Group History

1st Carleton Scout Group was formed on the 6th December 1926 with six boys and our first Scout Leader Mrs. H.A. Bacon, meeting originally at her house on Westfield Drive (near Blackpool Sixth Form College).  It wasn’t until 1931 that a 20ft x 10ft builders cabin was bought for £17 and erected on the field at Westfield Avenue, which soon became home to the Scout Group.  Our first Camp was held nearby at Grange Park.

In September 1939 World War 2 breaks out, as Jack Rothery (Group Scoutmaster in 1950) explains, “we were at War and we had to discontinue wearing our Group emblem – the swastika, which is the oldest Indian sign for Good Luck, as Hitler turned it round and made it Bad Luck for everyone. It was at our Camp in 1940 that we decided on our new emblem, the fir tree. We chose this as being the tree that always grows straight, pushes everything else to one side and always comes out on top, this being an ideal standard to live up to”.

In 1939, Tony Hewitson joined 1st Carleton, Jack Rothery again. “later our most brave and courageous scout, who, though almost bed-ridden for thirteen years always had cheer and appreciation on his face. He passed right through to 1st Class standard as a Handicapped Scout and was eventually awarded the Cornwall Badge – the Scout’s V.C. which is the highest award for bravery, devotion and courage.  Tony was called Home on Boxing Day, 1946″.  Tony’s Cornwall Badge is on display at the “little gem” Scouting Museum at Waddecar.

Jack Rothery who was Group Scoutmaster in 1950 (Gareth has the equivalent role these days) sponsored the building of the Scout Hall, which started on the 4th August, 1948.  Except for sewers, floor and plastering, over two years a handful of voluntary workers and members of the Group built the current Scout Hall.  It was opened on Saturday 16th September 1950 by the Editor of “The Scout”, F. Haydn Dimmock Esq.  The brochure describes us as “1st. Carleton Boy Scout Group”.  From the year 2000 girls were equally welcome as boys to 1st Carleton.

In 1976, we celebrated our 50th birthday.  Jack Rothery who was Group President at that stage was the guest of honour, as well as the Scouts, Cubs and Leaders who were members at the time. No Beavers or Explorers, as they didn’t exist then.  Hopefully we will be able to celebrate our 100th birthday on the weekend of the 5th  and 6th December 2026. 

In 1985, there were some big changes at 1st Carleton.  In January we opened out first Beaver Colony led by Naomi Ashton and her team, doing an absolutely fantastic job.  The new estates around Arundel Drive meant that many young people were available to access Scouting.  Then on the 1st July 1985, Doreen Boardman from Wyre District hosted an amazing meeting at the Scout Hall whereby six Parents volunteered to become warranted Leaders.  Julie Rose and her team were to open a second Beaver Colony.  My good friend Chris Mudd and his team were to open a new Cub Pack (nicknamed the Mudd Pack).  1st Carleton had two Beaver Colonies, two Cub Packs (Oak & Rowan) and one Scout Troop.  One of the Colonies closed soon after, but in 1994, Chris moved onto opening Barbarian Venture Scout Unit.  For nearly 10 years we had five thriving sections within 1st Carleton. At group camps, Beavers could see a natural progression through Cubs and Scouts to Ventures.  Keith Parkinson who was Scout Leader was instrumental in the running of three International Camps to Buitenzorg, Baarn in the Netherlands in 1997, 1999 and 2001. Fantastic memories for all concerned.    With the creation of Explorer Scouts, we were forced to shut Barbarian V.S.U. twenty years ago in 2003 as Venture Scouts ceased to exist.  In 2007 we reverted back to one pack. Times change, people move on.

At present 1st Carleton provides Scouting to some 70 young people in Beavers, Cubs and Scouts. The secret of our success has been the combination of dedicated Leaders, enthusiastic young people and the support of their Parents.  Long may this continue.  You too could be part of the team, it is very rewarding and can be great fun.  Come and talk to us.

Jes Birkett (Assistant Scout Leader).