The Sixties ….and changes are afoot

In the sixties the Group really got moving – all sections with ample and enthusiastic leaders, the Seniors ran District Senior Challenge Weekends and the Rovers a Jamboree on the Air Station.  Some of the Scouters had purchased a converted narrow boat called “Chief” and many weekend cruise camps were enjoyed on it.  The cub “waiting list” became such an embarrassment that a second Pack was formed.  After Bas Smethurst, who ran both Packs, left us to serve the District Team, Jenny Castle took over Jacala Pack meeting on Mondays and Mao Pack meeting on Friday was led by Winnie Davenport.  In 1960 we were again moved to a new District this time Hazel Grove and Bramhall, which we liked and joined with enthusiasm its fresh and eager approach to things.

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The biggest blow for the Group in that period occurred mid-decade when a tremendous re-organisation of the whole Scout Movement commenced and the first thing on the agenda was the abolition of the Rover Section.  The Rover Crew had, under the leadership of George Sykes (Bosun), developed into what was undoubtedly one of the first in the land and it was a sad moment when the flag was finally laid up.


The next few years were ones of general all-round progress, new Troops were started in Hazel Grove.  Cub camps became annual events, the Troop experimented with different types of camps from the Isle of Skye to Switzerlandand the Seniors started to have independent annual camps.  All the Sections became enthusiastic competitors and forces to be reckoned with in District events.  The Group Council organised many social as well as fund-raising events and the 1st Hazel Grove catering corps became famous throughout the County.


The 1960s closed with the full weight of the re-organisation being felt.  Wolf Cubs became Cub Scouts; Scout age went up to 16; Seniors and Rovers were abolished and replaced with Venture Scouts; long trousers for all except cubs; berets in place of hats; ties for Venturers and Scouters; compulsory retirement at 65; 2nd/1st Class out; Scout Standards in and a whole lot of other changes affecting every aspect of the Movement.  The Group survived this experience and most of the more ill-advised changes were eventually rectified.

The biggest change was the formation of the Venture Unit and it was with verve and success that its new young leader, Anthony Brookshaw set about building up the Unit.  Fate plays unkind tricks at times and his untimely death was a great shock to everyone.  The Unit was inevitably in a state of limbo for a while but then, Richard Smethurst came back ‘home’ and under his leadership the Venture Unit once again charted an impressive course.

The 1970s and Golden Jubilee Celebrations

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