The Group was started in 1939 by Rev. John Scammel, at that time vicar of the sponsoring Church – King Charles the Martyr. Archie Brice was the scoutmaster and Miss Barbara Gunn became cubmaster.
At the first meeting, in July, no fewer than 139 boys were present. However in September, war was declared and evacuation reduced the number of boys to 40. By 1941, the numbers of adult leaders had been reduced by war service (leaders had joined the army etc.) although there were still two cub packs with over 40 boys in each pack. In 1948 the Rev. Gordon Pavey took over the scout troop and the first camp was held with 24 boys camping at Ayot St. Peter.
Scout meetings were moved to the more spacious Cranborne School hall in 1944 (the old school, not the one there now). Also this year saw the prelude to Bob-a-Job week when each Scout was asked to earn a shilling for the International Relief fund.
The end of the war in 1945 found the Group with more adult leaders. There were still two cub packs with a combined strength of nearly 60 boys and a two week cub camp was held at Ayot St. Peter costing 16 shillings a boy. In 1946 there was a Whitsun camp at Swanage but the summer camp had to be cancelled due to health restrictions.
A Senior Scout patrol was formed in 1947, in the next two years it won the District Challenge trophy and the Cross Country.
In the 1950s the group went through a difficult period. Arthur Jephcott took over running the group. In 1953 there was only 35 cubs, scouts and scouters. Five members of the lion patrol camped at Tolmers, the journey there, pulling a trek-cart with their equipment, took 8 ½ hours and the weather was so cold that ice had to be broken to wash in the mornings!
Berets were introduced in 1948 as an alternative to the traditional Scout hat. Members of the 5th voted to retain the traditional hat and for some years and that became a distinguishing feature of the 5th.
The first AGM of the group committee took place in 1955, at that meeting P L Michael Aston was presented with his Queen’s Scout badge.
In 1957, the Jubilee year of scouting the group had 76 members with only 3 scouters, Barry Wood, Eric Porter and Sid Dowding. Later in the year at the Jubilee Jamboree, the group was represented by John Wood and Mike Aston.
1958 again saw an expansion of the Group and the full Tartan Scarf was worn for the first time. Prior to this a small patch of Royal Stewart Tartan was worn on a plain scarf to show the link of the Church to King Charles 1st. It was necessary to obtain Royal approval to wear the full Tartan scarf and the Queen gave her permission for this to the Group. Tony Magnus became Group Scout Master and 12 of the senior scouts camped in Liechtenstein in the grounds of Prince Emmanuel and made the prince an honouree member of the scout group
In the 1960’s the Group continued to expand and widen its activities. The Scout troop under the leadership of David Jarman made excellent progress. Camps were held in this country and abroad. The group transport consisted of two full sized coaches with roof racks for canoes!
In 1967 an eleven year old scout, Colin Oldman, was awarded the Cornwell Scout certificate. This award is rarely made and recognises exceptional courage of a scout. Colin had been seriously ill for over a year with the previous six months in hospital and had shown courage and cheerfulness throughout his treatment, he died the following year aged 12. Also that year the senior scout troops in the district were merged to form a district Venture Scout unit,
In about 1969 the Tartan Venture Scout Unit under the leadership of Mike Aston was formed for boys from the 5th, he was followed as the leader by Terry Dowding. Activities included building and racing go-karts and taking part in the Peak Assult, winning “Melvile’s Crook in 1980” In 1976 when girls were admitted to the unit Brenda Jocelyn became a leader and in 1991 the unit became the Silver Phoenix Local Venture Scout unit.
In 1972 tragedy struck on the summer scout troop expedition to the continent when David Jarman was fatally injured in a road accident in Rouen, France. The boys returned home the next day and were taken to Lochearnhead to help them recover from the shock. Later that year, the Tartan Venture Unit, one of the strongest in the district restored the old scout hut in South Mimms to use as a headquarters.
In 1974 a new enlarged headquarters “The David Jarman Scout Hut” behind the church hall in Dugdale Hill Lane was opened in memory of David.
In 1975, it was decided that it would be an advantage it the 10th Potters Bar was amalgamated with the 5th to become the 5/10th Potters Bar in January1976 with a combined membership of 150 with Phil Slow, GSL of the 10th taking over as GSL of the new group.
The 10th Potters Bar had been founded in 1957 by Phil and Joan Slow as an open Group. They originally met in Cranborne school and after two years hard work renovated and rebuilt a wooden hut on land at the top of Mimms Hall Road, a few days before the official opening it was burnt down so more fundraising and hard work followed to build a prefabricated hut on the site.
1985 – A beaver scout colony was started in the group in just 3 years after Beaver scouts were started in the UK.
1993 -The 5th/10th changed its name back to the 5th Potters Bar
1991 – Chris Sansom a scout from the group attended the 17th World Scout Jamboree in Thailand
1995 – Jonathon Corfe the 18th World Scout Jamboree in Holland. After a gap of many years since the group ran a coach we now have group transport again, a minibus which make transporting the youngsters easier.
1997 – It became obvious that a new headquarters would be needed to replace old 10th HQ as this had reached the end of its life. At this time the David Jarman Scout Hut was being used mainly as a store as it did not have water or toilets. Hertsmere council offered the group £60,000 in return for the land in Mimms Hall road and a 60 year lease on a site adjacent to the Furzefield sports centre where there had already been some old buildings. The total cost of the new HQ was nearly £117,000! The group raised around £12,000 from fundraising activities and had a loan from the scout Association for the rest to be paid back over 10 years. Amongst the many people who helped scouters Gary Nash and Chris Brunning and chairman and treasurer Margaret Ohren and Michael Lewent put in much hard work to ensure the success of the project and the new HQ was opened on 12th September 1998. The David Jarman hut and old Church hall were demolished in 2002 to make way for the new church hall complex and vicarage
2003 – David Price, the 20th Jamboree in Thailand. The Group began making films of Annual Summer Camps with the generous assistance of The Cruet Company, London. We launch our first website.
2004 – it was decided that the Stewart cub pack would have to close as the group could not find enough adults to become leaders to run two packs. The Stewart boys joined the Cavalier pack to give one stronger pack. So the group in 2004 consisted of the beavers, the Cavalier cubs, the Scout troop, 5 Young Leaders (boys too old for the troop but not wanting to sever ties with the group) and 7 scouters.
2005 – Group camp at Tolmers, the scout troop was about 20 boys with scouters Chris and John and three young leaders. At Potters bar Carnival the scouts ran a beat the goalie competition to raise money for scouts affected the Christmas tsunami.
2006 – During the New Year the cubs visited Elstree studios where they took part in the children’s TV show “The Wonderful World of Weird”, which was shown on BBC2 during February. They all took great delight in seeing themselves on TV. Troop summer camp was in Kandersteg Switzerland, with a party of 28 Scouts, Explorers, Leaders and parents flying EasyJet while the equipment was driven to the site. This was a huge success with some great activities e.g. white water rafting, and summer tobogganing and we met Scouts from Spain, Portugal, Poland, Lincolnshire and Guides from North Wales!
2007 – scouting’s centenary year, the troop started accepting girls and centenary celebrations started of in February with a district hike and fireworks display. Troop summer camp was in Oxfordshire, due to flooding the week before the farmer let us camp on higher ground. The highlight of the camp was a trip to the Centenary world Jamboree camp in Chelmsford where we joined up with PL Alex Brunning who was one of the scouts attending. James Sanderson represented the UK at an international scout conference in Dubai on humanitarian aid and scouting. The cubs had their own VERY muddy centenary district camp at Tolmers.
2008 – We have paid the final instalment of the mortgage in December 08, taken out to build the HQ (which is now 10 years old!). This will make us more financially independent in future years, with the income coming in from 2Jays Play Group during the week, and Strum & Drum music lessons on Saturdays. Many cubs completed their DIY badge at the pack holiday in Bounds Green. Beavers have been working towards their Promise Challenge badge, their Friendship Challenge badge and their Faith Activity Badge. During the summer beavers were involved in a variety of activities including finding our facts about New Zealand and tasting food from New Zealand as part of the Friendship challenge. September saw us welcoming a new Leader, Deniz Isik, and with this raising our colony numbers up to 24. A visit and tour of Wembley Stadium in October was a great hit especially for those Beavers who got to hold the FA Cup. The Colony full to 24 for the coming term and has a good waiting list to keep the colony full for at least the next year. The scout troop won the district cyclocross event. Over recent years we have done well, frequently winning the district swimming gala as well. Friday night programmes, have included training for awards, toffee making, games, cycling, cycle camping, canoeing, cooking, go karting, and pioneering.
2009 – saw the 70th Anniversary (1939) of the formation of the Group, we held a family camp at Tolmers with about 60 camping and on Saturday night a pig roast and lamb roast with another 30 old members scouts & former leaders and committee members of the group joining the celebrations. Troop summer camp was in the Lake District, weather was mixed, activities included Pony Trekking, Gorge Scrambling, Canoeing, overnight hike over Whetherlam. As every year two teams took part in the annual Scout County Green Beret Challenge weekend camp our “A” team achieved 20th place (113 entries).
2010 – A branch of the District Explorer Unit (Tartan Phoenix) was opened in February 2010 meeting at the Furzefield HQ on a Friday, leader Andrew Holwerda, assisted by Paul Scott. The district held a pinewood derby (the children had to make a car form a block of wood and 4 wheels) this was held at Well End and Chris Brunning, John Rowley and some of the scouts hiked over there and camped. The group now has two minibuses these buses are loaned out to other scout groups in return for donations to their upkeep.
2012 – The year of the London Olympics. The Stewart cub pack paid a visit to the Olympic site before completion and were given a tour of the facilities. The group acquired a new ‘closed’ canoe trailer which largely re-introduced canoeing to the programme. The Scout Troop, Tartan Phoenix Explorer Unit and 3rd Potters Bar Scout Troop returned to Kandersteg, Switzerland for their Annual Summer Camp, six years after our last visit.
The Tartan Phoenix Explorer Unit is now lead by James Sanderson. Andrew Holwerda and Paul Scott continue as Assistant leaders. The Scout Troop continues to be lead by Chris Brunning, with John Rowley, Alan Hunt, Kerry Clark, Jeff Neighbour, Olly Middleton, Alex Brunning and James Purton assisting.
2013 – As is now tradition, the Group held its quadrennial Group Camp. The camp was held at Lees Wood Campsite with Cubs, Beavers and Scouts attending. The Scout Troop returned to a farmer’s field near Hay-on-Wye, Wales for Summer Camp with the Tartan Phoenix and 3rd Potters Bar. Activities included, Speedboating, Canoeing, Hiking and Gorge Scrambling.
Also the 5th reincarnation of our website is launched at the URL, www.5pbscouts.co.uk. We continue to take advantage of social media by posting updates on our Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/5thpottersbar, as well as posting photos to Flickr.
2014 – The group is now up to the 75th Anniversary (1939) of its formation. As per 2009, we held a family camp at Tolmers and on the Saturday night a pig & lamb roast with many old scouts & former leaders and committee members of the group joining in the celebrations. Also after negotiations, the scout troop now has a partnership agreement with the Tartan Phoenix explorers; which will see the sharing of resources and camps and be beneficial to both sides. The scouts & explorers are again camping in the lake district this year, camping in similar area to where the explorers will be competing in the annual dragnet competition.
2018 – John Rowley, Assistant Scout Leader, has kindly compiled a comprehensive collection of Scout and Guide items from the King Charles the Martyr Church Magazines and is available in PDF format here. Some items date back as far as our founding year, 1939. The following magazine entry is from 1939 when the Scout Troop was searching for a leader!
Also of interest…
Scouting in Potters Bar 1907-1977 D.W. Pearce.
21st Anniversary year book.
Scouters and former members of the Group.