2nd Banbury is over 70 years old and one of Banbury’s oldest Scout groups. Formed originally in the 1920’s and lapsing just before the 2nd World War. 2nd Banbury (Methodist) Scout Group was reformed in November 1946 and has been running successfully ever since.
2nd Banbury was formed in 1929 and registered with Scout headquarters on 20th August 1929 under the leadership of Bill Gibbs as Group Scoutmaster/Scoutmaster assisted by William Blackwell. The official title of the group was 2nd Banbury (Wesleyan) Boy Scout Troop and was under the control of the Marlborough Road Wesleyan Methodist Sunday School attached to the local Methodist Church. This form of registration meant that all of its members must belong to the Sunday school. In other words, there was restricted membership limited to boys of the Sunday school. Despite this there were on registration 25 Scouts on the membership roll. The troop was reasonably successful and continued 1934 when due to ill health Bill Gibbs had to retire. No one could be found to take his place and as a result the troop had to close. Bill continued his involvement in Scouting locally becoming District Badge Secretary. A position he held for many years well into the 1950’s.
Following the end of the 2nd World was one of its former members, Harold Hobbs who had just been demobbed from the army was asked by the then superintendent minister of Marlborough Road Methodist Church if he would form a Boys brigade. Harold replied No but I will form a Boy Scout Group His offer was readily accepted and so 2nd Banbury (Methodist) Boy Scout Group came into existence.
In agreeing to form a Scout Group Harold insisted that the membership of the group should be open to all boys although under the sponsorship of the Church. This was at the time quite a radical step and it took the Scout movement almost 20 years until 1967 to fall in line with us. The new group was formed on 25th November 1946, initially with just a Scout troop and then a little later a Wolf Cub pack was added.
The new Troop needed a troop flag and rather than buy a new flag, money being tight and the availability of the scout flags in short supply, as were in fact scout uniforms, the old flag from the 1930s was found and suitably amended. This flag is now laid up at the back of Marlborough Road Methodist Church and if you look closely at it you can see where the word Wesleyan had been painted out and the word Methodist written over it. In the summer of 1947, the troop attended its first summer camp at Penrhyn Bay near Llandudno in North Wales. The camp lasted for nine days and included a trip to Douglas on the Isle of man. The camp was led by the Scoutmaster Ben Wilson assisted by Colin Wain.
Shortly after the camp Ben left 2nd Banbury to start his own Scout Troop, 7th Banbury and Colin stepped in as the new Scoutmaster. The troop was very active, camping at Broughton Park and at the International Scout Camp at Youlbury near Oxford. It took part in various district events including St George’s Day parades and the District flag camping competition but without much success and in Bob a job week. They went to two summer camps at Telham near battle of Sussex.
Unfortunately for the Troop Colin was called up to do his National Service in 1950 and ended up being posted to Germany. The troop was now desperate for a new Scoutmaster and a parent of one of the scouts stepped into the breach. Vic Parry ran the troop for a number of years and when Harold Hobbs as Group Scoutmaster in about 1953 to become Assistant District Commissioner, Vic took on the roll, a position that he held until his death in 1962. The troop was then led by Bob Green( who was an active scout in 1st Bloxham in the 1930’s) assisted by two of its older members firstly Dave Partridge who had joined the troop when it was reformed and secondly in 1955 by Trevor Parry who had joined the troop in January 1948.
Following the death Vic Parry in 1962 the group needed a new group scoutmaster (gsm) and it took the unusual step of asking John Pyne who was gsm of 1st Ruscote (Methodist), a group he had started several years earlier with his son Wilf, to become GSM. John had been, prior to starting 1st Ruscote , cub scoutmaster at 2nd Banbury and for the two Groups to combine into one. Which they did although the registration of the new group was not registered with headquarters until 18th November 1967.
It was at this point the Group changed the colour of its scarf. When the group was reformed in 1946 the scarf was royal blue but Colin Wain added a white inner border- he also changed the scout shirt from khaki to bottle green. Ist Ruscote scarf was emerald green with a white inner border and rather than mix the two scarves the radical step of having a new scarf was agreed as Orange with a white inner border- the scarf that we have today. Throughout all of this time the Wolf Cub pack ran successfully with a number of Akela’s Jill Gardner, John Pyne, Mrs l Moore, May Baddesley, and Ron and Jean Marchington. Following Trevor’s retirement Dave Manners took over the scout leader and he led the troop on its first overseas summer camp to Holland. The troop had previously been to Guernsey with Vic Parry but apart from that it had not strayed outside mainland Great Britain.