Here's a map of Eynsham from the 1920s. No A40 yet so the main road from Oxford to Witney goes over the toll bridge and through the Square, Acre End Street, Witney Road and Old Witney Road. The Scouts met in various halls and room around the village until 1926 when they managed to purchase their own wooden hut which was erected in Queens Lane (see below). Click the picture to see more maps of Eynsham and the surrounding area over the last century.
Many of the old scouts remember spending their summer under canvas in a field down by the toll bridge. They would pitch their tents at around Whitsun and live there until the weather turned. The stretch of the Thames where they bathed became known by the locals as 'The Scout'.
In a conversation in 1985 with Richard Smith who researched the history of Eynsham Scouts for a project, Jack Green said the troop was formed again in around 1920 with him as Scout Master. The initiation ceremony took place at Newland House.
The first of World Jamboree was held at Olympia in London. It was more an inside exhibition of Scouting rather than what we would call a Jamboree today.
On 3rd November 1920, the accounts show 6 flutes were purchased from the Army and Navy stores costing £2.5.0. with another 3 purchased on 18th December. Was this the start of the fife and drum band or were they adding to what they already had?
The accounts also show a donation of £1 by Major Oakley and 7s/9d was paid by Scouts towards uniforms. The years closing balance was £4.19.4.
The Scout Association has records that in 1921 Mr S.R. Bridges was the Scoutmaster of Eynsham (& Cassington) Scouts meeting at the School House in Cassington with Mr J Green as his assistant and a troop of 45 boys.
The 1921 Accounts so donations and subscriptions from Edmund B Traill, Mrs Great Rise, Michael T Charles, Hugh T Sheringham, Sir Waller Bedford, Mrs Marshall, James Findall, James Cunliffe, Rev W N Bricknell, Mrs J Parnel, Mr P Saunder, Mr E Sawyer, Mrs Stevens, Eynsham Choral Society, Eynsham Football Club, Major E F Oakley, J Tindall, W J Stevens, Mr Arthur Blake, Mrs Great Rise, W O Bedford, Mr R Treadwell, Mr B G Green, totalling £15.16.0.
Expenditure for 1921 shows a new Drumhead was purchased from Poller & Co. for 13s/2d, and Henry Goodwin was paid £5 for conveying the boys to and from Banbury for an outing in his motorcar. Interest of £1.4 and £1.5.2. was received and the closing balance for 1921 was £15.11.4.
The Scouts were meeting in a room over Harris Butchers shop with Mr Knight as Scout Master. F Douglas joined the troop.
The Scouts went camping at Newbridge near Standlake with Jack Green in charge and they borrowed a horse and cart belonging to Mr Druce to get there.
Richard Smith spoke to Mrs Shepard in 1986 who was Miss Rosemary Oakley in 1922. She was in charge of the cubs in the village until 1934. She remembers a big fund raising push in 1922 to get their own Scout Hut which was done with the aid of some undergraduates from Keble College called "The Roaring Rockets" who came out twice a year to help. She remembered that The Masons of Eynsham Hall took a keen and active interest in Scouting and Guiding and Miss Doris Mason was Scout Camp Advisor. Sir Montagu Burrows was a very conscientious County Commissioner. The Band played a very important role in the life of the troop, practicing every Tuesday evening in Boss Perkins kitchen.
The 1922 accounts show liabilities for badges, hats, plass(?), printing, carriage, rent of club house, donation to Witney District, and the summer camp cost £7.15.2. with £22.6.1 for the band in the bank, making total liabilities of £34.7.4. The Assets were listed as £14.11.4 for Band, boys subscriptions of 8s/9d, proceeds from Concert £13.15.3 and donations from Major Oakley, Mrs Greatrise, Mrs Stevens, Mrs Bricknell, Mr N H Bricknell, Mr Sherringham, Mr Tindall, Mr Cunliffe, Mr Charles, E Sawyer, making a balanced Asset total of £34.7.4.
The 1st Eynsham Cub Pack was officially registered with the Boy Scouts Association on 9th November 1923. Their leader was Miss Rosemary Oakley who had applied for a warrant but not received it. The pack met at The Gables on the corner of Queens Street and Newlands Street which is still there today. The 6 cubs at the beginning were registered as number 6500.
The Troop went camping at Godstow in the summer with about two dozen boys lead by Boss Perkins.
The Troop were meeting at St. Michaels coach-house.
The Accounts for 1923 show Assets of £22.6.1 for band at bank, Subscriptions from Major Oakley, Mr Cruickshank, Major Slessor, Mrs Swine, Mip Mr F Swine, Mr L J Gwyms, Mr Charles, Mrs Great Rise, Mr L Tindall, Rev N H Bricknill, Col Norman, E Sawyer (some names are best guess due to flowing handwriting). The also received 2s from Mrs Blake for flags for Empire day, Bank Interest of 12s/5d and 3s/5d refunded from camp making a total of £27.12.5.
The liabilities were 10shillings to District Fund, 6d each scout to County Funds of 11s/6d, purchase of cleaning broom, booles, Cymbals, Black Board and a withdrawal for summer camp of £10.10.0.
Cassington Scouts became a separate group and were part of the Woodstock District. Their Scout Master was Arthur (known as) Paul Gedge who lived at the Vicarage and kept a photo and cuttings album of the troops activities. They also visited other local scout groups and did joint activities with Long Handborough, Woodstock, Kidlington and Eynsham.
In the slide show on the right you can see his pictures of the Eynsham Band, the cub pack outside The Gables where they met, The Oakley Family in their garden, 'The Two Jacks' (Fowler and Douglas we think), and the concert party who travelled the area doing a sketch called 'Over The Hills And Far Away'. The posters on the left show some of the concerts they gave in 1924 with other local troops. They were L Fowler, Boss Perkins, T Ayres, H Ayres, Mr Green, J Fowler, F James, T Barson, Mr Harris, C Brooks, F Mott, J Douglas and A Hedges.
Paul Gedge also wrote the names of the people in his photo albums. The picture of the band at a practice were listed as Jack Fowler, Leslie Fowler, Ted Ayres, Leaders George Perkins, George Green, and Bill Harris, Harry Ayres, Teddy Barson, Freddy Mott, Cyril Brooks, Frank James, Albert Hedges and Jack Douglas. The picture of the scouts in 'Mufti' clothing (non uniform) were names as Curly Douglas, Albert Hedges, Percy Newport, Peter Faulkner, Walter May, Fred Whelan, George Green, Frank James, Cyril Brooks, Freddy Mott and Ernest Harwood. The Oakleys are Major, Mrs, Rosemary and Mary. Rosemary was the cub leader and the photo albums list three sixes. Black - William Allworth, Vernon Harris, William Hall, Ronald Harris, George Russell, Leonard Pimm (sixer). White - Dick Cook, William Dean, Reggie Roux, Horace Russell, Ronald Baison, Jack Simmonds (sixer). Brown - Percy bailey, Denis Russell, Gred Green, Frank Dixey, Mons Perkins, Cecil Calcut (sixer). The camp football team were Freddy mott, Dormouse, Jack Douglas, Ted Ayres, Paul Gedge, Harry Ayres, Leslie Fowler, cyril Deely, Pete faulkner. In the millstream were Cyril Higgs, Jack Fowler, Ted Ayres, Peter faulkner, Cyril Deely, Cowie, Dormouse, Freddy Baison, and Cyril Brooks.
The Troop summer camp was again at Godstow from 2nd - 10th August. "Chubby" Green was was Scout Master assisted by Boss Perkins. You can see a few pictures taken by Paul Gedge in the slideshow on the right. The pictures show names and nicknames for those who went. Tent A - Boss 'Axe' Perkins, Jack 'Tubby' Fowler, Leslie 'Chicken' Fowler, Ernest 'Bunger' Harwood, Teddy 'Dormouse' Baison, Jack 'Blood hound' Douglas, Curly Douglas, Frank 'Jammy' James and Freddy Mott. Tent B were Mr 'Washbasin' Green, Ted 'Rooter' Ayres, Cyril higgs, Harry Ayres, Bob Drewitt, Pete faulkner, Willie 'Cowie' Hanks, Fred 'Taffy' Whelan, and 'Farmer' brooks. The pictures show they also went to Youlbury Scout Camp and you can see some photos of the swimming pool, camping field, buildings, and the viewing tower.
The accounts for 1924 show receipts of £10.14.0 for bank, proceeds from concert £11.16.6, cash in hand £3.13.7 and donations from Mr L F Mason, Mr B L Franklin, Mr R Blake, Mr Hookins, Major Flemill, Mr G Audesson, totalling £30.1.7. The expenditure was 4s/6d to Rides(?) of Oxford for Casternets and concert expenses for hall hire, printing and conveyance of £2.18.9.
The 2nd World Jamboree took place in Copenhagen in August. This set the model for the modern Jamboree (see picture in slide show above). Scouts from 33 nations attended and the British Contingent held an Imperial Jamboree at Wembley before they went on to Copenhagen.
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The Scouts had a small camp at White Horse Hill.
The accounts show donations from Major Oakley (pictured), Mrs Greatrise, Rev N H Bricknill, Major Flessor, E Sawyer, Major Flennell, Mr Franklin, Mr Sheringham, Mr L J Mason, Mr Cruikshank, Mr Gwynn, Mr Chasle, Mr G Aulesson, Mrs Swine, Mip Swine, Mr Cunliffe, Gen R Pasker, Mr Perkins, Col Norman, totalling £9.10.6. Bank Interest was 8s/7d and the proceeds from the concert were £12.7.8. (Again, apologies for not being able to read the writing clearly, please let us know if any names need correcting).
The expenditure for 1925 were for S.M. Green, materials for basket making, County contributions, £2.15.0. to Beards for Gibb Tent plus carriage, £2.12.6 to Pother for flutes plus postage, whistles etc, and summer camp £11, hire of Institute, scouts register, club room costs including oil and coal, and concert expenses totalling £21.12.6.
Writing in the Eynsham Record (Vol3 1986), Mary Oakley recalls of her father "This was the heyday of the Eynsham Boy Scouts, with Mr. Harris the Scout Master, and "Boss" Perkins as Assistant. My father, with memories of Baden Powell in the Boer War, was very interested in the movement and encouraged the Eynsham troop with their Fife and Drum Band, their efforts to build a hut, and their long distance camping activities. My mother was enrolled as Scout Secretary, and the 1st Eynsham Scouts became famous throughout the county."
The following is taken from the Court of Honour Minutes reported in the Troop Log Book. Normally present were SM Harris, SM Rendell, ASM Perkins, PL’s Douglas and Drewitt, and Scout Fowler. They were the committee organising the troop and dealing with any issues and it makes interesting reading of the day-to-day running of a scout troop and the way of life in the 1920’s. It lists the programme for the troop meetings, which were on Fridays starting at 6.30pm. They began with what they called the “Preliminaries”, then went on to do skill work and played a game or two. Troop nights ended at around 8.30pm and with notices etc. and the “Scouts Goodnight”.
Court of Honour Monday 23rd November 1925
The C of H asked ASM Perkins if he could be present for half an hour or so at the beginning of troop nights during University Vacation to assist SM with Scout work. He agreed to take Second Class Scouts on any subject that was required. SM Rendell mentioned that most troops attend meetings on troop nights in uniform and that the troop should at least follow the custom of other Oxford Troops in having uniform parade at least once a month. ASM Perkins said that many boys who went to school in Oxford arrived too late to change before meetings as well as get tea and possible do homework, while in the summer, those who did not go to Oxford were often required to work in the allotments etc. SM Harris said that the troop had been in the habit of attending church parade in uniform once a month, but that recently this practice had become irregular. SM Rendell said that uniform was a secondary matter in comparison with the more serious side of scouting and that he felt we had sufficient justification under the circumstances in not wearing it at troop nights. Scout Fowler said that the practice of wearing scarves and hat with ordinary clothes had been tried, but that it had been allowed to be discontinued. It was decided unanimously that troop meetings should be in “mufti” as before. Scout Fowler said that PL Drewitt was sorry he could not be present on Monday nights, but that he would be present on Friday. The question of reorganisation of patrols was discussed and SM Rendell argued for selection by PL’s by picking up, giving the C of H the right of sanctioning the patrol lists afterwards. At this point a discussion arose as to whether brothers should be allowed in the same patrol and the opinion of the court appeared to be in favour of them being separated. It was eventually decided that the two PL’s should pick up at the next C of H and that after this the court have the right of making any rearrangements if it thought fit. Scout Fowler said that SM Rendells' talk about Discipline at the previous meeting had put the wind up the troop, but that afterwards certain scouts had expressed disapproval. After games however, he felt that they were content and had enjoyed themselves.
Troop Night Friday 27th November 1925
The programme was to include Accidents work for Second class scouts, Ambulance work for Tenderfoots and knots for Recruits. 14 were present. They were divided into two patrols called Fowlers Patrol and Douglas’ Patrol. They played two games. Fowlers won the observation game 5-3 and in Pitt, PL Douglas scored 18, Capell 10, Harry Douglas 6, SM Rendell 2 and Allsworth 1.
Court of Honour Tuesday 1 December 1925
It was reported that scout Newport had been rude to SM Harris and it was suggested that he should be called before the C of H. SM Rendell asked whether he had been told that further action would be taken and when told that this was not so, he suggested that if Newport was a good scout in future, no further notice of the matter should be taken. However, that should any such thing happen in the case of any court in future, he should be informed immediately that he must attend the next meeting of the C of H. There followed a long-winded discussion on discipline, during which we wondered whether SM Rendell would ever cease talking. He contended that difficulties in the past were due to the C of H not taking sufficient trouble to provide a really interesting and varied programme, and that the Eynsham boy is no worse than other boys. He urged the C of H to follow and have confidence in his methods. SM Harris and scout Fowler argued that we should be as more successful than previous C of H. It was decided to leave the future to decide. It was decided that the two patrols should be made up as thus: Swifts – PL Douglas, Second H Fowler, James, Capell, Hanks and Allsworth. Peacocks – PL Drewitt, Second L Fowler, Harwood, H Douglas, Drewitt, Newport and Roux. It was decided unanimously that there should be prayers after C of H.
Troop Night Friday 4th December 1925
Second Class Scouts “passed out” on Accident work and Fowler and Harwood passed out on Signalling. The Tenderfoots did Ambulance work and the Recruits did Knots. 11 were present with H Fowler and Hanks absent from the Swifts and R Fowler, Newport and Harwood absent from the Peacocks. They played the game of Pitt again. F James scored 15, SM Rendell 15, SM Harris 7, Allsworth 6, PL Douglas 6, PL Drewitt 4, Capell & Roux Douglas 1. They played a short game of Tom Dick and Harry, which was won by Capell, and SM Rendell told a campfire Yarn called “The Revenge”.
Court of Honour Friday 4th December 1925
PLs Douglas and Drewitt volunteered to undertake duties of Secretary to the CofH. SM Harris suggested that the Court should appoint the former as PL Drewitt was well occupied with his work, while PL Douglas was still at school had more spare time. The proposal was carried unanimously. SM Rendell distributed amongst the PLS the following book asking each PL to see that his second had a chance of reading thus, to Swifts How to run a Patrol and The Patrol System, and to Peacocks Scouting for Boys and Points for Patrol Leaders. It was very important for the PLs to read the books and not forget any of the passages. SM Rendell said he believed that the reson why so many in the troop were were not keen on Scouting was that the troop was not yet really being run on scouting lines. The books would give leaders a chance to understand what Scouting really was. If they found anything in the books that they thought wrong, they had better remember that Headquarters had experience of about 1,500,000 scouts and think again. SM Rendell said he would be away from Oxford until 14th January but he hoped the CofH would keep him informed of their activities. It was decided unanimously to send by SM Rendell our greetings to the 29th Poplar Troop in East London.
Troop Night Friday 11th December 1925
12 were present, after the preliminaries and patrol meetings, the Second Class Scouts did mapping, Tenderfoots did Ambulance and Recruits did work for their TF badge. There were 2 games and ASM Perkins told a very interesting yarn concerning 'Faith, Hope and Trust'.
Court of Honour Friday 11th December 1925
It was proposed by PL Douglas that the troop should go for a run on Saturday 19th December and should have tea in the headquarters which was sanctioned by the SM. It was decided by the CofH that a Christmas message of thanks should be sent by them on behalf of the troop to the ADC and Mrs Oakley. It was decided by the CofH that the troop should have a Quarter Master and ASM Perkins was duly elected. ASM Perkins proposed that Scout Fowler should come and clean Headquarters on Saturday 12th December and bring with him another Scout to help.
Troop Night Friday 18th December 1925
After the preliminaries the Second Class Scouts did Mapping, Tenderfoots did Ambulance and Recruits worked for their TF badge. The evening finished with the matchbox race game and a new balloon game by SM Harris. 11 attended.
Court of Honour 18th December 1925
The programme was decided for the next troop meeting on 1st January 1926 at a short meeting as only 4 attended due to bad weather.
In 1926, Eynsham got its first permanent Headquarters costing £39.17.6. It was a wooden hut with a main hall and smaller meeting room and was sited in Queens Lane, off Queens Street. It was about 20 meters in on the left as you go down the lane past the Queens Head Pub. One report says they built the hut themselves during the summer, another says it was a weather boarded shed built by Green and Sons. The ground rent was £1 and the accounts showed various other expenditures on the hut through out the year including oil, coal, etc.
The Scouts went on weekend camps at Eynsham Hall and had 11 days camping on the Berkshire side of the river (exact location not yet known).
The F Douglas patrol followed "Scouting for Boys" to make themselves efficient and produced their own magazine.
Some Eynsham Scouts went to Youlbury to see Baden Powell lay the foundation stone for the camp site.
The Cassington Scout Master Paul Gedge (see 1924) kept some documents as part of his troop records that will be or interest to others who remember the Rover Moot and the the Rover Theoretical Course.
F Douglas gained the troops first first class scout award and camped at White Horse Hill.
The accounts showed expenditure for the troop including entrance to a music festival in Witney, more items for the hut, County Contributions and £10 for Camp. Receipts included many donations including one from The Football Club and hire of the hut.
The Boy Scouts Association required annual re-registration for each group and this document gives us a snapshot of the leaders on 30th September 1928. The Scoutmaster was Mr. W. Harris, Cubmaster was Miss R. Oakley and the Assistant Scoutmaster was Mr George Perkins, otherwise known as 'Boss' who was also Bandmaster of the 1st Eynsham Scouts Fife and Drum Band. They had 22 Scouts and 5 Wolf Cubs.
It is also worth noting that the Troops registration number changed from 3160 to 3930 when the Scout Association re-registered all Troops and Packs into Groups and were given a new number.
The Scouts camped at White Horse Hill.
F Douglas remembered being in a Guard of Honour on the Town Hall steps for the Chief Scout and Chief Guides visit to Oxford.
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