TT 2015 marks the 104th year Scouts have been involved in the TT. Scouts are a familiar sight running the lap tear offs and the time boards, but that is only a small part of what they do to ensure the scoreboard’s smooth running.
A team of Scouts and Explorer Scouts work in the timing tower checking when riders pass locations around the island. They relay this information to the Scouts manning the clocks above the tear offs. There’s a crew behind the scenes that run the lap times from the painters to the Scouts in front of the scoreboards. Then there is the Scouts that operate the light box that control the light below the clocks, on when at Cronk ny Mona and off when at the grandstand. To ensure everything runs smoothly each race requires a minimum of 70 that is made up of older Cubs, Scouts and Explorer Scouts
They arrive an hour before the roads close each race day. They sit waiting through delays. They are back when races are rescheduled. They do it for the fun, friendship and to do their part for the running of the TT.
Sam Walmsley (17) from Douglas Explorers has been working at the scoreboard during the TT for 7 years, since he was 10. “It’s totally a unique experience.” Everyone that works at the scoreboards for the week get a special badge they can wear for the next year. “It’s great when others see the badge on my scarf and don’t know what it is.”
Mike Southall MBE has been organizing the Scouts on the scoreboards for the last 22 years. “There’s nothing like it in the world,” Mike explained. “It teaches the Scouts the importance of discipline and teamwork. Every year there is a group that are new, but it’s the more experienced members help teach them their job.”