Our Group’s origin lies in the foundation of the Scout Troop on 18 July 1916 – its first leader was William Clee, who had previously been a Scout leader in Canada. The Troop was formally registered with Scout Headquarters on 14 March 1917 and wore a blue uniform. (Although khaki was more commonly used by Scouts of the time, blue was chosen in deference to some anti World War sentiment of the time). In September 1920, we added a Cub Pack to accommodate 8 – 11 year old members.
During the 1930s, we had sufficient leaders and youngsters to add a second Troop. The two were known as ’14th A’ and ’14thB’ (this following protests, when the new one was registered as ’21st Walthamstow’ in error!) Similarly, for much of the 1950s we had two Cub Packs, known as the ‘Warwick Pack’ and the ‘Douglas Pack’ – the latter named after one of our former Cub Leaders (Mary Douglas).
When Scout Headquarters introduced Beavers (ages 6 to 8) on an experimental basis, our Group added its Colony, in 1984. (nb although the Beaver Section nationally dates its anniversaries from a reorganisation in 1986, ours is one of a relatively few which have an earlier official existence).
Back in 1916 our Troop had its H.Q. at the Weslyan Methodist Church Hall, which stood in Church Hill (buildings destroyed by bombing in 1944). By 1920 we had relocated to the then Wood Street Union Church Hall in Vallentin Road. This too was only briefly our home as, in 1924, we moved again, this time to St. Mark’s old hall, 197 Shernhall Street (this stood roughly opposite the Lord Raglan Public House).
Already we were planning for a permanent home of our own and so, also in 1924, we established a Trust and began fund raising. Thus, after only 16 years in being, we opened our Group H.Q. in Wood Street in December 1932, though a mortgage remained in place for several further years. In 1977, we extended the premises to include the garage/ workshop – with the help of fundraising, grants and loans from some of the Scout leaders. In addition to general maintenance, a major refurbishment of our HQ was commenced in 2015 and is an on-going project.
The Group’s scarf (neckerchief) design is unique, we believe, and has been worn by all members for over 100 years. The Group badge was instituted in 1977, to mark our 60th Anniversary.
We have been an active part of Walthamstow community life, working with young people, for over a century. This has been achieved entirely by the voluntary efforts (both past and present) of our Leaders and section membership. Provided volunteers continue to offer their services, our future too will be bright.
Bob Howard 20/06/2018
Our scout hall was built in the early 1900’s when the group was founded and since then has had a major overhaul and renovation. ( see below for more info ). Are you planning a party? Or maybe a youth group looking for a space? Then great news! Our hall is for hire. A large local space suitable for children’s parties and other functions.
The Hall Renovations
The Scout hall was built in the 1932 by the members, it is a steel frame with single brick infill construction, wooden pitch and slate tiled roof and Parquet floor.
The hall was in need of some refurbishment and we have started a major improvement plan to improve the Scout hall facilities.
Phase one – We installed recycled kitchen cabinets, electric cooker and then added hot water. This was partly funded from the Selex 60th Anniversary Open Day in 2014 were we assisted with the parking for the event. We supplied 16 people including Cubs and Scouts and was allowed to have a bucket collection which raised £260.
Phase two is a complete upgrade of the heating system, replacing old electric heaters with a new Central heating system. After months of trying to obtain quotations we found a Gas Engineer which was happy for us to do some of the work to reduce the cost. The original quotation ranged from £4.5K to £8K for heating system alone. We found a supplier who quoted us £2.5k for Vaillant Eco Tec boiler and installation, whilst allowing us to supply and fit new radiators for the hall, end room and kitchen. This allows us to build the walls out to suit radiators and to insulate the walls with (100mm and 200mm thick loft insulation). We have also insulated the roof space with 40 sheets Kingspan Insulation Boards 120mm thick. The estimated cost for this phase was £5K which we have borrowed from the trustees.
The Central heating system was installed on 18th December and we have been working hard to complete the insulation and repainting of the hall, we have completed the hall walls and the roof space and are currently working on panting windows.
Fund raising activities have included a raffle in September, Quiz night in October, Sponsored walk in February, Race night in February, BBQ for the Wood Street First summer event, some donation, we have also has extra hall hire.
We has raised £5,000 to date and hoping to get to £6,000 by end of year. The works to date we has spent £6,500
Planned events for this year are Quiz in October and a Christmas party and Raffle.
Phase three has started with the levelling of the area at the rear of the hall to allow an outdoors cooking /BBQ area. We are hoping to add some cycle racking for all scout hall users. Over the summer brake we have refurbish the Den and completed the internet and Wi-Fi installation, we still need to painting of window frames and replace the guttering around the hall. We need to refurbish the workshop area so we can use this area during the normal meeting for training and handily craft, due to the increased membership.
Phase four will be it investigate the possibility to replace some are all the windows, unlike the above work which was predominantly labour cost saving this phase has a high material cost estimated £6K to £12K, therefore we need to work with the window supplier and obtain some external funding.
The improvements we have made so far have allowed us to start hiring the hall out to the community “Beans on Balconies” a group that makes planters for vegetables and plants, another community group is a kid kitchen. We have also seen an increased scouting membership since the hall improvements have begun, we know have approximately 70 youth members in the 3 sections