"The Swinging Sixties"

After ten years the Hurll Axe was competed for again and won by Martin Malyon’s Tiger Patrol. Roger Pink and Robert Frith gained their Queens Scout award and the first DOE Silver awards in Middlesex Scout County. The Group donated £30 to the B-P House memorial fund qualifying for a founder member plaque. After the 8th ‘Our Show’ ended, building worked started on the QM store. The Troop under John Hobbs camped at Thalwil in Switzerland. Joint activities with the American Troop in Bushy Park were arranged, and the boys introduced to ‘Soft ball’. The Rover Crew held two successful car ‘Treasure Hunt’ rallies. The senior Scouts attended the first national Air Scout camp at Gilwell. Jeremy Lloyd opened the Autumn Bazaar.

Plans were laid for an impressive two story front extension to the hall of the HQ. The Senior Troop gave a fifteen minute Air Scout display at the Camping and Outdoor Exhibition at Olympia. The Troop at 50 strong was, because of its size, becoming difficult to manage, so it was split into two separate Troops. Bill Summerfield left the Group on moving away to Sussex. Pat Williams and Graham Strutt took part in Ralph Reader’s new play “The Harem of P.L.Gee”. The Group took part in the District Fete at the Rugby Ground car park. The Thursday Troop won the Trek Cart competition, and The Gerry Oswald Four entertained at the evening Maryland Barbeque. Baden Powell House was opened by HM The Queen in July and ten 2nd Whitton Queen Scout acted as stewards for the occasion. Roger Pink was on duty at one of the Queen’s Buckingham Palace Garden Parties. The Scouts camped at Betteshanger Park, Kent. Geoff Benge married Margaret Funnell on 2nd September at St Augustine’s Church. The group celebrated its Silver Jubilee in October with a Service. Four couples who had met through the Group were married throughout the year

Membership of the Group Supporters Association reached 411. A Silver Jubilee Dinner Dance was held at the Winning Post. Our Show ran for four nights at St Mary’s Hall. Scouts appeared on the Billy Cotton Band Show. The Air Scouts led the Queen’s Scout parade at Windsor celebrating 21 years of Air Scouting. The National Air Scout weekend camp was held in Aldershot. Annual camps were held by the Troop at Buckmore Park, the Pack at Normandy. The senior Troop undertook a six country tour of Europe. TV comedian Dickie Henderson opened the Autumn Bazaar. The Group’s new look carol evening ended the year.

Our Show moved to a new venue – Whitton Secondary School. About 100 were in the cast, 75 being Cubs. All production problems were overcome and the show realised a record profit. In spite of Our Show coinciding with Bob a Job week, 1600 jobs were undertaken. In May work started in the front two-storey extension to the HQ. The Troop camped at Ferryside in Wales and very wet it was! The Pack camped at Normandy for the last time for several years. Tony Levis was selected to attend the World Jamboree in Marathon, Greece. The split Troop became two separate troops in the autumn. The Air Scouts once again gained RAF recognition.

Our Show moved to York House and the Chief Scout, Sir Charles McLean attended on the last night. The new front two-storey extension to the HQ was opened by John Thurman, Gilwell Camp Chief on July 11th. On that occasion Fred ‘Kim’ Benge was presented with the Scout Association’s Silver Acorn. The Group numbered 160 uniformed members at this time and the total of Queen’s Scouts reached 44. The 10th bi-annual Twickeree was held once again in Marble Hill Park. The Senior Scout section camped at Lulworth Castle Park. The Cubs camped at Polyapes for the first time. Two Cubs, Michael James and Barry Ward gained all 15 of the badges available for boys at the time.

Troop first winter camp held at Downe in Kent. The District St George’s Day Parade was re-introduced to coincide with the enlargement of the Scout District to include Hampton and Hampton Hill. 1300 uniformed members were on parade. In July the Group hosted a visit of Scottish Scouts from Markinch, Fifeshire. Comedian Ted Rogers opened the Autumn Bazaar and a profit of £227 was made. On November 23rd Tony Levis went to Buckingham Palace to receive his gold Standard Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

This year marked the 30th anniversary of the Group and also the Jubilee year of the Cub section. ‘Packeree’ was held in Orleans Gardens, Twickenham. Two boys from the Packs took part in a pageant at the Royal Albert Hall. The Rover Crew was restarted with the investiture of 7 Senior Scouts in BP house chapel. The Air Scouts camped in Northern Ireland, while the Troops went to Brittany and Scotland. During this camping season, 110 uniformed members notched up 950 camping nights! Jimmy Hanley opened the Autumn Bazaar. Two further Queen’s Scouts brought the total to 50. Cubs gained 120 proficiency badges and 10 Leaping Wolves (and the Brooke Bond tea packet collection for ‘Saving Wildlife’ topped 30.000). The Scouts, not to be outdone, boasted 11 First Class Awards and won 2nd prize in a national Baked Bean competition. The Senior Section began putting the Advance Party recommendations into practice and gained 50 badges throughout the year.

The year began with the presentation of 9 Queens Scout Awards to the Senior Air Scout Section. Major changes were introduced in the Group as a result of the Advance Party recommendations. The Rover Crew became the Service Unit, Wolf Cubs became Cub Scouts, and Senior Scouts became Venture Scouts almost overnight. The Cub packs were renamed Green and White respectively mirroring the Troop names. Fred Benge decided to retire as Group Scout Leader after 20 years continuous service and Pat Williams agreed to succeed him. On Friday 15th September Fred was given a proper send off and he accepted the role of Honorary Group President. That summer the weather had been particularly bad, halting Twickeree, ruining the Biggin Hill Air Fair, and producing a first night storm for the Cubs at Polyapes. The Troop had fine weather at Beaulieu, and the Venture Unit fared well in the South of France. Kevin Huggett attended the World Jamboree in Idaho, USA. White Pack won the Cub Sports for the eighth successive year. Roy Hudd opened the Autumn Bazaar.

The Venture Unit unusually camped at Longridge Sea Scout Base on the Thames. They later staged a production of ‘The Wingate Patrol’ in the HQ. By February the Troop and Venture Unit were wearing the new uniforms. In March the Group were shocked by the sudden death of Mabel Benge, Akela to countless boys for more than 20 years. On Sunday 31st March 400 past and present members packed St Augustine’s church for a memorial service. Norman Vaughan opened the Autumn Bazaar. The year closed with the presentation of 4 more Queen Scout Awards.

Pat Williams was awarded the Scout Association’s Silver Acorn in the St. Georges Day Awards. Fred Hurll, Group Chairman, was honoured by the World Scout Council for his service to Scouting by the award of the Bronze Wolf. He had joined British Scout Headquarters as a young man in 1921. Camps for the year took place in the Pyrenees and Arundel for the Troops, Normandy and Polyapes for the Cubs, and Cornwall for the Venture Unit.

I want the public to know how Scouting continues to open young people’s eyes to a world of extraordinary promise and possibilities.'
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls