1st Watford South Scout Group
(Countess of Clarendon’s Own)
incorporating 82nd Watford South
Scouting became popular following publication of THE SCOUT, a magazine that had caught the imagination of boys throughout the UK following Lord Baden-Powell’s camp on Brownsea Island in 1907.
On 1st March 1908 two Watford school boys – Alan Emery (whose birthday it was) and Marchant Scrivener (whose family ran a nursery and flower shop in Queens Road) – gathered some friends together at Alan’s home in Escourt Road and took the Scouting Oath.
In June 1908 Harold Collins, who lived in Cassio Road, Watford, and a friend, also swore in their Oaths in the shed of their school, Watford Boys Grammar.
They all practised their Scouting skills in Whippendell Woods dressed in makeshift uniforms, although Alan’s parents had bought him a hat from a Watford clothing shop. Later that year, the two patrols formed the original Scout Troop.
The Group was the first registered in Hertfordshire when it became
1st South West Herts (Lady Hyde’s Own)
When Patron Lady Verena Hyde became the Countess of Clarendon, the title of the Group changed accordingly. This privilege has remained with the Group since the death of Lady Verena in 1963.
The first mention of a club room occupied by the original Group, was that in 1909 meetings were held in the annexe of the Presbyterian Church in Clarendon Road. Then came several moves around Watford until, in 1930, when the opportunity arose for the 1st to acquire its own HQ in Durban Road East.
The Group had plans to expand Scouting in West Watford, so a sister Group was formed - the 2nd/1st - which took premises in Harwoods Road.
The Labour Church, Durban Road East, Watford
The building was registered as a meeting place for Religious Worship on 2nd November 1901.
Headquarters premises Durban Road East, Watford, secured for the Cubs, Scouts and Rovers in 1931 by Adrian Brough, Group Scoutmaster in association with Harold Collins, Founder member of the Group and Assistant District Rover Scout Leader and Percy Puleston, Assistant Scoutmaster.
The Years during the 2nd World War
- The Rover Crew was depleted due to war service
- The Cubs and Scouts suffered a lack of leaders
- Adrian Brough was left to run the Group with less help
- Despite this, the windows were blacked out, records safely boxed and the boys struggled on, assisting the war effort themselves with jobs such as helping build Morrison shelters, making camouflage netting and acting as messengers
- Headquarters was used as a base by Street Fire Watchers and ARP
- Troop used Victoria School air raid shelters to meet due to the air raids