…The first 50 years.
This history plots the life of Scouting in Brighton.
Scouting commenced in the Brighton area in 1907 (the same year as the first experimental camp on Brownsea Island). On his return from that camp, B-P met Captain Davison Brown of Cottesmore School and discussed with him the training scheme he had used so successfully at the camp. As a result of this interview, a troop was formed at the school in November 1907. This group was registered as SI Btn and is believed to be the first organised troop in Brighton. Our sister district Hove and Portslade may also lay claim to this troop as Cottesmore School is actually within Hove’s present day borders! Whether it was in 1907 is debatable.
By February 1909 there were 12 troops in the Brighton area and the district included Henfield, Burgess Hill, Steyning, Hove and Lewes.
In February 1910 B-P, together with the Earl of March, inspected over 400 boys at a camp held in Preston Park. Troops from Brighton, Aldrington, Burgess Hill, Hassocks, Horsham, Lewes, Plumpton, Ringmer and Worthing were represented. By then, Brighton had 20 groups with 14 of them at the camp.
It is reported that B-P stopped during the inspection to shake the hand of Scout Holliman of the 2nd Brighton Troop as he was wearing the only Badge of Merit in the district (awarded for a plucky and clever piece of work assisting the police in Hove).
Also at that camp; the 7th Brighton gave a demonstration of Ambulance work and the 4th Brighton erected a trestle bridge from which B-P addressed the assembled crowd.
In April 1910 Brighton Scouting opened its own “official” headquarters at 132 Kings Road Arches.
During the first World War scouting in Brighton continued in the face of many difficulties throughout which Brighton Scouts undertook many public services, including Coastguard duty and assistance at the Childrens’ and the then Military hospitals.
In 1915, camps were prohibited in Sussex by order of the War Office, so scouting took to the fields and Brighton Scouting worked in the harvest fields for local farmers instead of the (by then) traditional summer camp.
After the war, Scouting in Brighton returned to normal duties and the number of troops increased to some 40 individually formed Groups, spread across the town.
At census time in 1957, the following Groups were registered with HQ:
1st Brighton – Hamilton Lodge – College Road
2nd Brighton – St Mathias – Ditchling Road
3rd Brighton – St Martins – Lewes Road
4th Brighton – St Augustines – Florence Road
5th Brighton – Islingword Road Mission – Islingword Road
6th Brighton – St Wilfrids – Whippingham Road
7th Brighton – Stanford Avenue Methodist – Stanford Avenue
8th Brighton – London Road Methodist – London Road
10th Brighton – St Michael and All Angels – Compton Avenue
11th Brighton – St Pauls – Russell Place
12th Brighton – St Andrews – Moulescoomb
13th Brighton – St Lukes – Queens Park Road
14th Brighton – Dorset Gardens Methodist – Dorset Gardens
15th Brighton – St Marks – Chesham Road
16th Brighton – Riley Memorial Hall – Carlton Hill
17th Brighton – Brighton College – Eastern Road
18th Brighton – St Mary Magdalen – Coldean
20th Brighton – 1st Falmer and Stanmer – Moulscoomb
21st Brighton – St Cuthmans – Whitehawk Road
23rd Brighton – Church of the Holy Cross – Woodingdean
24th Brighton – St Mary Magdalen RC – Upper North Street
25th Brighton – Varndean School – Surrenden Road
27th Brighton – Coombe Road Junior School – Coombe Road
28th Brighton – Fairlight School – Pevensey Road
29th Brighton – Hollingbury Court School – Ditchling Road
30th Brighton – Patcham – Vale Avenue
32nd Brighton – St Peters – Richmond Buildings
34th Brighton – All Souls – Warwick Street
35th Brighton – Union Church – Queens Square
37th Brighton – St Marys – St Marys Place
38th Brighton – Salvation Army – Edward Strtee
39th Brighton – Church of the Good Shepherd – Dyke Road
41st Brighton – Carden School – Carden Avenue
42nd Brighton – Saltdean – Longridge Avenue
44th Brighton – All Saints – Mackie Avenue
45th Brighton – St Nicholas –
48th Brighton – St Josephs – Moulscoomb Way
49th Brighton – Woodingdean Methodist – The Ridgeway
50th Brighton – London Road Congregational – London Road
51st Brighton – 1st Poynings – Poynings