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Crich Scouts

The scout group in Crich was formed in 1924 by Captain Barker, a manager at the Cliff Quarry in Crich which then belonged to the Clay Cross Company. The early meetings were held in Captain Barker�s sitting room but as the membership increased part of the joiners shop in the quarry was adapted as a Scout Hut. Subsequently the meetings were held in the clubrooms at the Black Swan and the �Bottom� school before transferring to the Scout Hut in 1965.

Photo of Captain Barker leading a parade, click for larger image

This photograph was taken in the early years of the group and shows Captain Barker leading the parade.

All groups formed prior to the death of Lord Baden Powell were registered as Baden Powell groups and so the Crich Group is the 1st Crich BP Scout Group. It is also the oldest group in the Matlock district and this is reflected in the title �1st Crich (1st Matlock)�.

Cub Scouting - Early years

Cub scouting was started in 1929/30 by Miss Mary Hammond who lived on Bown�s Hill at �The Mount�. In the first decade of the pack�s life there were a total of seven assistant cub leaders to Miss Hammond, all of whom held the Wood Badge and were hence fully qualified leaders; Bill White, Walter Holtam known as Charlie or Chuck, Irene Curzon, Billy Heappey, Miss Pallister, John Wilkins and Sonny Porter. The group held the record for the highest number of leaders holding the Wood Badge in the country. The cubs took holidays in Nissen huts at Skegness and were transported there by Gervase Taylor in his bus. The last of these camps was held in 1938. Miss Hammond was awarded the Silver Wolf, the highest award for services to Scouting, and left Crich in 1949 to live in Lytham St. Annes.

Scoutmaster- Reg Page

Another dedicated leader, Reg Page joined the group in 1930 and became the third Scoutmaster of the group. He followed Mr Milne of Robin Hood. Reg was appointed Scoutmaster in 1931 and Group Scoutmaster in 1947. Although he was appointed as Matlock District Scoutmaster and subsequently Assistant District Commissioner in 1954, he worked tirelessly for the group until his death in January 1968. His wife Olive gave him immense support and she was also secretary of the group for many years. Reg was awarded the Medal of Merit in recognition of his outstanding service. It was through Reg�s enthusiasm and vision that the group bought the scout hut (new) on Jeffries Lane.

Scout hut- Jeffries Lane

Vic Hallam of Langley Mill supplied the hut and Hunts of Ripley built the base. The chairman of the group during the intense period of fund raising was Geoff Dawes and money was raised by activities such as jumble sales, collection of waste paper and silver paper, whist drives, dances, fetes and sales of handicrafts. Jack Longland (Director of Education and ex resident of the village) officially opened the hut on 17th June 1967. The flag pole, stage and progress board were memorials to Reg. These were all dedicated on 11th January 1969 in a service conducted at the hut by Rev GK Bathie (Vicar of Crich), Rev G Lacey (Vicar of Holloway and Scout Chaplain Matlock District) and Rev JB Reynolds (Cub Scout Leader, Alderwasley).

DID YOU KNOW? The motto Be Prepared derives from Baden-Powell�s initials

Cub Leader - Barbara Haslam

The longest serving leader in the group was Barbara Haslam who started as a Cub Leader in 1949 and continued until January 1996. Initially, Barbara was slightly under age for a cub leader but Miss Hammond overcame this by obtaining the necessary dispensation for her.

Scouting Awards

Training within the scout movement is achieved in stages and the wide range of proficiency badges are designed to provide public service training and develop skills and hobbies which provide pleasant leisure time pursuits. The highest award that a scout can attain is the King�s or Queen�s Scout badge when the scout will have demonstrated practically that he is proficient in a wide range of activities � swimming, rendering first aid and dealing with accidents and emergencies, camping, cooking, pioneering and has a good knowledge of birds and trees. All Queen�s Scouts are invited to attend the St. George�s Day parade and service in St. George�s Chapel at Windsor Castle after receiving their award. The group has had a significant number of scouts who have achieved the King�s/Queen�s Scout badge and the first scout in the group to become a King�s Scout was Laurence, (Sonny) Flinders. Nick. Dawes was the first Crich scout to join the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, receiving the Silver award in 1965.

DID YOU KNOW? There are over 70 different proficiency badges?

Scout Jamborees

Jamborees are held to enable scouts from different parts of the world to have the opportunity of meeting and getting to know each other. This is achieved by scouts from an area of one country camping with neighbours from another country and thus experiencing at first hand how to live in harmony with boys of different creeds, colours and tongues. 1st Crich has been proud to have its members representing the county at international events. Sonny Flinders attended the International Jamboree at France in 1947. To commemorate the Jubilee of scouting in 1957 Stan Smith attended the International Jamboree held at Sutton Coldfield. Gareth Butler represented the county in a Scout Exchange programme and visited Michigan, America in 1962.

DID YOU KNOW? Each day 100,000 people take part in Scouting events?

Scout Camps

Traditionally, the annual scout camps were held near the coast to give all the boys the opportunity to visit a seaside resort and explore places well away from home. After WW2 more families were able to take holidays at the seaside and the scout camps were then held over a broader area including Wales, Scotland, the Lake District and in 1963 at Norway.

Photo of 1st Crich BP Scout Group, click for larger image

Photograph of the 1st Crich BP Scout Group taken about 1935 in the Black Swan Club Room

Over the years the group has enjoyed strong beaver, cub, scout, senior scout and rover sections and anyone wishing more information on the current activities of the group should contact Pat. Barnes, telephone 01773 850014.

Stan Smith

Stan Smith gained his Queen�s Scout in 1958 and was Group Leader of Crich Cubs and Scouts for many years.

Since he wrote this article sadly Geoff Dawes has died - read this tribute to him.