In 2002, I decided to write about the history of Bures Scout Group. In this year we were celebrating 55 years of continued Scouting or should I say Wolf Cubbing. The person responsible for re-starting the group was Dr Thomas Wood, he attended the Sudbury and District Association in 1950 and after a meeting with the vicar decided to start a Scout Group in the village. The Scout Troop actually re-started in 1953 by the Reverend Cyril Sharp and the Wolf Cub Pack in 1952 by Mrs Mary Hynard.
The Early Years
In 1956 John Ineson A.S.M. wrote to: ‘The Boy Scouts Association’ in London for a confirmation that a Scout group did exist in Bures. In the early years a Scout Group was registered by the Local Association of Sudbury in 1910 and this was cancelled on 16th September 1921. It was subsequently re-registered under the title ‘Bures’ on 6th March 1923 and this was then cancelled with effect from 30th September 1925. There was no further mention of a Troop or Pack of that name until the group was re-registered on 19th May 1952.
There was a Scout Group at Bures in 1911, we have a photograph of the Group on parade outside the cottages next to the Eight Bells Public House with staves and their trek carts. There are a few familiar names: Stanley Prior, George Baxter, Bert Everett, Peter Webber and Mr Davies to name a few. We do not know where the first early years meetings were held or what activities they did.
Bures’s Oldest Scouts
After some researching, we were put in contact with a Les Garrod of Towns Hill, St Edmunds Lane and Cecil Webber of Woolpit Downs, Bures, they told us that they were Scouts between 1930 until war broke out in 1939, they are both in their eighties.
The Scout meetings were held down the Wharf Lane in a black barn, which was owned by Mrs Roser Drake now converted into a dwelling now called (Wharf House). She had dog kennels below with the Scouts meeting on the second floor. The entrance to the meetings was via a rope ladder!
These meetings lasted about two years and were run by Miss Christine Stirling of Great Ropers Hall. The Scouts brought wood from Wheelers timber yard and built there own Scout Hut on land owned by Christine Stirling. This was opposite St Edmund’s Lane entrance onto the Assington Road now called Larskhill House, there was enough room for a billards table too. Subs were 1 penny per week.
During building work the meetings were held at Great Ropers Hall they used a room – this was called ‘The Den’ with games and activities taking place in the gardens. Mr Garrod’s father was a chauffeur at Great Ropers Hall and they used his car for transport to St. Osyth for their Summer Camp and Mr Cousins’s lorry based at the Eight Bells Public House for their equipment.
When the Second World War broke out, the Scouts were called into the services and the Scout meetings stopped. The Scout Hut was then taken apart and reassembled at Garlands Farm, Pebmarsh – the new home of Miss Christine Stirling.
The first meetings of the 50’s
The first Scout meetings in 1953 were held in the Post Room (now demolished to make way for a driveway to the new Vicarage). The Group was run by the Reverend Cyril Sharp and Captain Peacock. The first members were: Roy Hartley, George Warden, John Collins, David Vango, David Rutt, Charlie Sargeant, Stanley Brown, Peter Baxter, David Baxter, Sidney Gee Cansdale, John Pink, Graham Holmes, David Nickells and R Hill. After a couple of years, the Group used a barn, just off the drive into the old vicarage – this meeting place was called ‘The Scout Rooms’.
Their first camp was in Gloucestershire in 1953, they were attached to the 3rd Sudbury Group, under the leadership of Ray Green.
Easter was spent at Nussteads, Polstead – the home of Brigadier W.A. Stirling, this was a damp weekend. Some Scouts attended the Coronation Jamboree, Sandringham at Whitsun, and enjoyed the hottest weekend of the year. In April of this first year of Scouting, The Rev. Cyril Sharp and Captain Peacock went under canvas for a Scouter’s Preliminary Training Course at Shrublands Park near Ipswich. The Wolf Cubs attended a one night camp at Corn Hall.
First Scout to gain Scout Cord
The District Camp was held at Nussteads, Polstead. Bures Scouts came second to Haverhill in the Camping Shield Comp. Cubs, Scouts, family and friends attended the Evensong on Empire Youth Sunday. The troop joined 3rd Sudbury for their Summer Camp at Lownd, Suffolk in August. In November, Camp Fire Leader Roy Hartley and this was his last meeting with the troop before joining the RAF. Solos were given by David Collins, who played his accordion with Aylwin Brown. The Scout Cord – the highest award available to a Scout under the age of 15 has been gained by David Baxter of the High Street, Bures. This is the first time that this award has been gained by a Scout from Bures. Kenneth Baxter, David’s brother attained the highest award available to a Wolf Cub, the Leaping Wolf. At Bob-a-Job week Scout and Cubs undertook Spring-clearing of the churchyard for the Parochial Church Council.
Activities and Camps
The second annual Christmas Party was held in the Victory Hall (now the village hall car park) in 1955. A record number of 24 Scouts and 24 Cubs were present for tea. A programme of sketches and games for parents proved popular. During the evening a slide show by Mr
J.B. Andrews of Sudbury, depicting the last two summer camps. (It would be nice if we could find these – any clues?).
Roy Hartley was on leave from the RAF and led the Camp Fire. Two jungle dances were performed by the Wolf Cubs. Cocoa and biscuits were served – there were 46 present.
St George’s Day parade was held at Bures Church, the Rev. Cyril Sharp led the boys in reaffirming their promises. The lessons were read by John Pink and Wolf Cub Wesley Cardy. Among the congregation was Brigadier W.A. Stirling, District Commissioner for Sudbury.
At Easter, a patrol leaders camp was held at Garlands Farm, Pebmarsh. In camp were Patrol Leaders: David Rutt, David Vango, Charlie Sargeant, Brian Ambrose, Troop Leaders: David Baxter and Roy Hartley.
A Scouts sports evening was held on the Recreation Ground, those who helped were Mr Eddie Hynard and E.F. Wilson whose energies and labour’s did much to ensure the smooth running of the programme. John Pink won the long jump for the junior section.
Air trip at Birmingham
The annual Summer Camp under canvas was held at Meriden, near Coventry. There were three outings arranged for the week. The first was to Cadbury’s Chocolate factory and plenty of free samples were given out. The second outing was to Birmingham Airport, all Scouts went on an air trip in a D.H. Rapide, the aircraft circled over the campsite and flew over the city. The third trip was to see the Ferguson Tractor Factory at Coventry. There was one unwelcomed visitor – a deer, which came in the middle of the night to one patrol tent and ate four bars of soap – a fifth was not finished but showed large teeth marks.
For fifty-one weeks of the year a Scout is expected to do at least one ‘Good Turn’ every day. Only during ‘Bob-a-Job’ Week in April does he ask for payment for services rendered. The week raised over £33. Of this total £8.8s was sent the London Headquarters, B.P. House.
Bures says goodbye to a beloved vicar
The Rev. Cyril Sharp left the Scout Group to take up a new appointment in Germany. A farewell gathering was held in the W.I. Hall, The Croft (now a dwelling called Pettitts Hall).
A presentation was made by Wolf Cub Dennis Ambrose. John Ineson, Assistant Scout Master, spoke in appreciation of Mr Sharp’s work for the Scouts, mentioning how the Cub Pack and Scout Troop were formed by the vicar with a handful of lads in 1952.
At the end of the year, a rummage sale organised by the Parents Committee in the W.I. Hall, raised the sum of £18 for group funds.
Brigadier Stirling, the D.C. presented Captain Peacock and John Ineson with new warrants in 1956. Captain Peacock has taken charge of the Senior Scouts and John Ineson has been promoted to being Scout Master of the Troop. Roger Stevens joins the troop from Romford. The new vicar the Rev. Michael Brown has consented to be Group Scout Master, the position held by his predecessor. Charlie Sargeant was promoted to Troop Leader and presented with his First Class Badge and the Scout Cord.
The first camp of the year, five members of the troop spent Easter at Gilwell Park near Chingford. The Senior Scouts went to the Ardennes mountains in France in June. The camp was right on top of a mountain – a wonderful view, but a terrible climb every time they wanted water.
We entered into the County Shield Competition at Shrublands Park. The team was: Patrol Leader: Tim Underwood, Ken Baxter, Roger Stevens, Colin Webber, Les Saer and John Stuck.
This year’s annual summer camp in 1956 was held at Dunwich, with the worst possible weather for camping was experienced. The site was situated near the cliffs and was surrounded by trees, this proved a great help when the gale’s came and only one tent was torn.
The arrival of over thirty Polish Guides camping close by gave the Bures lads an opportunity to do a ‘good turn’. The tents arrived safely by train, but the pegs had been mislaid on the railway. The Bures boys got to work and cut nearly a hundred pegs out of the bushes in a very short time.
Troop Leader Charlie Sargeant had been chosen as one of the Scouts to represent Suffolk and Great Britain at the forthcoming World Jamboree at Sutton Coldfield next August.
New Cub Leader
Mrs Mary Hynard retires at the end of the year in 1957 from the Cub Pack due to family reasons. Roger Stevens has been selected to attend the World Jamboree.
It was announced at the Christmas Party that Rosemary Fordham will take charge of the Wolf Cubs on a temporarily charge. The Rev. Michael Brown presented Mrs Mary Hynard with two gifts from the Cub and Scout sections for her hard work during the past five years.
A thanksgiving service for the life and work of the founder of the Scout Movement, Robert Baden-Powell was held in the Parish Church. On the following Sunday 14 members of the Troop went to Ipswich for the County Service where over 1,500 Scouts were on parade.
An Easter camp was held at Buckmore Park near Chatham, Kent. The boys enjoyed the new indoor pool – built at a cost of £17,000.
Rosemary Fordham and Janet Spurgin attended a training course for Cub Scouters at Ipswich.
After this year’s Remembrance Service, Cubs and Scouts stayed behind in the churchyard for the planting of a cherry tree to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the movement.
Queen’s Scout Badge
Seventeen-year-old PL Charles Sargeant was awarded his Queen’s Scout badge from D.C. W.A. Stirling in 1958. He has been a member of the 1st Bures Group since 1952. He also attended Windsor Castle for the Queen’s Scout Review and in May received the Royal Certificate from Lord Rowalian, the Chief Scout at Gilwell Park.
In July, the Group won the Sudbury District Camping Shield held at Polstead. Summer Camp was held at East Mersea, Essex and were visited by the Group Scoutmaster Rev. Michael Brown, George Garrad and parents for ‘Parents Day’. John Bury was awarded the Scout Chord.
Janet Spurgin has had to give up the Wolf Cubs – Mrs Hynard has become Akela again, assisted by Beryl Cardy and Barbara Baxter.
At the annual party in 1959 at the Victory Hall, 40 Scouts and Cubs attended. They entertained their parents with plays and songs on the stage specially built. Very good performances were given by Stephen Davies and Richard Spurgin. Bob-a-Job made £39. Miss Christine Stirling was presented a ‘Thank You’ badge on behalf of all the boys who had camped at her farm in Pebmarsh during the past five years. Leslie Saer and John Bury gained their 1st Class badges.
The Group made £73 from the Fete. Does anyone still have blue ticket no. 182 which is still unclaimed and can be collected from the Post Office! Arthur Haywood helps out as helper, teaching the boys knots and physical training. The following year, he becomes Assistant Leader and stays for 31 years!
Summer Camp at St Anton
Twenty Scouts from Bures and Sudbury departed for Austria via Southend Airport in a chartered Viking aircraft to Basle, Switzerland, camping near the banks of the Rosanna River. They went mountain climbing, toured Innesbruck. Towards the end of camp, it rained for 31 hours, stopped and rained again and the Scouts finally got flooded out. They were luckily in finding a mountain hut empty, so nearly everybody spent the last three nights sleeping on the wooden floors.
Scout Master Resigns
John Ineson resigns at the end of August after the Austria Camp. He has been SM for 5 and a half years. Charlie Sargeant and Tim Underwood have taken over the running of the Group, but need an older person to act as Scoutmaster. David Brooks and Tim Underwood received their Queen’s Scout Awards.
Farewell to Leader
At a packed schoolroom for the annual meeting of the Bures Boy Scouts, the group were saying goodbye to their Scout Master John Ineson. The Rev. Michael Brown presented him with a cheque and a 14-inch bronze statuette of a Boy Scout. The new Scoutmaster will be Phillip Herrington who comes from Wakes Colne.
From trek cart to Comet!
Scouts from Bures and Sudbury spent ten days in Italy for their Summer Camp. They visited Rome and Anzio. Within six hours of leaving London Airport, they had put up their tents and went swimming – but a complication set in during the night when they found their tents were on ant nests. Some slept the night on the beach and some did for the rest of the holiday!