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5th Islington Scout Group marks 110th anniversary by restoring century-old cart and raising money to beat knife crime

PUBLISHED: 17:27 30 April 2018 | UPDATED: 17:30 30 April 2018

5th Islington Scout Group on their anniversary hike, with the restored cart in tow. Far left, Oliver Becchi. Picture: Lindsay Riley

5th Islington Scout Group on their anniversary hike, with the restored cart in tow. Far left, Oliver Becchi. Picture: Lindsay Riley

Archant

A restored century-old cart was the centrepiece of an anniversary trek by the 5th Islington Scout Group on Sunday morning.

5th Islington Scout Group on their anniversary hike, with the restored cart in tow. Picture: Lindsay Riley5th Islington Scout Group on their anniversary hike, with the restored cart in tow. Picture: Lindsay Riley

Young scouts filled Thornhill Primary School’s back yard ahead of their six-mile walk to Bounds Green – a celebration marking the group’s 110th anniversary.

Islington mayor Cllr Una O’Halloran kicked things off with a short speech.

“You hear a lot of negative stories about youngsters,” she said, “but this is such a great organisation.

5th Islington Scout Group set out on their anniversary hike. Picture: Lindsay Riley5th Islington Scout Group set out on their anniversary hike. Picture: Lindsay Riley

“If there were more scout groups doing things like this, our young people wouldn’t feel like everything’s against them with all the violent crimes around.”

During the trek the scouts collected money for local charities. The kids were allowed to choose which ones they’d like to fund and decided on The Big Issue, in Seven Sisters Road, and Ben Kinsella Trust.

The Ben Kinsella Trust was set up in 2008 after 16-year-old Ben’s murder in Holloway. It campaigns against knife crime and educates young people about staying safe.

The 5th Islington Scout Group's restored wagon from 1910. Picture: Lindsay RileyThe 5th Islington Scout Group's restored wagon from 1910. Picture: Lindsay Riley

“Knife crime has become a big issue at the moment and the kids believe these organisations could help out with the problem,” said scout leader David Evans.

The 5th Islington Group was born on April 19th, 1908. The story of the group supposedly begins with five boys irritating the St Mary Magdalene Church caretaker in Holloway Road.

“They were terrorising him in a ‘get off my lawn’ sort of way,” said scout leader Daniel Goodings – who’s been part of the scout group for 35 years. “Then when The Scout Magazine came out, the boys bought a copy and after reading it said: ‘Let’s change our ways, lads!’”

The original 5th Islington Scout Group cart, which has been newly restored. Picture: 5th Islington Scout GroupThe original 5th Islington Scout Group cart, which has been newly restored. Picture: 5th Islington Scout Group

It grew from there, and the group now consists of 80 members in three sections, both boys and girls.

Back in 1910 the original scout members bought a cart, which was used to take their essentials to camps. The cart still exists to this day. With the help and funding of The Worshipful Wheelwrights, the kids managed to restore the cart on time for the trek.

“The best part about fixing the cart is today, because we get to show Islington what we’ve achieved,” said 11-year old Oliver Becchi.

5th Islington Scout Group set out on their anniversary hike. Picture: Lindsay Riley5th Islington Scout Group set out on their anniversary hike. Picture: Lindsay Riley

“I liked working in a team, because with different teammates you get different knowledge,” added Joseph Edward, 11.

The newly improved cart will be showcased at Islington Museum until the end of June. After that, the scouts will use it for fundraising events.

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