death of Air Commodore Venn C.B.E, Vice President since 1947.

New burner for pool boiler, together with frost protector.

New windows and doors in dormitory and ablution block. (£5500)

Protection devices in all electrical circuits, and some rewiring.

Works at pool: –
Two new heated showers (£5000)
Old hoist replaced by hydraulic lift (£2000)
Other repairs (£7200)

New incinerator with long chimney (named Apollo 5!)

Problems with algae at pool still troublesome – hoped to fit new
filtration and chemistry, and control instruments.
Fête – £1266 (shared)

2 new canoes, sack barrow, spin drier presented by Friends of Woodlarks.

20-new chairs obtained.

Electronic fly killer in pantry, presented by Hants Assoc. for Care of the

Mike Lewis took over the editorship of the Year Book.

Chris Hussey took over the organisation of Working Parties.

L.C. (‘Fred’) Barnes retired, aged 85, from organising collecting boxes,
after very many years.

Award of Silver Acorn to Dr. Fletcher, Vice President.

Award of Cornwell Scout Badge to John Hayward, member of Adventurers Camp
with no legs and only half a left arm.

17 camps (531 handicapped and 621 helpers)

Over 600 camps held to date.


Death, in August, of Mrs E.D. Strover, M.B.E. (‘Grey Heron‘) . It was
she who really got Woodlarks going in 1930, helped by her husband Col.
Strover, and was the driving spirit through all the early years.

See Year Book 1985/86.

Birth in November of daughter, Claire Elizabeth, to Sue and Mike Lewis,

Oil painting of the Founders commissioned (from the artist Andrew Burton), and unveiled on the day after Mrs Strover died, by the youngest
handicapped person in camp (the Explorers Camp, run by Mrs Strover’s
daughter, Alexine Crawford). Picture to be held at High Wray for the
Trust. Postcards produced as miniatures of the picture.

Pool at last-operating satisfactorily with new automatic equipment for
filtering, purifying etc. (Cost £5230) Hoped to result in a reduction
in cost of chemicals.

New pump-house (£4030)

Wardens provided with 2-way radio to overcome “disappearances on site”)

New tractor type rotary mower bought (£1260)

Special type sewing machine bought for tent repairs.

Friends of Woodlarks presented – table-tennis table, ground sheets,
washing-up bowls, sack barrow and a Workmate bench.

New oven, and soakaway near kitchen.

Eileen Greenway took over tent supervision from Andy Watts and Chris

Farnham Round Table took over organisation of collecting boxes.

Woodlarks helpers arranged barbecue at Tilford Cricket Club Centenary
matches, resulting in good publicity and a donation to Woodlarks.

Souvenir sales raised £3100(profit £328)

18 camps (including week-ends)(527 handicapped, 584 helpers)


Chief Scout – (as President of Woodlarks) visited Adventurers Camp, also
Dr. Roger May. H.Q Commissioner for Handicapped Scouts.

Fête – raised £1380(shared)

Roof light (4ft x 4ft) installed in dining room extension.

Brown quarry tiles behind kitchen sink, and two windows bricked in.

New teak draining board.

New vegetable preparation area, including sink.

New bathroom/shower area in ablution block started (particularly for
winter working parties)

Hot water system in ablutions modified.

Extension roof repaired, new rack for pots and pans, phone link to
swimming pool, 50 new chairs and a rope slicer presented by Friends of
Woodlarks, and additional tent sewing machine obtained.

in early years) on
Girls’ camps in the late 1940s

Felling of pines on western boundary started.

Warning signs placed on road near entrance.

New Ambulift purchased (Donation from Shirley(Southampton) Guides)

New lifeguard high chair at pool.

Path to-pool widened.

Mike Lewis took over arranging working parties.

Good article in Year Book, by Jean Hemens (helper

18 camps (including weekends) (569 handicapped, 623 helpers)


Kathleen Marshall House put on main drainage.
Hurricane – many trees blown over, or made unsafe. (On the day before
the October working party!)

Winter shower room in ablution block started

Wet-rot and leaks in ablutions and extension being remedied

New oven fabricated by British Aerospace

New car park area started (Helped by a J.C.B from a company in Aldershot)

Word processor obtained

History (or Chronology) of Woodlarks from 1930 to 1986 drafted by
“Gwidge” (Thank you Gwidge!

Mike Stebbings joined the Committee

Help from Fire Brigade in emptying and refilling swimming pool

Platform steps, stepladder and kitchen equipment by Friends of Woodlarks
Ambulift purchased

“Treker” electric conveyance given to Woodlarks but passed on to Lord
Mayor Treloar Upper School as more suitable for them

Article about Edna Goodman, who attended her first Woodlarks Camp in 1933
and who came again this year (aged 78) and had her first swim in the

Change in procedure for election of Committee and Officers (See AGM

592 Handicapped and 646 able-bodied campers = 1238 (despite a rather poor


Maj. General Welsh retired as Chief Scout but remains President of

New incinerator

“Jungle Gym” erected (using logs from trees blown down by 1987 hurricane)

Fête to be Campsite venture in future, but Workshop run their own table
and keep their takings. Workshop allow use of front as car park. Fête
profit £1848 (shared equally)

Winter bathroom completed

Dining room fireplace rebuilt

Roofs to dormitory and extension repaired

Blind over washing-up area renewed

Electric bench grinder and six rubber mallets presented by Friends of

Colour transparency collection, with ‘guideline’ text, prepared by Peter

Edna Goodman (see 1987) attended camp again, but died in October

Chain saw purchased (£400) also groundsheets and new Stormhaven tent

Silver Wolf awarded to Dennis Webb, Leader of Adventurer

Sean Rooney (Handicapped) went to Kenya for three months with Operation

Mike O’Leary took over from Sheila Smith as NASCH Camp Leader.

Trust became affiliated to Boats for the Handicapped
592 Handicapped — 663 able—bodied = 1255 at 19 camps


Subs for Friends of Woodlarks to go up from 25p to £1.00 in 1990
Very good weather all summer!

Two further water-taps installed in woods

New heat engine in drying-room

Hot water tanks and boiler in extension boxed in

Covered area for charging batteries — 12 points (£2717)

Trampoline frame recovered in plastic sheathing

Modifications and new cutters to tractor mower (£535)

New overflow soakaway for pool septic tank

New calorifier and pipe-work in pool boiler house and other heating work

Electric vacuum floor cleaner for pool (£1335)

New housing and winding system for thermal pool cover

Some trees around pool lopped or felled to allow more light

Security around pool area increased(anti-intruders)

New tablet in wall under veranda to memory of Founders, Col. and Mrs

Death of Mrs V. Greene, past leader of Birmingham Handicapped Guides

Friends of Woodlarks gifts – three buoyancy aids

596 Handicapped – 637 able bodied = 1233

The 1990s