The Dockland Scout Project
The Dockland Scout Project evolved from a distinguished Scouting past, on the Training ship "R.R.S. Discovery", moored on the Embankment near the Temple. This was Captain Scott's Antarctic expedition vessel, and was used by the Scouts between 1937 and 1979. When “Discovery” was handed over to the Maritime Trust and relocated to Dundee, the Dockland Scout Project was formed and began in part of a wooden pavilion and a derelict warehouse where the Canary Wharf estate currently stands. We had available only a small fleet of Home Counties gigs and coypu dinghies, which were bought from the previous operation on the river.
The Project started to run weekend courses and provide boating for London Scouts. In 1981 the Project acquired the ex-pilot cutter "Algol" now called “Lord Amory” which was renovated and refitted to provide a base for water activity weekends. With the help of the Port of London Authority, and latterly the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC), the Project have been able to set itself up as one of the best voluntary run water activities centres in the country.
In 1991 the DSP formally became a Scout District within Greater London Central Scout County. The Project continued to grow with the assistance of the Port of London Authority and in 1994 with the aid of the LDDC, the boathouse complex was opened by the then Chief Scout Garth Morris. In the late 1990's our landlords became British Waterways who have continued to support the Project fully and have ensured we remain one of the best voluntary run water activity centres in the country.In the late 1990's Greater London Central County closed and DSP became part of Greater London North County, though geographically within GLNE County.
Our activities extend to offshore sailing with the Discovery Sailing Project, who operate three yachts from a base at Universal Marine on the River Hamble just off the Solent.
- "Thermopolyae Clipper", a 60ft ex round the world yacht, and has accommodation for 12 trainees and 3 afterguard.
- "Discovery DSP" a purpose built 45ft Seastream 445 Cutter taking 9 trainees and 3 afterguard.
- "Alexander Fairey" a 34ft Holiday Sloop used mainly for training for afterguard, and able to sleep 6 onboard.
The Discovery Sailing Project offer trips for groups or individuals who wish to experience offshore sailing. Please click the link for details of the Discovery Sailing Project.
The DSP has an adult service team known as the "Crew” who are all members of the Scout Association. Our youth and future exists in the form of "Quartermasters" who are aged between 14 and 18. They come from all of the branches of Scouting, land, sea and air, as well as Guides, St John Ambulance, Sea Cadets, Air Cadets and Sea Rangers or from outside of Scouting, they are a specialist Explorer Scout Unit. Our Crew and Quartermasters have taken part in many National and International events which include, Tall Ships Races (all over Europe), Operation Deepscan at Loch Ness in 1987 and hosting the European Sea Scout Conference in 1994. We also took part in the 'VJ Day' celebrations on the River Thames in 1995 as well as the British Legion Poppy Day Appeal launches in 1994 and 1996 as well as more recently assisting in the Nelson flotilla celebrating the 200th anniversary of Trafalgar on the River Thames in 2005 and hosting the European Sea Scout armada to celebrate 100 years of scouting in 2007. In 2008 we were pleased to be used to launch the "Kids Outdoors" initiative. In 2009 the Project was chosen to be part of the launch of London YOU - Youth Organisation Uniform and we hosted the first part of the launch when HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall spent a few hours at the Project watching activities involving the nine groups within Project YOU.
The Project also hosted the re-launch of London You, when the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson came to visit DSP, arriving by RHIB to see the uniformed youth groups in action. DSP has also been involved with the Queens Diamond Jubillee Pageant in 2012.
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