Baildon and Shipley District History – 1908 to 1995
Researched and compiled by Mr Laurie Nunn
The Beginning and How Things Were
At the time the Scout Movement came into being motor cars and telephone were a novelty, television and videos were unheard of, school children worked half time in the mills and left school at the age of 13. Men wore top hats or bowlers, women wore lace-up boots and skirts down to the ground, and it was to be another year before the first heavier than air machine was to fly across the Channel. Edward VII was King and two world wars were still to come. This was the time when there appeared on the streets boys wearing, in addition to their normal clothing, a scarf, shorts, a haversack and carrying a broomstick. These were the first Boy Scouts, and as we will see later, the first Scouts in this area were at Windhill. The year was 1908.
It did not take long for the uniform to develop into something which was to last for over half a century. Details of the uniform can be gathered from the following advertisement which appeared in a weekly magazine called the ‘The Scout’ in 1911. The advertisement offered the following:- Woollen jerseys in Khaki, Grey, Navy and Lincoln Green 2/6d (12½p) for chest sizes under 36″, larger sizes 3/-d (15p). Heavy woollen material shirts in Khaki, Dark Blue, Green or Grey were the same price as the jerseys and postage was 3d. Serge Khaki shirts (finest make and finish) were Boy’s 3/3d (16p) and men’s 3/9d (19p). Shorts in Blue Serge were 1/6d (7½p) or Khaki Serge 2/6d (12½p). As a matter of interest the same advert offered a Scouts Improved Axe (Regd) combing Axe, Pick, Mallet and Nailwrench combined. Solid steel head, Ash Handle, pinned through for 1/3d (6½p) and Postage 3d.
Individual Troops decided which of the colours mentioned they would wear, whether to have shirts or jerseys, plus the famous scout hat, and the indispensable Scout Staff!
A Patrol Leader wore the silver coloured metal arrow head badge on the front of his hat and two white stripes down the left pocket of his shirt or the equivalent position on his jersey. What are now called Assistant Patrol Leaders were originally Corporals, but in around 1911 became ‘Seconds’ and wore one stripe. Troop Leaders wore three. Membership of a Patrol was indicated by a shoulder knot of coloured braid hanging from the left shoulder. Today’s patrol badges have two narrow coloured stripes in the colours of the original shoulder knots.
The tests to be passed differed a lot from those of today. Stopping a runaway horse, having 6d (2½p) in the bank, following tracks, sending and receiving messages in Semaphore or Morse Code, knowing how to rescue anyone being unfortunate to have fallen through a hole in the ice, or being trapped in a burning building, lighting fires using natural materials and not more than two matches, or as the wags would have it, an alternative to the two matches was ten flicks of Skip’s lighter. Being able to recognise different types of trees, tying knots and making lashings, knowing six uses of the Scout Staff, estimating heights and distances, and as they say, muck much more.
The initial tests a Scout passed won him the Tenderfoot Badge, a cloth arrow head badge worn where the World Membership Badge is now worn, and a metal badge to wear in his coat so that he could be recognised by other scouts when not wearing uniform. The next step was the Second Class Badge (B-P said a Scout would not want to stay Second Class for long), and then the First Class Badge.
In 1909 King Edward VII authorised the award of the King’s Scout Badge to a First Class Scout who had gained four Proficiency Badges and who was able and willing to serve the King should his services be required. In 1910 the Silver Wolf was awarded to any Scout holding the King’s Scout Badge and twenty-four Proficiency Badges. This was amended in 1912 to a Scout having the King’s Scout Badge and twelve Proficiency Badges who had, in addition, carried out a special piece of Scout work to a very high standard. I believe the Medal of Merit was at one time awarded on a similar basis. This medal, which bears the arrow head emblem, originally consisted of a swastika. With the advent of Hitler’s Nazi Party using the swastika as its emblem all Medals of Merit were withdrawn to be replaced with the new pattern. Kim Scott of the Windhill Troop (see later) had one of the original ones and refused to part with it.
In 1916, in response to popular demand, B-P started a junior section of the movement, which he considered calling Beavers. In the end he decided to base the whole thing on Kipling’s Jungle Books, and called them Wolf Cubs.
This went much further than just calling the boys Wolf Cubs. Whereas a new Scout was a ‘Tenderfoot’ the new Cub was a ‘Tenderpad’ and upon being invested was given two cloth badges with wolf’s heads on them, and a metal one to wear in his coat. The Pack Flag bore either a picture of a wolf or just the wolf’s head (one of each type can be seen in our Scout shop), and an important item in a Pack’s equipment was a Totem Pole, a replica of a wolf’s head on a pole. This was held by the Senior Sixer during the Grand Howl, and was carried on parade and left at the back of the church.
Wolf Cub Packs had the same choice of colours of uniform as Scouts, but all wore jerseys and a green cap with yellow braid. Membership of a Six was indicated by a triangular patch of the appropriate colour worn at the top of the left sleeve. Sixers wore two bands of yellow braid round their left sleeve, Seconds wore one and Senior Sixers wore three.
Following investiture a Wolf Cub worked for ‘Stars’. These were two in number and were worn on the cap on either side of the Tenderpad Badge. When the Cub had passed the First Star he was said to have one eye open, and on gaining the Second Star had both eyes open.
Wolf Cub tests included, among others, hopping a figure eight, walking with a pile of books on his head, walking a plank between two chairs, skipping forwards and backwards, leap frog, throwing and catching a ball, cleaning shoes, telling the time, laying and lighting a fire indoors, bandaging a finger and learning the Semaphore (or Morse) alphabet and sending a simple message.
Jungle Dances were a popular feature of Pack Meetings, especially ‘The Dance of Shere Khan’s Death’, the words of which included the line ‘skinned the cattle-eater’ usually sung as ‘skin the cat and eat ‘er’.
The Wolf Cub Law was ‘The Cub gives in to the Old Wolf. The Cub does not give in to himself’. One Cub who was being invested at St. Peters interpreted this as ‘The Cub gives into the big bad wolf’. The following week his mother went along to the Pack meeting to apologise on his behalf.
Originally the older Scouts were known as Senior Scouts ( a title to be re-introduced years later), and in 1918 the name was changed to Rover Scouts. B-P decided that the Rover section would be based on the Knights of ancient times, and recruits were know as Squires. The Investiture Ceremony included an all night vigil, during which the candidate had to consider ten searching questions regarding his past, present and future way of life. In some Rover Crews this was done in Church, but we at Windhill did it during a weekend camp at the Group’s campsite. The actual ceremony was a very impressive event (in my case carried out by the County Commissioner Lex Scott), and included the symbolic ‘laving’ of the hands. The main purpose of being a Rover was ‘Service to others’.
Rovers wore the usual Scout uniform of the day with green shoulder straps and the letters R.S. in metal on the front of the hat. A squire wore a shoulder knot of green and yellow, and an invested Rover wore on of green, red and yellow, to represent the three sections of the movement. Whereas the Scout Staff was part of the Boy Scouts uniform, the Thumb Stick was an optional extra for Rovers, but many had them. Rovers wore red garter tabs, and quite a lot had a pipe down their right sock. Somewhere to keep it when not smoking it.
From early days the collective name for Leaders had been ‘Scouters’ and for some time the uniform was a matter of personal choice. I have a photograph taken at a Rally in Manningham Park in the early 1920s showing B-P wearing an Army Officer’s tunic, shorts, collar and tie, socks and Scout Hat. Standing by him is Tom Adamson, Scoutmaster of the Windhill Troop, wearing an Army Officer’s tunic, white shirt with stand-up stiff collar and tie, Cavalry type knee breeches and a Scout Hat. It will be gathered that Army Officer’s tunics were popular and many were complete with Sam Brown belt. Some wore uniform more like that worn by the boys but had the option of wearing long trousers.
Ladies were usually warranted with the Wolf Cub Section were they were known as Lady Cubmasters, but as will be seen some were Lady Scoutmasters and Lady Group Scoutmasters.
The uniform worn by the ladies was as diverse as that of the men, some choosing army tunics, some blouses and some dresses or jerseys. Skirts in the early days were of course rather on the long side.
As previously mentioned there were Lady Scoutmasters, and it is on record that a lady turned up at some event with a troop of scouts, bell tent and a length of hessian with which it was her intention to make a screen across part of the tent to be her sleeping quarters, When this became known she was immediately found accommodation in a local hotel. At the White Rose Rally, of which more later, one lady turned up with a hike tent which she pitched away from the main camp. The following morning the District Commissioner, the late Leslie Wright, despatched an unsuspecting scout to her tent with a billy of hot water, with the instruction to tap on the tent and say ‘Your shaving water sir’. When a female voice answered the lad returned much quicker then he went.
In the early days there was no Group system as we know it, and Cubs and Scouts meeting at the same premises had no official connection with each other, and often wore different coloured scarves. The Cubs at Bethal Baptist when I joined wore royal blue scarves, whilst the Scouts wore a two-coloured one. Even though there was no connection between the Troop and the Pack Scoutmasters were apt to think that they could throw their weight about and start bossing the Cubmasters about. Naturally this led to friction, especially when the Cubmaster has been a Cubmaster longer than the Scoutmaster had been a Scoutmaster. This led to a great deal of discussion, and in 1928 the Group system as we know it came about, and Group Scoutmasters appointed. It was laid down that only in exceptional circumstances, and with the special recommendations, could exceptional ladies be considered for the position. If this seems strange today it must be born in mind that it was only that year that all women were given the vote, and ten years had passed since the law allowed women of thirty years and over to vote.
In those days of egalitarianism leaders cannot be differentiated by either uniform or insignia, but is was not always so. Cubmasters wore Tenderpad Badges like the Cubs, and wore a round metal badge bearing a silver wolf’s head on the front of their hat. So it was easy to see who were members of the Wolf Cub section, and equally simple to see what rank they held. The wolf’s head badge worn on the hat had a red background for Assistant Cubmasters, green for Cubmasters, and white for District Cubmasters.
Leaders in the Scout Section wore a ‘plume’ on the left hand side of the hat. Red for Assistant Scoutmasters, green for Scoutmasters, and green/white for Group Scoutmasters & white for District Scoutmasters. Assistant Rover Scout Leaders wore a red plume, Rover Scout leaders green and District Rover Scout leaders white. Non-warranted ranks could wear a yellow plume and District Secretaries a plume of blue/black/blue. All Commissioners wore a purple plume.
In 1946 Senior Scouts were introduced as a step between Boy Scouts and Rover Scouts, and in 1967 both sections were replaced by Venture Scouts, who originally wore a maroon beret and maroon shoulder straps.
In the 1950s it was decided that members might wear a beret instead of a Scout Hat, and in 1989 the decision was made to abolish headgear entirely. Long trousers became alternative wear for Senior and Rover Scouts in 1961. The uniform as we know it was introduced in 1967.
In 1982 the Beaver Scout section was introduced, and in 1991 it was decided that membership of the Beaver, Cub and Scout sections be open to girls. Girls had already been eligible for membership of the Venture Scout section for some years.
Before going onto a potted history of the District there are two things I would like to mention. The first is ‘Warrants’. Those becoming warranted leaders now are presented with a folding card, which is not exactly a thing to inspire anyone. Warrants measured 12″ x 10″, were made out to the receipient in copperplate handwriting, and illustrated. When you were presented with one you really felt the job being taken on was something special. It was not uncommon for Scouters to have them framed and hang them on the wall.
The other thing I want to mention is the ‘Scout Staff’. This indispensable part of a Scout’s outfit was a pole, the height of the Scout or longer, marked off in feet and inches. One of the Second Class tests required the Scout to know Six uses of a Scout Staff. These included keeping at bay a mad dog, making a stretcher, estimating heights and distances, vaulting a stream and so on. Anyone who has not taken a Troop of Scouts on the top deck of a tram or bus, or into a café, each member ‘armed’ with a Scout Staff, has missed an experience to be remembered for all time. Many will not mourn its passing, but the shorts, hat and staff made Scouting unique.
Grey beards reading this will be asking why no mention of the Cub Leaping Wolf Badge? Why no mention of All Round Cords, Scout Cords and Bushman’s Thong? First Class Journey’s Kim’s Game and Scout’s Pace? Well, to give a full list of all the tests would have made things rather boring, and we would not want that would we? Nobody answer that.
Although it is on record that the Windhill Troop started in 1908, there were no Districts as such until 1910 when the West Yorkshire Central District seems to have come into being, and the District Commissioner lived in Leeds. In 1914 reference is made to No.7 District (Bradford), and in 1922 the District was registered as Bradford (North). At that time there were Scout Troops at Windhill, Shipley Bethal, Shipley Prims and Shipley St. Mary’s, and a Wolf Cub Pack at Windhill.
As at that time the District came under Bradford, Shipley Troops and Packs entered for the same trophies as those in other parts of the city. However there were two trophies competed for by Troops and Packs in this District only. Shortly after the 1914 war a shield was presented to the District in memory of the Scouts of the District who were killed in the war. This was used for various types of competition, and immediately before being withdrawn from general use for safe keeping, was the First Aid Shield, competed for annually. The second trophy was the Wolf Cub Challenge Flag presented to Bradford North Wolf Cubs in 1926 by a Miss A Duck. This was competed for until 1962 when it was replaced with a new flag. The original one can be seen in the District Scout Shop.
Prior to the 1939 war meetings of the District Executive Committee were held in the Bethal Baptist Schoolroom. But in the 1940s moved to Somerset House on Manor Lane. From there it moved to a school at the Baildon Bridge end of Green Lane, and from there to the Glenaire First School. It now meets in the District Headquarters, formerly the H.Q. of the 16th Shipley Group.
In the 1920s and early 1930s the Windhill Troop had a campsite by Weecher Reservoir, but moved to a site by West Wood, where they owned a hut with a plaque dedicated to the members of the Troop killed in the First World War. This was used by Scouts and Rovers most weekends in Summer. Sometime during the 1939 war the Troop decided they could not afford the rent for the site, which was taken over by the District, but following a disagreement with the farmer the site was vacated. In 1949 a site was obtained on Brunthwaite Crag, above Silsden and the hut erected there. However the location was not popular, and the site was vacated and the hut stored on an allotment in Baildon. The next move was to Thackley West Wood, where rather more use was made of the site for Patrol Camps, Camping Competitions and so on. The hut was taken there but never erected. The site was vacated in 1963. More about campsites later.
In 1933 there was an All-Yorkshire Scout Rally, attended by B-P on Pontefract Race Course. A special train left Foster Square Station with a section reserved for the Shipley contingent. We piled on, and when we got to Pontefract it was raining. It rained all day. However we sort of marched to the race course singing our signature tune ‘Back to Shipley’. When B-P arrived a flag was broken and a maroon fired, the Cubs performed a combined Grand Howl, we all marched past, and then gave the Yorkshire Yell. Basically Y-O-R-K-S spells YORKS with variations, and sang ‘Our Troops are Yorkshire Troops’ and ‘We’re All dahn int cellar ‘oil’. B-P addressed the throng. We sang ‘Now thank we all our God’ and ‘God Save the King’ and came home. Still very wet and still singing.
In 1937 an application was submitted for the District to become ‘The Shipley & District Local Association of Boy Scouts’, and this was finally approved in 1939 when there were Groups at Windhill Parish Church, St. Margaret’s Frizinghall, Charlestown Baptist Church, St. Peter’s Church, Rosse Street Baptists, Saltaire Congregational, Baildon Westgate Methodists, Shipley Selective Central School, Baildon St. John’s, Baildon Moravian Church, Windhill Methodist Mission, Salt High School and Saltaire Methodist Church. The boundaries of the District were shown as ‘The area covered by the Urban Districts of Baildon and Shipley including those parts of Bolton Woods, Hawksworth, Esholt and Wrose situated within the municipal boundaries of Shipley & Baildon.
1937 was the year of the Coronation of King George VI, and there was a chain of beacons across the country manned by Scouts. We Rovers of the Windhill Crew were responsible for the fire by the reservoir at Wrose, and camped there to guard it and were in charge on the night. The Baildon Rovers looked after the fire on Hope Hill.
At Christmas 1939 the District sent a card showing a Scout rescuing someone from a hole in the ice, and a postal order, to members of the District who had ‘joined up’. I still have the card.
VE Day 1945 was celebrated at Windhill with a fire and party on Wrose Hill. I suppose other parts of the District held similar events.
1946 saw the first District Gang Show ‘No Coupons’ at the Victoria Hall for two nights in November. A shortened version was given at the Shipley Youth Centre the following January. The second District Show ‘Something for You’ went on tour to St. Margarets, Windhill Mission and Baildon Methodists in 1949, and one entitled ‘Mirth and Music’ ran for two nights at Windhill Mission in 1950.
In 1947 the Bingley, Keighley and Shipley Local Associations of Boy Scouts held a ‘White Rose Rally’, attended by the Chief Scout, Lord Rowallan, at Myrtle Park, Bingley, with a camp on the St. Ives estate. On the Saturday there was a Cub Rally in the afternoon, and a Camp Fire in the evening. On the Sunday the Chief visited the camp, and then there was a Scouts Own in Myrtle Park with music provided by the Haworth Public Prize Band, and a Scout Rally and march past.
In 1949 the whole District took part in a highly successful wide game ‘Saxons v Vikings’.
In 1952 and 1953 there were District Cub Camps at Bilton near Harrogate, and in 1954 and 1955 they were held at Studley Roger, near Ripon and Silsden respectively.
The Shipley Rotary Club staged a ‘Your Hobbies’ Exhibition in the Northcliffe County Secondary School in October 1952, opened by Mrs Wilcock, Chairman of the Shipley Urban District Council, and admission was 6d for adults and 1d for children. Every hobby you can think of was represented, but everyone who visited the exhibition made straight for the room where a Patrol Camp had been erected, with Primus stoves disguised as a cooking fire. What attracted folk was the continuous smell of sausages cooking. In later years similar displays were staged at events in the Victoria Hall and the Shipley Youth Centre.
1953 was Coronation Year, and the Scouts and Guides of the District combined to stage a tableaux on open wagons of Queens of England, going back to Bodicea. The procession, led by the Hammond’s Boys Band was to leave Windhill at 9.30pm and travel to the (old) Market Place. Upon arrival torches would be lit and carried by runners to fires at Wrose and Northcliffe. Baildon Scouts would carry torches from Town Gate to Hope Hill. Rockets would be set off as a signal for the fires to be lit. Unfortunately it rained all day, and the Guide and Scout Commissioners cancelled the mobile tableaux, but the business with the torches went ahead. We were not popular with the crowds who had assembled to see the show. Scouts countrywide sold souvenir programmes, and Scouts from each District were chosen to sell programmes on the route of the procession in London. The two from this District were Anthony Larkin and John Wood, members of the Baildon Methodist Senior Scout Troop. They took up their positions outside the Palace at 6.30am.
1957 was B-P Centenary Year, and the District celebrated by holding a Centenary Celebration weekend in Northcliffe Playing Fields. On the Saturday there was an official opening by the Chairman of the Shipley & Baildon Councils, an arena display by Scouts & Cubs, and the campsite was open to the public. In the evening there were ‘Scouting Activities’ and a campfire. The day closed with two trumpeters playing ‘Taps’ silhouetted against the night sky whilst the flags were slowly lowered. Sunday morning the whole District marched to Shipley Parish Church led by the combined bands of the Windhill and Baildon St. John’s Troops, and a special service was held. There followed further arena displays. The Shipley Urban District Council laid out a special flower bed in Crowgill Park with a Scout Badge and the dates 1907-1957.
In 1958 the Local Association combined with the Bingley Local Association to become the ‘Shipley, Baildon & Bingley Local Association’. This arrangement lasted until the early 1960s, when the two local Associations reverted to their original status, and what had previously been ‘Shipley and District’ became ‘Shipley & Baildon’.
In 1964 a member of the District Executive Committee, and one time Scout, Rover Scout and Bandmaster of the Windhill Troop, Stanley Meggs, approached a Mr Dobby who owned two fields at Sconce, totalling 2½ acres, with a view to these being purchased by the District for use as a campsite. A deal was agreed and the land bought by the District for £550. In the top field was an assortment of huts and , I think a disused bus, used by their owners as weekend retreats. These people did not take kindly to being told to remove their holiday homes, most of which were incapable of being moved anyway, and one set fire to his. One hut which was in good condition was the property of a Mr Oliver with connections with Scouting in Bradford. He said we could have the hut without charge, but would like us to pay £25 for the stove and fittings. This hut was a very useful item and lasted for some years before it was decided that is had finally had its day. A toilet block was built at a cost of £387. There was difficulty in digging out the land to install a septic tank for use in conjunction with the toilet block owing to the rocky nature of the terrain. The Royal Engineers agreed to do some blasting, but were transferred to Hull before they could finish the job. However the tank was installed, as was a ram pump to take the water to a tank at the top of the field.
The main event in 1966 was the official opening of the campsite by the late Leslie Wright who was County Commissioner at the time and who had previously been District Commissioner for Shipley & District, and before that District Scoutmaster and Scoutmaster of the Rosse Street Troop. The event took place in the pouring rain and many saplings planted on the site were trampled into the ground to be seen no more. For two days before the opening loads of ashes had been tipped into the car park, which just about lasted until the last car had departed.
Before the last war the District had a Swimming Club, and in 1965 this was revived in the Manor Lane Baths, which were booked for one hour per week for our sole use.
In 1968 there was an All Yorkshire Scout Rally in Shibden Park, Halifax, at which the District was well represented. Mike Booth, Scoutmaster of the Saltaire Congregational Scout Troop, piped the Chief Scout, Sir Charles Maclean, onto the site. There were about 1700 Scouts present, and the Chief Scout shook hands with every one of them.
Also in 1966 one of the events previously mentioned, the Shipley Youth Council Week of Activities was held, with members staging a Patrol Camp and cooking in the Saltaire County Secondary School. The following weekend large numbers of Scouts and Guides camped at Northcliffe.
A Diamond Jubilee Scout Week was held in May 1967, starting with a dinner at the Bankfield Hotel, tickets 30/- (£1.50) with Mr J N Pryce BA as guest speaker. At this event presentations were made to Mr Arthur Blewitt who was retiring as President, and to Mr John Billing who was retiring as District Chairman. On the Saturday there was a Camp & Display at Northcliffe. Cubs demonstrated Proficiency Badge work, Scouts demonstrated Camping and Cooking, and there was a Treck Cart Race and Obstacle Course on the lines of the Royal Navy Gun Carriage Race at the Royal Tournament. Venture Scouts demonstrated Pioneering, Bridge Building, Light Weight Camping, plus a display of Pot Holing and Sub-Aqua Equipment. There was a radio tent in touch with enthusiasts throughout the world. In the evening there was a campfire. On the Sunday morning there was a Scouts’ Own Service, and in the afternoon there was a Grand West Yorkshire County Band Contest with Scout Bands from all over the Scout County, including the Saltaire Congregational Pipe Band taking part. The Windhill Band members acted as stewards and gave a special display at the end of the contest. Monday evening every Group opened its doors to members of the public, and Tuesday there was a Cyclorama and Novelty Event for Private Cars in the Green Lane Barracks car park. The District Annual General Meeting was held in Shipley Town Hall on the Wednesday, and there was a Maytime Ball at the Locarno Ballroom, Bradford, tickets 6/- each, on the Thursday.
A Sponsored Walk, which was really a Night Hike, left Windhill at midnight on 20th April 1968, the 30 mile course taking the participants via Baildon, Burley Woodhead, Ilkley and Addingham to Bolton Bridge, returning via Nesfield, Askwith, Otley, the Chevin and White Cross. There were checkpoints at intervals, at some of which refreshments were available, and one at Ilkley catered for those who had ‘had enough’ from where transport was provided. Entry was open to Youth Groups and Clubs in addition to our own members, and money raised was shared between the District Campsite Fund and the Group or Club of which walkers were members.
Following the success of the Rally held at Shibden Park in 1966, a full-scale event was staged in 1969 on the Great Yorkshire Show Ground, Harrogate, under the title Scoubado. This District provided the Security Force with Venture Scouts patrolling day and night, keeping an eye on things generally, and persuading owners of illegally parked vehicles to remove them.
Out District Scout Shop opened its doors for the first time in 1969 in a small room in the now demolished Saltaire Congregational Sunday School on Caroline Street. On the opening day takings were £20.11.7½d, dropping to £8.10.9d the following week. In 1972 the shop moved next door to the St. John Ambulance Headquarters, and in 1974 moved again, this time to a room over Douglas Haswell Smith’s Chemist shop in Frizinghall. Douglas was helping at St. Peter’s at the time, but unfortunately he died in 1976. Accommodation was then found in the old T.A. Barracks, upstairs to start with, and then to its present location.
In 1969 the Shipley Lions Club presented the District with a silver cup for use as a trophy, and two marquees, and in 1970 the management of Henry Smith’s shop gave the District a silver cup to be presented to winners of Five a Side contests. The cup presented by the Lions was for some time used as a trophy for a tent pitching contest held during weekend events at Northcliffe.
Also in 1969 a ‘Scout Challenge’ was held at Appletreewick to give Scouts an insight into canoeing, caving and rock climbing. This was very popular with the Scouts, and further ‘Challenges’ were held at Pateley Bridge in 1974 and 1979, and near Brimham Rocks in 1986.
In 1971 a hut, previously the property of a joiner at Shelf, was offered to the District for £100. This was bought with money raised for a memorial to a well-known and popular member of the Cub section, Brian Hodgson, who had tragically killed in an accident. The hut was bought and erected on the Sconce Campsite. It was officially opened by the County Commissioner, Charles Wilson, who unveiled a plaque to the memory of Brian.
In 1973 a Field Day and bed race was held at Northcliffe.
Also in 1973 the District hosted the County Indoor Band Contest in West Lane School, Baildon.
In 1975 it was decided that the District should have a District Badge, and designs were invited. The one chosen was submitted by my wife (I had nothing to do with the selection!).
In 1979 the District Swimming Club ceased owing to increased cost of the baths and lack of support.
A camp and activity weekend was held at Northcliffe under the title of ‘ACE’ in 1980.
In 1983 the field adjoining the bottom field at Sconce known as Howden Wood, consisting of 1.58 acres, was bought at a cost of £2900. Part of the field is being developed as a conservation area, complete with ponds and ducks.
In 1984 the Brian Hodgson Memorial Hut was destroyed by fire during the night. This was immediately replaced by the Phoenix Hut, in which a new plaque in memory of Brian had been placed.
In 1986 the Activity Centre at Sconce was officially opened by the M.P. for Shipley Sir Marcus Fox MBE.
To celebrate 50 years firstly as Shipley & District and then as Shipley & Baildon, an event was staged in the Salt School in 1989.
A number of Cubs from the District visited London in 1985, staying at B-P House, and seeing the sights. A further visit was made in 1986 and since then it has become a regular bi-yearly event.
The 75th birthday of the Cub section of the movement was celebrated in St. Peters Church in 1991, with a service and tableaux representing the history of Scouting.
A plaque to the memory of the late Joan Bower, who had served as Cubmaster, District Cubmaster, District Cubmaster and ADC (Cubs) was unveiled in a storm shelter at the Campsite in 1992.
In 1994 the District officially adopted as a District Headquarters the hut which had been built by the Scouters and parents of the 16th Shipley Group, and used by that Group until it closed down.#
A very successful annual event known as a ‘Backwoods Weekend’ has been held at the Sconce Campsite annually for the past few years, attended by Scouts from far and wide.
During the 1980s Bonfire Night was celebrated at the Campsite with firework set-pieces, bonfires and suppers.
Before passing to the next section, I want to refer to St. George’s Day Parades and Services. As previously mentioned when the District was Bradford North members attended the Bradford Service at the Valley Parade Football Ground. Upon becoming Shipley & District parades were held at each Church where there was a Scout Group in turn, alternating wherever possible between Church of England and other denominations, and between Shipley & Baildon. As numbers grew accommodation could only be found in the larger churches, and the Groups to whose churches we should have paraded became ‘Host Groups’, the first first of the St. George’s Day Events was held in the Salt Grammar School in 1992.
And so to histories of the Groups past and present.
In 1908 the Rev. Ewbank of Windhill Parish Church got together with six boys, and a Scout Troop was formed. Things at that time were not very organised, and Troops did not have to be registered locally until 1910 and nationally until 1919. The Troop registered locally in July 1910 and nationally in October 1919. At registration the Scoutmaster was Tom Adamson who remained as Scoutmaster and Group Scoutmaster until 1930. In 1919 Tom Adamson had five assistants, two instructors, and Dr T I Bonner, Hon Surgeon. There were 37 Scouts.
With the advent of Wolf Cubs a Pack a 23 Cubs was formed under the leadership of Fred Lund in March 1916.
Originally the Troop was the 1st Windhill, but in 1910 became the 13th Bradford North (1st Windhill). In 1933 the title became 1st Bradford North (Windhill Parish Church) and with the change of name of the District became the 1st Shipley (Windhill Parish Church). Quite unoffically members contined to wear a 1st Windhill name tape beneath the official one. I still have mine.
A drum and Bugle Band was formed in 1913, and played at local events and appeared every year in the Shipley Fete & Gala Procession. Usually at the back. When the District was Bradford North and members attended the Bradford St. George’s Day Service on the Valley Parade Football Ground, the Windhill Band always led the Shipley contingent into the Ground playing ‘My Girl’s a Yorkshire Girl’. In 1946 the instruments required replacing, and the instruments of the Shipley Air Force Cadets Band (Cavalry trumpets and drums) were purchased by the Group for £40 the lot.
In 1942 Albert Scott, known always as Kim, came to work at Lee & Crabtree’s works in Wrose Brow Road from his home town of Carlisle. He immediately took over the Windhill Troop and under his inspired leadership the Troop flourished, never missing an annual Gang Show, Camps etec. and won many District Trophies. King Scouts and Queen Scouts were a regular event. He retired and was presented with the Silver Acorn and an illuminated address done by the late Philip Winters, one of his ex Scouts, in 1963, before he returned to Carlisle, where I visited him shortly before he died in 1966. Kim is still a legend to the many ex Scouts. He was too busy to take off for attending courses, and did not have a Wood Badge. Another stalwart was the late Maurice Jackson, who ran the Cub Pack for many years, and at the time of his death was an Hon Life Vice-President of the local Association.
The next Group to be formed in Windhill was the 3rd Bradford North (Windhill Primitive Methodist) formed in May 1930 with the Rev. H R Rowe as Group Scoutmaster. There is no record of the date the Group ceased to exist. Whilst I find reference to a Scout being transferred to the Windhill Congregational Troop in 1932 there is no record of the Group on a list dated 1937. There is, however, some evidence that the Group was active in the 1940s as the 10th Shipley. The Group re-formed in 1967 as the 7th Shipley, with Irene Dawes as Cubmaster. The Group amalgamated in 1989 with the 1st Shipley to become the 1st/7th Shipley.
In September 1931 there suddenly appeared in Windhill a Troop of 34 Scouts under the leadership of the Rev. Gordon K Rush, Minister of the Windhill Congregational Church, which became the 4th Bradford North. Each Scout had been presented with a complete uniform (to be paid for weekly as he could afford), a Scout Staff, and even a Scout Diary. The Troop was also presented with a Troop Flag, a Union Flag, and a set of drums and bugles (to remain the property of the Church). Four escorts for each flag were appointed, as was a Bandmaster, one J Thomas, whose uniform was decorated with tassels. The Troop marched round the District with band playing and flags flying, camped in Scott’s Field, in Leeds Road, and held annual camps in Filey and Saltburn and were seen off at Windhill Station, and greeted on their return by parents and well-wishers. I gather they marched through Filey with band and flags, and played the locals at cricket – and won. They appeared in plays which ran for several nights to full-houses. It was the custom in the District for potential Scouters to gain experience with other Troops, and as an applicant for a warrant with the Troop refused to do this there was a difference of opinion with the then District Commissioner, Charles Bristol. Added to this in January 1934 the Scoutmaster complained of lack of discipline and resigned. The Troop sank without trace. There never was a Cub Pack.
In 1934 a Group was formed at Windhill Methodist Mission with Miss E M Fishwick as Group Scoutmaster and John Wilson as Scoutmaster. There were 15 Scouts and 11 Wolf Cubs, but no mention of a Cubmaster. In 1938 the Scoutmaster was Tom Harris, and I became Assistant Scoutmaster and my future wife, Kathleen Bland, Assistant Cubmaster. The Group continued to exist until 1951 when it amalgamated with the 13th Shipley (Victoria Group) to become the 16th Shipley, meeting at the Shipley Congregational Church.
Also in 1934 a Group was formed at Crag Road Methodist Church with John Olding as Group Scoutmaster, it being stated that a Cub Pack would be formed the following month. Unfortunately the whole thing collapsed in October 1936. In 1985 there was talk of re-forming the Group, but instead it was decided that a Cub Pack of the 1st Shipley would meet in the school.
A group, with the title 17th Shipley (Wrose), which met in the Wrose School, was formed in 1946 and lasted until 1957. The Scoutmaster was Derek Raistrick and the Cubmaster was Kathleen Nunn (my sister who became Kathleen Winters). Apart from winning a lot of trophies, the Group’s claim to fame is that Mr Roger Williams, the County Commissioner, is an ‘old boy’ of the Troop.
Leaving Windhill, the first Troop to be formed in Shipley was the 2nd Bradford North (Shipley Bethal) in 1920, meeting in the now demolished Bethel Baptist Church in Shipley. The Scoutmaster was George William Muschamp, the father of Ron Muschamp, one time Group Scoutmaster of the 4th Shipley Group, District Scoutmaster, Assistant District Commissioner (Scouts) and currently a Hon Life Vice President of the District. Ron tells me that the Troop had a band, but I do not recall there being one when I joined the Cubs there in 1928. A Cub Pack had been registered in 1926 with Mary Edmundson as Cubmaster. Mary married and resigned from the Pack in 1931, and as the Scout Troop had already closed the Group then ceased to exist.
The 1922 census showed the Windhill Troop and the Bethel Troop, above, also the 81st Bradford North (Shipley Prims) and the 58th Bradford North (St. Mary’s). I have been unable to find out when the last two started and finished. However, it will be seen that Groups existed at both these later on.
In 1924 Charles Edward Holdsworth became Scoutmaster of the newly-formed 7th Bradford North (St. Peter’s) Troop with 24 Scouts. It is shown as ceasing to exist in 1928 and being re-formed in 1931 with Florence Elizabeth Duck as Cubmaster with 12 Cubs. I have a note that there was a further break in continuity, but have been unable to find anything definite. I know that when my wife took over the Cub Pack from Mary Wilkinson, sister of Neville Wilkinson, at present Group Scout Leader of the 4th Shipley, in 1947, there was no Scout Troop. A Troop was formed when Dennis Excell arrived in the early 1950s. The Group’s main claim to fame is that Adrian Moorhouse, the Olympic Swimmer, is an ‘old boy’. The Group can point to the fact that is has, uniquely in the District, supplied from its ranks, one Assistant District Commissioner (Leader Training), two Assistant District Commissioner (Cubs), one Assistant District Commissioner (Scouts), three District Commissoners and one Assistant County Commissioner. The Group is now the 3rd Shipley (St. Peter’s Church).
The 8th Bradford North (Shipley) Parish Church Troop formed in 1925, John A Holmes being Scoutmaster with 22 Scouts, and in 1928 the Assistant Scoutmaster was shown as George Lloyd Goldsborough with 11 Scouts. There is no mention of the Troop on the 1937 District List.
In 1956 the Group re-formed with Michael Booth as Scoutmaster. Following a difference of opinion with the Church authorities the Group moved across the road to the Wesleyan Reform Chapel on Manor Lane under the title the 12th Shipley (Central), and moved to Saltaire Methodist Church in 1972. In 1986 the title was changed to the 12th Shipley (Saltaire Methodist). The Group closed in 1992 owing to lack of leaders.
In the same year, 1925, the 9th Bradford North (Rosse Street Baptist) Troop was formed with R Goodburn as Scoutmaster, and has existed without a break, presently as the 4th Shipley (Baptist Church). In the 1960s the Group met at the Bethel Baptist Church for two or three years. I was Scoutmaster and Group Scoutmaster of the Group from 1946 to 1958. The Group has provided the District with one Assistant District Commissioner, one Assistant District Commissioner (Scouts), jointly with St. Peter’s one Assistant District Commissioner (Leader Training), two District Commissioners, and the County with a County Commissioner.
A Troop was started at the Saltaire Congregational Church in 1927 with Albert Stubbs as Scoutmaster, with 18 Scouts. The Troop had a drum and bugle band in the 1930s, and were keen rivals of the Windhill Band in which I played a bugle. I have memories of Norman Bullock, one time Scoutmaster, a tough examiner of the Cyclist and Missioner (Sick Nursing) Proficiency Badges. The Group is shown as the 10th Bradford North on the 1937 District List, but seems to have disappeared during the last war.
In 1960 the Group was re-formed with the late Charlie Gibson as Group Scoutmaster, and a bag pipe band was formed at the instigation of the Scoutmaster, Michael Booth. Permission was obtained for members of the band to wear the kilt and Charlie Gibson was appointed Bandmaster. The band had many successes at competitions in various parts of the country, but unfortunately no longer exists. The present Cub Leader, Barbara Lawson, joined the Group shortly after its reformation. The Sunday School where the Group met was demolished in the early 1970s and for a while meetings were held in a room beneath the Church. The Group set to to build its own headquarters, which they now own in Caroline Street.
A Troop was registered at Saltaire Road School as the 2nd Bradford North in 1932 with R Crampton as Scoutmaster and 21 Scouts. This lasted until 1937.
Mention has been made of the fact that a Troop was shown on the 1922 list as the 58th Bradford North (St. Mary’s). I have no record of when this Troop started and finished, but is was registered again as the 13th Bradford North (St. Walburga’s) in 1933, meeting in the St. Walburga’s School, St. Mary’s Avenue. I gather that the Roman Catholic Church in Shipley has been variously known as St. Mary’s and St. Walburga’s. It looks as though on this occasion the Troop, under the leadership of J Cooper and J A Reeves, with 10 Scouts, only lasted about 12 months. It was not until 1980 that the Group started up again as the 10th Shipley (St. Walburga’s) with Margaret Topham as Cub Leader with 22 Cubs. This was followed by a Scout Troop being formed by Donald Kay. The Group lasted until 1986.
The Headmaster of the Salt High School for Boys, G H Parkin started a Scout Troop at the school, with himself as Group Scoutmaster, in 1934, registered as the 18th Bradford North (Salt High School). There were 3 ‘officers’ and 11 Scouts. The Troop lasted until the early 1950s. The most famous ‘old boy’ was the late Bob Cryer M.P. who was previously in the Cubs at St. Peter’s, and who was a leading light in District Gang Shows.
It is known that a Group existed at the Shipley Salvation Army Citadel in the late 1940s and early 1950s, but despite enquiries, including indirect contact with someone who says he was Scoutmaster at the time, I have been unable to get any solid information.
Sometime in the late 1940s Rick Cockshott started the 13th Shipley (Victoria) Troop meeting in a disused laundry at the end of the row of shops opposite Shipley United Reform Church, which now hosts a variety of concerns. The parents of the Scouts held themselves responsible for paying the rent. In 1946 the Troop moved to a hut in Victoria Park. Rick Cockshott was an art teacher at Malsis School, and was a regular contributor of art work to the weekly magazine ‘The Scout’. On the strength of this he invited the editor of The Scout to come from London to declare the hut open. The Editor, Haydn Dimmock, accepted, and after the opening he attended an entertainment given by various members of the District in the St. Margaret’s Church Hall, Frizinghall. This received good press coverage and led to the District Gang Shows already mentioned. I heard that Haydn Dimmock did not clear things with Headquarters and there was some difficulty regarding his expenses. In 1951 Rick Cockshott left the district and the Group amalgamated with the Windhill Mission Group, under the leadership of the Scoutmaster at Windhill Mission, Sam Waterhouse. The Group then became the 16th Shipley, meeting in the Shipley Congregational Sunday School. When Sam Waterhouse retired the Troop and Pack were taken over by George and Sheila Bland, and a hut was built on Church land by the Scouters and parents. This was officially opened by the County Commissioner, the late John Foster Beaver Junr. In 1961. The Group closed in 1991, and the hut is now the District Headquarters.
A Cub Pack was formed at the Heaton Royd School under the title 2nd Shipley (Heaton Royd) with Sylvia Halliday as Cub Leader, with 15 Cubs in 1981, and lasted until 1988.
In 1968 the 10th Shipley (Frizinghall Congregational) Group was formed at the Frizinghall Congregational Church with Maurice Watkinson as Group Scoutmaster, Robert Hutt as Scoutmaster and Leila Judith Watkinson as Cubmaster, with 18 Cubs and 16 Scouts, and lasted until 1972.
In May 1993 the Group was re-formed as the 2nd Shipley (Frizinghall) with Colin Robinson as Group Scoutmaster. The Group was the first in the District to accept girls as Beavers, Cubs & Scouts, and at the time of writing is the only one.
And so to Baildon where, in 1928, the Rev. Montague L Foyle started a Scout Troop with 19 Scouts, as the 11th Bradford North (Baildon Wesleyan), being joined by Walter Naylor as his assistant. There were 23 Scouts. The Title became the 11th Shipley (Baildon Westgate Methodist Church) and finally the 6th Shipley (Baildon Methodist). A Cub Pack was started shortly after the formation of the Scout Troop. Two ‘old boys’ of the Group are Richard Whiteley, the Television Presenter, and Ian Clough who tragically lost his life while climbing in the Himalayas in 1970. His father, Councillor Clough, presented the District with a woggle, carved by Ian, which has been incorporated into a District Trophy, now being awarded to the winners of the Scoutabout competition. It is impossible not to mention the work done for the Group by the Brear family, the late Allan Brear, Group Scoutmaster, and his two sons.
In 1932 George Brough started the 6th Bradford North (Charlestown Baptist) Troop, George was Scoutmaster, with 11 Scouts. The name changed to the 6th Shipley and then 8th Shipley (Charlestown Baptist). It seems to have disappeared soon after 1945 , but George Brough continued to do good work for the District for many years.
In May 1934 a Group was formed at the Baildon Moravian Church as the 15th Bradford North, Scoutmaster Edwin Hainsworth with 12 Scouts, and Cubmaster Elizabeth Bell with 8 Cubs. The Group is shown on the 1937 District List, but after that there is no record until Fred Glover (who was in the Cubs with me way back) was appointed Group Scoutmaster of the 11th Shipley (Baildon Moravian) Group in 1959.
Four members of the Baildon Methodist Group helped to form a Troop at Baildon St. John’s Church which was registered in 1934 as the 14th Bradford North (Baildon Sty. Johns) with Kenneth Midgley as Scoutmaster with 13 Scouts. It became the 9th Shipley (Baildon St. Johns) in 1945, having been the 14th Shipley after the change of District title. The Rev. Ruming held things together when there was a lack of leaders in the 1950s, and when he left the District in 1956 the Group was taken over by Ted & Miriam Russell. In that year the Group was presented with a set of drums which were dedicated at the St. George’s Day Service in St. John’s Church. Then in 1957 the Baildon Players presented the Group with four trumpets. The band existed for some years and took part in District parades. A hut was built in the Vicarage grounds in 1938, and moved to its present site in 1954. An extension was built and opened in March 1961 by the Chairman of the Baildon Urban District Council.
In 1951 the 18th Shipley (Langley Residential School) Group was formed, run by Alan Brear and Ronny Vaudin of the 6th Shipley Group. In 1970 Ted Russell was Scoutmaster and Yvonne Waddington was Cubmaster. It closed in 1973.
1957 saw the opening of the 10th Shipley (Charlestown Methodist) Group with Jack Brooksbank as Group Scoutmaster and Joan Bower as Cubmaster. The Group closed in 1964, and Joan went on to be District Cubmaster and Assistant District Commissioner (Cubs). Jack Brooksbank had the best kept lawn in Baildon.
In 1973 Cathy Smith started the 8th Shipley (St. Aidan’s) Cub Pack, and was joined by her husband Peter as Group Scoutmaster. Both are no longer with the Group which has had its ups and downs but is still in business.
For some years the 9th Shipley (St. John’s) Group had been split between those living ‘at the top’ and those ‘at the bottom’. Those at the bottom met in St. James Church, but were still part of the Group. In 1993 the section meeting at St. James Church became the 10th Shipley (St. James) with no connection with the 9th ‘at the top’.
And finally to Esholt. There is no mention of a Pack there on the 1937 list, but it is recorded on the old Cub Sports Trophy that the 14th Shipley (Esholt) Pack won it in 1941. I recall visiting the Pack when it was run by the Rev. Sage who later left Esholt to become Vicar of Frizinghall. In 1954 it is recorded that a new Cubmaster was needed, and the Group closed down as no one came forward.
Before the last war most Groups had a small Rover Crew and all were members of the District Crew, consisting of Rovers from the various Bradford Districts. All wore the boar’s head emlem on the point of the scarf. Each District had its own colour of scarf. The Bradford North one was green. After the war some Groups still had Rovers, and for a while there was a District Crew.
At various times there have been ‘Service Teams’, the ‘B-P Guild of Old Scouts’ and at present the ‘Scout Network’.
Beavers are, of course, the latest addition to Scout Groups, and at present all Groups in the District have at least one colony.
We decided to have a wide game based on the story of the tongue-less boar on the Bradford Coat of Arms. This concerns a ravenous huge boar of most enormous size that was making a nuisance of itself around Bradford, and a reward offered to anyone who dealt with it. It seems that the man who shot it cut out its tongue as proof of what he had done. Someone else came along, found the dead boar, cut off its head and went off with it to claim the reward. Whilst he was trying to explain why the head had no tongue the first chap came up and was granted land at Great Horton still known as Hunt Yard. Well we told this tale to the assembled Scouts, in the Oliver hut at Sconce, and gave each patrol a camera, each armed with one ‘shot’ and some flash powder, some clues, and set them off in the middle of the night to find and ‘shoot’ the beast. On this occasion the boar was a pig’s head Ron Muschamp had persuaded a friendly butcher to let him have, and which we had partly hidden in the undergrowth. All returned with their cameras and George Bland, who had supplied the equipment, went home to process the results. When he returned the ‘shots’ were examined, a patrol declared the winner, and on the Monday morning Ron returned the pig’s head to the butcher.
In October 1960 a District Senior Scout Competition was held, involving camping on top of Ingleborough. In order to assist the various teams to find their way to the summit, Mike Booth stood on top playing the bagpipes. As there was a howling gale blowing at the time this was rather pointless, but he enjoyed himself. On this occasion he was not wearing the kilt. My memories of visiting them on Sunday morning is of folk on top of Ingleborough on bicycles.
Somewhere I have referred to a show put on for Haydn Dimmock, Editor of ‘The Scout’ in the St. Margaret’s Church Hall. At this my father-in-law, Benny Eland, a Scouter with the Windhill Troop, was the pianist. Unfortunately he fell off the stage and broke his glasses. The show was held up while he went round the hall looking for his wife to borrow hers.
Then there was the time when the Chairmen of the Shipley & Baildon Urban District Councils were joint Presidents of the District. At one Annual General Meeting the gentlemen whose turn it was arrived with one pair of glasses between them which they borrowed as required.
To return to wide games, there was one for Senior Scouts held on Baildon Moor, and involved a Lady Cubmaster agreeing to be abducted and held hostage until rescued by our gallant lads. I was a misty day, and Leslie Wright parked his car somewhere Dobrudden way with a note on the windscreen. The note read ‘Popofsy to Dropofsy. Girl held at farm’. Some people passing read this and, being good citizens, drew the attention of the local constabulary to what was going on. Ah well.
And finally two things I must refer to. The first is Group Shows, and what has happened to them. There was a time when the Group Show was an important event in the year of the Group. This is no longer the case Why? It would be ill-advised of me to say too much about the efforts of individual Groups, but the 16th had the most elaborate costumes, the 6th always had rave reviews in the press, St. Peter’s made use of ultra violet light to make their scarves glow in the dark, the 4th had their bumper fun book, Windhill with displays of semaphore, Indian Club swinging, their band, and one who always found an excuse to wear his Davy Crocket hat. B-P said that acting was an important part of the training, but nobody seems to have time for it any more. Let’s face it. Putting on a good show is hard work.
The second thing is Bands. There was a time when we could not fit all the bands in the District into a parade without a lot of marchers hearing two at once. Now we have to go cap in hand to other District to borrow theirs. Bands in this District have gone the way of Group Shows, shorts, scout hats and the staff.