About 1st Croydon

Group History

In the later months of 1907 a number of boys who lived in the Addiscombe area started to meet together on a regular basis, possibly after reading about the exploits of Baden-Powell and the camp at Brownsea Island.  We shall never really know, however the memories of past members of the Group can certainly remember such meetings without any shadow of a doubt.

The venue of these meetings is uncertain, but probably ranged between the lamppost and the garden shed.  These meetings continued into the early months of 1908, when one Chester Gayton (one of the earlier boys) suggested to the local Postmaster Mr H C Simmons that he should become Scoutmaster.   Clearly Scouting for Boys had kindled their interest.

The inaugural meeting of the 1st Croydon Troop of Boy Scouts was held on 2nd June 1908 and by kind permission of Mr & Mrs Gayton (whose son Chester suggested the Scout idea) was held at their home address, namely 7 Park Street, Croydon.   Records would show that 8 members attended this first and most important Troop meeting.  The Troop was officially registered with Imperial Headquarters on 16th June 1908.   By the end of June 1908 there were 12 Scouts in the Troop and Mr Gayton had agreed to become Troop  Quartermaster.

By November 1908 the Troop had outgrown 7 Park Street and moved to St Mary’s Hall, Oval Road in Croydon.  Camps were held and many Scouting activities took place during 1908, 1909 and 1910.  With re-forming of the local Scout District the Troop was re-registered at the 1st Croydon (Addiscombe) Troop.  In 1910, 23 Scouts plus Leaders and helpers camped for fourteen days in Banstead, Surrey.

The Troop went from strength to strength in the early years with the Wolf Cub Pack opening on 22nd November 1917.    In 1926 a piece of freehold land in Grant Road was purchased for £125.0s.0d and during the next 12 months or so a building was built.   At a meeting on 21st June 1927 the building and grounds were named the Beverley Hall.