Chester-le-Street Heritage Group

Chester-le-Street lost one of its most prominent citizens at the age of 91 years, on 8th August 2006.

 
Arthur Carver or “Skip” as he was affectionately known, was given a well attended service at St. Mary & St. Cuthbert’s Church on Tuesday 15th August, before his Cremation at Durham.

Arthur had been a leading Scout Official in Chester-le-Street and across Durham for many years:

In 1923: he and Walter Knox attended a Durham County Scout Rally held at Whitehall Park, Chester-le-Street, at which Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scout movement, was present.


In 1927: he moved from the 1st Chester-le-Street group to become a founder member of 2nd Chester-le-Street (St Mary & St Cuthbert) Church Group with controlling authority Canon F Hilton Jackson and leaders Mr. J. Lee, Mr. A. Johnson and Mr. H. Peart.


In 1928: On Sunday, July 15, the then Duke and Duchess of York, later King George and Queen Elizabeth, were on holiday at Lumley Castle when they attended morning service at the parish church and the Church Scout group formed a Guard of Honour.


In 1933: Arthur was appointed Badge Secretary when Jim Melvor was district commissioner.

 
In 1947: he attended the sixth world Scout jamboree with three fellow leaders from his group, A Ramshaw, G Bailey and K Humes. The jamboree was held near Paris, the French capital.

 
In 1974: he was presented with the second highest honour in scouting awards, the Silver Acorn, by the then chief Scout, Sir William Gladstone, at Raby Park, Staindrop, Co. Durham.


In 1977: when Arthur had been a member of the 2nd Chester-le-Street Scout group for 50 years, unknown to him, a photograph taken when he was part of the guard of honour in 1928 was sent to the Queen Mother at Clarence House and she most graciously added her signature. Also on the photograph are the late Lord and Lady Scarborough and the rector, Dr F H Jackson. Also in 1977 Chester-le-Street District Council presented Arthur with a silver tankard in recognition of his years in scouting. The presentation was made by council chairman Malcolm Pratt.


In 1978: to thank Arthur for years of good service, the 2nd Chester-le-Street Scout group renamed its headquarters after him. The former Burns School was re-christened “Carver House” and was still called that until its demolition in 2003.


In 1980: Arthur made history by becoming the town's first "Good Citizen" to mark the 75th anniversary of Rotary International. Chester-le-Street Rotary Club president Joe Emmerson presented Arthur with a special Knight-in Shining Armour Plaque, created by the Club to reward good citizenship, to mark Arthur's association over the years with many organisations in Chester-le-Street.

Arthur was life president of the 2nd Chester-le-Street Scout group and therefore, although no longer badge secretary, his attachment and involvement with scouting still continued. He had a wealth of scouting knowledge and memorabilia and had always been a shining example of what the Scout Association stood for worldwide.


Arthur Carver