The H.Q.

The Scout & Guide HQ

When the Parish Council acquired land to build a Village Hall in 1987, the Mulbarton Scout Group leased part of the land to build their own Headquarters which they share with the Guides and Brownies. ON THIS PAGE is a history of both uniformed organisations and the story of how the HQ was built.

SCOUTING IN MULBARTON

Early Days

There has been a Scout Group in Mulbarton from as early as 1910, but little is known of this first group other than it was run by Miss Cecily Gurney of Keswick Hall. She was very involved in work among youth - especially Scouts and Guides - and organised a number of plays and pageants in the grounds of Keswick Hall.

From the East Carlton Parish Magazine, May 1914:
Cooking classes for Scouts arranged by the County Council Education Authority will be held at Mulbarton School on Friday 29th at 6.30 and on June 12th, 19th and 16th, also at 6.30.

From the School Log Book, 1921:
May 24th Empire day. Timetable suspended and special Empire lessons in Hist. Geog, Nature Study, Drawing, etc. taken instead. Physical Exercise and Signalling display by the Boy Scouts. Half Holiday in the afternoon.

This first Scout group was disbanded and another group started in 1932. This group was known as the 42nd Norwich and the leader was Murray Martin of Silver Fox Farm, East Carlton (where coypu were also kept for fur). Cyril Fairman, then of Paddock Farm, was treasurer. At one time it had 21 boys, but unfortunately this group disbanded soon after World War 2.

News report of July 6th 1933:
On Thursday afternoon a rummage sale was held in the Rectory grounds, Mulbarton, by the Rector, the Rev. C. B. P. and Mrs. Ramsay, the object being to raise funds for the Mulbarton Troop of the Boy Scouts.... Teas were served on the lawn and a display of folk dancing was given by the schoolchildren.... £6.7s.3d was raised. The Scout Master is Mr. Martin and the treasurer Mr. Cyril Fairman.

Modern Times

In 1975, a Cub Pack was formed in the village, attached to the 38th Norwich (Cringleford) Scout Group. Mulbarton's own Scout Group - the 1st Mulbarton - was started in 1982. The Scout Troop was started by Malcolm Court and Derek Edwards with eight boys: two that had been in the Cringleford group and six from the Cub Pack in the village. The existing Cub Pack changed its name to become part of the Mulbarton Group.

The Scouts met in the Middle School and Cubs in the First School on a Wednesday evening. The Group grew steadily over the next few years and a second Cub Pack was started in the Village Hall. All the sections included a full range of Scouting activities in their programmes - camps, visits and other outdoor activities. The two packs were known as 'Tiger' and 'Jaguar' and enjoyed friendly rivalry and joint meetings. The biggest problem was getting adult helpers and leaders to run the sections.

The Group continued to meet like this until 1989 when a piece of land was leased from the parish and a purpose-built joint HQ with the Guides and Brownies was erected with the help of grants and donations and a lot of hard work from parents and leaders (see below).

Guiding in Mulbarton

Guide and Brownie units in Mulbarton were only started in the 1960s, but Mulbarton girls have been part of nearby units for much longer than that. There were units in Flordon and Bracon Ash from the early days of Guiding, and Mrs. Finch opened the grounds of 'Woodlands' in Long Lane for camps and outdoor activities. Local girls took part in some of the Keswick Hall pageants and other activities.

Pageant at Keswick Hall produced by Miss Cicely Gurney - note the Girl Guides on the right.
Pageant at Keswick Hall produced by Miss Cicely Gurney - note the Girl Guides on the right.

The present Guide Company was founded in 1965 as the 1st Flordon by Sue Gilbert. It then became Flordon & Bracon Ash and finally 1st Mulbarton. A second company was started in 1985 by Jill Wright and ran for 10 years before the two companies were amalgamated. Most members came from the two Brownie Packs running in the village and some from the Ashwellthorpe pack. All these groups met in the Village Hall until the Scout and Guide HQ was completed in 1989

1st Mulbarton Brownies celebrate the Pack’s 21st birthday in the Scout & Guide HQ, June 1999. In the back row are leaders (L>R) Lynn Lambert, Gill Smith and Lynsay Watson
1st Mulbarton Brownies celebrate the Pack’s 21st birthday in the Scout & Guide HQ, June 1999. In the back row are leaders (L>R) Lynn Lambert, Gill Smith and Lynsay Watson

The H.Q.

The Mulbarton Scout & Guide HQ was finally ready for use in 1989. Dick Condon, general manager of the Theatre Royal, Norwich, officially opened the building in April 1989. More than 400 people attended, including Norfolk dignitaries of both movements and past and present members of Mulbarton Scout and Guide groups and all who had helped build and decorate the new HQ.