The History of the 6th Lichfield Scouts
We are incredibly proud of our 60-year history of scouting in Lichfield, supporting Leomansley and the wider community. Throughout our history, the commitment and dedication of our volunteer leaders has remained at the heart of our scout group. Without volunteers, we would never have been able to sustain the group. All squirrels, beavers, cubs and scouts would like to thank everyone who has ever supported the 6th Lichfield in the last 60 years.
1961 - Where it all began
The history of the 6th Lichfield Scout Group begins in 1961. Originally our group was based on Queen Street and was founded by Jack Salford, a local surveyor. The premises on Queen Street were basic and consisted of a wooden hut with no toilets. Jack Salford led the 6th Lichfield for many years and went on to become District Leader for Lichfield. In those days there were no phones or means of communication, so expeditions and camps meant you were ‘on your own’.
The 6th Lichfield were originally sponsored by Christchurch Church and moved to Christchurch Lane in the 1960’s. The original wooden hut was painstakingly moved piece by piece thanks to an army of volunteers to Christchurch Lane. Again, facilities were extremely basic by today’s standards and remained so until the 1980’s when the current, modern headquarters were constructed.
Fundraising at the Guildhall in 1966 where the princely sum of £80 was raised
That would be £2,100 in today's money!
Our original HQ
Full of rustic charm
(And quite a lot of water when it rained)
Scouting in 1961 was very different to today. There were no girls and the uniform was more traditional. Boys were expected to wear shorts and long socks with epaulets to signify your patrol. Lord Baden Powell specified that all uniform had to have a purpose, so scouts needed a big hat to carry water and the traditional neckerchief was designed to substitute as a sling in the event of an arm injury. Despite the differences in uniform, one aspect remains the same: the 6th Lichfield red neckerchief with white trim. For the last 60 years this has been a key part of the 6th Lichfield and has identified our members across the globe. Badges were also different such as: Tenderfoot; Master at Arms; Stalker; Clerk; Horseman; Watchman and Queen’s Scout.
The campaign begins for our current HQ in 1989
The 80's and 90's
In the 1980’s the 6th Lichfield, expanded to include our first Beaver group and this has remained a key part of the 6th Lichfield to this day. The next significant change for the 6th happened in the 1990’s when girls were allowed to join boys in scouting. We have a proud tradition of encouraging all young people from any background to join the 6th Lichfield and we have a mixed gender group to this day.
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Expeditions and camps throughout the history of the 6th Lichfield have been frequent and memorable. Camps involve around 40-50 young people and form a key part of the 6tth Lichfield group. In 1977, the 6th Lichfield were chosen to meet the then Prince of Wales for the Silver Jubilee celebrations in Stafford. There have also been numerous members of the 6th who have attended World and National Jamboree’s in our history. Our ‘Red Board’ which goes everywhere with the 6th Lichfield was once used to name a train in Welshpool in the 1970’s, with scouts taking charge of the train itself. One memorable camp involved an expedition to Wales in the 1970’s which clashed with the worst storm to hit the region for a generation. Scouts can recall the wind hitting like an express train and the force of the storm snapping 2-inch tent poles. Leaders had to sleep in shifts to watch the deteriorating conditions and the wind blew the tents 2 foot in the air. Thankfully, everyone made it home safely; even when the campsite flooded!
Scouting everywhere was shaken to the core with the Covid lockdowns in 2020 and 2021. Despite this challenge, the 6th rose to the occasion with scouting moving to video calling straight away. Cubs, Beavers and Scouts all took part in online meetings to keep scouting going throughout the pandemic. We held a whole group camp online with children sleeping in living rooms and tents in the garden. There was even a virtual campfire – with singing.
Our group has always been at the heart of the community and the 6th continues to grow. We now offer a ‘Squirrels’ division for children 4-6 and were one of the first scout groups to do so. We continue to go from strength to strength and look forward to seeing what the next 60 years bring.
Our latest squirrel recruit
We want your stories and pictures!
Did you used to be part of the 6th Lichfield?
Do you have any pictures or stories that we can add to our new history page?
If the answer to either of those questions is yes then we would love to hear from you.
Please get in touch via email so we can share them on our site and keep this page growing.