Our Amazing History
Our Scout group first opened on the 8th July 1932. The first Group Scout Master was a Mr C H Tysall. We don’t know too much about the early years, but we did meet in the Victory Hall (pictured) and later at Bentley Road Junior School. In the early 1960’s we managed to lease a field at the back of Westeria Close. The Parents’ Committee and the Scouts raised some money and built a wooden hut on the land. It opened in January 1964. We even had our own pond at the bottom of the field.
The Group then expanded rapidly with two new cub packs and two new scout troops opening within a year. By the late 1960’s a Venture Scout unit had been formed and they started running discos, open to the public, every Saturday night, much to the concern of the Parents’ Committee.
Each section ran an annual Camp as well of lots of weekend activities. Here is a photo of the Scouts leaving Westeria Close for a camp in Swanage in 1968 in a coach owned and driven by a local teacher. This was much better, and safer, than the furniture van used previously.
On the 23rd January 1972, the building was broken in to and a fire started. The building was badly damaged and most of the camping equipment was lost.
The group moved into various temporary locations around the village.
We asked the landowner if we could replace the building, but he said no. A big new housing development (Beechcroft estate) was on its way.
So, we looked for a new site. Solihull Council offered us a plot of land on the new estate and we set about making it a reality. In the meantime, we demolished the most badly damaged part of the hut, patched up the rest and moved back in. A massive fundraising effort was started.
In 1979 we moved into our new headquarters in Brownsover Close. It was far from finished, but we had run out of money. While contractors had built the shell of the building there was still lots to do.
Here’s a picture of the Venture Scouts laying the car park with some donated concrete. Do you recognise anyone?
In 1984 we opened our first Beaver Colony. The Group now offered Scouting to boys from the age of 6 right through to 21. And we’ve continued to grow; over the years we’ve become the largest Scout group in the Birmingham area and now have over 240 members. We’ve continued to extend our HQ, own two minibuses, generate solar energy from the PV panels on our roof and ensured the HQ is accessible to disabled members.
[Photo of PV panels]
But we’re not done yet, we’re already looking at ways we can continue to grow. Two new section nights are on the way and we’re looking to build a brand new kitchen area as well. We’ve had a great history, but the future looks even better!