21st Finchley

On the 17th July 1947, following the submission of an application by Lionel Mayhew to form a new Group, the District Executive approved the request. It was agreed that the new Group, sponsored by All Saints’ Church, East Finchley, who would meet in their church hall, were to be called the 21st Finchley.

The Group started with just a Cub Pack and Lionel Mayhew was provided with a warrant as the Cub Master (CM).

It is not known why there was a delay, but it was not until March 1948 that the District Commissioner confirmed that the colour of the Group scarf was scarlet. The first District census that the Group appeared on was at the end of the month. There were 14 Cubs and 2 leaders, but it is not known who was assisting Lionel Mayhew.

The District’s annual report mentioned the new Group and stated that they had already managed to put on a Cub Show.

The following January permission was granted for the formation of a Troop and George Greenland, an ex Scoutmaster (SM) with the 2nd Finchley (from July 1946 to July 1948), became their leader. They got off to a slow start with only 2 Scouts being recorded on the 1949 census. Cub numbers had held steady at 15.

In November though, George resigned as the SM with the name of his replacement not known.

Information about the Group over the next couple of years is a bit hazy. The facts as we know them are that:

– at the end of March 1950 there were 12 Cubs with one leader and 11 Scouts with one leader

– Lionel Mayhew resigned as the CM in September 1950

– at a District Executive meeting in January 1951 the secretary reminded members that a note (which we have not seen) had recently been published saying that due to the lack of a Scouter the Group had for a time ceased to exist.  But he then said he had now had a telephone call from Frank Males the SM (of whom we have no record) saying that the Group was going along nicely with 10 Cubs and 15 Scouts and that Dennis Davis and Mr Coombes were helping

– at the end of March 1951 there were 9 Cubs, 11 Scouts and only 1 leader

– at the end of March 1952 there were just 7 Cubs with one leader

We have found details of two new warrants that were approved towards the end of 1952. The first is for John Purchase as the SM and the other is for Eleanor Walter as the CM. Although there was only one Cub and 5 Scouts at the end of March 1952 the new leaders appear to have been committed as by the end of March 1954, the Cub numbers were up to 12 and the Scouts 11.

The following month, by virtue of the system used by the District, it was the turn of the 21st Finchley to lead the St. George’s Day Parade. This was held at St Mary’s, the parish church of Finchley, and attended by nearly 600 Cubs, Scouts and Scouters.

The next two years are again void of any substantial information. The numbers for 1955 were 18 Cubs with one leader and 8 Scouts with one leader. In March 1956, prior to the census, John Purchese resigned and Sarah Andrews became an ACM. This meant that there were 24 Cubs with 2 leaders and 7 Scouts without a leader.

The appointment of Doug Restrick as the Group Scout Master (GSM) in January 1957 was a major turning point for the Group. Although it was not immediately evident, the results appeared later.

Initially there was little press coverage about the Group but, like all other Groups within the District, they did their bit with regard to the open meetings that were held as part of the Scout Jubilee celebrations.

A new SM had not been found by the end of March but Doug was running the Troop of 12 boys. The Cub numbers were also up to 25. A couple of months later though Phillip Walter, known as Pip, became an ASM and Rita Tilley, known as Tillie, became an ACM.

Stability within the Group over the next couple of years appears to have been achieved, even to the extent that they were able to retain some of the older Scouts. The census figures for 1958 and 1959 show three Senior Scouts.

At the St. George’s Day Parade in 1959 the vicar of All Saints’ Church, The Rev. Allso, caused a few ripples when he would not allow his Scouts to attend the service at a non-Anglican Church (the Congregational Church), insisting that after the parade they returned to All Saints’ where they would renew their promise. His reasoning was published in the local paper following a letter from a member of the public.

The District records for 1959 contain details of two camps during the year and three First Class Journeys. A Group camp near Northaw over the Whitsun weekend was attended by 21 and the summer camp, held at Angmering, Sussex between 8th and 16th August was enjoyed by 12 Scouts, 2 Senior Scouts and 3 Scouters.

The three Hikes, which are done in pairs with one Scout taking the test and the other keeping him company, were undertaken in June and July. The first one was led by Howard Saunders who was accompanied by Mike Watts and the other two involved Tom Harries and Tony Rothermel, each taking it in turn to lead.

At the start of 1960 the Rev. Derek Gough joined All Saints’ and in March, after starting to help with the Senior Scouts, he duly applied for a warrant. As a result Doug Restrick had, within a period of three years, become the GSM of a Group that had 14 Cubs with a leader, 16 Scouts with a leader and 8 Senior Scouts with a leader.



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Look up your local Scout Group, because you’ve got a safe, practical community who will encourage and support you.'
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls