Midlothian Local Studies holds a run of magazines produced by local Boy Scouts in the 1930s. The Glenrath Review was issued by the 19th Midlothian (Loanhead) Troop. The first issue appeared in 1932. Two hundred copies were produced and it cost sixpence. The paper for the magazine was donated by local paper manufacturers in Midlothian. It is a well produced magazine that provides a fascinating insight into the world of the Boy Scouts.
The Boy Scout movement began in 1908 and quickly swept the country catching the imagination of boys everywhere. It stressed informal education, standards of behaviour and practical outdoor activities, such as camping, woodcraft and sports. A Scout troop was formed in Loanhead before the First World War and flourished in the 1920s and 1930s. John Bayne, a local man, became Scoutmaster in 1927 and he did much to encourage the movement locally, including editorship of the magazine.
The Glenrath Review took its name from Glenrath farm near Peebles where the Loanhead Scouts often held a summer camp. The magazine has a huge variety of articles and features contributed by local Scouts. These included articles about travel and local history, short stories, cartoons, puzzles, jokes and poetry.
The ‘Camp Number’ for 1937 includes the following list of ‘Books to Read’:
The Bicycle by I.M. Tyred
Electricity by O. Switchoff
The K.O. Kid by Esaw Stars
The Cliff Tragedy by Illene Dover
The Rustlers by E. Pinch
The Broken Window by Eua Brick
Special issues of the magazine were produced for King George V’s Jubilee (1935), the Coronation of Edward VII (1937) and the Empire Exhibition in Glasgow (1938). This last included an essay competition for Scouts who had visited the Exhibition, first prize 2/6d.
The issue from late 1939, when the Second World War had started, is described as ‘the First Blackout Number’.
Earlier issues of the magazine contained some advertising, which seems to have been drawn by the boys themselves.
Writers were aware of what was happening in the wider world and how it impacted on them. The 1935 issue contained a poem called To Glenrath Review by ‘Snainy’ which included the following two verses:
Herr Hitler’s a dictator.
He’s kicked out every Jew,
Don’t call him ‘Bad Potater’,
Send him Glenrath Review.
But Baldwin is our leader,
We’ll stick to him like glue,
He’s our most constant reader,
He loves Glenrath Review.
The most important articles were reports of the annual camp, including lists of participants. The boys had lots of fun but it rained a lot.
Glenrath Review survived until the late 1960s.