1910 Founding and early yearsIf anyone put the Boy Scout Movement fairly and squarely on the map of Charlton Kings, it was Mr. F.J. FRY, at that time headmaster of the Council School. He never took rank in the movement, he was seldom seen on parade with the troop, but his presence was always felt. He was the Secretary, the impetus, the drive and power that started things and kept them going. As soon as the movement was founded, in l9lO, he saw immediately the value its influence could be to the insular, growing, English boy, and he spared no energy to get it started here in the village. That in my opinion was the true conception of the 7th CHELTENHAM TROOP, BOY SCOUTS. And if the Boss placed the movement on the map of the village, surely it was Mr. E.J.FEAR who nailed it home; nailed it so soundly that even now, some seventy years afterwards it is still going as strong as ever it did. Of course their work was not always simultaneous, indeed, Mr. Fear did not join the troop till 1914. In the early days when the Secretary was getting the basis of the troop in order, Mr FEAR was…1910 The Scout groupThe first Committee meeting in Charlton was held at the Council Schools on 15 February 1910, with Capt. Macbean, Major Dudgeon, Major Russell, Capt. Hibberd, Mr. H.J. Pratt and Mr. F.J. Fry present. They agreed to ask Mrs Griffiths to serve with them. The economic state of Charlton in 1910 appears in a resolution about uniform. “It was decided to get caps and shorts for those who could not afford to get them at once and the boys were to pay so much per week till they had paid for them”; but this resolution was modified at the next meeting when “it was decided that clothing be provided only when the patrol is full and not in instalments”. So the Committee members agreed to defray the expenses of special badges. Co-operation with Holy Apostles was a delicate problem. In April 1910 Mrs Griffiths “mentioned that the Holy Apostles School Master had approached Captain Hibberd as to acting as Scoutmaster to a patrol at their Schools, but it was the opinion of all that it would be inadvisable to form a distinct Corps which might prevent the two Schools working together harmoniously”. Then in May “it was proposed by Mr Pratt…1913 – 1918 A Charlton ScoutMy parents purchased a house in Cirencester Road in 1903, where we lived until 1924. I attended the Infants School in 1906 and thence to the Boys until 1912. (I have studied the photograph on page 64 in Bulletin No 5 and I am almost certain that the lady on the left of the picture was Mrs. Roberts the headmistress). I remember Mr. Ryland, my teacher for a time in the Boys School and our Scout master, asking me to don my Scout uniform and bring my drum, as he wished to do a water colour. This was subsequently framed and hung on the wall of the Scout HQ. I wonder if it is still there – a round shouldered little scout complete with his drum! My scouting activities covered the period 1913 until 1918 and I attended the annual camps as follows: Portishead 1913; Winchcombe 1914; Twyning 1915; Bredon 1916; Chedworth 1917; Coberley 1918 I am not quite certain of the exact sequence but I think the above is fairly accurate. These events were all enjoyed and uneventful. I apologise if I chronicle the minutest trivialities but they still stand out in my mind. The first three camps were…1926 – February group newsTROOP NEWS. By Troop Leader A. G. WIDDOWS. OPENING OF HEADQUARTERS AND PRESENTATION TO MR. THORNE. On Tuesday December 15th., the Scout Headquarters were officially re-opened, after alteration and redecoration. General Burton took the Chair. He, and several other speakers remarked ‘ upon the vast improvement in the Hall and said that now it was possible for us to show it to our friends with pride. General Burton presented the Scouts, on behalf of Lady Dixon Hartland, with a shield to be awarded annually to the patrol which wins the greatest number of times in the year, the inter-patrol competition which is held every two months. He also presented them with a fine Union Jack of large dimensions, this being another Gift from Lady Dixon Hartland. The Scoutmaster then announced that he had a very pleasant duty to perform in giving Mr. Thorne, our old Scoutmaster a bronze statuette of a Scout, as an outward and visible sign of our appreciation of, and gratitude for his good work. Mr. Thorns was also presented with a Thanks Badge which is worn as a pendant on royal blue ribbon, and with a book containing the names of all the members of the…1927 Scout Camp at BourtonSCOUT CAMP AT BOURTON 1927 Top Row – from left ?, Mrs Weaver, Mrs Morris, ?, Mrs Fry, ?, Mrs Brookes, Mrs Eakets, Mr Eakets, ?, Second Row – from left Cecil Hopton, ?, ?, E Fear, ?, Mr and Mrs Marshall, ?, A Marshall, Marshall’s Sister, Rev Neale, ?, Mrs Homer, Mrs Neather (Kits grandmother), “Sausage” Martin (scout), Mr Fry, Mrs Peacey, Mr Peacey, Third Row – from left Mrs V Cooper, ?, Mrs Protherough with Phyllis, ?, Mrs Fear, Mrs Cooper, Mrs Paine, ?, Mrs James, Mrs Hopton, Mrs Neather and Hazel, ?, ?, Bottom Row – from left Colin ? (Copt Elm Rd), Ken Protherough, Vera Protherough, Pat Brookes, Dorothy Eaketts, Joan Bond, Molly Protherough, K.Paine (self), Leslie Paine, M Paine, Annie Weaver, Betty Weaver, Bob Weaver, G Cox, Photograph lent by Mrs Sheppard Extract from Charlton Kings Local History Society Spring 1995 Volume 33 page 171951 JerseyThe following are pictures of the 1951 trip to Les Quennevais, Jersey. The picture below was taken on the beach below Mont Orgueil Castle at Gorey, St. Martin on the East coast of Jersey. Mont Orgueil Castle at Gorey, St. Martin1952 Parade1952 District Sports Day1953 Quenington TripSetting off on a cycle trip to Quenington near Bibury1960 St Georges DaySt Georges Day Parade in Cheltenham.1960 Easter Camp Saudersfoot and Caerfai BayRichard Carter, Ford, Alan Lawrence, Nigel Chivers, Chris Parkes The Cause…..1960 Summer Camp Capel Dewi CamarthenThe Summer camp was spent in Capel Dewi, Camarthen, Wales. Dai Jones tractor1961 ChedworthSenior Scouts Go-Karting at Chedworth.1961 GeneralSecond Class journey The Pollywog Walsh The night we duffed the Northleach Troop1962 Chris Parkes Queens Scout Award1962 Whitsun – Cranham1963 Devils Chapel – PotholingPotholing at the Devils Chapel, Forest of Dean, October 19631987 Beaver Guide DogGuide Dog Beaver June 1987 – Raised £250 in 10 months for 2 puppies called Beaver and Otto.1991 Beaver FootballBeaver Football – Beavers won against the parents. March 1991.Charlton Kings Scouts during two World WarsAs far as I can remember, I must have joined the troop in the autumn of 1914. We met in the boys school in School Road. The Scoutmaster had joined up so we were taken on by Mr. Percy Crowther who lived at Woodmeade in School Road; he was a teacher at the Parish Church School in Cheltenham and Scoutmaster of the Parish Troop. Soon after, Mr. J.J. Thorne took over as Scoutmaster and we rented the East End Hall and met there on Tuesday nights. It was lighted by gas lights that went bright and dim most of the time, and heated by a tortoise stove that smoked us out when the wind was in a certain direction. Apart from ordinary scouting Mrs. Fry took us in first aid and Mr. Cathrine, who was electrician at Mr. Lords at Lillybrook and a member of the Red Cross, took us in stretcher drill. We used to make a barricade of tables and chairs across the middle of the hall and practice getting a stretcher with a patient in it over the barricade. We also had rifle shooting at the range in the Working Mens Club, and while waiting our turn…Coln St AldwynsI am not here to sell you the Coln country, and for two reasons. Firstly, it has already been done by more competent people than I, and secondly, had it not, it would be capable of selling itself – a most beautiful trout stream meandering through the COTSWOLDS on its way to the North Sea. When the scout-master, Mr. E.J. FEAR, rang me up in July 193 , and asked me if I could help with a camp at Coln St. Aldwyns, I said I’d be delighted. His business then was in its early stages and a bit demanding, and as a young family man, I had not got a lot of spare money to spend on expensive holidays. I was then living in the PAINSWICK ROAD area of Cheltenham and not so readily in touch with the 7th, but one Sunday morning the S.M. picked me up in his car and whirled me off to do a RECE in Coln St Aldwyns. It was a nice run-up and the spot that the S.M, had got permission to use was excellent. It was flat, it was dry, there was shade if needed. Water and fuel were handy, and the spot…East End HallIn 1855, the Horsefair Street school committee considered the desirability of starting a night school in the parish. Soon afterwards such a school was started, using the Horsefair Street building. It taught the basics: reading, writing and arithmetic to boys who had missed out on day schooling, and as ‘Mr Higgs’ school’ it too qualified for a grant. Thirty boys were presented for examination in 1871; 25 passed in reading and writing, 23 in arithmetic. About 1870, Charles Cooke Higgs built a separate schoolroom and master’s house for this school on his own land at East End, though the schools continued to be associated for grant purposes until 1874 and the day school master, Mr Folley, taught in the night school and was paid £20 per half year for doing so. Difficulties arose because Higgs still treated the night school as his own and received the grant himself. His formal Deed of Trust was not signed till 13 November 1880. The night school was open between the hours of seven and nine each day except Saturday and Sunday; boys under 16 paid 3d a week and those over 16 paid 6d, but punctual and regular attendance earned a bonus of…Scouting DaysI became patrol leader of the Lion Patrol. Mr George Ryland, a great personality as sportsman and artist, tutored Sydney Burrows and myself to box for the Troop. Sid was our heavy-weight. A temporary ring was set up in our Scout Hall, with Mr Jim Thorn school master and wife, School master Mr Fry and wife, the Vicar and others, taking an interest. Sid was matched against Bert Dyer (later to become Champion of Warwickshire). I was matched against a Bill Taylor (no relation), he was sparring partner to Bert Dyer. Unfortunately Sid had a proper hiding. Banty beat Bill Taylor, who complained that I was fighting, not boxing! Mr Thorn said “We never thought you had it in you, Banty”. Having had another win, we went to the Drill Hall in Grosvenor Street to challenge the Highbury Troop. My opposite number never turned up. Being disappointed, I asked Mr Ryland to let me have a go at their heavy-weight, a scout from the news-agent’s at the bottom of Grosvenor Street named Iles. Mr Ryland said “He will kill you, Banty”. Head and shoulders taller than me, he taught me my lesson and gave me a thrashing! Scouts, pushing my…Scout Hut AquisitionThe Charlton Kings (7th Cheltenham) Boy Scouts rented the East End Hall as a Head-quarters and meeting hall. I was President of the Troop when they approached the Council with a view to buying it. The Chairman, Mr. Fred Harris, I thought, dealt very fairly with the application. I told the Council that it was the only Youth organisation in the village that had existed so long. Well, the matter came up and as the discussion started, the Chairman spoke across the table and said, “You are the President of the Troop, I believe”. On replying that I was, he said “Then I must ask you to leave the table. You must declare an interest and take no part in the discussion”. That was rather an amusing surprise for me. Never before or since have I known anyone at a Council Meeting asked to “declare an interest” and retire from the debate. Extract from Charlton Kings Local History Society Autumn 1988 Volume 20 ‘The Urban District Council’ page 3 Author: George RylandThe AcolytePioneering in the scout movement never sounded a very romantic branch of the game, but it always made an appeal to me. The pioneer really comes into his own when the troops are operating away from base. He must choose, lay-out, maintain, and eventually clear-up any camp-site. This in no way diminished the responsibility of any troop member for camp cleanliness, but it did eventually pin responsibility down to one body, which is always an advantage where discipline must be maintained. The pioneers’ duties are by no means simple. Take the siting of a camp. One could try standing on a slope of the COTSWOLDS and saying “That’s a nice view — I think we’ll choose this”. A good site needs more than a view. After installation, someone would soon enquire “Why do we have to go so far for wood?” or “Couldn’t we have got nearer to water?” No, there are many small matters to consider and decide; but although it did not lack its practical day-to-day content, the job always had a certain amount of romance for me. Anyway, they gave me plenty of pioneer work to do in the 7th, maybe because, being a teacher, I had…The End of a TrailWhen we started this vignette series of the history of the 7th Cheltenham B.P. Scouts, we hoped that we might succeed in bringing out something of the character of the troop as well as some of its history. This could perhaps, in part, explain why we have had a Youth organisation in the village which has gone from strength to strength for some 70 years, while so many other groups have fallen by the wayside. I trust that to some extent we have done so, and I say that now, because this may be the last of the collection that I shall write. No, the copy hasn’t run out – far from it. But enough is enough, and the first commandment of the religion of this generation is “thou shalt not bore”. He who bores is damned, let us not court our own destruction. I was going to talk of tracking. Tracking is a wonderful asset. As one walks through the country, one is never alone. There, all round one, nature has opened a wonderful book which one can learn to read. I was a very keen tracker myself and the 7th had several of whom BENJI’s younger brother was…Centenary Project and on The Scout Group was formed in 1910 and has operated continuously until the present day. Please use the links to the left to see a selection of articles and photographs from our archives which illustrate the history of Group.