In February 1954 it was decided to form a new Scout Group in Bromborough. The Wolf Cub Section (now Cub Scouts) was organised by Miss Glenda Jones (Mrs Glenda Bishop -deceased) as Akela and the Scouts by Peter Salisbury. At first we only had six cubs and three Scouts meeting in the Church Institute on Mondays. Then shortly after the formation a fire damaged the stage in the Institute forcing us to use the Pensioners’ hut on the Bradmoor playing field. Despite having lost all our equipment in the fire, we were not deterred and determined to continue and grew from strength to strength. We had many combined meetings with the 12th Bebington; St. Mary’s who had also recently started. Among the many activities were the weekend Hostel Hikes in North Wales. In February 1956 the 12th and 13th had a weekend in the Loggerheads area. After a very heavy fall of snow we took a footpath across a field and on seeing a rather large mound of snow one boy decided to run and jump on it. To his horror it turned out to be a large pig which did not take too kindly to being jumped on.
From the very beginning the group has had its annual Cub and Scout Camps, all producing many happy memories. As was the tradition in those days the boys would be encouraged to send a post card home letting parents know that they had arrived safely. We where camping at Llangower Near Bala in North Wales and when all the cards were written a responsible Patrol Leader was sent about a mile or so down the lane to post them. On his return we noticed he still had the cards in his hand. After a few questions we found out why he did not post them. “Well”, he said, “I couldn’t, as it said on the box, LETTERS ONLY,” he assumed that excluded cards! We have camped all over the country using mainly farmland. Traditions are built around our camping experiences and one tradition developed in the early days of removing the flagpole to a high mountaintop during the last night in camp. Anglesey was a typical example. As we were to have an early departure for home I suggested the flag should stay in camp. To make sure it did I moved my bed by the pole, put my arm round it and went to sleep. Yes, next morning I woke with my arm still protecting the pole, but – no pole, it was on the top of the near by hill, so much for my guard. As you will appreciate with over forty-seven years of Scouting in the 13th I could go on reminiscing about the wonderful camps that we have had. The most important memories are in the knowledge that each and every camper had a wonderful time and will remember those happy days all their lives.
As Scouting is a worldwide movement it is only right that we should be involved in the international camps. Our first was at Sutton Coldfield in 1957 when 50 years of Scouting was celebrated with a Scout Jamboree, Rover Scout Moot and a Scouters Indaba. It was during this camp that we had the privilege of meeting Lady Olave Baden-Powell the wife of our founder Lord Robert Baden-Powell. Over the years we have been able to send scouts to many parts of the world to attend World Jamborees. Among them were Idaho in America, Chile and as a group we attended the 14th Jamboree in Norway in 1975. For those who could not always attend such gatherings, the Senior Scouts, and since 1969, Venture Scouts have held some of their annual camps at the International Scout Chalet in Kandersteg in Switzerland. During these camps Scouts were able to meet with, and take part in, activities with scouts from all over the world and many lasting friendships have developed. The activities included hiking, camping above the tree line and under the snow line, swimming in an alpine lake. Early morning expeditions to a mountain cheese farm. Glacier walking, dog sleigh riding and skiing at the summer ski school on the Jungfraujoch.
Even with a group number like 13 we have always attempted to be a lead and be a credit to Scouting over the years. In 1960 all our efforts were put into raising funds for a New Headquarters and during ‘Bob-a-Job’ week we raised the grand sum of £100. This was recorded as the highest in the District and all were complimented on the achievement. Also during the year we produced our first Gang Show in the Institute, ‘Our Gang and Crusoe’. Later that year the executive committee decided with just £150 in the bank we should go ahead with building our own headquarters. Thanks to all the committee and especially to Les and Miv Blackwell, who persuaded many local companies to help with materials, the building was ready for use that same year. Now with our own Headquarters we could go from strength to strength. Which we have and we proudly claim to be the best group in the District with an excellent team of leaders. Little did we realise that forty years on we would be building an even bigger and better Headquarters.
Scouting Nationally was also moving forward and in 1967 we adopted the Advanced Party Report and out went shorts and big hats! 1983 saw the formation of the Beaver Scout section and of course the 13th was in the forefront as we grasped the idea of bringing Scouting to another age group of the Bromborough community. This now meant we were able to offer Scouting to boys aged six to 15 and then boys and girls to the age of twenty in the Venture section. By 1989 our numbers were increasing at such a rate that we had to form a second Beaver Scout Colony and a second Cub Scout Pack. We were only able to do this by recruiting more adult help. May I just add at this point, that it is generally noted that most adult leaders in the group tend to stay for a good number of years, which I am sure has helped with the continuity and continued success of the group.
The group has been proud over the years to have many Queens’ Scouts, this being the highest award that a scout can gain. The two to gain this award in 1996, were Kathryn Jones (nee Hope) and David Burrows who on receiving their awards from the Chief Scout told him about the proposed new Headquarters and invited him to open it when it was built.
Peter Salisbury – Founder Member