Group History

The formation of the All Saints Birkenhead Scout Group was due to the efforts of the Rev. J.E. Hulme of the All Saints Church, who along with Mr. H Townshend, Mr. Bert and Mrs. Edith Bray and others were responsible for starting the Wolf Cub Pack in 1953.

On Saturday, September 12th of that year at 10.30 a.m. the first meeting of boys was held in the All Saints Church Hall, Hinemoa Street. Soon after the 9 boys were enrolled as Wolf Cubs.

The original Cub Master being Mr. Basil Potter, who was assisted by Mr. Niall Paterson and Mrs. Mayrice Denvers. Interest grew and at 7.30 on Tuesday 5th April 1954 a Scout Troop was started with 5 boys, Mr. Paterson leaving the Cubs to become the first Scout Master.

The Group continued to grow in numbers and success until some twelve years after starting when it relocated its meeting place from the All Saints Church Hall, to its newly constructed Scout Headquarters situated in a purpose built den, on land leased from the Birkenhead Council, in the War Memorial Park, off Birkenhead Avenue.

The Scout Hall (still in use today) was constructed over a 12-month period, throughout 1965, by Mr. Bert Evans and a small number of parents working most weekends and was funded in the main by the Cubs and Scouts themselves.

During the month of September 1974, the group celebrated its 21st Anniversary with a Group Hangi. Those present included Birkenhead M.P. Mr. Norm King, members of the District Council and many of the original Scouts and Cubs.

During the 1977-78 development of the War Memorial Park complex and the Harvey Wright Sports fields, the Birkenhead Borough Council required that the Scout Den be moved back some 30 feet to enable the construction of Recreation Drive

The cost of this move, together with the construction of the block base now required to support the building was once again born mainly by the Group and the overall disruption that it caused to the Cubs and Scouts very nearly resulted in the closure of the Group.

Through this move we gained a large garage and QM store (although it was into the early 1980s before the concrete floor was laid and the QM store lined) but we lost the Venture room which was once joined to the North Side wall all that remains of this room is what is now the fire escape doorway.

In October of 1988 the Group held a month long celebration of activities to mark its 35 years. Activities included a Group Camp, An Open Day, Commemorative dinner for past members.

In October of 2003 the Group recognized its golden anniversary and in recognition of this milestone a gold strip was added to the group scarf.

Scouting history

Lord Baden Powell founded scouting. He was known as BP for short. He was born in London, England on 22 February 1857. He went to boarding school where he used to build huts in the forest, and hide from his teachers. BP used to catch rabbits and cook them on camp fires, and liked going on scouting expeditions with his brothers.

When he grew up he joined the army. He was sent to India , Africa and Malta. He used to be an army scout and often travelled in disguise. BP learned more about scouting from the Zulu tribes in Africa which gave him the idea for the wood beads which scout leaders wear. He got the idea for the scarves that scouts wear from the American Wild West.

In 1899 he was in South Africa. BP had to defend a town called Mafeking which had walls all round it. He had about 700 army men to protect the town and all the women and children in it, but the enemy on the outside had 8000 soldiers.

He saw that the boys in the town were being trained as scouts and they were used to carry messages for the army and to help in the hospital. To pretend that there were lots of soldiers he also got the boys to walk along the walls of Mafeking with torches. This made the enemy think there were lots of soldiers patrolling the walls so they did not attack. BP defended the town for 217 days until the siege ended with the arrival of the British army. He was made a Major-General because of his scouting skills during the siege.

In 1907 BP took 22 boys on a camping trip to Browsea Island. He wrote a book about his experiences and called it Scouting for boys. An army major called Cossgrove started scouting in New Zealand in 1908. Lots of boys all over the worldformed into groups and called themselves scouts. They read the book and learned how to camp and go on expeditions and do other scouting things. The younger brothers of the scouts wanted to join as well and they were called wolf cubs. Their sisters joined the Girl Guides which was set up by his sister, Lady Olave Baden-Powell. BP died in Kenya in 1941.

There are more that 31 million scouts in 216 countries and 18 000 people in scouting in New Zealand. Keas started in New Zealand in 1979.