The Boy Scout, 1957

This statuette in cast aluminium alloy, varnished in brown and with gold highlights is one of several items donated to the Stirling Smith by the late Dr. Ken Mackay (1931-2014). Ken was a life-long Scout, and the trophy was presented to him for his services to the 54th Dundee Scout Troop, 1952-1957, as a Scout Leader, before his teaching career took him to Stirling.

The statue is reputedly from a design by Scout founder Robert Baden Powell himself. Baden Powell was an accomplished artist who believed in drawing every day. The figure is probably by Hungarian sculptor Julius G. Maysch (1882-1946) who produced a similar iconic statue in 1930. There are dozens of Scouting statues and figures throughout the world, but this one is special. Its fabric pennant was sewn by a member of the 54th Dundee Troop.

Ken Mackay was a much-loved teacher of science, both at the High School and the University of Stirling. He pioneered industrial archaeology, taking his pupils to record lime kilns and early industrial buildings. It is thanks to him that the Observatory Tower of the Stirling Highland Hotel (formerly the High School of Stirling) is functional, with a telescope for astronomy. It was disused for decades, before Ken and a team of his students dug out the pigeon droppings and restored the Observatory apparatus.

Comments(3)

  1. REPLY
    Lisa Myring says

    Do you have any more information on the history of this statue, how widely circulated were they? I am restoring the same one myself and it would be great to understand more about it.

  2. REPLY
    Nigel Grist says

    My late Grandfather, William Ewart Grist was presented an identical statuette with inscribed plaque ‘ For past services to the 37th Neasden Troop ‘ which must have been given to him retrospectively, as he lived there prior to WW2. He spent a lot of time in Scouting, but had to hold down his day job as the Managing Director of the Singer Sewing Machine Company until his retirement in 1967. He became County Commissioner for Sussex Scouts and passed away in 1970.

    I guess that these statuettes are quite rare. I am hoping to donate this to UK Scouts Heritage for display shortly.

  3. REPLY
    Angela says

    I have a similar statue which has an inscription dedicated to the service of Arthur Fletcher. He is the great grandfather of my daughters. I would like to know how I can get it valued for them.

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