History of the 13th Wimbledon Scout Group – A Summary
The Scout Group has always been located at St Saviour’s church. We understand that a scout troop existed there in the summer of 1914. It had its own marching band and was probably called the 1st Raynes Park. However, there were no national records of Scout troops at that time, so we don’t know when it was first established or when it folded. It is likely that its demise came during the First World War as the young men who might have run the troop volunteered to join the army.
Scout troops were required to be formally registered from 1919. The 13th Wimbledon (1st Raynes Park) Scout Troop was formally registered at Scout Headquarters in London on February 2nd, 1920. The scoutmaster is believed to be C.S.R. Ingrem. The troop met in a corrugated iron clad hall behind the northwest corner of the church, referred to as the Iron Hall. This had previously been used as a temporary place of worship while St Saviour’s Church was being built. Scouts continued to meet here right up until its demolition until 1989.
By the end of 1921, the troop had folded but was re-formed in 1924 under the leadership of F.H.S. Robinson. The scouts wore khaki uniforms and brown scarves and the Iron Hall was fitted out as a gymnasium. It also had a Rover Crew. By 1926, the troop was connected to the Earl of Cottenham and known as ‘The Earl of Cottenham’s Own’. A cub pack was officially registered in 1927, however by 1930 both the cub pack and scout troop had folded.The troop was re-formed in 1945 by the Reverend E.W. Eyden, Vicar of St Saviour’s, with curate Norman Torrington as the scoutmaster. On August 25th, the troop was formally registered as ’13th Wimbledon (St Saviour’s Raynes Park)’. The troop wore black scarves with a white border and named its patrols after hunting birds, a tradition that remains to this day. In 1947, The Rev Eyden re-launched the cub pack.
During the 1950s to 1990s the group had senior scout/venture scout sections, each lasting for varying periods of years before folding. In 1983 a beaver colony was launched, the first in the District.
The original Iron Hall meeting place was extended and modernised and renamed the Youth Hall in 1972. In 1989 this was demolished along with the church hall, while the west end of the church was redesigned to accommodate a new hall. The scout group started using this hall for its meetings in 1990.
An Explorer Unit was launched in 2011 and formally recognised at the group’s AGM in May 2012.