Scamp Club was formed in 2010 and is named after the pet dog of its first President, Curtis Crowley. Initially a Classical Greek lunchtime club, increased appeal and membership caused the club to evolve into one of the School’s most esoteric weekly gatherings, rival to the Byron Society.
In the course of the past seven terms talks have been given on a variety of topics which have included the Spartan scytale, the first ever military cryptographic device, codes 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.
Perhaps the stand-out lecture was on Violette Szabo (her monument is beside the Thames on the south side of Lambeth Bridge), the World War II French-British secret agent. Few will forget Ibrahim Chughtai’s emotive reading of the famous poem associated with her, “The Life That I Have”.
On 23rd June, the 100th birthday of Alan Turing, we assembled a group at the Science Museum in London and launched ourselves on the tremendous Turing Exhibition inside. Turing is best known for cracking the Enigma messages during World War II, but equally he has made his mark in the development of artificial intelligence, computing and mathematical philosophy. Rather strangely, he was awful at chess. Yet a man who cycled to work wearing a gas mask and chained his mug to a radiator can be forgiven this fault.
In February 2012 an expedition was made to Dartmoor, a follow up to the previous year’s visit to Bletchley Park and the National Computer Museum. This Academic Study Weekend at Lovaton went “In Search of Sherlock Holmes”. Cultural, educational and literary angles were all covered as an Upper School Team, led by Philippa White, tackled the classic Conan Doyle tale of “The Hound of the Baskervilles”, written on, and about, Dartmoor in 1901. Three explorations of the moor took place, visiting key locations, none more evocative than “Merripit Cottage” on the edge of the “great Grimpen mire” where Chapter 14 of the novel was read by the assembled cast. Visits to the Princetown Prison Museum and four tors were undertaken. Holmes and Watson were celebrated in fine style with two presentations and three documentaries. Never were the words "Come, Watson, come! The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!" (The Adventure of Abbey Grange) more appropriate! This has been another great year for the “Dancing Men”.
Rose Blackman, President of Scamp Club 2012