REMEMBER WHEN: Cubs celebrate 70th birthday

Welcome to Remember When..., which sees assistant editor Nicola Hine take a weekly look back through our archives, spanning nearly 150 years, to bring you snapshots from Maidenhead's past.

This year the area’s cubs have been busy marking 100 years of the movement.

Its history formed the subject of a feature in the Advertiser 30 years ago this month.

The Wolf Cubs, as they were first known (their name was changed to Cub Scouts in 1967), were founded in 1916 by Robert Baden-Powell to give younger boys a chance to take part in some of the activities older members of the scout movement had been enjoying since 1907. The handbook was based on Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book.

It is not known exactly when the first Maidenhead pack came into being, but according to the 1986 article, it was believed the Pinkneys Green pack was the oldest established in the district – and it was certainly in existence by 1920.

Furze Platt, Bray and Holyport and Boyne Hill were all also thought to be among the pioneers. Furze Platt had two cub packs, named after well known personalities in the area in the 1920s, Stuart Woods, who became the scout group’s first president, and Lady Gardner, wife of the town’s then MP.

At the time of the article there were 19 cub packs in Maidenhead, a slight drop from the 22 there had been at one stage.

The newest pack at the time was Woodlands Park, formed in 1984, and one of the main issues facing the movement was finding enough leaders to meet the growing demand for places.

Eileen Lovegrove, who served as assistant district commissioner for the cubs, told the Advertiser: “Cub scouting has always been very strong in Maidenhead. We have always had waiting lists.”

Mrs Lovegrove had completed more than 30 years in the movement before she retired in 1985. She added: “When I started in 1946 we only had two competitions – the flag competition and handicraft, and we had a district rally once a year. About 1960 swimming, cycling, football and cricket competitions were introduced and in the 1970s the county chess and quiz competitions came in. Most cubs go to camp now, in our day it was most unusual.”

The Maidenhead district’s big 70th birthday celebration event, which involved all 19 packs, was the Rainbow Fayre at the United Reformed Church in West Street (pictured).

The boys chose two charities to benefit – Save the Children and Windsor and Maidenhead District Sports Association for the Disabled (now SportsAble).

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