Monday, April 13, 2009

The Jam Roll and Eccles Caravan

During 1929, the Scout Movement celebrated its 21st birthday by holding a World Jamboree at Arrowe Park near Birkenhead, England. To mark the occasion, Scouts from all over the world were invited to contribute one penny toward a suitable gift to the Founder and Chief Scout Lord Baden Powell.

At the Jamboree, the President of the Boy Scouts of Denmark presented the Chief Scout with a Rolls Royce Motor car, nicknamed Jam Roll (Jam after the Jamboree and Roll after Roll Royce); a caravan trailer which Baden Powell named "Eccles" after the caravan maker and a portrait in oils by artist David Jagger.

In thanking the Scouts for their gift, Baden Powell confessed that, in spite of his wife's delicate inquiries, the only thing he required was a new pair of braces. Unfortunately, it was too late for the braces to be included in the official presentation. Two days later the omission was made good by the Irish Scouts. When the Chief donned the new braces he gave an impromptu jig to show his delight.

A unique feature of the car is the radiator mascot. The traditional Spirit of Ecstasy was replaced by he Scout Fleur-de-lis with the motto "Be Prepared." Both the car and caravan remained in the family until 1938, when Olave Lady Baden-Powell gave Eccles to Gilwell Park. Eccles has recently been refurbished and is still proudly displayed at Gilwell Park. In August 1945, she sold Jam Roll.

Jam Roll has had a number of private owners since then, until recently. Jam Roll and Eccles were displayed together for the first time in 50 yrs. during the Centenary World Jamboree in 2007.

After the Jamboree a small group of Scouters formed a charitable company, B-P Jam Roll Limited and registered it with the UK Charity Commission. With the assistance of a loan and some generous contributions received from supporters, the company succeeded in purchasing Jam Roll.

B-P Jam Roll Limited is seeking donations to help pay off the loan and establish a fund to provide for Jam Roll's future preservation and maintenance and to display it at a suitable museum.

Should you wish to make a donation to help pay for Jam Roll and secure its place in scouting history, please go to for more information. Tell them Commissioner Keith sent you.

The radiator cap Fleur-de-lis on Jam Roll.
Please help Jam Roll by donating to this worthy cause to preserve a piece of scouting history.

1 comment:

  1. I saw Eccles at Gilwell a couple of months ago. It's been really well preserved and lives under it's own shelter so it's not left to the elements.
    It would be good to see it together with the Jam Roll!