Clubs & Societies

Scamp Club

The first ten years

The first ten Presidents:

Curtis Crowley, Rose Blackman, Hazel Webb, Ibrahim Chughtai, Joe Smith, Iona Todd, Tom Edwards, Ben Barr, Tom McCarthy and Lucy Giles.

Club Record: Tuesday 1 March 2016: 23 in attendance.

Current Membership of the Club (2019): 55.

The Early Years

Scamp Club was formed in 2010 and is named after the dog of its first President, Curtis Crowley. Initially a lunchtime Classical Greek Club, increased appeal and membership caused it to evolve into one of the School’s most esoteric weekly gatherings. Seen by many as the natural successor to the famous Lone Pine Club, immortalised in the novels of Malcolm Saville, and bearing strong Swallows and Amazons tendencies, the club revelled in its sense of adventure, the opportunities provided to budding lecturers who pursued their passions, and the wide range of topics presented. No week was the same. That first season included talks on the Spartan Scytale, odes in the plays of William Shakespeare, Kim Philby’s secret war, Sherlock Holmes and the tale of the Dancing Men, and a four-part lecture series on conspiracy theories. In July 2010 the Club undertook its first field trip to Bletchley Park.

Over the past ten years the staple of the club has been its Tuesday talks, enhanced by annual visits to the School’s Rural Studies Centre at Lovaton plus film trips which have included ‘The Imitation Game’ and ‘Spectre’. Bletchley Park has become very much our second home. Members have also spent a number of absorbing days at ‘Government Communications Headquarters’ which currently occupies the ‘doughnut’ site on the edge of Cheltenham.

We remember fondly Joe Smith for winning the Alan Turing Challenge for cracking the code in 12 exciting minutes. Alex Chapman did remarkably well too in identifying John Cairncross as the member of the Ring of Five who worked at Bletchley during the war.

2012 to 2013

From Curtis Crowley’s foundation in 2010, through the golden years of Rose Blackman’s inspired direction when the membership blossomed at 40, to our current head who has widened the range of our interests in an educationally broadening way. Hazel Webb weaved an exciting blend of lectures, visits and explorations during 2012 and 2013. Our trips this year took the form of a return to Bletchley Park and to the Science Museum in London. Special exhibitions on Alan Turing at both institutions inspired us to put together a small project on this mathematical genius and at Bletchley we were pleased to visit his office. The year was rounded off by Tom Edwards who gave a bravura performance in his lecture on aerodynamics. Much fun was had in designing the best flying object, identifiable or in some cases not!

2014 to 2017

Presidents Ibrahim Chughtai, Joe Smith, Iona Todd, Tom Edwards and Ben Barr not only increased membership of the club but also developed our profile at Open Evenings. Club membership came from all year groups and the move to the Dining Hall for clubs and societies on Open Evenings gave us the opportunity to expand and to be more daring. These years also saw our involvement in the CyberCenturion Challenge. Our greatest success was achieving the Bronze Medal in this national event in 2014.

2017 to 2018

Our annual venture to Dartmoor was prevented in 2018 by the heavy falls of snow which blanketed the UK in the early days of March. A splendid range of students yet again graced CL3 over the course of these years to present lectures on topics both pet and universal. September was the month of the Cyber Security Challenge as teams were formed and practices undertaken in preparation for the three rounds which took place during the winter months. Ethan Celinski, Blake Margason, Tom McCarthy and Natalie Thompson led our four teams admirably, with the Thompson team narrowly missing out on the finals in London.

Tom McCarthy guided the fortunes of Scamp Club with great style and energy. Not only did members readily come forward at Tom’s call to pass on their

passions in a series of glorious, illustrated lectures but a great many of them made their debuts before an audience at the same time. Attendance each Tuesday filled the classroom. We thank all who come to support and to present, often on more than one occasion, on a breadth of topics.

2019 to 2020

Tom McCarthy and Lucy Giles have taken us forward towards the next decade. Great Detectives, Unsolved Mysteries, Military Aviation, JK Rowling (a digniora winner from Max Bouras), The Crimes of Grindelwald, Fans, Flags and Fashion, plus Jamie McManus’s Aliens - to believe or not to believe, have been performed in CL3 this year. The club also teamed up with The Union on 11th December to explore the Mystery of the Empty Tomb, before a spring field trip to Bletchley.

Members of the Scamp Club