Brockham Scouts

A Brief History of Brockham Scouts

The first troop was formed in 1941 with a master from Brockham School as the Scoutmaster, Mr F R Kersley, who lived in The Borough. At that time the troop was attached to the Reigate Local Boy Scout Association, not Dorking as it is now.

Mr Kersley did not remain the leader for long and a number of others took on the role, Mr Norman Balchin who lived on the Green, a Mr Jarrett who resided in Glenfield Road who at one time assisted by a Mr Jones.

In 1944 the troop was without a Scoutmaster. So two of the members (myself) and another patrol leader, Peter Peacock from Glenfield Road obtained permission to run the troop. There were no Wolf Cubs at that time although a little later a Cub Pack was formed. A Miss Greta Webber was the Akela. Both Peter and myself received a lot help and encouragement from a good friend the local butcher Mr Charles Humphrey who also let us convert one of his lofts as a Den for the Senior Scouts, he was also our Treasurer.

At this time Peter kept the Leigh Troop, (the 23rd Dorking) going after its leadership failed. They met in a building opposite The Plough public house on Leigh Green which was also an ARP post.

The names of Ted Warren and Shaun O'Donogue, come to mind as very supportive boys at that time among many.

During my time in the RAF and Peters time in The Life Guards, the Scouts had mixed fortunes with a certain leader who was banned from the village meeting places and for some time the Scouts met in Betchworth.

The Troop did not receive any help at that time from the then Vicar the Rev. Herbert William Booth who did much to try to disband it. With the coming of Mr William (Bill) Holloway who lived in Nutwood Avenue and the Rev. West, after the war, the fortunes changed and the Group became prosperous, but without much help from the village. An example of this was that Bill Holloway had managed to purchase a hut previously used by the army at Brockham Park, where he worked for Beechams

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He had obtained a promise of materials free of charge, essential for its erection, from Mr Hall of Hall & Co. who lived in Brockham House. We were given a plot of land on the site of the allotments then situated at the rear of Wheelwrights Cottage in Wheelers Lane, by the Dorking Urban District Council.

The apathy of the parents committee at that time resulted in the hut being sold and the Group not having its own HQ. The foundations were in place, all that was required was some labour.

After the war there was a Senior Scout section and the District Rover Scout Crew with such characters as Claude Tickner, George Etheridge, Jack Meadows Gerald Webber, Alf the postman and with many others from Dorking they formed a concert party and gave many performances in aid of charity all over the County. At that time they were grateful to Miss Hayward of Way House and her staff for their hospitality for rehearsals.

Reproduced with the kind permission of Tony Hines