Syd Barretts mother

Syd Barrett, member of the 7th Cambridge Scout Troop and Pink Floyd, came from a Scouting/ Guiding family.

The book ‘Syd Barrett: A Very Irregular Head’ tells of his father Max meeting his mother Winifred Flack Heeps at a mixed Scout/ Guide camp in 1930. As related by Rosemary Barrett, if with some degree of uncertainty, they met on top of a hay stack.

Max was at the 7th Cambridge as a Scout, P/L and T/L and from 1928 ASM.

(Arthur) Max and Winifred later ran a Cub pack together, which I have not yet unearthed from the Cambridge Archives. However, Winifred is recorded as being the Lady Cub Master for the 24th Cambridge in 1928, and for a time the 26th St. Andrews Baptist Church pack. The 24th was a ‘closed’ pack and run from St Collette’s Preparatory school. She is also recorded (as Miss F Heeps) as being ACM at the 5th Perse Prep shortly after the end of the Great War.

The 24th Group only had a pack and was registered in the year that the Group system was implemented. There is no record of a pack running at this school before this date.

Written as Winifred M she has signed as Winifred F Heeps. Winifred remained involved in Guiding throughout her life. She was signatory to the lease on the Corrie Road Scout and Guide building in 1966, known as the 4th/17th.

Snippets of Syd’s scout life have been published but no new stories have come from the scout archives which hold few individual recollections of individual experiences. Should any be forwarded to the Cambridge District Scout Archive (see Contact) concerning Syd or any other name, known or unknown to a wider audience, they will be preserved, amalgamated into the existing or, with permission, published.

Such recollections give colour to the bare bones of the archives – and the story of the haystack sounds both more plausible and more innocent for being at a Scout/ Guide camp.


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