Welcome to the 4th Harrow

 

The 4th Harrow is a vibrant Group consisting of a Beaver Colony (the first to be formed within the District) a Cub Pack (again one of the earliest) and a Scout Troop (Phoenix). Meeting at our headquarters in Kenmore Avenue all sections enjoy a balanced programme and regularly achieve top awards. We celebrated our Centenary in November 2011 which saw an action-packed year of celebration, events and fun. Let us go back in time....

 

The Headmaster of Harrow County School for Boys (now Harrow High School) in 1911 was the distinguished geographer Ernest Young, and learning of the formation of Scout Groups in Harrow and realising their worth in education, he invited Baden-Powell to address a parent’s meeting with the result that the County School Group was formed. Before long the Group had camps near Worthing (1912) and Germany (1912, 1914), this being revolutionary enough to rate pictures and articles in the national press and even in the USA.

During World War 1 there was a loss of leaders to the services but the Group survived and undertook much public service in the war effort such as salvage, harvesting, flax weeding, fruit picking, potato harvesting and even collection and repair of old boots for dependants of those at the war.

In November 1919 the Cub Pack was formed although unfortunately little is known of its history until the 1960s.

By 1924, the land opposite the school, which had been used up to this time for camping, had becomeAshburton Gardens and so short camps moved to Harrow Weald. At this time each school house had a Troop (Kenton, Welldon, Northwick and Preston) and during the 1920s ambitious camps continued with eight abroad.

By now the Group had a wooden pavillion, which was which demolished in 1938 to make way for the school canteen. Meetings there from 1927 included a Rover Crew formed from members who were over 18, and by 1931 it was 45 strong. An old stables block behind 37 Blawith Road was acquired as their HQ and “The Stables” prospered until it was demolished in the 1960’s Civic Centre scheme – Poets Way was the old entry.

Jack Beet led the Crew until his death and subsequent leaders included “Charlie” King. During the war a few leaders struggled on, with camps often being organised and run by patrol leaders and after, faced with falling numbers, the Group reformed into Pathfinders, Merrymen and Pioneers (Air Scouts) Troops. Teachers Harry Mees and Mervyn Morgans later formed the Foresters Troop. Each Troop had its own meeting evening each week in a ramshackle wooden building opposite “The Stables”, the complex by now being known asScout Park. In 1957, year of the 50th Anniversary Jamboree in England, the Group had four Troops each between 40 and 60 strong, two Senior Scout Troops and the largest Rover Crew in the UK.

During this period the Group was at its largest and most adventurous.  Ambitious Gang Shows ran 3-4 nights each year in the School Hall. Two week Summer Camps usually well away from London were the norm. One year the Senior Scouts had a Widegame round the UK using Rail Passes earned by delivering leaflets for British Rail. In the 1960s many in the Rover Crew spent time helping at Camp Mohawk, a semi permanent camp in Wiltshire for the children of American servicemen in Europe. In the 1970s Switzerland was a favoured venue for camps. At one such camp there was a Patrol Widegame using the entire Swiss rail network.

All this time the Group had been fund raising to augment the compensation offered by Harrow Council for the loss of Scout Park and searching for a new site for a HQ. Proposals in Rayners Lane , Kenton Road andNorthwick Park failed. Creation of the Greater London Council and support of Harold Mote on the Council led to a site in Kenton Recreation Ground and construction grants. After the nearly complete new building was burnt down, the HQ was finally opened in 1973 by Ralph Reader, and we could leave the school gym andVaughan Road School. About this time a fifth Troop, Wayfarer Sea Scouts, was formed. The 1968 reorganisation of Scouting and drastic changes at the School led to loss of the regular influx of pupils and the end of Rover Scouts. Two Venture Units were formed in 1968. Troops were merged, the Cub Pack reopened and later a Beaver Colony formed as the Group, now no longer linked to the school, evolved into a conventional Group with one Beaver, Cub, Scout and Venture Scout sections. Nevertheless standards remained high, one year producing 11 Queen’s Scouts. The most recent changes in Scouting have seen the Venture Unit close and the formation of Harrow Explorer Scout Unit currently based at 4th Harrow HQ.

The Group has changed many times over the years to end up as it is today:

The Beaver Colony was the first to be formed in Harrow & Wealdstone District;

The Cub Pack, formed in 1919 as one of the earliest in the country, was reformed in the early 1970s and has a history of successes; and

The Scout Troop has a long heritage and has been successful over many years.

All sections have boys and girls and contain a diversity that reflects that of the local population.

We celebrated our Centenary in 2011 and are now looking forward to the next.