At the moment we are lucky enough to have 2 Rainbow units, 2 Brownie units, a Guide unit, a Beaver colony and a Cub pack. We would like to re-open our Scout troop but we are still looking for volunteers to run the sessions.
We are based in Thurnby, Leicestershire and are part of both Girlguiding and the Scout Associaton.
We are a thriving group with currently about 100 children meeting regularly in the different sections. We cater for both girls and boys between 5 and 25 in a range of activities and opportunities.
Scouting in Thurnby started in 1934 when George Teear, a local chauffeur, asked the local choir boys to stay behind after a Sunday service and talked to them about starting the 75th Leicester (Thurnby) Scout Troop. The idea was popular and the first meetings were held in the older boys homes around the village led by Victor Wood (the 1st Troop Leader). In 1935 the Scouts moved into a newly erected building in Main Street, paid for by Mrs Bennion. Cubs followed soon after, forming in 1937 with 2 sixes, the Yellows and the Tawneys.
During the 2nd World War Scoutmaster Victor Wood joined up with the Air Force and was later regarded as a troop hero after being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his work as a bomber pilot. Geoffrey Payne, another of the Scout Leaders, was not so lucky and has a war grave in the churchyard. David Cooper followed as Scoutmaster and worked hard to build up the troop before he also joined the Air Force.
Camping has always been a central part of Scouting and the first annual camp was held at Great Holland near Clacton-on-Sea in 1935. It was followed by Robin Hood’s Bay in 1936 and Penmaenmawr in 1937. Transport to and from the camps was usually by train. During the war, camps were held locally at Skeffington and Oakham and in 1945 Senior Scouts were travelling back from a camp at Overstrand near Cromer on VJ day.
When, in 1946, an appeal was launched to help refurbish Gilwell Park 2 local boys responded by cycling to London for a week in their holidays to raise funds. In 1948 a big county rally was held at Belvoir Castle and the 75th troop travelled up by train from Thurnby Station where the boys also met the Chief Scout Lord Rowallen and were lucky enough to have their photo published in the Leicester Mercury. Members from the Group were also instrumental in helping to set up the John’s Lee Wood Campsite in Markfield.
More extensions were added to the Main Street HQ in 1951, 1957 and 1963 as the Troop went from strength to strength. Camps took place further and further afield including visits to the Isle of Wight, North Wales, Ulster and Scotland. In 1965 Peter Watson took over as Group Scout Leader.
Girls join in
1st Thurnby Guides were formed in 1967 and Brownies started up soon after bringing the total number of groups meeting in the Main Street HQ to 4. The HQ was literally bursting at the seams and it was soon clear that a new HQ was needed. After much local fundraising and securing of grants, Group Scout Leader Peter Watson and Chairman Geoffrey Gill had raised enough money to buy and erect a building. The Group was generously offered a plot of land by Anthony Lillie, a local farmer and businessman and work started on the new HQ on Court Road in 1980. The opening day on Sunday 22nd February 1981 fell on a snowy day but didn’t stop the festivities and the building was officially opened.