Introduction to the 4th Leith Rover Bulletins

The 104th Edinburgh North East Scout Group started in 1912 (known as the 4th Leith prior to 2012 when Leith and Portobello Districts merged). The Group’s Rover Scout section was established in 1918. This was then the senior section of the Scout Movement, with Scouts joining at the age of 17. Rovers continued until the late 1960’s and was replaced by Venture Scouts, and now by Explorers.

The 4th Leith Rover Crew became a tight knit bunch of friends, several of whom attended the first World Rover Moot in 1931 in Kanderstag, Switzerland. They became famous locally for their popular Variety Shows. These were used to help raise money for local charities, as well as helping to raise funds to build our current hall. Funds were raised to buy the cottage which still sits in the corner of our grounds. This became their meeting place, affectionately known as ‘Love’s Abode’.

Throughout the Second World War, many Rovers were called up, or volunteered for service in the armed forces. Members served in all branches of the forces, as well as serving on the home front. 

Rovers were sent all over the globe and, to retain contact with each other during the war years, each member was asked to send a monthly update letter to ‘Loves Abode’. The content of these letters was then distilled into a monthly newsletter, which was distributed to each person. And so, the 4th Leith Rover Bulletin was born, the Facebook of its day! 

The first one was published on the 26th September 1941 and monthly newsletters were sent out until December 1946. These were regarded by all members of the Crew, wherever they were, as a great morale booster.

To celebrate, and remember the spirit of the Crew, we intend to publish each copy of the bulletin on our website/social media approximately 80 years to the day after it first appeared. 

They are remarkable documents, following the fortunes of a remarkable group of people, and offer an insight into the lives, hopes, and fears of those at home and abroad during trying times.