Everton Campsite sits at a height of 400ft around a mile south east of the village of Inverkip and covers roughly five acres.
Everton became the Greenock District Camp Site in 1923 when the privilege to use the ground was granted by Sir Michael Hugh Shaw Stewart of Ardgowan, who was keenly interested in Scouting. The site has been held during the pleasure of Sir Michael and his successors up to the present time with Sir Ludovic Shaw Stewart.
The use and purpose of the site, in terms of the Agreement, was and still is for a Training Camp for Scouts and Scout Leaders. The Agreement included the right to draw water from the stream.
The camp is located around the edge of the former Everton Quarry and it is very likely that many of the houses in Inverkip village are built of stone that was quarried at Everton.
The original hut was built in 1923 on top of a small hillock, commanding a view over the parade ground and camp entrance. Lanterns or torches were used to provide light during the hours of darkness. Over the years, toilets and wash places were added. Improvements were made to the water supply by use of a dam at the southerly top of the Camp and piping the water through filters down into standpipes in the Camp.
The swimming pool was built in the early 1930’s under a Government Grant system where material and transport were supplied free of charge and the District supplied labour in the form of Scouters and Rover Scouts – these days we would call them Leaders and Explorers- many of whom were unemployed due to the depression at that time. In 1934, the Daily Record newspaper presented the Camp with a Mountain View Indicator. The Indicator was built near the Swimming Pool and enables the Argyll peaks across the Rover Clyde to be identified.
In 1969, an extension to the hut was built at a cost of £600 under the Capital Grant Scheme. Sir Guy Shaw Stewart agreed that we would have security of tenure for a further 20 years. At this time, the District Scouts had enjoyed an extremely privileged and trusted position for a period of around 50 years. It was the focal point for all outdoor activities.
Many of the older generation, who were formerly Scouts, will have very fond memories of their experiences at Everton under the watchful eye of Camp Skipper’s such as Bertie Morrison and others.
Camping was for real.
The Burn supplied an endless stream of cold water for washing dirty hands, faces and legs.
Going to the ‘woods’, to find windblown trees. Using an axe to chop the timber into small and big pieces. Thus providing a selection of fuel for the cooking fires. The smell of wood smoke was everywhere especially at the Saturday night Campfires when each Troop was tasked with supplying wood for the grand bonfire. The sound of ‘Campfire’s Burning’ rang round the Camp.
The old Everton hut came to an end in September 1992 when it was destroyed by fire. This was the end of an era but also the start of a whole new future that would play its part in bringing Scouting in Greenock & District into the modern age.
Plans were immediately drawn up to make good and create a contemporary replacement at an estimated cost of £50,000. The plans made provision for a new building with staff headquarters, indoor accommodation for Scouts, kitchen and proper washing/toilet facilities together with wheelchair access. Electricity and running water was to arrive at Everton. What a gigantic leap into the next Century.
In September 2001, the new accommodation was officially opened. With the assistance of many sponsors a magnificent facility than can be used by all the community was created. The main sponsor, National Semiconductor, gave £21,000 from it’s charitable trust. To make maximum use of the available site, the small hillock where the original hut had been situated was removed to make way for an activity ground and the new Everton Lodge was built to its side. This new building has proved to be invaluable to modern day Scouting. It allows a much greater all-year round use of Everton. The indoor accommodation enables a programme of events during all seasons.
New generations of Scouts continue to make use of a campsite with first class facilities in an area that allows outdoor activities to be appreciated.
Over the history of Everton Campsite, a number of Leaders have given their time to act as Camp Skipper or Lodge Convenor. Playing a large part in the development of both Scouts and Scouting, these Leaders are below. Could your name join the list one day?
1927 – 1930 W.P. Stratton
1930 – 1939 John Dally
1939 – 1945 Eoin Steel
1945 – 1953 Earnest Salmon
1953 – 1968 Robert Morrison
1968 – 1972 James McLachlan
1972 – 1978 Douglas Russell
1978 – 1980 James Hardie
1980 – 1984 Douglas McGougan
1984 – 1987 Robert Platt
1987 – 1991 David McCallum
1991 – 1994 Colin Carson
1994 – 1995 Bernard McGuinness
1995 – 1998 Robert Lynch
1998 – 2001 Alan Newbigging
1998 – 2001 Donald King
2001 – 2007 Carol McCallum
2007 – 2009 Roland Shackell
2010 – Peter Cairney
2010 – 2014 Jim Bell & Ian Spence
2014 – 2018 Paul Laverty
2018 – Alan Newbigging