Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Honorable Michael Baden Powell and Me

I never realized where my time spent in scouting would ever take me, in fact when I was I scout,  I thought that the program was just camping, merit badges, advancement, and achieving the highly coveted Eagle Scout Rank.
Little did I know that later in life, when my son asked to join scouts, that I would assume the role of leader and later host a show on Scouting and write this blog, just to name a couple of roles that I currently play in Scouting.
I have had the privilege to work with scouters that I have come to appreciate their accomplishments and one of them is being able to work with the Honorable Michael Baden Powell, the grandson of Lord Baden Powell, on helping to raise funds for the Jam Roll.

For those that do not know about Michael Baden Powell, here is a brief biography:

David Michael Baden-Powell (born December 11, 1940) is the heir presumptive to the Barony of Baden-Powell. He attended in Frensham, England.
Baden-Powell is active in the Victorian Branch of the Scouts Australia. As grandson of the 1st Baron Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, Baden-Powell is often invited to ceremonies.

In late July and early August 2007, Michael Baden-Powell oversaw the 100th anniversary of the start of the world Scouting movement at Brown sea Island and stated that the movement was still going on strong. During 2007 he was also instrumental in preserving the caravan trailer, presented to his grandfather along with a new Rolls-Royce car, during the 3rd World Scout Jamboree in 1929. The caravan was nicknamed Eccles. The car, nicknamed Jam Roll, was sold after Robert Baden-Powell's death by Olave Baden-Powell, his wife, in 1945. Jam Roll and Eccles were reunited at Gilwell Park for the 21st World Scout Jamboree in 2007. Michael Baden-Powell and three other Scouters formed the charitable company "B-P Jam Roll Ltd." with the aim of purchasing and conserving Jam Roll on behalf of Scouting. Funds are being raised to repay the loan that was used to purchase the car.
In August 2008 Michael Baden-Powell took part in the 25th World Conference of ISGF in Vienna.

As of 2009, Micheal Baden-Powell is Branch Commissioner for Special Duties.

Micheal Baden Powell (left) and Peter Kemp at the National Boer War Memorial Association 2010.

The Jam Roll story:

The year 1929 was a special year for Scouting as it was to celebrate it's 21st Birthday, it was also the year of the 3rd World Jamboree, which was going to be held at Arrowe Park, just outside Liverpool.

At the Jamboree to mark 21 years of Scouting BP was honoured with a number of gifts including a Baronetcy by King George V, BP took the title of Lord Baden Powell of Gilwell, other gifts included a set of Braces and from the 50.000 Scouts of the World attending, a very special gift of a Rolls Royce Car and a touring Caravan

The Gift:

Before the Arrowe Park Jamboree, Christian Holm, the President of the Danish Boy Scout Association wrote to all the Scout organisations that were to be present at the Jamboree and suggested that each Scout should donate a penny or the equivalent in their own currency to to enable the movement to by a gift for BP to celebrate 21 years of Scouting.
Mr Holm contacted BP's wife to ask for ideas for a special gift that might be presented to him.
At the presentation. BP remarked "when she asked me what I wanted, I said nothing. I am the richest man in the world, for I believe that the richest man is not the man who has the most money, but the man who has the fewer wants. My wife pressed me further and said I must want something. I thought again and remembered and said 'Oh yes I want a pair of braces!"
Lady BP did not give up easily and finally BP noted a newer car would be nice, since the old one was always breaking down (It broke down twice during the jamboree and had to be towed home).

In thanking the Scouts BP said "I don't know how to thank you for what you have done for me. I feel undeserving of the many gifts and honours showered upon me during the last few days and now you have capped it off with this wonderfully fine present, representing the gift of boys from every nation in every part of the world and I accept it with feeling of something in the way of gratitude more than I can express"
In closing he noted that the new car "will enable me to do more visiting Scouts than I have in the past and I am mighty grateful for it.

The presentation consisted of Rolls Royce and a Eccles Caravan as well as a cheque and a portrait by David Jagger. The Car got the nickname of Jam Roll because it was a Rolls Royce presented at the jamboree and the caravan was called Eccles. Eccles was the name of the caravan manufacturer, but an Eccles is also a type of fruit filled pastry. A joke going round the jamboree at the time referred to the Jam Roll towing an Eccles....cake

The Order of the Braces

The day after the presentation the Scouts of Ireland held a solemn ceremony in which he was presented with the "Order of The Braces". They erupted in laughter and applause as BP accepted the coveted new Braces, with same fanfare as he had accepted the car and caravan the previous day.

The Car

Jam Roll is a 20 horse power Rolls Royce, chassis number GVO-40, it was one of the last 20hp chassis to be made. The car was fitted with a custom made 'D' back limousine body that was made by Page and Hunt, it was one of only a few bodies made by the coach builders for Rolls Royce.

The order for Jam Roll was a rush order with the chassis card marked "Urgent 6/8 weeks" The order was placed on the 21 June 1929 and the completed chassis delivered to Page and Hunt on the 19 July. Further noted on the Chassis card state "if this car is not complete by the date of the jamboree R-R to loan car for one day for this occasion" The car was presented to BP on the 10th of August, 1929 only 50 days after R-R received the order.

A unique feature of Jam Roll is the radiator mascot rather than having the typical "Spirit of Ecstasy" (The Flying Lady) that takes pride of place on a Rolls Royce radiator, Jam Roll had a custom-designed mascot that incorporates the Scout arrowhead and Scout motto "Be Prepared"

Jam Roll was seen at many Scouting events from 1929 until the late 30's and was easily recognised because of it's unique mascot. It was also used by BP's for family trips and other outings.

Lady Baden Powell sold Jam Roll in 1945 and it passed through nine owners when Ben Grew brought the car in 1986 with 53,000 miles on the clock.

When BP emigrated in 1938 the caravan was donated to Gilwell Park, where it has been ever since. The caravan has recently been restored back to it's original condition.

Jam Roll and Eccles Cake appeared together in 2007 at Gilwell Park as part of the Centenary of Scouting.

I have had the great honor being able to communicate with the Honorable Michael Baden Powell, not because he is the grandson of our Founder of the Scouting Movement, but for what Michael has done in his own rite.
                                         The Jam Roll and Eccles Caravan Trailer

                  The only Rolls to have a Fleur De leis radiator cap
                  The Jam Roll and Eccles presentation in 1929
If you would like to donate to the Jam Roll or want more information on the Jam Roll; visit

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