Cookham scout group celebrates centenary

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

A Cookham Scout Group will be celebrating its centenary this year with a weekend of celebrations this coming Friday to Sunday.

The 1st Cookham Scouts began as sea scouts in 1921 in Kings Hall – now the site of the Stanley Spencer Gallery.

After ‘a few hiccups’, the group reregistered as land scouts in the 1950s. In those days, it consisted of four leaders, 12 wolf cubs and 18 scouts.

By the late 50s, 1st Cookham had outgrown its headquarters, due to the demand for scouting in Cookham.

The old British Legion hut off Grange Road became available to rent and 1st Cookham started to use this as its new headquarters.

Today the group has more than 200 active beavers, cubs, scouts and explorers.

For the past 40 years it has organised the village bonfire night and also arranges the annual Cookham Summer Village Fair – a popular event which draws hundreds each year.

The scout group took control of the bonfire night from the Odney Club in the 1980s and ‘opened it up to the village.’

“1st Cookham have always been at the centre of the community,” said Mike Day, assistant group scout leader.

“Over the years, 1st Cookham has gone from strength to strength and has sent 18 young members to various World Jamborees and overseas events.

“There is a long waiting list of young people wanting to join, all waiting to start their scouting experience and be part of the next 100 years of adventures, challenges and fun within 1st Cookham Scout Group,” said Mike.

The centenary festivities will kick off on Friday with a campfire for former members – a chance for past members and sitting members to ‘meet and swap stories.’

On Saturday there will be a formal centenary dinner at the Odney Club for friends, parents, leaders and former members.

There will be a presentation to the two longest serving members of the scout group, Brenda and Denis Boothman, who have both been members for nearly 50 years.

The last event on Sunday is a family barbecue at White Place Farm for young members, leaders, parents and former members.

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