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Charles Woodley's memories from around 1958-1963

Cubs and scouts

I now live in NE Scotland but spent my childhood and more (1947-1967) living in Brentford. I joined the Cubs and then the 6th Brentford Scouts circa 1958 and stayed until circa 1963. During my time the troop morphed into an Air Scout troop and was awarded RAF Recognition, which allowed us access to certain RAF facilities.

When I joined the troop was based in a single-storey building across the road from where the trolleybuses used to park up. Just before I left in 1963-ish that building was demolished (the fact that it seemed to be made out of asbestos may have had some bearing) and the scoutmaster Vic Arnold left us. I believe he started a shop in the High Street at this time. After we became Air Scouts we built a full-size replica of a Turbulent light aircraft and took it to scout rallies around the area. Just before I left in 63-ish Vic took about 9 of us on a camping tour around Europe in a Dormobile-type vehicle.

Aeroplanes in a local scrapyard

When I began secondary school (Brentford Secondary Modern Boys School) in 1959 I developed an interest in aeroplanes that has never left me, and I now spend a lot of time researching airline history.

I used to visit Heathrow on my pushbike and while riding around the roads of Brentford and adjacent towns I came across a scrapyard which contained, apart from the usual cars, the substantial remains of two aeroplanes. I was always too nervous of the fierce dogs to go inside, but from the pavement I could see that one aircraft was a 1940s-vintage Airspeed Consul transport plane, and the other appeared to be a similar-vintage Percival Proctor.

I have often wondered what became of them, why they were there, so far from an airfield etc? I went back there several times that year, but they never moved away and and were never joined by other aircraft. After about a year I lost interest and never went back.

As regards location, I am pretty sure it was in Brentford, or possibly Ealing. The year would have been early 1960s. I cannot recall seeing the name of the yard. If anybody has any clues as to the identity/fate of the yard I would be very pleased to hear from them.

Can you help?

I have many happy memories of this time and would love to here from any of my contemporaries.
Names I remember are: Derek Brown, Ian Powell (I have had had contact with these two some years ago), an assistant Scout Leader who worked in a bakery at the time, another called Gordon, who came to us from a Sea Scout troop in Chiswick we amalgamated with), and another called Vic.

I am wondering if anyone out there was a member of the Air Scout troop during my timescale and if they have any memories and/or pics to share.

Finally, can anyone can remember the scrapyard name/location?


If you have any information to pass on to Charles, please get in touch and I will forward to him.

Possibly the same Ian Powell as mentioned above has sent some photos from his school days at St George's.

Scoutmaster Vic Arnold ran a sports' shop at 212 High Street in the 1960s - read more.


Published April 2020; updated November 2022