Scouting in Grappenhall
The earliest record of Scouting in Grappenhall is taken from a copy of the Troop registration for 1st Grappenhall, dated Monday August 3rd, 1914. It was founded with just 16 Scouts under the leadership of Mr. Thomas Edwards and meetings were held at “Holyrood” Chester Road, Grappenhall. Little is known however, about the Troop in the years that followed. The Great War may well have had an impact on both leadership and membership at that time.
Records for the present, church sponsored, Scout Troop started in the Summer of 1939 under the leadership of Reverend Freeman, a curate of St Wilfrid’s Church, Grappenhall. It was a small troop that may well have been disbanded when Rev Freeman left the parish had it not been for the arrival of a new curate, Reverend M H Ridgway. Under his leadership the troop flourished and a “Wolf Cub” Pack was later formed for the younger boys.
At that time the Cubs met in the village school whilst Scouts held their meetings in a small, smoky loft over the now demolished rectory stables before moving to the church hall, more commonly referred to as the “Large Room”.
During the post-war years parents felt the Scouts needed a “home” of their own and raised sufficient funds to erect an adapted Nisson Hut for the Scouts that was formally opened by Lady Daresbury in 1952. This, together with a wooden hut, were situated in what is now the churchyard car park and for many years these remained the regular meeting place for Cubs, Scouts, Senior Scouts and Rover Crew.
In 1966 the Scout Movement underwent a radical modernisation. Big hats and short trousers then became a thing of the past, Wolf Cubs became Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts became Scouts and Senior Scouts became Venture Scouts. These changes were met enthusiastically and the Group continued to thrive. Later changes saw the formation of a Beaver Colony and more recently the introduction of girls into Scouting.
During the mid 1980’s the Group realised it had outgrown its present headquarters that was now old and in a bad state of repair. It was at this time that land became available between the churchyard and the Bridgewater Canal. Once again parents raised sufficient funds, not only to purchase a third share of the land (with the two Warrington Scout Districts) but were able to build a new headquarters that was officially opened in 1989 by the Lord Lieutenant, Viscount Leverhulme. Leaders at the time included Glenn Stockton who spent many hours on the build.
The Group continues to flourish with an active Beaver Colony, two Cub Packs, and a Scout Troop. The 25th also host the District (Antarctic) Explorer Scout Unit, the District (Blazing Paddles) Canoe Club and jointly manages the District Scout Campsite on which the Headquarters is built.
Thanks to our leadership, both past and present, youngsters in Grappenhall continue to enjoy the very best that Scouting has to offer by raising their awareness of the outdoors through personal achievement and a challenging programme of activity.