Our Group History
We do not have many records about the 37th Bournemouth Scout Group but it would appear from the few we have, that the 37th was functioning in 1960 although we were not officially registered with the Scout Association until 19th May 1961.
The Scout Group met at St Walburga’s School in Malvern Road, Charminster. Our Sponsor was and is still, the Annunciation Church in Charminster Road.
The first Census return from 1962 showed that there was a Troop of 27 Boys with 2 Leaders with Les Upson as the Scouter in Charge. By 1963 the Group had formed a Cub Pack of 13 Cubs whilst the Troop had reduced to 19 boys. We also had a GSL (S W George), 2 Cub Leaders and 4 Scout Leaders.
In1961 the 37th opened, based at St Walburga’s School and in 1964 the 22nd formed as the Ilford Sea Scouts based at Our Lady, Queen of Peace Church in Douglas Road ( The 22nd closed in 2001 ).
By 1974 we had to pay £30-35p for the Membership/Capitation Fees. For a Group of 40.
We were contacted, via this website in 2014, by Margaret Miller, who in 1961 was Margaret Robinson and asked to “help” run the Cub Pack. It took Margaret a while to compose herself to help and when she did she realised that there was no Cub Pack. So, as Akela, she started one. Her first two Cubs were John and Jimmy Rynne.
Once started, Margaret had help from a young Alan King, John Barker, Jeremy “Jet” Bein, Alan Bennett, Anthony Campolini, Harman Ross and Maureen Cailes. During her time as Akela, Margaret saw a Pack with a maximum number of 36, grow to 42 at times. They went on trips during the 1960’s that included Gilwell Park, Baden Powell House, Navy days at Portsmouth, Bovington Tank Museum, Marwell Zoo and hikes on the Purbecks. Margaret left in 1969 but has been involved in Scouting ever since and we are grateful to her contribution, to the 37th and to this website.
In 1965 the Group consisted of 16 Cubs with 18 Scouts and 3 Senior Scouts although by 1967 the Senior Scout Section had disappeared never to re-appear. Receipts dated 1967 confirm that the 37th were now meeting in a disused classroom in the grounds of St Walburga’s School. Our Group Scout Leader at the time was John Barker. By 1968 we were 35 strong and paid the princely sum of £21 – 1s – 9d Membership Fees to Scout Headquarters (Oh how times have changed!) 16 Scouts who paid £7-10s-0d for the privilege attended the 1969 Scout Camp at Lynton. The total cost of the camp was £190-8s-1d!
It was about 1970 that one of the priests from the Annunciation Church (our Sponsors) visited a Pack Meeting and was horrified to find that there was no heating or sanitation in the disused classroom which was being used as our Headquarters. In winter, ice used to form on the concrete floor of the classroom but we still carried on! We were promptly invited to meet at the Annunciation Church hall, where we still are.
Although we do not have anything concrete it is believed that the 37th originally started life as the 53rd Bournemouth ( St Walburga’s Own ) when St Walburga’s school was in Yelverton Road.
When the school moved to it’s present site in 1929 we believe thatthe 53rd moved with the school as the records show that it remained active until 1953 when it closed . During that period the 53rd was the only Catholic Group in Bournemouth.
From the 90’s to now we have gone from strength to strength. As it stands in 2017 we are the biggest we have ever been, with over 30 Beavers, 42 Cubs and 35 Scouts – we now have nearly 20 uniformed leaders, along with 10 adult support assistants.