23rd Lancaster (Christ Church) Scout Group

Providing Skills for Life through Everyday Adventure for over 80 years.

About

This page is currently undergoing some work, and may contain broken images/links.

What We Do

“Everyday adventure is the name we give the mix of active, creative, indoor and outdoor
activities young people enjoy each week. Scouts deliver and take part in these activities in
a spirit of fun and friendship. The end result is a positive impact on our young people, our
volunteers and local communities. Scouting is about:

  • everyday adventure and challenge
  • fun and friendship
  • positive impact”

– The Scout Association

Our History

23rd Lancaster is a group that is not only on the cutting edge of modern scouting, but also one with a long and interesting history.

Early Days

We don’t have much in the way of records for the early days of the group. However, Lonsdale Districs Scouts have some details and articles which have given us a small insight.

The group itself started in 1936, according to Lonsdale District Scouts (See Here) (although some sources suggest 1937). One of the earliest accounts of the group can be found here, as an account by R. E. Wright in 1940 of Scout groups in Lancaster. This article lists not only the group name, but the necker used and meeting place as well (which still remain today). This article gives us this photo of our group at a slightly later date as well:

23rd Lancaster Cubs and Scouts in 1963
It has the following Description:”Ronald Wild, an Assistant Scoutmaster at 23rd Lancaster, was leaving Lancaster for Australia in March 1963. This photo taken in the Gregson Institute shows the Group’s Scouts and Cubs together with a number of leaders – standing back left are Frank Hayton (13th Lcr), Roy Walker and Brian Ellwood, and back right Geoffrey Shackleton (ADC Scouts) and Ronald Wild (not in uniform). Also, seated – Dorothy Holden, Julia Beck, Rev. John Mullineaux, Arthur Wild, Gwen Gedge and Carol Lofthouse.”

Important People and Events

We know that at some point between 1940 and 1946, the group closed down mainly due to a lack of volunteers because of the war effort. This could have spelled the end for 23rd Lancaster if it weren’t for a few heroic volunteers. As this article from the Lancaster Guardian and Observer tells us; the group was officially revived in a ceremony in 1947, marking ten years since it’s inauguration. Note the use of the name “23rd Lancaster (Christ Church) troop”. The tradition of using Christ Church in the group name had disappeared into obscurity by the early 2000’s, yet was back in place by 2005. One of our Young Leaders (James Phillips) has evidence of this in some old name tapes from the group.
23rd Lancaster Name Tapes
The name tape on the left was issued to James in 2003 as a Beaver, whilst the tape on the right was issued in 2005 as a Cub.

This clipping from the Lancaster Guardian and Observer in 1963, served to thank Miss Julia Beck for her work with the group through a tough period. She was well-known locally and seemed to have taken on the role of Cub Mistress at a difficult time only to make the group prosper and increase exponentially in number. When she retired, it is noted that 23rd Lancaster had two Cub Packs due to the sheer number of Young People joining us. She also held extremely important roles within the Scout District and County at the same time.

This article shows Mr. Ronald Wild, the first Scout in the city to qualify for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Silver Award for Scouts. His awards service was attended by many other important figures in 23rd Lancaster at the time. It is most likely that this is the same Ronald Wild (mentioned above) who later became our Assistant Scoutmaster and left for Australia in March 1963. Both of these figures are pictured in the image from 1963 earlier in this article.

More Recent History

As time has progressed, records have been lost. We don’t have much information regarding the group between the 1960’s and the early 2000’s. This a great loss to the group and if you were a part of the group during this period, or know anything about what happened, please contact us at: webmaster@23rdlancaster.org.uk so that we can learn more about our history.

One thing we do know is that at some point in this time period, our Scout Section closed down leaving us with only Beavers and Cubs. Thanks to some intrepid volunteers and eager young people, the Scouts reopened in 2008 with Mr. Steve Lalonde as Scout Leader. One of our first scouts (James Phillips) from 2008 gave us his views in this quick audio clip (Recorded November 2015).

Here and Now

We are currently one of many large Scout Groups in Lonsdale District. We like to consider ourselves as a modern and intuitive group; reflective on, but not embedded in our proud history. We would like to thank the countless volunteers who have helped us over the years both in times of prosperity and need. We would also like to thank the following:

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