1st Hopwas Scout Group is the oldest Scout group in Staffordshire founded in 1915.
We currently have 2 Beaver colonies, a Cub pack and a Scout troop.
1st Hopwas Scout Group is part of Tamworth Scout District (http://www.tamworthscouts.org.uk)
Explore our history below. If you have anything to add, especially photos please get in touch. Please note that some of the dates are approximate.
1907 – Scouts Founded
In 1907 Baden-Powell wrote a draft called Boy Patrols. In the same year, to test his ideas, he gathered 21 boys of mixed social backgrounds (from boy’s schools in the London area and a section of boys from the Poole, Parkstone, Hamworthy, Bournemouth, and Winton Boys’ Brigade units) and held a week-long camp in August on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, Dorset, England.
1915 – 1st Hopwas Founded
Bernard Smith started Hopwas Scout Troop in 1915
Hopwas first scout camp was held on Packington Hill. The scouts borrowed a cart and pushed their equipment to the site.
Hopwas Scouts on Hints Road Hopwas outside St. Chads hall. Date unknown. Could be Bernard Smith in charge.
1930’s – Pantomime
Hopwas Scouts performed annual pantomimes (Jack and the Bean Stalk, Robinson Crusoe and many others) to help raise money for their new hut. The shows were performed in Hopwas, the Assembly Rooms and in Wilnecote.
1936 – Scout and Leader Rescue 5 People
During the scout summer camp at Stratford-on-Avon 1936, Hopwas Rover Scout Jack Hitchener and Troop Leader W. Brookes rescued 4 men and girl form the river Avon. They were awarded the Silver Cross in March 1937. This award is one of the highest scouting awards for gallantry.
Troop Leader W.H. Brooks. Hopwas Group. Silver Cross, 4 August 1936. With assistance, rescuing four men and a girl from drowning in the River Avon at Warwick on August 4th 1936. Awarded March 23rd 1937.
Rover Squire J. Hitchiner. Hopwas Group. Silver Cross, 4 August …
1950 – King’s Scout Award
Peter Barker and Lawrence Keene gained their King’s Scout Award. They were the first in Hopwas to gain this award.
1950’s (?) – Competition Camp
Competition Camp (won by 1st Hopwas (of course))
John Smith and another leader from 4th Tamworth judged.
Others are Donnie McAulay, Robert Scattergood, somebody Poole (I believe) holding trophy.
1953 – Pageant with Glascote Guides
For the Queen’s coronation in 1953 the scouts put on a pageant with Glascote Guides in Hopwas, at the Assembly rooms and in the Castle Grounds.
Hopwas Scouts plus one, Michael Marriott and Glascote Girl Guides.
Michael Marriott, Peter Williams, Neville Lovat , ?, David Tregaskis, in centre.
Mid 1950s – Carnival
Carnival float around mid 1950s
Maurice Wilson, Terry Phipps, Denis Edwards, Keith Rowley,
Arthur Orton, Arthur Conway, Brian Edden, Roger Rowley, Alan Rowley, Graham Mercer,
Arthur Roe, ??, Rodney King, Laurence Edden, Michael Lea.
1957 – Whitsun Camp
Whitsun camping competition 1957
Keith Rowley, John Ratcliffe, Harry Carter, District Commissioner, Brian Edden, being presented with Chief Scouts Award.
1961 – Packington International Camp
In 1961 an international camp was held on Packington Hill. Hopwas scouts formed part of the service team.
Shows Scouts raising International Scout colours at Hopwas camp.
Captain Denis Dudley, Guide Commissioner, Mayor E.Collins, R.S.Thomas, International Secretary, Bernard Hunt, Mayor of Burton, Harry Carter D.C.
International Camp showing Portcullis gateway made by Hopwas Scouts from scaffolding poles, corrugated sheets and coated, by hand, with cow dung to give it an old effect.
1962 – Packington Park
Graham Mercer Senior Scout Weekend Packington Park 1962, Rob. Allum Senior Scout Weekend Packington Park 1962
1965 – New Scout Hut
A new wooden scout hall was built in Nursery Lane and was officially opened on 5th November
John Follet, Mayor, Trevor Willcocks, Ian Pingram, John Smith, ?, ?, Mrs Ida Williams (treasurer) bending down, Graham Tew + others.
Expenditure sheet for new Scout Hut
1966 – New Uniform & Sections
In 1966 the old scout uniform with big hats and short trousers disappeared and a new uniform was introduced, allowing boys to wear long trousers. DYB, DYB, DYB, DOB, DOB, DOB was replaced with a new grand howl. Senior Scouts and Rover Scouts were disbanded and Venture Scouting began; Hopwas originally had a Venture unit which later became and air unit known as Merlin.
1966 – Work on New Scout Hut
Scouts, Leaders and other members of the group are hard at work building the new Scout Hut.
1966 – Garden Fete
Garden Fete held in 1966. The was probably done to raise funds for the new scout hut.
1966 – Scout Hut Opened
The new headquarters of 1st Hopwas Scouts was opened by the Mayor of Tamworth.
1967 – Guard of Honor
Wedding of Peter Tew & Gill Harris was given a guard of honor by 1st Hopwas Scout Troop.
1968 – Patrol Leaders at Gilwell
Patrol leaders from Tamworth including Hopwas attend a training camp in London.
1969 – 48H Ping Pong
Hopwas Scouts and Guides take part in a 48 hour ping pong marathon to raise money for camp equipment.
1969 – Fundraiser
Fete :- Jo Barker, cub leader, John Masterman A.C.C. Scouts, Mrs Barker (holding flowers), Ray Watson D.C. + others
1969 – G.S.Ls. & Commissioners Course
John Smith & Maurice Wilson, middle row, 7th & 8th from left.
G.S.Ls. & Commissioners Course, Packington Park 1969
1970 – First Aid Trophy
First Aid trophy won by Hopwas 1970
Back Row: Maurice Wilson, A.D.C. (Scouts), John Smith, G.S.L., John Roberts, A.D.C. (L.T.), Ray Watson, D.C., Stuart Hanslow.
Front Row: David Moulton, John Gunn, Peter Fowler, District Chairman, Donnie McAulay, Mrs Fowler, ?, ?, Charles Smith, Superintendent St.John Ambulance.
1971 – John Smith Awarded
John Smith, founder of Hopwas Scout Group, receives an award for outstanding services to Scouting.
John Roberts (D.C.), John Smith, Captain Denis Dudley (Field Commissioner).
1971 – Dance Funds Camp
Tamworth Herald – 30/04/71
Dance will help campers
Funds for helping Guides and Scouts from Hopwas go camping this summer were raised at a dance in the Chequers Hotel, Hopwas on Saturday evening. About 70 people attended the dance, which was organised by the 1st Hopwas Scout and Guide Committee. Music for the evening was provided by the popular Ross Alan Band.
1971 – Richard Rhymes – Cornwell Badge
Richard Rhymes being presented with Cornwell badge by Earl of Aylesford, County Commissioner, Denis Dudley, Field Commissioner & John Roberts, D.C.
1980’s – Beavers Starts
Beaver scouting arrived in Hopwas opening up opportunities to young boys of 6 and over.
1990’s – 5 Queens Scout Awards
The Hopwas Air Venture unit (Merlin) gained 5 Queens Scout awards in one year, but closed the following year, when a District Venture unit was formed.
1994 – John Smith Retires
After 54 years of Scouting John Smith, founder of Hopwas Scout Group, retires.
1999 – Memorial For John Smith
The blessing of seat in memory of John Smith at the bottom of Church Drive Hopwas on 27th November 1999. The bench was purchased by former Scouts and friends on John Smith.
(standing) , John Spragg, Maurice Wilson, Rev Arthur Wilson, Cyril Green, Dennis Edwards, Hillary Follitt, Lin Smiths son in law, (seated) Barry Brown, Lin Smith, Ann, nee Smith.
2000/2002 – New Scout Hut
In 2000 the group obtained a lottery grant, bought the land from the Smith family and built a new brick built HQ in Nursery lane. The Chief Scout, George Purdy, opened it on 11th June 2002.
2002 – Girls Start Scouting
Scouting in Hopwas became co-educational and girls are now in all sections of the group.
2003/2004 – Thailand Jamboree
Adam Cooke attended the World Jamboree in Thailand over Christmass and New Year 2003/2004 with other Scouts from Staffordshire.
2007 – Sweden Jamboree
Robert Gilbert, Matthew Gilbert, Charlie Willars and Heather Allison attended the World scout Jamboree in Sweden.