Our quest to uncover the history of scouting in the Wychwoods is now digging up some interesting nuggets from the past. Whilst no paper records exist in the group’s own hands, a document has been retrieved from the archives at Scouts headquarters which shows the local group was inaugurated under its current name 1st Wychwoods on 10th October 1977 with 22 Cubs. The document includes a hastily scribbled last-minute name change from The Under-Wychwoods.
At the time, the district organisation for Scouts encompassing other local groups was also known as Wychwood but has more recently changed to West Oxfordshire – perhaps recognising the growth of other local communities in this part of the county.
Of course, Scouting was very much alive in this area much further back. Our Cubs recently spent a poignant evening with the Royal British Legion remembering some of the families in Chipping Norton who lost loved ones during The Second World War. During this exercise we uncovered the name of a Scoutmaster (Albert Newman) based at Kingham Hill School who lost his life in battle. He is remembered on the War Memorial in Chipping Norton.
More recently Scouting has thrived in the Wychwoods and we have started to receive many happy memories and pictures of Scouting adventures in the 1980s, including raft races along the Evenlode, parades and camping competitions.
Our meeting place has changed several times, from Tiddy Hall, the St Johns Ambulance Hut, and more recently the primary school with even a brief occupancy of a cricket pavilion on the Bruern estate! We really could do with a permanent Scout Hut and this is part of our development plan going forward as the group grows.
We continue to research our wonderful history but really need more tales and pictures of Scouting fun from any past members. Please contact Jonathan Ayres at: email@example.com
Wychwood Cubs take their cameras bluebell hunting.
Editor’s note: There must be plenty of readers of this magazine, plus their friends, who have great memories of their time in the Scouts. Jonathan has worked hard over the past 12 months to find information but it is anecdotes of Scouting days that he would find most valuable so please get in touch with him; it should result in a fascinating history.