Pop Bolton

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The Pop Bolton 'Look Wide' Trophy is a Rovering competition held in Gauteng region ( and formerly in the Transvaal province), traditionally held in the form of an 'incident hike' (on foot, or using cars and other forms of transport) on the Saturday night nearest to the winter solstice.

The competition is organised by a Rover Crew, normally the crew who won the previous year's competition, and trophies are awarded for overall winner (a landscape oil painting of a Highveld scene painted by 'Pop' Bolton) and, since 1997, a Spirit trophy.


Year Event badge Theme Host Crew Further information
June 2025 ? Knights and Dames of Camelot FLSS Vikings Instagram page

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Past events

Year Event badge Theme Host Crew Winning team Spirit Trophy Winner Further information
1949 ? ? ? 2nd Crown Mines - ?
1950 ? ? ? 1st Belgravia Kensington - ?
1951 ? ? ? 1st Crown Mines - ?
1952 ? ? ? 1st Belgravia Kensington - ?
1953 ? ? ? 1st Belgravia Kensington - ?
1954 ? ? ? Rosebank - ?
1955 ? ? ? 3rd Kensington Rover Crew - ?
1956 ? ? ? 1st Belgravia Kensington - ?
1957 ? ? ? 3rd Kensington Rover Crew - Log book pages from the hike:

Log from 1957 hike Sketch map

1958 ? ? ? 1st Sydenham-Sandringham - On the night of June 21st, 1958, 16 Rover Crews met at Rosherville Power Station, and were handed sealed envelopes and instructed to "complete that". "That" turned out to be a jig-saw puzzle. After sorting it out, the 16 Crews set off on a compass bearing, with a packet of Plaster-of-Paris and orders to make a map.

Further instructions were received at the first check point in the form of Morse dots and dashes, to reach the next point with a woggle made from natural material.

Check point 3 was on a river bank, where the Rovers were confronted with a few spars and some rope, and were given 15 minutes to make a bridge and cross the river. At other check points they got involved in shenanigans such as being handed an egg, needle, cotton and a button with orders to sew the button on to the egg!

A busy night was had by all, and if you've ever tried to map a route by night in the face of all manner of obstacles devised by Machiavellian organisers, you'll that this sort of thing isn't easy – but it's great fun.

Ack: Veld Lore No 4 May to July 1959

1959 ? ? ? 1st Parkview - ?
1960 ? ? ? 8th Pretoria St Albans - ?
1961 ? ? ? Bert Rawlings (Boksburg) Rover Crew - ?
1962 ? ? ? 1st Belgravia Kensington -

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1963 ? ? ? 3rd Kensington Rover Crew - ?
1964 ? Cowhands 3rd Kensington Rover Crew 1st Rosebank - The 30 teams of Rovers that took part, became cowhands who then had to follow a route left by their cook. He had been attached by some escaped prisoners, and created some ingenious clues for the Rovers to follow. The first clue was placed inside a potato, cooked in mud!
1965 ? ? ? 3rd Kensington Rover Crew - ?
1966 ? ? ? Border Rover Crew - ?
1967 ? ? Border Rover Crew 23rd Pretoria (Lyttelton) - An article from the Star newspaper discussing the 1967 event:
1968 ? ? ? 1st Southern Districts Rover Crew - ?
1969 ? ? ? 1st Discovery Rover Crew - ?
1970 ? ? ? 1st Rosebank - ?
1971 ? ? ? 1st Belgravia Kensington - ?

? 1st Belgravia Kensington 1st Rosebank - ?
1973 ? ? ? 1st Edenvale - ?
1974 Drug smuggling ? 4th Benoni Vagabonds - This year the famous annual all-night hike over tough country took a different form. Instead, the event had as its theme the detection of an imaginary Drug smuggling racket in and around Johannesburg. Intensely realistic situations were planned by Dick Oates and his organising team.

32 teams, each of 4 Rover Scouts, took part. They came from many places in and around the Golden City and Pretoria. Dramatic situations of many kinds were set up to test Rover skills in detection, disguise, and stealthy movement in densely packed areas as well as in total darkness.

The event started from three different Police Stations in the Johannesburg area, where the teams were handed the first clues leading to the eventual arrest of "Mr Big" and his notorious "SAMafia" gang, Fingerprints, fake passports, and many other thriller ingredients were all in the programme.

From Jan Smuts Airport to the Carlton Centre and many other places, the night-long drama unfolded. Visits to gambling joints, pistol shooting (at cut-out targets), the evasion of Security Police disguised as Rovers, and interrogation by the Security Chief formed part of the excitement which raged until dawn, with Rovers in hippie and various other disguises. HQ kept in touch with the wide-ranging events with walkie-talkies. It was quite a night, and also included a midnight supper, disco, go-go girls, and dancing.

1975 ? ? ? 1st SDRC Vipers - ?
1976 ? ? ? 1st Rosebank - ?
1977 ? ? ? 1st Germiston - ?
1978 - 1st Germiston Rover Crew 1st Rosebank - ?
1979 ? ? ? 1st Belgravia Kensington - ?
1980 - ? Bedfordview Rover Crew - ?
1981 ? ? 1st Belgravia Kensington - ?
1982 ? ? ? 1st Wychwood - ?
1983 ? ? ? 1st Dinwiddie - ?
1984 ? ? ? 1st Germiston - ?
1985 Rover Agency of Special Intelligence 1st Germiston Rover Crew 1st Hellenic Rover Crew - ?
1986 ? ? ? 1st Boksburg - ?
1987 ? ? ? 1st Belgravia Kensington - ?
1988 ? Sherlock Holmes ? 1st Germiston - ?
1989 ? ? ? 1st Greenside Rover Crew - ?
1990 ? ? ? South Downs Rover Crew - ?
1991 The Beetles South Downs Rover Crew 1st Randhart Rover Crew - The teams were led on a city-to-city tour around "England". Each "city" presented a different challenge, from soccer on stilts to cryptic clues to bombing from an aerial runway. It all ended up at a pub in Liverpool (Alberton Scout Hall), where the weary travellers were served fish and chips, after "A Hard Day's Night".
1992 ? ? ? 1st Edenvale - ?
1993 ? ? ? 1st Greenside Rover Crew - ?
1994 ? ? ? Phoenix Rover Crew - ?
1995 ? ? ? 1st St Francis - ?
1996 Asterix 1st St Francis 2nd St Andrews - ?
1997 Treasure Island 2nd St Andrews 1st Blairgowrie Rover Crew North Western District ?
1998 The Hobbit North Western District 1st Lambton Rover Crew 2nd St Andrews Rover Crew ?
1999 ? ? 2nd St Andrews 2nd St Andrews Rover Crew ?
2000 ? ? ? 1st Lambton Rover Crew Phoenix Rover Crew ?
2001 ? ? 2nd St Andrews North Western District ?
2002 The Mafikeng Siege ? 1st Randhart Rover Crew ? ?
2003 007 1st Edenvale Rover Crew Boksburg Rover Crew ? ?
2004 'Survivor' Boksburg Rover Crew 1st Randhart Rover Crew ? ?
2005 E=MC2 1st Randhart Rover Crew 1st Randhart Rover Crew ? ?
2006 The Amazing Race 1st Randhart Rover Crew ? ? ?
2007 Battle of the Ages Springs Central Air Rovers ? ? Started and ended at Apex Military Base and included a section hiking on foot.
2008 Herbie Phoenix Rover Crew ? ? Included driving segment and 12km night hike.
2009 Hunt for the Stig 1st Bedfordview Rover Crew Boksburg Rover Crew ? Crews travelled from Johannesburg to Durban, camping at BP Camp
2010 ? Japanese Game Shows Boksburg Rover Crew Phoenix Rover Crew Phoenix Rover Crew
2011 No Badge The Silver Ship 1st Brackenhurst Rover Crew Puddle Pirates Rover Crew ? Alternate Reality Game (ARG) based on solving the mystery of a missing scientist.
2012 The Simpsons North West District Rover Crew 1st Bedfordview Rover Crew ? A 'scavenger hunt' type event where teams scored points for visiting different locations across the province
2013 You're in the East Rand Baby Phoenix Rover Crew Springs Central Air Rover Crew Springs Central Air Rover Crew Included a visiting patrol from Sigma Rover Crew in KwaZulu-Natal. Activities included:

• Sandboarding at the mine dumps • Abseiling off a one-ton crane • Bowls against professional visually impaired bowlers at the Northmead Bowls club • Pioneered structure outside the Bunny Park • Paintball at Arrowe Park • Comair 737 simulator landing • Scavenger hunt in East Rand Mall • Rowing on Homestead Lake • Putt putt • Forklifts driving at Avis • Painting at a Kids Haven house (link to the Messengers of Peace project page)

2014 Crossing the Border Springs Central Air Rovers Puddle Pirates (1st Benoni Rover Crew) ? ?
2015 Far Cry Puddle Pirates (1st Benoni Rover Crew) 1st Horison Rover Crew Greenside Rover Crew weekend event held on a farm in the Magaliesberg
2016 Conspiracy 1st Horison Rover Crew Puddle Pirates (1st Benoni Rover Crew) Table Bay Rover Crew Table Bay Rover Crew from the Western Cape entered two teams.
2017 Don't Drink and Drive... 1st Greenside Rover Crew North Western District Rover Crew Odyssey Rover Crew

A guest team from the Western Cape made of of 1st Durbanville, 1st Stellenbosch and Two Oceans District took part.

Full results:

2018 Pop Bolton goes to Pretoria Prometheus Rover Crew Enigma Rover Crew Phoenix Rover Crew Held in and around Pretoria. Included a series of bases and STAs including donating blood
2019 Zombie Outbreak Enigma Rover Crew North Western District Rover Crew 3rd Kensington Nautilus Rover Crew Included an app written by members of the Rover Crew which was used to issue and receive STAs, and provide live scoring
2020 '20 in 20' Gauteng Regional Rover Support Team North Western District Rover Crew Not Awarded 'Not Bolton' virtual event run on Discord as a replacement for the Pop Bolton event cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. 10 teams participated.
2021 'Level Up' North Western District Rover Crew 3rd Kensington Nautilus Phoenix Rover Crew 3 sets of base rotations, starting in Johannesburg and ending near Hartebeespoort, including transport via Gautrain, Bolt, Bicycle, Car and on foot.

'Carnival' 3rd Kensington Nautilus Aurora Rover Crew Eland District Rover Crew Detailed results:

2023 'Rock n Rovers' Eland District Rover Crew Phoenix Rover Crew Phoenix Rover Crew

'Hunger Games' Gauteng Regional Team 1st Horison / Terra 1st Horison / Terra 2 Day event starting in Midrand, splitting teams into two rotations of bases in Irene and Benoni on Saturday, then moving to Camp Delta for the second day, including a section hiking along the Braamfontein Spruit, and driving to bases from Randpark Ridge in the north to Ponte in the South