Discover the history of 1st Shipley Scout Group

1st Shipley Scouts was formed back in 1934 by the founders Mr and Mrs Sandy Lees. Mr Lees was a teacher in Ireland, however in the 1920s, being a Protestant, was forced to leave for England to avoid the IRA. Mrs Lees was a horticultural student when they met and they soon married. In 1934, they moved to Jendens Farm in Shipley where they started the Scout Group. Mr Lees was the Scout Master until 1938 and Group Scout Leader up to 1957. Mrs Lees was Cub Mistress from the beginning until 1957, when the couple moved from the farm.

During the winter, the Scout group would meet at Andrews Hall in Shipley, and in the summer months the meetings would be held at the Lees’ farm.

In 1946 the Scout group purchased an old army hut from a disbanded prisoners of war camp. The hut was moved from it’s original situation at the Old Piggeries and rebuilt on a piece of land near Knights Farm. Here the group had the opportunity to grow further and they became stronger and stronger.

By 1952 the Scouts had outgrown the wooden hut and A.D.J Wright (Scout Master 1946 – 80) sought out the help of Major Bell, of Bakers Farm. He had just purchased the Wesleyan Chapel in Dragon’s Green and A.D.J wrote to him asking if he would rent it to the Scout Group. A month later, after serious consideration, Major Bell told the Scout Master that the chapel would have its roof replaced with Norfolk reed thatch, be supplied with electricity, have water mains installed and then present it to the group as a gift.

With their new and unique headquarters, the group were proud to begin improving it every year. They cleared the blackthorn bush from all around the hall allowing space for camping and parking, re-laid the flooring with chipboard (although this had to be done a second time due to a startled scouter disappearing through the floor during a training exercise!), converted the loft for ample storage space, built the back extension for a kitchen and flush toilets and finally lengthened the old chapel with a front porch serving as a cloakroom. The Venture Scouts (now known as Explorers) even built their own den on the camping ground in the early 90s.

In December 2009, the Scouts had a very special secret Christmas present – a commemorative hallway built in celebration of their 75th anniversary, which stands proudly in the entrance of the scout hut.

Today, with the latest facilities on the site including a modern shower block, the Scouting adventure continues. As the group goes from strength to strength we’re honoured to carry on the tradition for generations to come.

Where are they now?

1st Shipley Scouts have spread far and wide and are excelling in all walks of life. From accountants to police officers, design engineers to historians, Colombia to New Zealand and Australia to Canada!

We’ve been in contact with some of them and you can read up on their fond memories and well wishes on the Scouts of the Past page.

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On Sunday 21st April 2024 the members of 1st Shipley Scouts, along with other local troops, radiated pride and joy as they participated in the highly anticipated St George’s parade...

On Wednesday 10th April 1st Shipley Scouts held a celebratory event to mark the completion of its brand-new accessible shower block, which was made possible by generous contributions from local...

Move over Master Chef, the annual District Campfire Cooking Competition was up for grabs this week. With 12 teams and over 70 scouts taking part in the cooking contest, the...