Extracts from “Bradford Abbas – The History of a Dorset Village” by Eric Garrett with his kind permission.
The first Bradford Abbas Troop was created in February 1935. Mr R.C. Day, Headmaster at the local school, became the first Scoutmaster and was able to recruit “six scouts and four cubs ‘who had entered on their duties with great zeal’. The lads were encouraged in their efforts by the Lord of the Manor, Mr Wyatt Paul, who presented them with a silver challenge cup for the best scout at the end of each year. Within three months the scouts appeared in their uniforms for the first time at the King George V and Queen Mary Silver Jubilee celebrations in the village. Shortly after, Captain Charles Duff and the Vicar, Rev. E.C. Douglas, presented the colours to the troop which were dedicated at evensong on 13th October 1935 and Mr & Mrs W. Gale presented the troop with a bugle.”
“Jumble sales, concerts, open air whist drives were regularly held to augment funds and at the end of their first year the troop was financially sound and strong in numbers – 17 Scouts and a slightly smaller number of Cubs.”
During the first year enough funds was raised to hold a camp at Weymouth. “The second year’s camp was held at Bude in August 1936 and the following month the troop was able to hold their first church parade led by their own band.”… “The troop continued to thrive and prosper but with the coming of the Second World War activities ceased and it was not until 1955 that it was decided to reform the troop with Mr D. Mundy as Scoutmaster and Mr B. Allcott as Assistant Scoutmaster, whilst the Cub pack was placed under the leadership of Mr F. Meade of Sherborne. The Cubs were the stronger with 16 members against the Scouts’ 10, but everyone concerned seemed satisfied with the progress being made, although there were insufficient funds to enable ‘progressive training to be given’.” However, by 1969 the Scouts and Cubs were going through a bad patch with leaders being unable to provide enough time to the troop. This led to a complete shut down of all activities.
“Mr W. Lucas volunteered to get the Cub pack going again and his offer was kindly accepted for a trial period of six months, but it was decided that the Scout troop should be dissolved and that the Cubs who reached the scout age of eleven were encouraged to join the flourishing Scout troop at Yetminster.”
The Scout troop was reinteroduced in 2012 after a long break after the second world war
is still continued today