7th Woking (St. Mary Of Bethany)



The 7th Woking B.P. Scouts and Cubs (as the Group was originally called) was formed. The Vicar of St Mary of Bethany Church agreed with Parishioners Miss Beryl Tidd and Mr K J Irwin that they should take on the appointments of Akela and Scoutmaster and start Scouting in the church hall. St Mary of Bethany Church has continued as our Sponsoring Authority to this day. 


A ‘Rover Crew’ was formed for those having reached the maximum age for the Troop.


After two years the number of boys on the Group was 35.


The Troop, which consisted of 19 Scouts, received a serious set back when a difference of opinion between the leaders of the Troop and the Vicar resulted in the majority of Scouts, with their leaders, breaking away to form the 9th Woking Scout Troop. The Cub Pack carried on under Miss Tidd. The Troop quickly recovered its numbers.


World War II broke out and the adults were called to undertake war duties. The Cub Pack continued with four sixes but only a skeleton Troop remained without leaders but under the guidance of senior boys. This was not to last. 



The Scout Troop closed due to the lack of leaders. Miss Tidd continued to run a full Cub Pack.


Miss Tidd stepped down after 25 years being Akela. The Troop was reformed with 3 boys and had grown to 12 by the end of the year. 


A ‘Senior Scout’ section was formed for the 15 – 18 age range.


At the end of the 50’s there were over 70 boys in the Group and three sections – Cubs, the Troop and Senior Scouts.


1960 – 1970

The pattern of activities appears to change and camping, canoeing, football and swimming became more prominent in the programmes. A number of successes were recorded at District competitions in all sections.

1970 – 1972

To reflect the move towards more active scouting and the Association’s changes in the uniforms and training programmes, the Group was renamed – 7th Woking (St Mary of Bethany) Scout Group.


A tea towel drying over the stove in the Kingsway Church Hall, fondly called the ‘Tin Tab’ (short for tabernacle) because of its corrugated iron cladding, caused a disastrous fire that left the Group without anywhere to meet. Most of the equipment and the records of the Group were destroyed. However, the Cubs continued to meet at St Mary’s Church in York Road and the Troop met at the Goldsworth Road School.


A new Group Headquarters was completed at the Westfield Avenue site for the total cost of £2,600. The Parochial Church Council donated £1,000 and the balance was found from Group funds and much fund-raising! 


The official opening was undertaken by Lord Baden-Powell (the Founder’s Grandson).


The numbers of Cubs attending the meeting regularly were such that the Cub Pack was split into two – The Otters Pack and the Badgers Pack.


The first 7th Woking Scout Group Fete was held for the purpose of raising money and promoting family involvement. This event was held annually until approximately 2003.


The first Dads ‘n Lads camp was held for the Troop and continued for many years, although it later became known as Scouts +1 camp! 


Air rifle target shooting was commenced at the HQ and became a popular Group activity.



The 7th Woking Venture Scout Unit was formed for those young people (male and female) between the ages of 16 and 21. The membership of the Group exceed 100 for the first time.


For the first time, the Troop had in its programme a twice yearly expedition to the hills of the Lake District, Snowdonia or the Brecon Beacons. The Spring and Autumn Expos have been fairly constant items in the scouting calendar ever since.


Scoutabout – a County event for Scouts and Guides attended every three years


The Group commenced bi-monthly Scouts Owns at the 7th HQ in lieu of Church Parades.  In order to promote a more realistic income and to modernise its financials systems, the Group introduced termly subscriptions and did away with ‘Subs’ paid weekly by those boys attending meetings.


The 7th Woking Beaver Scout Colony was formed and immediately attracted a waiting list to join.


Leader shortages led to the Otter and Badger Cubs reforming into a single Pack.


After various more local pack holidays over the years, the Cubs went on their first adventure experience to Yorkshire. This annual event is still a very popular annual event.


The Group had grown to over 130 young people.



The Westfield area suffered a great flood in the Autumn which meant that a new floor had to be laid in the 7th HQ. The new millennium arrives and 7th Woking cerebrated 75 years young.


7th Woking Scout Group joined the County trip to Kandersteg. Four Queens Scout Awards in one year – Elly, Andrew, Nicola and Jeni. Continuing a trend that started in 1944, this year also saw a flurry of ‘7th Weddings’ - Simon Lee (Akela) and Caroline Lee (Assistant Cub Scout Leader), Steve Britain (Assistant Scout Leader) and Frances Goldstone (District Venture Leader), Chris Marsh (former 7th Venture Leader) and Maria Abbondanolo (former 7th Beaver Scout helper).

All sections were represented at many different District events over the years and even won a few. 7th Woking Scouts become the first Woking District team to win the County Lightweight Competition. The whole structure of Scouting was reviewed and changed with new sections being introduced. New uniforms were also introduced along with a new Awards system:

Beaver Scouts 6 – 8 years Highest award – Bronze Chief Scout

Cub Scouts 8 – 10 1/2 years Highest award – Silver Chief Scout

Scouts 10 – 14 years Highest award – Gold Chief Scout

Explorers 14 – 18 years Highest award – Platinum Chief Scout Diamond Chief Scout

Scout Network 18 – 25 years Highest award – Queens Scout

Explorers and the Network are District units.


Beaver Scouts attended the 1st County Fun Day – Bazzaz which now occurs every three years.


7th Woking Scout Group decides to admit girls for the first time and the 3 girls joined in the September of that year. The Group completed the Environment Project at Hoe Valley and Barnsbury after two years. Many received their Environment Badge having helped with 6 or more activities. In Nov 2005 David Parker (Group Scout Leader) and Chris Trendall invested the first three girls into 7th Woking Scouts – Sarah, Lauren and Caroline. Ian Webb, a Scout Leader from South Africa, joined the group for about a year in 2005/2006.


Frances becomes the first girl to be invested into the 7th Woking Beaver Colony.  Linda Pennells (Beaver Scout Leader) and Teresa Trendall “retire” from Beavers after 17 years. Jan Parker (Beaver Scout Leader), Sarah Heisig (Assistant Beaver Scout Leader), Berangere Noyau (Beaver Scout Sectional Assistant), Celeste Cranstone (Assistant Beaver Scout Leader), Tania Raysford (Beaver Scout Sectional Assistant) take over the running of Beavers and the meeting night moves to Thursdays at 5.30 – 6.30 pm. 


In 2007 Scouting became 100 years old !!! At 8 am on Wednesday 1st August 2007 the Summer Camp attendees celebrated the Centenary Sunrise on Hay Tor by renewing their Scout Promise led by Peter Duncan (Chief Scout 2004-2009) broadcasting on the radio from Brownsea Island. They then cooked bacon butties before going letterboxing and climbing for the day and having birthday cake in the afternoon. District Cub Centenary Camp. A weekend camp held at Walton Firs Camp site, with the usual mix of adventurous activities and the whole Cub District took part in the Promise Renewal Ceremony. The scouts entered Woking Bikeathon as a Team raising money for Leukaemia Research and won a prize.


The first girl to join 7th Woking Cubs moved up from Beavers – Frances.  Dave Woodhams (Assistant Scout Leader) received his 20 years service certificate. Scouts took part in the First Rotary Swimathon – 1 team of 6 swam 121 lengths and raised £576.85 towards local charities. The challenge and award systems for all sections were changed making the path to achievement of Chief Scout awards clearer.


Simon Lee received his 30 years service certificate and badge. Chris and Teresa Trendall, Linda Pennells each received the Award of Merit in 2009. 5 scouts completed their Cooks Activity Badge by each cooking a three course meal at HQ and then serving it to their parents. There was no water in HQ that day (we “borrowed” from District HQ) but the scouts coped admirably !!! During summer camp 2009 at Studland, everyone visited Brownsea Island for the day. 2 scout teams took part in the Second Woking Rotary Swimathon and raised £455. Beaver Scouts held their first Pyjama party.  Neville Pike becomes Group Scout Leader.



Cubs raised £300 by holding a sponsored run, running laps of the 7th HQ Field and donated it to the Surrey Air Ambulance.


The group relocated into the new Scout HQ adjacent to the Leisure Centre.  Clare Grigsby replaces Jan Parker as Beaver leader.


Jan Parker becomes Cub Leader, Jess Wright becomes Scout Leader.


Phil Hardwick becomes Scout Leader, Jess Wright becomes Group Scout Leader and Neville Pike becomes exec chair.  Scouts Summer Camp at Wareham.


Simon Lee is awarded the Silver Acorn at the Cub Pack holiday in Scammonden.  The Scammonden holiday was delayed by snow in Yorkshire meaning an overnight stay at the HQ before heading up!


Family Camp at Bentley Copse is a great success.  Scouts have their Summer Camp are Stopham in Sussex and Autumn Expo sees some of the wettest weather known to the leaders.  Ending a short period without a Scout Leader, Nick Betterley becomes the Scout Leader.



After running a few events at the start of the year, Covid-19 lock downs hit the UK.  Amazing work by the 7th leaders swiftly moved our section evenings to Zoom with all sorts of activities including scavenger hunts, camps at home, virtual visits from birds of prey.  Many events were cancelled, but as restrictions relaxed we managed to keep many activities going.  We became one of the few groups to actually grow our membership over this time.


As things started to return to normal, albeit with some restrictions, 7th returned to face to face meetings and plenty of activities.  Garners field summer camp was a great success (moved here due to Covid-19 restrictions) and the group continued to grow, both with members and leaders.  Jan Parker (CSL), Dave Trendall (ASL) and Neil Hampton (DGSL) were awarded with the Award for Merit.


With things back to normal, Scammonden, Bazzaz, Scoutabout, Summer camp in the Brecon Beacons, Family Camp at Garners field, Autumn Expo in Snowdonia and a huge range of other activities marked a great year.  Unfortunately, Nick Betterley stepped down as Scout Leader after making a huge contribution to the success of the troop.  Luckily for us Nick remained a leader, but the troop was without a permanent Scout Leader.


An eventful year of change - the start of the year saw the sad demise of our minibus Benny.  Two of our ex-Scouts attended the World Jamboree in Korea, and the Scout troop went on an amazing summer camp in Denmark.  A change to some of the group roles, Neville Pike (Chair), Jess Wright (GSL) and Laurence Townley (Treasurer) stepped down after many years service.  Neil Hampton took on GSL, Tracy Hampton took on Chair, and Lorraine Ozanne Treasurer.


A year of new beginnings in April Squirrels started at 7th with 4 leaders all recruited afresh headed up by Suzie Hardy-Evans - great to see the squirrels getting stuck into scouting.   We acquired the 17 seater Betty Bus to take us on our trips.