Claines Scouts dates right back to 1913. Almost at the very beginning of Scouting…
The Boy Scouts was founded by Robert Baden Powell (BP), a Lieutenant General in the Boer war who was a famous for surviving the siege of Mafeking in 1900. He used a Scouting approach with his soldiers who operated in patrols, stalking, tracking, spying and using forms of guerrilla warfare otherwise unknown at the time. In Mafeking he was short of men and very successfully used boys to supplement his vastly outnumbered force. The siege lasted 217 days.
At a house party back in England in 1906 an idea was planted that he could adapt an earlier book he had written, “Aids to Scouting”, for boys to read. To do this BP needed to try the idea and an experimental camp took place on Brownsea Island with 20 boys. This was a success and BP published “Scouting For Boys” in January 1908 as a result.
This was a runaway success and was serialised in fortnightly intervals. Boys who were interested in what they had read began forming themselves into Patrols without adults and Scouting was born. By 1909 the first scout troops began to emerge led by adults and a national headquarters was established. In 1910 a version for girls was launched as Girl Guides and a demand for a younger version of Boy Scouts saw the Wolf Cubs form in 1916.
Scouts to the Rescue! 1908 silent film (1.25 mins)
Meet BP founder of the Scouts (1.48 mins)
In 1967 Boy Scouts became Scouts and Wolf Cubs became Cub Scouts. In 1986 Beaver Scouts were introduced for 6 to 8 year olds and all sections opened up to girls in 1991. The rest is history as they say…
Claines Scout Group (108 Years Old)
Claines Boy Scouts was founded in 1913 as the Worcester “Y” Troop back at the very beginning of Scouting in the UK. The founding objective is listed as providing for “ The instruction of boys of all classes in the principles of discipline, loyalty and good citizenship!”. The group was originally tied to Claines Church (St John the Baptist) and met at a wooden scout hut on Vicarage Lane (later to become Cornmeadow Lane). The photo above from around that time shows 11 newly invested Boy Scouts (from another troop) in the centre of Worcester in July 1912 with their Scout Masters either side.
During the first world war the Boy Scouts were expected to perform a civic duty to help civilians in a time of need. The photo above shows Worcester “F” Troop demonstrating their firefighting skills by the canal.
In 1932 Prince Edward visited Worcester to open the new bridge over the River Severn in the centre of Worcester. This photo shows Claines Boy Scouts (notice the green and white neckers) creating a guard of honour in Cripplegate Park. Notice that up to this point no Boy Scout would be on parade without their Scout Staff in their right hand.
The Boy Scouts helped the war effort again in 1939 and the photo above shows Worcester Boy Scouts and Claines Wolf Cubs (spot those neckers again) collecting waste paper. I’m not sure what success they would have had though if Hitler had invaded if all they had to hit him with was waste paper!
In 1957 The Queen and Prince Phillip visited Worcester on their grand tour of the UK. The photo above (taken from Pathe News reel footage) shows Claines Boy Scouts (behind the Wolf Cubs) lining the route in celebration.
That photo was just 10 years before a huge modernisation scheme across Scouting that resulted in new uniforms with berets instead of “lemon squeezer” hats and new names of just Scouts and Cubs. In 1967 Claines Scouts also became separate from Claines Church and was renamed “4th Worcester Scout Group”.
That name was short lived as in 1969 “Claines Scouts” joined with “St Georges Scouts” nearby (founded in 1911) to create the new bigger 8th Worcester Scout Group, with 61 Scouts, 98 Cub scouts, 7 Venture Scouts and 18 Leaders.
The final chapter was born when a major project secured funding to build the current brick headquarters building which opened in 1974 as probably the largest in the county.
By this point Claines Scouts had also joined with Claines Guides to form the “Claines Joint Scout and Guide Group” and the old wooden Guide hut was subsequently clad in steel and is now used as stores (garage). Today Rainbows, Brownies and Guides also meet at the joint HQ.
In the the 1980’s a Canadian WW2 military hut was donated and moved to the site. Following a number of earlier uses this is now being converted into an Explorers Den for use by Explorers (14-18) across the District, opening a new chapter in our evolving history.
If you used to be a Scouter, or have any memories and photos of the group you would like to share, we would love to know.