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Hullbridge Village History

1st Hullbridge Scout Troop


It was in 1960 that Mr Hardy, the school headmaster, had the idea that Boy Scout, Cubs and Girl Guide, Brownies troops should be formed in Hullbridge. He put the proposal to the Residents Association who concurred and so volunteers were sought and found. Peter Rusling became the Group Scout Leader with Sid Harber the Scout Leader and Jack Williams the Assistant Scout Leader, Bill Trower was the Group Secretary.

Clipping from January 1961 Local Review newspaper showing
									the Scouts,Cubs and Brownies enjoying their Christmas Beanfeast in the village hall A photograph cutting taken from the Local Review newspaper Jan 1961. The photo is taken in Hullbridge Village Hall from the Saturday previous where the 1st Hullbridge Scout, Cubs and Brownies had their Christmas Party with the food being mostly donated by the children's parents.
In attendance was Mr D. Dack Assistant District Commissioner for Cubs who presented warrants to Group Scout Leader Mr P Rusling, Cub Mistress Mrs E Vaughan and Scout Master Mr S Harber.The photographer is standing just in front of the kitchen and the Hall's stage can be seen in the background.
The Guides had not yet been formed due to lack of a volunteer to run them. Sid was a very good pastry cook and artist.


In 1964 Sid Harber resigned his post as he was moving out of the village. Jack Williams also resigned as his job offered him living accommodation near Hadleigh Bus Depot, this left GSL Peter Ruisling to run the troop but this did not last long and Peter also resigned.

The elder boys in the troop then went to Bill Trower as did Cis Vaughan and explained there were some elder boys in her cub pack that were really looking forward to becoming Boy Scouts and would Bill be so kind and take over the troop, even if it was on a temporary basis. Bill having two young sons Paul and Alan (Paul was nearing Scouts age) decided it might be a good thing and accepted the position on a temporary basis. At this moment in time the troop had only one patrol with Nigel Booth as the "Sixer" and his Assistant was Terry Harper.

Photo from Jean Booth of brother Nigel when he was a sixer
	   								for 1st Hullbridge Cubs in 1962 Photo taken 1962 when Nigel had just been made "Sixer" and he stands proud with his stripe on his uniform.

Bill had moved into the village around 1953 and lived in a bungalow in Ferry Road just along from the Primary School which is where, with the blessing of Mr Hardy, the Scout Night was held every Friday evening. Bill soon had an Assistant Scout Leader Alec Baker who lived with his wife, son Paul also nearing Scout age, and two daughters Valerie and Hazel at "Gardenia" 161 Lower Road which is on top of Coventry Hill. Both Bill and Alec were men built of the stronger stuff, you had to be in order to wear the early uniform of khaki cotton shirt and shorts with woolen knee length socks during winter and camps !

The Scout Nights started around 7.30 although many of the boys got there much earlier so that they could play football in the schools playground. Once Bill or Alec turned up and obatined the key to the building from Mr Hardy, who was living next door in the school house, the boys would mill into the main large classroom and when called to order would line up behind their patrol leaders ready for inspection. It was the patrol leaders job to collect and unfurl the two flags, one the Union Jack the other 1st Hullbridge's.Then followed inspection and swearing of the scout code:-
"On my honour I promise I will do my best, to do my duty to god and queen, and to help other people and to keep the Scout law"
Inspection was on the state of the uniform:- was the hat on properly, was the shoes and belt polished , was the stocking tabs down the outer side of the leg, was the scarf rolled tidily with a equal triangle at the back with the tip pointing down the spine and cleanliness, was the finger nails clean and not bitten, was the neck and knees clean. Patrols were awarded or deducted points for standard of tidiness and for number of turn out and tardiness. Each night competitions were held for additional points. At the end of each month the winning patrol was announced.

1st Hullbridge started with two patrols, Kestrel and Seagull whose colours were Green and Claret and Light Blue respectively. Each scout when enrolled was given the two badges to be sewn onto the breast pockets, one was the scouting badge the other was a badge of Essex they were also given a epaulet which was pinned to the shoulder to show what patrol the scout belonged to. The scarfs worn around their neck was in the colours of the troop, Hullbridge was light blue .

One of the first things a new entrant into the scouts or cubs had to buy was the Handbook.

2nd edition Scouting Handbook Cub Scout Handbook


Some parents of Scouts and Cubs came together to form the "Scout Supporters Association" whose purpose was to raise funds for the Group to help them buy some of the more expensive equipment needed fot their scouting activities and also to provide them with a headquarters of their own.


Ist Hullbridge won the South East Essex Scouts, North District Sports Meeting.
An article appeared in The Resident for Nov., promoting the "Scout Supporters Association" and advising about the desire to have their own meeting place. It also advised that the Association had raised since its formation £60 for the Group this being the proceeds from the Autumn Fair the previous year and a Jumble Sale held in January.
The current fund raising effort "Selec-ta-Sec was also promoted in which people but a second for 1d.


  • July / Aug 1968
    The 6th Essex International Jamboree took place at Belchamps. 1st Hullbridge participated.
    For a brief summary of the Jamboree. CLICK HERE
  • 7th December
    1st Hullbridge was awarded the District's colours for gaining the most points in competitions. The award was made at the District's H.Q. at Belchamps.
  • Black and White photograph of a group of scouts, 1st Hullbridge in front of their camp
								at the 6th Essex Jamboree held at Belchamps in 1968
    Photo courtesy of Rubin Wood showing the 1st Hullbridge Scouts
    in 1968 at Belchamps, Hawkwell, Essex the venue for the 6th Essex Jamboree.
    List of 1st Hullbridge contingent provided by Mr. B Trower Cover of Essex 6th Jamboree book. Inside book showing camp layout. Hullbridge were in Pink Camp.
    More pages from inside the book. The Snake head was the symbol of Belchamps. Bata shoes thought they had a good thing when they identified there was a large number of boys and teenagers in the scouts and cubs, so they introduced special shoes with patterned soles that would impregnmate soft ground with symbols of animal tracks in an attempt to increase their sales. (see last page).
    Clipping from December 12 1968 Local Review newspaper showing
									1st Hullbridge Scouts being presented with the District Colours A photograph cutting taken from the Local Review newspaper Dec 12 1968.The photo is taken at Belchamps, Hawkwell and shows Mick Wilkinson being presented with the District's colours by the District Chairman Mr L. C. Cogman. Behind them is Assistant Scout Leader Alec Baker. The boys in cubs uniforms have recently joined the Scouts as they are no longer the right age for Cubs.
    The boys are L to R:-
    ??, Alan Lee, Winfred Turnball,Ian Cranston directly behind Winfred, ?? behind right of Winfred,Jeff Livesey, ?? behind Jeff, ?? between Winfred and boy holding certificate, ??,??, behind boy holding certificate left shoulder, ?? boy holding certificate, David Carter, directly behind boy holding certificate, ?? behind Dave Carter,Gary Congram, right at back, ?? boy behind flag, ??, ??,?? between boy behind flag and boy holding certificate.


    Paper clipping dated 14 Oct showing Ist Hullbridge Scout Kevin Reaney
									weariing on his scout uniform his recently presented gilt cross which he
									won for his bravery. Oct 13th
    Kevin Reaney became the 22nd scout in Essex to be decorated by the Chief Scout for bravery. He was presented the Gilt Cross by Divisional Officer Tom Parrinder at Hullbridge School in front of his fellow 1st Hullbridge Scouts and Cubs. Kevin's award was in recognition for his quick thinking which averted possible tragedy when he freed a small girl after she had grasped a fallen live electricity cable.


    After 13 years of running 1st Hullbridge Scouts, Bill Trower read his memories, handed the mantle over to ??
    John Austin and Harry Quinn had already set up the Venture Scouts.


    Desmond Barnes takes over as Group Scout Leader.


    The Scout Group always needed to have fund raising events and in 1985 they decided to have a "Family Fun day" at the local Primary School. Here is the poster they produced to advertise it.


    Desmond Barnes leaves his position having been in his position for "THIRTY" years, a fantastic achievement and dedication to the children of the village.


    In Sept 2011 the 1st Hullbridge Scouts celebrated its 50th Anniversary at St Thomas's Church, Hullbridge.
    Invites went out to old scouts and especially old scout leaders. Here we have ? , John Austin and ? Bill Trower was also there but was showing loads of people slides of the early years when this was taken.
    Some of the people attending the anniversary enjoying the buffet that was put on.They are gathered roughly were the Scout hut once stood.
    Another picture of the guests enjoying a nice brew. The Scouts always know how to make" a good brew!".
    It was business as usual despite the celebrations. Here new members of the Group are about to say their pledge over the flag.
    Another photo of the ceremony.

    Acknowledgement is made to the following contributions that this history was compiled from:-