A Short History of 43rd Crosland Moor Scouts

It was in 1934 that a Rover Crew was first registered in Crosland Moor and that was how it stayed until October 1936. Ironsides Rover Crew met in a small room over a garage at the rear of the local Conservative Club in Park Road. The Rover Scout leader was Jack Hardy, and the crew membership was about eight.

At one meeting the crew were having a discussion about starting a Scout Troop and the Rover leader made a suggestion that he knew a person to help him. Mr. W. G, Mann had held the position of Cub Master with the 17th (Lockwood Rehoboth) group from 1932 to 1936. He knew that the Scouts at the 17th had ceased to hold meetings. After contacting some of the old troop he found six boys who were very interested in joining the new troop in Crosland Moor. These six boys told friends and within three to four weeks there were enough scouts to form three patrols. With one of the Rovers, Mr. Laurie McNamara being appointed as Scout Master and two more as assistants the 43rd Huddersfield (Crosland Moor) Scouts were well formed.

As Mr. Mann had been the Cub Master at the 17th the Rover Crew gave him permission to contact some of the boys who had been cubs there and start a Pack for the 43rd. So the 43rd Huddersfield (Crosland Moor) Cub Pack was formed, with Mr. Mann as Cub Master and two others assisting. Everything went nice an d smoothly and the membership of new recruits steadily increased. The membership fee for Cubs and Scouts was tuppence a week,Rovers and Scouters paid one shilling and as the funds grew each section kept its own accounts which were checked at the Monthly meeting of the Leaders. At a later meeting a parents committee was suggested and this was formed at a later date.

All went well until war broke out in 1939 when a lot of the leaders were called up for war service. Also some scouts went working for the Red Cross. Mr. Mann ran the group throughout the conflict.

After the war none of the old leaders felt inclined ti come back into scouting. Mr. Mann was left to run both the Scout Troop and the Cub Pack on his own. The parents committee felt that a new Scoutmaster needed to be appointed. The committee asked Mr. Mann if he knew anyone who would be suitable. He asked some of the old scouters if they would be interested in coming back to their old group. They said they were sorry but after all they had gone through in the war they could not commit themselves to scouting.

There was only one other that he could think of, that was the Group Scoutmaster of the former 17th Huddersfield, who was also home from the war. Mr. Mann called on him and told of the plight and told how he was running the Scout and Cubs on his own. The Huddersfield Scout Association were now stressing that a new Scoutmaster needed to be found. After pleading with him, in the end he gave in and said he would try to help. He was introduced to scouts, many of whom recognised him from the old 17th.

He had a chat with the boys and joined in the rest of the meeting really enjoying himself. At a later meeting of the parents committee Mr. Mann introduced Fred Howarth, they welcomed him and asked if he would be willing to take a position as Scoutmaster. He replied that he would be pleased to do all that he could to help.

Mr. Howarth went before a warrants committee a few weeks later and received a warrant as Scoutmaster of the 43rd and from that point onwards our Scout Group began to grow in strength.

It was around this time that Billy Allen returned from the Army and he came back to assist Fred Howarth with the running of the Scout Troop. It was in 1947 the committee was approached for permission to produce a Gang Show with the Scouts and Cubs. The request was granted and rehearsals began in January of that year. On April 24th 1947 the Group opened our first Gang Show. People liked it so much that they asked if it could be performed at local schools. Mr. Mann was asked to produced further shows until the 1950's when Jack Beaumont relieved him of it.

At this time there were two local campsites, one in Honley Woods and one at Wood Nook.

During 1951 the then Chief Scout Lord Rowallan paid a visit to a Scout Rally in Bingley at which the 43rd were complimented by him for their smartness during the march past. A portrait of Lord Rowallan was won for submitting the best report of the week.

At this time the group was still meeting above the Conservative Club which had no heat other than a coke fire. The group was growing to such an extent that it was no longer large enough. In 1950 the parents committee and leaders decided to look into the possibility of obtaining other premises. Rehoboth School was used as a temporary measure until a H.Q. of our own could be found.

Fundraising got underway to finance the project. At the time fundraising consisted of Whist Drives, Dances, Socials etc., along with the Gang Shows. The school rooms at Rehoboth Baptist Chapel and Rashcliffe Parish Hall were used for the larger events.

Costs, as you would expext, were a lot less than today, the upkeep of our room at the Conservative Club was £10 per year. The cost of a new H.Q. was estimated to be between £1.15s and £2.00 per week. The Huddersfield Scout Association was approached for finatial assistance and they discussed the problems with gaining a new H.Q. The first property that was viewed was turned down as it would not be viable in the long term.

The District said that they would support the venture providing the project was viable and warrented the expenditure involved. A plot of land now needed to be found that was suitable for building on.A building in Paddock Fields was considered which belonged to Brook Motors. It was decided against because of its small size. Not being dismayed the Group entered negotiations with Crosland Moor Liberal Club regarding land on Moorside Avenue.

Negotiations were completed during March 1952 and work could now begin in ernest. Plans were drawn up and passed and the large concrete foundations were laid. The building came in kit form and was built by the parents of the group. Among the parents were a master builder, plumber, joiner and electricians.

The 43rd were very fortunate to have such a first class and efficient parents committee who not only built the building but also provided the money to pay for it. People came from miles around to see the building, six came as far as Aberdeen to see what was then the first purpose built Headquarters in the country.

The H.Q. was opened on the 10th of July 1954 by Mr. John Foster Beaver, who at the time was County Commissioner for West Yorkshire.

There were quite a number of Cubs and Scouts and our new H.Q. was full from the start on meeting nights. The senior Scouts had also grown in numbers and were rapidly outrowing the room on Park Road. This meant that provision had to be made for them at Moorside Avenue. Thoughts were drawn towards an extension to the existing building. This was passed and was built overlooking Manchester Road. Again this was built by parents and leaders, it opened in 1958.

Minor alterations have been made to the interior over the years, the office was enlarged and the main entrance moved to the side of the building. A second loft was created above the extension during the 1970's.

A new heating system was installed in 1980, which keeps the building warm even in the coldest of weather. The old composition floor was replaced with a hardwood prime Maple floor in 1981.

During these years we have continued to put the members at the top of the priorities list. They take part in numerous competitions and activities from the basic Scouting camps and hikes to more adventurous pursuits like sailing, rock climbing, caving, flying and parascending.

This story was written by Mr. W. G. Mann. Who is now regarded as being the Founder Member of our Group.