The Bumper Book of Scout Stories 1929

The Bumper Book of Scout Stories 1929 – I saw this for £10 in an online sale, and was attracted by the cover and good black and white line illustrations.

Scout signallers with flags

It has some some good detail of early Boy Scout uniforms and equipment c. 1920s such as the signallers on the spine, the bugler on the title page and the colour frontplate showing scarf and patrol shoulder flashes.

Scout fleur de lys badge and scout bugler

I thought it might have some suitable thrilling stories as further possible scenarios for my scout Wide Games on the tabletop project.

It also shows other scenes of Scout life outdoors, such as tent pitching, cooking and some stereotypical town and country characters they might encounter – all good ideas for the Wide Games scenarios.

The shocking fate of Ronald (a ballad poem in doggerel rhyme) is typical of the moral tone of these instructional stories.

Good idea of 1910s / 1920s scout uniform …
Two frequent opposites in BP’s examples: clean living Scout vs. flashy urban smoking youngster

The stories are much in the same mystery and thrilling yarn tradition as Enid Blyton and the early 1920s / 1930s Hardy Boys books in America, including a similar black and white illustration style.

Stereotypical characters include thieving gypsies and lounging smoking dapper young men about town up to no good, every bit the opposite of a good honest scout.

The first story ‘The Forsaken Camp’ finds the two scout characters Micky and Cory finding an eerily abandoned scout camp with all the kit left behind and food supplies gone. This injects a note of mystery and almost sci-fi or supernatural events into the opening pages. The tents and kit have then vanished after the two scouts’ quick search of the surrounding woods … “Looks as if everyone has been spirited away”

An eerie start, only to be resolved by thieving gypsy stereotypes and a bad case of food poisoning behind the Forsaken Camp in the first place. (Whoops – plot spoiler!)

I was hoping for a resolution that was something a little more X-Files / Boy Scoutes versus Zombies …

Anyway these books should have some interesting plot ideas for further scenarios.

A quick trail of old scouting books for sale online reveals more interesting covers and illustrations.

Available on eBay, this attractive cover shows Scouts with a trek cart

The trek cart reminds me that I have a Phoenix 43 ( S and D models) trek cart to make up.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow retired), 9 June 2019.

Looks like we got ourselves a readah?

A86C084E-F97B-4FA1-8263-6A2E896BAEBA942D9882-FC47-4619-B7CE-D365C8AA61E1My Peter Laing 15mm figures and others are again a little neglected on the painting table …

21641008-EC2A-46A3-8698-6F4518BE38ED Scouting game  books and science fiction, fantasy and pulp have got in the way of painting on many recent evenings.

54mm-ish Tim-Mee space figures and pound store plastics. I have now added the rest of the Mortal Engines Quartet and onto the prequels …

Slow painting? Could be the pile of fiction books that have piled up on my bedside table. I don’t usually have enough concentration to read fiction. I don’t usually have the tolerance and time for badly “made up stories”, compared to “real stories” (History and non-fiction).

“Oh dear”, think the tiny tin men, “Neglected again”.

If you look at their tiny faces you can just about see the sadness.  “Well, well, looks like we got ourselves a readah”, I hear them say, half remembering a quote from an old comedy sketch by Bill Hicks.

You know I’ve noticed a certain anti-intellectualism going around this country [of America] ever since around 1980, coincidentally enough. [President Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980]

I was in Nashville, Tennessee last weekend and after the show I went to a waffle house and I’m sitting there and I’m eating and reading a book.

I don’t know anybody, I’m alone, I’m eating and I’m reading a book.

This waitress comes over to me (mocks chewing gum) “What you readin’ for?”’ …wow, I’ve never been asked that; not “What am I reading”, but “What am I reading for?” Well, damnit, you stumped me…I guess I read for a lot of reasons — the main one is so I don’t end up being a ****** waffle waitress. Yeah, that would be pretty high on the list.

Then this trucker in the booth next to me gets up, stands over me and says [mocks Southern drawl] “Well, well, looks like we got ourselves a readah”…aahh, what the ***** goin’ on?

It’s like I walked into a [Klu Klux] Klan rally in a Boy George costume or something. Am I stepping out of some intellectual closet here? I read, there I said it. I feel better.

   Bill Hicks, Sane Man 1989, Wikiquote – you can find the original on YouTube. 

Oh dear, tiny men, looks like you got yourselves a readah!

So I wonder why I get so easily distracted by books like these sci-fi and fantasy box sets and yet find more serious fiction like John Buchan’s The Courts of the Morning much harder work, a confusing read despite its lovely maps.

Some useful fantastical figures … and a long slog through the Harry Potter box set.

Maybe, as with all my New Year’s Gaming Irresolutions, what I didn’t plan to do is always far more attractive than what I should probably be doing …  it has been a blessing and a curse all my life.

I should be reading sensible books like these that I have recently bought with Peter Laing 15mm and Airfix / Britain’s 54mm Operation Sealion scenarios in mind …

Serious books I should be reading …

But who could resist thrilling titles like these?


Hardy Boys – Good tracking and detective skills, good for any Scout.

Anyway the Scouting books suggest that reading adds to the literary or fictional “Cloak of Romance”  with lots of ideas and imagination to Scouting Wide Games scenarios.

“We ought to be something” is the Scout’s cry …
Baden Powell / Gilcraft’s Wide Games reading suggestions. Plenty more stirring fiction suggestions in the 1908 Scouting For Boys …

Hope that you are also happily distracted by reading … my scouts await their finishing touches and their first scenarios.


Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 8 July 2019.

D-Day Forty Years On 1984 – Part 2


Some further additions to the 1984 press coverage of D-Day posted a few days ago:



Here is how the BBC Radio Times covered the events in D-Day week 1984. Some interesting colour magazine pictures in an otherwise black and white newspaper world.


This  glossy 1984 newspaper souvenir from Portsmouth is proving a bit difficult to photograph so I will try to scan sections of this on a good scanner at some point in the next week or two. Some interesting veterans’ stories inside worth sharing more widely. Lots of the photos in the newspaper are freely available on the IWM website.

Hope these two posts have been of interest. I found this interesting sketch by Rommel when rereading the very varied viewpoints from Allied and German forces and French civilians in Cornelius Ryan’s book The Longest Day (1959), abridged in True Stories of World War Two (Reader’s Digest 1981). It shows how formidable the beach defences could be where Rommel had his way, suitable time, materials and labour.



I have bought or will buy the equivalent newspapers for today and tomorrow for comparison 35 years on. Somewhere (!)  I have other 50th 60th and 70th D-Day Anniversary newspaper cuttings gs, so will scan these in future as I find them again.

Posted by Mark Man of TIN on D-Day75 6th June 2019.


D – Day Forty Years On 1984


The D-Day 75th Anniversary is almost upon us.

At some point, maybe in 1984 or earlier, we must have gone on a family trip to to Portsmouth to see the Operation Overlord tapestry .  I was fascinated with the intricate needlework, using real threads of battledress khaki, gold braid etc. I left with a souvenir guidebook  that I still have today, showing and explaining each panel. My Dad explained that this was a modern Bayeux Tapestry, not 1066 but 1944.


I already knew a bit about D Day. I’d seen The Longest Day many times on television. I had received as a birthday present the 1980/ 81 Reader’s Digest Book of True Stories of World War Two  (abridged) including a section of Cornelius Ryan’s The Longest Day book. Above all there was Airfix …

This modern cover recreates quite well my Airfix boyhood version of D-Day

To a boy of the Airfix generation, I could as a child recognise the shapes and colours of the uniforms, tanks, ships and planes involved as they formed a large part of my imagination and childhood, just as a birdwatcher recognises different birds by shade, size and colour.


One of the other  souvenirs of the 40th anniversary was this special edition newspaper by the News Portsmouth.

Daily Express 6th or 7th June 1984

As part of the 40th anniversary my Dad collected or bought several different newspapers as he knew I would be interested and it would help my school history studies.

Daily Express 7th June 1984

A former National Serviceman, my Dad worked with many WW2 veterans and sometimes at lunchtime or retirement parties they would  talk to my Dad about their service days.  Dad told me some of the odd story  that they had told him about Operation Torch, Overlord etc. This made the accounts in history books seem much more real.


Looking back at these front pages, apart from everyone looking younger, you realise the Cold War was still in place and Nuclear war a possibility. The presence of President Reagan  and NATO Allied leaders but not Russian or German representatives tells its own story.

President and Nancy  Reagan, Daily Mail, 7 June 1984
The Queen with leaders and royals from Canada, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, France, Luxembourg and President Reagan, Daily Express,  7 June 1984
Daily Express 7 June 1984
Reagan in a bunker in tears and RAF veteran Jimmy Edwards, Daily Express, 7 June 1984

I was more  fascinated at the time by the veteran’s tales than the maps and grand strategy.

Daily Mail 6 or 7 June 1944
Daily Mail, 7 June 1984
Daily Mail, 7 June 1984
A personal story of a veteran and their family, Daily Mail 7 June 1984
Daily Mail, 7 June 1984


Everyone seemed so young in 1984: D-Day casualty’s  child 39 year old Elizabeth Poole who never met her father. One of those personal stories … Daily Express 7 June 1984

I shall post a few more D Day 40 years on 1984 items in the next few days. I hope you find them interesting as we head into the 75th anniversary.

D-Day 6th June 1944 remembered.  

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN blog, D-Day 75th Anniversary, June 2019.



Models for Heroes and the well-being aspects of Hobbies

I have been busy casting a few more scout figures for my Wide Games project this weekend. Nothing like molten hot lead for focusing the attention on what you are doing.

After watching the short videos for Models For Heroes, I thought again whilst hot metal casting about some of the things  the veterans said regarding the therapeutic benefits of modelling:

What is said of modelling here is applicable probably to many hobbies. I’m sure many of the veterans would find home casting as therapeutic.

Text below is taken / transcribed by me from this BFBS YouTube video

Malcolm Child, Models for Heroes: “It brings you away from the problems of the day. It brings you away from thinking about problems in the past and perhaps stresses the future, so yeah it keeps you in the now.”

Karl, Model Maker: “As a long term sufferer of PTSD I spend a lot of my time looking in my peripheral vision for threats … Coming here into a safe environment,  the concentration on the model takes away the need to look for those threats and I can concentrate on the model and actually the byproduct of that, it gives my brain a time to rest, so it’s not absorbing all its energy on threats and what’s going on around me.”

Barrie, one of the other interviewees who was struggling with his concentration after a major operation, talked about the benefits of modelling:  “the sitting peaceful, the quietness and the ability to work at your own pace and do things in your own time and actually to get something from the end result …”

Ceri Lawrence Occupational Therapy Assistant: “It gives people a meaningful occupation … [for] people who’ve lost the ability to do the things they used to enjoy … giving people a new chance, a new hobby and it’s an occupation they can do here as a group or elsewhere as a group or solo.”

These are all interesting points which I think are true of my own hobby enjoyment of making and painting figures for tabletop gaming. I have no mental health issues (so far) nor the black dog or PTSD but I have friends and acquaintances who have and I can see how modelling or other hobbies would help.

This concentration aspect sounds much like the well-being and mindfulness focus etc from the “colouring book” craze a year or two back.

In some ways, it’s nothing new, as in the past and today, gardening for example has been used as therapy – horticultural therapy  – such as the UK charity Gardening Leave (2007-2015) Walled gardens worked well for many veterans as  the  garden walls provided  a place of safety for veterans – many of whom suffered from hyper-vigilance and found open spaces difficult.

This form of “Social prescribing” for depression, isolation and anxiety such as joining a walking or sports group is now increasingly practised in the NHS.

Toy making using carpentry seem to have fulfilled this role during and after WW1 such as the Lord Roberts workshops and also this discharged veteran here:

I probably still have (somewhere) in my varied collection at home a WW2 era needlework pattern used with convalescent Troops in  WW2. Similarly an altar piece for St Paul’s made in WW1 by recovering veterans has recently been restored and displayed as part of the 1914-18  Centenary.

Whatever your hobby or hobby blog,  I hope it brings you peace, relaxation,  focus and satisfaction at whatever time scheme you set out. No rush …

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 2nd of June 2019.

See also my previous post