1st Midsomer Norton Scout Group

Closed Again

In 1954 Shirley Steel joined the Group as Scout Mistress, and Vic Wotton resigned as Scout Master and although the Group continued for a further 3 years under the leadership of Mr R Box Assistant Scout Master who resigned in August 1956 a permanent replacement was not found. This led to the Group closing at the end of 1957, following unsuccessful attempts to sell the Headquarters to the local rugby club.

Reborn

1963 An appeal from a church pulpit for help with a Cub Pack in Cambridge in the spring of 1963 provided the spark that signalled the beginning of the present 1st Midsomer Norton Scout Group.

David Wilshire, studying at Cambridge University, responded to the appeal and immediately saw in Scouting an organisation which offered a challenge with enormous benefits for the young.

Although spending much of his time at Cambridge, David's roots were firmly in his home town of Midsomer Norton. Inspired by the potential he saw in Scouting he set about forming the Midsomer Norton Wolf Cub Pack with tremendous contributions from Margaret (Weeks) Wilshire, Jean Wilton and the High Street Methodist Church.

The Wolf Cub Pack (sponsored by the Church) was registered on 28th June 1963 had no connection with the previous 1st Midsomer Norton Scout Group. The first six boys to proudly wear the now familiar yellow and black scarf were introduced by the Church Sunday School. Meetings were held at the Church Hall on Wednesday evenings.

By November 1963 the Pack (24 boys) was full, half the number from the Church Sunday School.

Between 1963 and 1964 the Group met temporarily at the Church Hall which is now the home of the Salvation Army
In 1964 the Group moved to it’s current site in Radstock Road, occupying the Old Mission Church of St Luke, known locally as the “ Iron Church” or “Metal Mission” because of it’s corrugated iron construction. This was opened on the 9th October 1899, and served as a church until 1920 when it was deconsecrated, from then until 1964 when 1st Midsomer Norton took up residence it was used by the Church of England Men’s Society and later as a Church Institute and Church Hall. To purchase this Hall £1700 was borrowed from local people, mainly on interest free loans.


Picture of St Luke’s Church at the beginning of the 20th Century  (From the Post Card Collection of Bob Allard)