Be prepared to celebrate Scout group's 60th birthday

Lt-Col de Grey Warter, Oxfordshire County Scout Commissioner, centre, opened the new headquarters of the 43rd Oxford Old Marston Scout Group in 1963

Organisers of the big party, left to right, Pete Savins, Hugh Wiggins and John Joyce

First published in News

AN Oxford scout group is reminding its members to be prepared for Diamond Jubilee celebrations next month.

The 43rd Oxford (St Nicholas) Scout Group will be 60-years-old on Thursday, December 6, and is going to celebrate with a series of events.

The highlight is an event on Sunday, December 2, in which they are inviting past and present leaders, assistant leaders, members, helpers, parents and supporters to their headquarters on Boults Lane, Old Marston, at 3pm.

The group first met in the Reading Room in Old Marston in 1952, where they were set up by the Rev Gordon Savage.

They remain sponsored by the Old Marston Parish Church of St Nicholas.

When the group formed they had just one scout leader and nine scouts. It now boasts three scout leaders, three young leaders and 24 scouts.

When the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations took place earlier this year, committee member Hugh Wiggins wondered when the scouts anniversary must be coming up.

After a little research Mr Wiggins, who has been involved in the group as a chairman, group scout leader and assistant scout leader for more than 40 years, contacted staff at the Scout Information Centre, in London, who confirmed the date.

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Together with committee member John Joyce and Quartermaster Peter Savins, Mr Wiggins started to make plans for the anniversary.

Mr Wiggins, 65, from Old Marston said: “We are hoping that between 50 and 100 will attend. As time goes by and you have an anniversary you wish you had written this all down but you never get the time.

“I moved here in 1972 on a Tuesday in October and on the Friday the Group Scout Leader Mr Wilf Furder was knocking on the door.He had a skill for collaring people like that and that’s how lots of us joined. John Joyce was a parent and I collared him to join.”

Alfie Stanbury, from Summertown, is a current member of the scout group, and has been with them for three and a half years.

The 13-year-old said: “We just had our annual church service and there was quite a few old scouts in the church so we sang a few of the old hymns. I really enjoy being with the scouts.”

Among those expected to attend are the Rev Paul Rimmer, a vicar at St Nicholas Church for a number of years and former scout leader from the 1960s Bill Grenough, who was involved in the Oxford Gang Show for a number of years.

As the event is more for adults, aged from their 20s up to their 80s, a separate celebratory tea party for youngsters who are now members of the group will be held early next year.

The 43rd Oxford Scout Troop caters for boys and girls aged 10 to 14 and meet on Thursday evenings between 7pm and 9pm.

  • For further details, contact Hugh Wiggins on 01865 765582.

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