When you think of the Scouts, you think of Bob-a-Job, “Be Prepared” and helping old ladies across the road. My brother Gwynedd’s scouting days were never so tame.
Every Boxing Day morning, we used to meet up with Gwynedd’s scouting friends on Pensarn beach and shiver as we watched them strip down to their bathers and then take a sponsored dip into the freezing sea. Abergele Scouts did this every year. The star was James ‘Jonah’ Jones. He was He’d sprint, splashing into the waves yelling:
The Scouts went on all sorts of trips. Camping in Switzerland and Llanfair TH, Midsummer night bivvies on Snowdon’s summit and even one memorable trip to Cardiff to see a rock band…
“We went to a great pub after the gig Gareth,” enthused Gwynedd. “There was a great bunch of lads there. I think they were bikers … they were all really friendly.”
“What was the pub called?” (I was living in Cardiff, so I knew most of the pubs.)
A big smile spread across my face. Yes, at 10.30 on a Saturday night, Gwynedd had led a mini-bus full of Venture Scouts and Scout Leaders into Cardiff’s premiere gay bar.
My favourite brother-story is the one where he’d gone along for the George and Dragon’s annual Christmas fancy dress night. Gwynedd had pulled on a pair of mum’s tights, tucked a tablecloth into the neck of his T-shirt and – to top it all – put his red Y-fronts on over the tights.
“Ta-Raaa!” he yelled as he flung open the doors of the packed pub and leapt in. Everyone fell quiet and stared at Gwynedd.
“No, Superman …”, laughed Danny, the landlord of The George, “… the fancy dress is tomorrow night”