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 History of Gang Shows

The following are combined excerpts from a sketch we performed in our 2007 centenary show giving a basic history of Scouting and Gang Show.


Ralph Reader CBE
  

“So let me get this right. This year – 2007 - is 100 years of Scouting, the 150th birthday of Baden Powell and 75 years of Gang Show?”

"Yes, did you know that since the first ‘Gang’ took a bow in 1932, somewhere in the world there is a Gang Show being produced every day of the year.

Its creator, Ralph Reader was for many years, a leading actor and producer in New York and London. He was also a member of the Holdorn Rover Scouts so when he was asked by Scout Headquarters to help raise money for a new campsite swimming pool, a show was the only way to go.

During rehearsals it was realised that the title of the show must be decided. After refreshments one evening, Ralph asked one lad if everyone was back ready to start again, and was told “Aye Skip - the Gang’s all here!”

The title had been found and the name stuck! Year after year the Gang’ Shows were sell-out successes.

Ralph started to write his own songs and sketches, many of which are still used today - most famously “We’re riding along on the crest of a wave...” This song became the Gang Show anthem and has been sung in every country of the world where Scouting exists. And seventy-five years on, cast members everywhere still proudly wear the red Gang Show scarf, worn only by those who have taken part in one of Ralph’s shows.”