Note: Although there were previous Groups named 3rd Finchley, this fairly short article relates principally to the Group that was in existence between 1932 and 1936.
Around the time that Scouting started there were several newspaper articles that made reference to a few Finchley Troops including one numbered 3. However, it is not currently known if this was the same Group that appeared on the 1921 census – the first in our possession. And, despite them looking healthy with 48 Scouts and 3 leaders, they did not appear in the following year’s census.
The 3rd Finchley reappeared in the District’s 1926 annual report that stated the Group had 29 members in 1925 and 18 in 1926. The report also states that the Group had held no less than 18 weekend camps in addition to a Summer Camp at Radlett.
Later there is a press article that confirms that they were one of only 3 Groups to enter the District Swimming Gala that year. The article also confirms that the Group was attached to the Wesleyan Church in Ballards Lane and that they finished 3rd in that competition. Despite the positive information the Group’s life was short lived as within a year they ceased to exist.
The District Executive minutes for April 1932 confirm that approval was given for a new Group to be opened at the Wesleyan Church in Ballards Lane, along with various warrants.
Although the Group number and meeting place were the same as the Group mentioned in the notes above, that would have been pure chance as they are recorded with a brand new registration number.
From the attached photo, the only one we have found, it could be assumed that one of the Group’s early outings was a visit to Gilwell.
The census at the end of September revealed that the Group did not take long in establishing itself with there being 33 Cubs with 3 leaders, 25 Scouts with 2 leaders and a Group Scout Master. No record though can be found as to the names of the leaders or the colour of their scarf.
No further reference relating to their activities or involvement in District events for 1932 or the start of 1933 has been found.
However, the District’s 1933 annual report confirmed that the Group had had a successful year with good progress being made in badge work. Although the number of Scouts had increased slightly the Pack had in fact lost 16 boys and 2 leaders.
During October warrants were approved for Miss E M Beresford, as an ACM and, as an ASM John Caithness aged 19, who had recently moved to Finchley having previously been involved in Scouting in the Doncaster area. He was later to become affectionately known in the District as ‘Mac’ Caithness.
During January 1934 a warrant was approved for Miss D M Dix to be the new Cub Master and a couple of months later another for A E Ballard as an ASM.
At some stage during the following year the Group was renamed as the 3rd Finchley Methodist and appeared as such on the annual census at the end of September. Whilst the number of Cubs and Scouts remained healthy there were only 4 leaders; 1 Cub, 2 Scout and the GSM. It is not known who from those noted above were still with the Group.
A year later there were 8 Cubs and 10 Scouts with another leader having left. This turned out to be the last occasion that they received a mention as within a year, for reasons unknown, they closed.