Our Scout Group
Who We Are
Our Scout Group comprises
- a Beaver Scout Colony
- a Cub Scout Pack
- a Scout Troop
- a Group Executive Committee
We are a friendly Group, serving the Kirkham area of the Fylde. We have some excellent and fun Leaders and adult members of the Group Executive, with a good sense of 'Group'.
In anticipation of the Scout Association plan for all Scout Groups to become co-educational from January 2007, 2nd Kirkham Scout Group unanimously chose to welcome girls to our Group from September 2005. Girls now form part of all Sections.
Our Group's History
This history was compiled by David Bird, supplemented by Kevin Jacomb, both former Group Scout Leaders.
The present 2nd Kirkham (St.Michael's) Scout Group was actually founded in 1951 and registered in 1952, but there were earlier ancestors.
The first Boy Scout troop in Kirkham was officially formed in 1910 at the Parish Church around May of that year and was recorded in the Headquarters Gazette as being in the charge of Scoutmaster R.S.Rothwell, who lived at 13, Preston Street, and having 16 Scouts. (Wolf Cubs, of course, were not started until 1916.) The Troop took the title 1st Kirkham (St.Michael's).
We do not know much more than that about it, but it seems likely that it closed during the First World war when its leaders went off to fight.
A new 1st Kirkham (St.Michael's) was formed on 4th November 1924 followed by a Wolf Cub pack on 20th December of that year. The Scoutmaster was Edward Barnes who lived at 11, Wellington Street and the Cubmaster was Arthur Petty living at 7 Church Street. There were 12 Cubs and 16 Scouts and the Troop at least managed to get itself photographed in a procession in Kirkham in the 1920s. The Sections met at Church Memorial House (now Ash Tree House surgeries) but for reasons we are unaware of the registrations were cancelled in 1926.
From then on there was no Scouting recorded at St. Michael's until the present Group was founded in 1951. However there were other Groups formed and that at the Kirkham Children's Home on Station Road registered in 1948 took the title of 1st Kirkham as did the Rover Crew at R.A.F. Kirkham formed in 1946.
These two Sections were open when the present Troop was formed and that is the reason why we never got our original title of 1st Kirkham. Unfortunately there was no one around with an eye for history when the troop at the Children's Home closed in 1957 otherwise we could have taken back our historical 1st Kirkham (St.Michael's) title.
Our present Group was formed in 1951 by Police Sergeant Kelly and the Troop originally met in a hut behind a shop on Poulton Street. Later on they moved into another hut next to the Post Office public house in Freckleton Street and, later still, to another hut on Glebe Land where Ancenis Court now stands.
This new Group was registered on 25th July 1952 at Imperial Headquarters, London, as HQ.Reg.No.30006 in the title of ”2nd Kirkham (St. Michael's)” which indicates that there was a connection with the Parish Church from almost the outset.
The Cub Scout Pack (Wolf Cubs at the time) were formed in 1952 and were run by Sgt. Kelly's daughter and there was a Senior Scout section formed in 1956 but which subsequently lapsed. After the changes of 1972 a Venture Scout Section was formed after the District-based Unit had run into difficulties and continued, with varying levels of numbers, up its replacement by District-based Explorer Scout section and County-based Scout Network following a review in 2003.
The Beaver Scout Colony was formed in 1987 by Kevin Jacomb, Desna Sanders and Cathy Garlick, and has grown into one of the strongest Colonies in the Fylde District.
To mark the 50th Anniversary of the Group's foundation, the Town Council of Kirkham presented an illuminated address in acknowledgement of the service to young people made by the Group over its fifty years.
Our next challenge was to implement the changes in uniform and training which were launched nationally in 2002. These were introduced into the Beaver Scout and Cub Scout sections in September 2002 and Scout section from March 2003.
A downside of these changes was that we lost the 14 plus age group from the Group organisation as they became members of the new Explorer Scout section, to be administered from the District.
When the Church commenced the Ancenis Court project, regrettably relations between the Group and the Church became strained and the sponsorship was allowed to lapse. However the Group Registration was never cancelled and thus the title has been retained.
In recent years the relationship of the Group with the Church has been one of mutual assistance where this has been practicable although the regular parades each month ceased with the sponsorship.
Currently the Group attends the annual Civic Sunday Parade, Remembrance Day service, Christingle, as well as the Club day procession on a voluntary basis.
The major result of the Ancenis Project was the need to find new accommodation for the Group and a piece of land was made available by Fylde Borough Council at the bottom of School Lane. On this the Group erected a new hut comprising 3 'Terrapin' buildings donated by BNFL Springfields and these lasted until 1989 when the present hut was opened having been built round the old buildings, which were demolished piecemeal as the work progressed.
The Old Hut before Replacement in 1989
Some of the flooring from the old Ancenis building is incorporated in the present structure giving us a link with our past.
The New Hut being Built in 1989
Over the subsequent years continuous refurbishment has taken place on the structure and a notable step was the purchase of a redundant 'Portastor' building to house Group equipment. Being a metal box it had a high level of safety in case of fire.
Between Dec 2005 and Sept 2007 a major refurbishment was carried out to clad the building in plastic-coated metal sheeting to make it waterproof for the first time ever, and to replace badly eroded flooring in 20% of the floor. The opportunity was taken to change the layout of the toilets, kitchen, and entrance - at the same time incorporating disabled facilities (access ramp and toilets).
Our newly Refurbished Hut - 2007
During 2010, we took delivery of 3 large containers to provide expanded secure storage space. We removed the old Portastor and now had a large clear space for a car park. This we have provided with a firm base.
Unfortunately the subsoil on the site, being a former tip, cannot provide a satisfactory foundation for a brick or composite building. This is a pity as the site is a good one but the expense of insuring the timber building is high and only a few insurers will accept the risk.
Our Roll Call of Colours (Flags) from 1952 to Date
Shortly after its founding the Group purchased a stand of two Colours, one for the Pack and one for the Troop. It is to be assumed they were blessed at a Church parade before being taken into use but there is no record of this.
When the Senior Scout Troop was formed in 1956, it was presented with a Colour by Mrs.Hill and this Colour was found in 1993, refurbished, and laid up in the Parish Church on the Civic Sunday Service that year.
In 1993 the GSL, Mr. Bird , presented a Queens Colour to the Group and this was also blessed and taken into service on the same Civic Service along with a Beaver Flag. At the same time the existing Pack and Troop Colours were re-blessed.
About 1995 the Venture Scout Section sought a Colour but with small numbers and an uncertain future the cost was felt prohibitive. The GSL offered a Colour fron the 25th Hackney (Kingsmead Methodist) Group which was in his safe keeping and the Unit carried this on all its appropriate occasions until 2000 when a new Venture Scout Colour was purchased. This was taken into use at an Investiture at St.Cuthbert's, Lytham in 2001.
The old Kingsmead Colour was, with the agreement of the Parochial Church Council, laid up in the Parish Church on Civic Sunday 2002.
Since 1998 the Group have been custodians of the Royal British Legion Standard of the former Kirkham Branch and carry this Standard on behalf of the local Legion organiser at the Wesham, and Kirkham Remembrance Sunday events. The duty was undertaken by the Venture Scouts at first but then became a duty of those leaders with service associations.
2002 - 50 YEARS OF SCOUTING
In June 2002 we were proud to be presented with a magnificent scroll by Kirkham Town Council "in recognition of service to the Community of Kirkham."
2022 - 70 YEARS OF SCOUTING
In June 2022 2nd Kirkham celebrated their 70th Anniversary, members past, present and future came together to memories of the past and make plans for the future.