Scouting started at Crosland Hill in 1946. A lady called Margaret Pickles (nee Hirst) formed a Wolf Cub Pack. (Margaret attended our 50th Anniversary celebrations in 1997.) They held their meetings at the Manor Farm House, kindly offered by Frank Roberts.
In 1947 it became obvious that a Boy Scout Section was required. Ian McGill took on the role of Scout Master. Harold Mellor, Eric Wyke, David Tompkins, and Keith Belbin all helped out over the next year or two.
By chance (or was it design?), Margaret got off a trolley bus at Crosland Hill one day, and started chatting to one Ken Oldfield. That conversation ever so slightly changed Ken’s life!! For the next forty-odd years Ken passed on Scouting knowledge and influenced some 500 boys. In fact his inspiration is still being felt—Dave C learned all he knows from Ken, and Dave F was one of Dave’s Scouts.
In the 60’s, Crosland Hill was the most famous and successful Troop in Huddersfield, winning every competition and trophy going. Margaret gave up being Cub Mistress in the early 60’s. She was followed by Ronnie Daggett for a spell, and then a young lady whom Ken had recently met. What powers of persuasion—he not only managed to install a legendary Cub Leader, but married her into the bargain! The reign of Cub Leader supreme, Anne Oldfield, had started.
Such was Anne’s success that in 1976 a 2nd Cub Pack was started, with Ian Shackcloth (a lifelong 9th member) becoming its Akela.
The Scout section, meanwhile, had grown to become the largest Troop in SW Huddersfield (disregarding Newsome’s band) with Dave C as Scout Leader. Ken’s success and traditions were continued, and numbers rose to almost forty.
In the 70’s Venture Scouting had become mixed. Dick Prior had been Senior Scout Master (an earlier name for Venture Scout Leader) since the mid-60’s. He was now joined by an ex-army PT instructor, John Sullivan. He was the step-father of a couple of Scouts (Neil & Chris) and husband of the then treasurer, Barbara. Together with help from Dot Foster, Venture Scout numbers rose to 40!
In 1990, we joined the ever-increasing number of Groups to start a Beaver Scout Colony. Pat Mellor was the Leader with Joanne Foster ably supporting.
In the 90’s five stalwarts of the Group all moved on to pastures new. First Dick, then Dave (albeit temporarily), Ken, Anne, and finally Ian. These Leaders must have clocked up almost 200 years at the 9th between them!
Losing such dedicated Leaders was a blow, but their replacements took up the respective mantles with enthusiasm and commitment. This ensured that Scouting at Crosland Hill is alive, kicking, and thriving.
It goes without saying that many important and influential figures have been omitted from this potted history;
Father & Son Camps;
I know I have probably gone over the top here, but I just want you to know what a tradition we have, and what a magnificent organisation and Group you have joined.
To quote what Ken always used to say when he invested a new Scout:
An e-mail From our Mole at HQ [Neville]
You've started something now haven't you!!!!!!!
Having checked our records for the Group's registration date I asked the Archives team to check for the original registration document.............Guess what there are also 2 earlier 9th Huddersfield Groups registered!!!!!!!!!!
A 9th Huddersfield Group was first registered at Primrose Hill Baptist using the Baptist Sunday School as a headquarters on the 19th March 1928 (Reg: No: 18221) The Scoutmaster was a Rev. G N Graham and he had 6 Scouts in March which had increased to 8 Scouts in October 1928. The Group Registration was cancelled in 1934.
A second 9th Huddersfield Group at St John's, Lepton was registered on the 13th March 1936 (Reg: No: 17821) giving the address of the HQ as the Parochial Hall, Lepton. The Cubmaster/GSM was Kathleen Procter and she had 12 Wolf Cubs.
The real 9th Huddersfield was actually registered as Crosland Hill Methodist on the 10th July 1946 by Margaret Hirst assisted by Trevor Elam (whose name was then crossed out) with 12 Wolf Cubs. The words 9th Huddersfield were added later. The Group was originally Sponsored (by the Methodist Chapel) but there is a note that the Group became an 'Open' Group in 1968.
There is more, lots more..........
The Wolf Cub Pack was joined by a Scout Troop in 1949 and a Senior Scout section was added in 1959 which became a Venture Unit in 1968. In 1974 and 1975 there was no Venture Unit but in 1976 we had 2 Cub Packs, a Scout Troop and a Venture Unit which then continued in this form until 1982 when this information ceased to be recorded.
Warrants...........(all taken from handwritten cards, hence subject to 'interpretation')
Margaret Hirst was CM from 28th Nov 1949 to 26th May 1964
I will try and find more recent appointments later although warrants have been issued to Districts rather than Groups for some time and it would help if you could prime me with some idea of who is missing.
That should fill in a few gaps..........