Authentic-sounding rail announcements will ring out at the World Scout Jamboree in the USA after recordings were made on board a Southern train.
The familiar ding-dong, followed by a list of Scout-related stops, will be heard by 45,000 scouts from countries all over the world as they gather for the 24th World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia this month.
The recordings were made by Andrew Bolton, who is a Fleet Energy Manager at Govia Thameslink Railway’s Selhurst engineering depot. Outside of work, Andrew is Assistant District Commissioner for Scouts in Redhill.
Andrew, 38, and fellow Scout members Jake Orros and Matt Longden made several recordings, which included: “Hello Scouts and Guides and welcome aboard. This is a UK Contingent train to the Summit Bechtel Reserve, calling at Gilwell Park, Brownsea Island, B-P House and the Summit Bechtel Reserve. Change here for the 24th World Scout Jamboree.”
Summit Bechtel Reserve is the site where the jamboree is taking place. Gilwell Park is a Scout Adventures Centre in Chingford and also where the UK Scout HQ is. It is known around the world as the ‘home of Scouting’ and is currently celebrating 100 years. Brownsea Island is an island in Poole Harbour, home of the first Scout camp in 1907. B-P House stands for Baden-Powell House in Kensington, London, which was once the Scout HQ in London, but is now a hostel/hotel and meeting place.
Andrew, who lives in Redhill, said: “It was fun doing the recordings on the train. They will be used in the UK Pavilion at the World Jamboree. There will be 45,000 Scouts there from countries all over the world. We're taking almost 5,000 from the UK, including 3,600 young people aged 14-17.”
Andrew has been involved in the Scouts since he was six and is passionate about the organisation. He said: “Young people get so much from Scouting in terms of confidence and skills for life, as well as getting outside and enjoying and exploring the world around them.”
Andrew is a member of a UK team of volunteers who have been working for nearly three years to make arrangements for the jamboree. One of his main roles has been to organise hospitality for the UK Scouts when they head to Canada after the jamboree.
He said: “This has involved working with Scouts Canada to form a plan and support them in finding hosts for all our units. The idea is for our young people to get a taste of what living in real Canada is like so they will see a very different side to the country from what you’d see staying in a hotel. It will be a combination of exploring the local area as well as a flavour of Canadian Scouting.”
The aim of the World Scout Jamboree is to “bring together the world’s young people to promote peace and mutual understanding and to develop leadership and life skills”. At the event, there will be lots of opportunities for adventure as well as a Global Development Village, World Scout Centre, a special sustainability initiative, and many social elements to allow youngsters to make friends with others from around the world.
Govia Thameslink Railway
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:
- Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
- Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
- Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
- Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria