History of Ratlingate


Extracts from “Being Prepared – 100 years of Scouting in Cumbria” – Roy McNamara 2007

“The search for a suitable site, negotiations with landowners and lawyers, the raising of funds and completion of basic clearance. Occupied the Carlisle and District Local Association, from May 1925 until September 1937 before the site known as Ratlingate came into being.”


“However, by the end of July 1933 things had moved to the stage when arrangements were made to appoint a set of permanent trustees and on 7th September the necessary resolutions were passed to enable the Local Association to take on a 21 year lease of a site of approximately 4 acres at “Rattlingate Wood, Grinsdale, the property of Mr Sibson, solicitor of Carlisle”


“the official opening took place on 11 September 1937.”


“The reference to a new swimming pool at Ratlingate shows that, even in time of national danger and austerity, Scouting was still looking ahead and promoting expansion. The swimming pool had been created during 1938-1939 but the District Commissioner, Capt Matthews, was still searching for ways to pay for it and by June 1940 was able to report that a grant of £50 had been received from the Jubilee Trust Fund (the King George V Jubilee Fund) towards the cost of the pool and that “this had been paid over the Messrs J & R Bell Ltd, leaving £83 still to be paid”. Thus the money raised from the sale of waste paper came at an opportune moment.”


"By 1945 the Carlisle City Service of Youth Committee recommended a grant of two-thirds of the £280 required for the rent of Ratlingate campsite.”


“The Ratlingate campsite, opened with such enthusiasm in 1937, had served a useful facility for both local Scouts and those further afield throughout the War, in spite of inevitable difficulties over staffing and the ever-present worries of vandalism. But the lease of the site was due to end on February 1945 and the Local Association agreed to seek a renewal of the lease……it was noted that the owner of Ratlingate was averse to the renewal of the lease but there was a chance that with repair to the fences a renewal might be secured. The matter of a permanent Warden was also explored. By the start of 1946 the lease was renewed and there was also an unsuccessful exploration of purchasing 9 acres of ground close by. Mr Smith was appointed Warden and a Mr Jones became Assistant Warden.”


“With regard to Ratlingate itself, the local management team was anxious to ensure its future and enquires were made about the possibility of either a long tern lease or even purchase of the site. The Carlisle Local Association agreed to negotiate up to a maximum of £310 for the purchase of “The present campsite and the piece of rough land adjoining” (July 48). The owner finally accepted £350 and the conveyance was signed in January 1951. The purchase of the site left an overdraft at the bank and it was agreed that there should be a District Levy of 3d per head (minimum 2/6 per Group) to help District Funds! No sooner than one hurdle at Ratlingate been overcome than another arose. By April 1951 Mr Peel of Kirkandrews Farm was leaving and was prepared to sell the 4 acres of felled woodland. The District’s Honorary Legal Adviser, Mr Burnett, was asked to negotiate, with £30 a starting figure. Eventually the woodland was purchased for £60 and so extended the site very considerably.”