For over 100 years the Vauxhall Motors Griffin has been a symbol of quality cars built in Luton.
Now, after top level negotiations with bosses at General Motors in America, a new Luton Scout District has been given permission to use the iconic trade mark on their uniforms and ceremonial flags.
District Commissioner Mark Webb said: “This is great news and a huge boost to our new district. We are honoured to be given this unique privilege.”
The district is called Falkes District after Sir Falkes de Breaute who was lord of the manor of Luton in the 13th century and later gave his house name, Falkes Hall, to the Vauxhall car company.
The company has a long history of support for Luton Scouts which stretches back over 100 years to the early days of car manufacture in the town and the start of the Scout Movement.
The story of the agreement started at last year’s district AGM when Mark Webb asked for ideas for the name of the new district formed from the merger of Someries and Lea Valley. Out of many choices, the name Falkes came out favourite with its close ties with Luton Manor and the association with Vauxhall Motors.
A competition for a badge design was won by eight year old Cub Scout Jack Sage of the 1st Someries Scout Group. He chose as a theme a medieval griffin based around the emblem Vauxhall Motors has used ever since they started in 1903. Cub Scout Leader Linda Clitheroe of the 2nd Someries provided the griffin image.
Cherie Denton, Community Relations Co-ordinator at Vauxhall, agreed to liaise with her colleagues at General Motors in America to obtain their permission for the trade mark to be used by the Scouts. She said: “General Motors management and Vauxhall Motors are proud to be associated with the town’s Scout Movement which has been a centre for youth-based outdoor activity for over a century. Our motor company and the Scouts practically grew up together.”
At the Falkes District AGM at the end of July Mrs Denton and husband Barry presented awards to Cub Scout Jack.
She said to him: “You and your friends are welcome to visit Griffin House to see our range of vintage cars and take part in some of the training and activity projects we have.”
Jack explained: “The idea just came to me. I found an old drawing of a Griffin and used it to make the badge look really fierce.”
Cherie and Barry were Cub Leader and Scout Leader with the 2nd Someries Scout Group 20 years ago while their son was growing up.
They now live in Harlington and provide volunteer support for the Scout Group in the village.
> To find out more about Scouting in Luton or to join the adventure near you, visit www.lutonscouts.org.uk or facebook: lutonscouts, email email@example.com or telephone 0844 414 5687.