The first Sibford Scout Group was formed outside the Village School one lunch time by a lad named Bernard Farmer of Epwell who asked if there were any of the boys interested in the Scout Movement. The answer was “yes” so Bernard contacted Sir Jeffery Fiennes of Broughton Castle. He, being District Commissioner came and started a new Troop of two patrols, the Otters and the Hawks. Like the present Group, meetings were held on a Friday in the Old Village Hall.
A number of the boys are still about today, Harry Sabin, John Gadd, Fred Bishop, Arthur Bishop, Frank Woolgrove, Eric Payne, Maurice Kaye, Jack Stephens and Edward Haynes.
The Group closed in 1937 but reopened in 1941 under the leadership of Mrs Campbell of Buttslade House assisted by Mabel Poulton. To our astonishment we were pounced on by boys from London who had been evacuated into the area for the duration of the war. This took our membership to over 40. They were certainly a great help because they had a lot of knowledge of the Scout Movement.
In 1943 Mrs Campbell moved with her Naval Officer husband and sons down south. Again Lord Saye and Sele was brought in with a new Scout Leader – Eric Payne. With his wife Mabel assisting, they carried on with more than 40 boys until 1946.
Captain Clarke with his wife then worked with boys, but the membership had diminished from the large numbers seen during the war to around 22. The London boys had returned home to the city.
Captain Clarke was forced to give up his Scouting activities because of illness.
in 1956, the Reverend John Blackmore accepted the Church living of Slbford and Epwell. He kindly offered to start another Group under the name of Holy Trinity Church Group, and carried on until the early ’60s when it closed.
A link with the early days of Scouting in the Sibfords, is the Scout badge on the top of the Scout flag that is carried on parades and is used as part of the Scout investiture ceremony. It is the same one that was obtained by the boys in the period of 1942 – 1946.
Good Luck. to the present Group.
Eric Payne – Founder Member.