In 1954 the group thought that a new challenge was necessary for the older boys, Bill Dick with Jim Kemp as his assistant formed a Rover crew.To find a meeting place was a problem until Jim and Billy Kemp's dad who was a builder acquired a rundown large hut located off Auchinraith Road and renovated it to meet our needs. Next we required more members so an invite was sent to all the troops in Blantyre and the following is a list of the original personnel.
(Anderson) Ian Ramsay, (High Blantyre) Alex Mackie, Robert Davidson,(Livingston) Robert Bell, Billy Kemp, Jim Kemp, and Duncan Slater
(A) Robert Davidson (B) Robert Bell (C) Ian Ramsay The Slater's wedding 1957
From the start it was tough, all the lads were apprentices,which entailed going to night school two nights a week, to offset the problem it was decided to hold the meeting on a different night each week. The only night all the crew could meet was Sunday when along with our girl friends we would invade one of our parents home for snacks, a game of cards or a sing-a-long. We also have trouble recruiting new members as within a couple of years they would be due for National Service (18 to 21 years of age).
Once all the logistics was worked out the next task was to plan a community project. Bill arranged with Mr. Wilson the warder of Livingston Memorial park for the crew to volunteer at the centre. Over one week-end we were shown and received information on the artifacts on display. Our jobs were to answer questions from visitors about the exibition and help children find lost parents. After two or three week-ends the scope of our job changed, the person in charge thought that as he had free workers why should he pay someone to pick up the trash, this duty was added to our job description. Bill was not happy, his vision was that our presence would enhance the park, not have people made redundant, he with drew our services.
But like all good things the rover experiment had run it's course and came to an end as one by one we were called up to complete two years Nation Service, on returning from the military most had other priorities.
Where are they now
Bill Dick:( Bill) had medical problems and had to resign from his job with Rolls Royce and became the warden at Rowardennan Youth Hostel on the banks of Loch Lomond. Bill pass away in the mid 1970's.
Robert Bell :( Bobby) served his time as an apprentice electrician in one of the local pits and when the mines in the area closed he immigrated to Australia.
Robert Davidson : (Rab) served his time in the Hoover plant in Cambuslang and later opened a fruit and vegetable shop on Glasgow road opposite Priory Street. Now retired he still lives in Blantyre on Station Road.
Alex Mackie : He worked in a car body shop that was located on Glasgow Road at the old post office again near Priory Street, after army service he moved to work in a car factory in Corby England.
Ian Ramsay ; Ian was a joiner to trade, on completing his national service he found employment at Bushy Hill remand home in Blantyre as an instructor, he also served as the district commissioner for scouting for Blantyre before moving to a new position with the children's aid of Dundee.
Billy Kemp : Billy served this time at Fulton's in Dalmarnock Road as an electrician. He worked a few years at the trade and then got a job as Chief Electrical Engineer in one of the distillery's. Now retired he lives in Crieff.
Jim Kemp : Jim worked in various jobs before going in the army. When he returned in 1953 he went to the Burnbank school of Engineering, got a few certificates and then moved to live in Glasgow where he continued his studies at David Dale College of Egineering. He applied and got a job in the Royal Technical College as a vibration technician. He retired in 1995 from this position and now lives with his wife of 49 years in Cumbernauld.
Duncan Slater : After completing his trade and military service Duncan continued as a scout leader until immigrating in 1966 to Canada. Working as a layoutman and later as a process planner with James Howden until the plant closed in 1991 at which time he along with his wife Rietta purchased a bankrupted fishing resort. After seven years and when it was a viable business they sold it and retired at the age of 62. He now spends retirement between their two homes eight months in Canada and four in Florida with his wife of 49 years.
This information is as of October 2006