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World Scout Jubilee Jamboree 1st - 12th August 1957

World Scout Jubilee Jamboree welcome

August 2007 was the 50th anniversary of the World Scout Jubilee Jamboree, which was held in Sutton Park from the 1st to the 12th August 1957. It was one of the biggest events ever held in Sutton Coldfield, as scouts from 85 countries converged on the Park to celebrate 50 years of scouting and the centenary of Lord Baden Powell birth.

The organisers chose Sutton Park, not only for its size but also because it had amenities such as boating & swimming, had roads & footpaths, and was well served by a road & rail network. Preparing for the event was a massive operation involving thousands of volunteers. The Facts and Figures for the event are staggering. The site was huge and the Camp ran its own newspaper, had a hospital and even its own Fire Brigade. There was a specially prepared arena, with a Grandstand which could hold up to 15,000 people, where spectacular international displays took place. This doubled as an open air cinema for special film showings, incorporating the largest screen in the country.


World Scout Jubilee Jamboree Queen

There was a packed Programme of Events, but the scouts werent confined to camp, many were taken by bus & train to places of interest around the Midlands, still more to the Birmingham Hippodrome to see the Ralph Reader Gang Show. The Jamboree was opened by the Duke of Gloucester on 1st August and the Queen & Prince Philip visited the site 2 days later. They were part of an estimated 750,000 people who came as day visitors during the 12 days of the camp.

One thing that could not be catered for was the weather and a huge storm on the night of the 5th August, with an inch of rain falling in less than an hour, flooded out around 1,000 scouts. Most were quickly moved to other tents but some were taken in by local residents, which led to lifelong friendships being formed.


World Scout Jubilee Jamboree Prime Minister

One thing that could not be catered for was the weather and a huge storm on the night of the 5th August, with an inch of rain falling in less than an hour, flooded out around 1,000 scouts. Most were quickly moved to other tents but some were taken in by local residents, which led to lifelong friendships being formed.

Infact it rained for the last 5 days of the Jamboree, turning parts of the site into a quagmire (even the Prime minister was forced to roll up his trousers on his official visit!), but none of this prevented the whole event from being an overwhelming success.

All that was left was the Clearing up operation, something the scouts succeeded in doing completely in a little over 3 months.


World Scout Jubilee Jamboree Event

Definitions
Here is a brief explanation of some of the terms used to describe this major event in the scouting calendar.

What is a JIM? It stood for Jamboree Indaba Moot

Jamboree was a name given by Baden Powell to the first International gathering of scouts at Olympia, London, in 1920. When asked, "Why Jamboree?" Baden Powell replied "What else would you call it?"

Indaba, a Zulu word, means gathering of chiefs The first World Indaba was held at Gilwell Park, in Essex, the training ground for Scout Leaders, in 1952.

Moot was again suggested by Baden Powell. It comes from the old English meaning gathering of young men for discussion concerning the affairs of the community.

The Sutton Park Visitor Centre is helping to compile an oral history archive of this event. We are interested in speaking to local residents who remember the event, who may have taken part or even helped in the organisation and related activities. We have already had some great anecdotes and some fascinating photographs but are still hungry for more. The project will eventually form a publicly accessible part of the Sutton Reference Library collection as a permanent history of the event.

If you have anything you'd like to share you can contact the Sutton Park Visitor Centre on: 0121 355 6370, Email us at: sutton.park.visitors.centre@birmingham.gov.uk Or just drop in to our location near town gate for a cup of tea and a chat.



Programme of Events
Preparing for the Event
Facts and Figures
Clearing Up
Camp Layout
Introduction To Sutton Park.