27th Cambridge: Outline History

Cambridge District Scout Archive

The 27th Cambridge has had five distinct groups

  • Clare College Choir                            1919 – 1921
  • Cherry Hinton Free Church                 1928
  • St Andrew Street Baptist Church        1933 – 1937
  • Cherry Hinton Hall                              1945
  • Cherry Hinton School                          1948 – date

The last of these covers a name change but no hiatus.

Clare College Choir                            1919 – 1921                920

This short lived troop was formed just in time to be part of the first National registration and received the IHQ number 920. Cambridge numbers ran from 900.  It did not enter census numbers for 1921, the first year of recording.  No associated Cub pack is recorded.

Rev J M Vaizey Hope (Chaplin Clare College Choir 1916 -17) appointed to 27th in 1919.  He had changed his name from Schulhof in 1915.  From the single issue District magazine Reveille! of early 1919 we have ‘27th (Clare Choir). Mr. Vaisey-Hope in to be congratulated on keeping them together, now that they have ceased to be a choir. They seem a happy crowd, though they live in an atmosphere of recurring examinations.’

This would suggest that the troop was in existence ahead of the 1919 registration date, not unusual for troops and packs formed during the Great War.  They do not appear to have re registered with a new name.  Other College troops founded within their choir also dropped the requirement and /or name Choir. 

Cherry Hinton Free Church              1928 – 1929                 782

Based at the corner of Cherry Hinton Road and Hartington Grove this Group did not survive long enough to register census numbers for 1929.  That it was able to provide numbers for both a pack and a troop in 1928 suggests that it may have been briefly in existence ahead of the date of registration. 

The Windermere School pack (Pack C) was centred in the school based in the building directly neighbouring the church.  C Pack, which lasted long enough to gain a Group number (7386), provided its last census entry in 1929 and whilst it is tempting to assume that C Pack became 27th Cambridge the dates suggest this was not so.

The 27th appears to have received an IHQ number not related to any other sequence.

  • William R S Harris                  SM
  • Percy Bowyer                          ASM

A controlled group it was nominally controlled by ? ? Page, President of the Young Men’s Club.

St Andrew Street Baptist Church    1933 – 1937

Listed in 1933 this Group did not provide any census returns for the four years it existed ahead of being identified as closed in 1937.

Cherry Hinton Hall                            1944 – 1945                 23002

Registered 10th May 1944 this Group recorded Cubs in their one year of census figures 1945.  Cherry Hinton Hall was a home for evacuees from London during the war. On closure it was described as an evacuee Group and it was at the return of children to their homes and the Scouter leaving that the pack closed.

It was of this group that in 1944 the ‘QM asked if there was any control of Group Scarves.  The DC said he had been consulted about the colour of the 27th.  Miss long said she understood the pack had chosen red as its colour owing to the reference to the first syllable of its name CHERRYhinton.’

Cherry Hinton School                                   1947/8 –1966             26189              later

Cherry Hinton                                    1966 – date                 26189

Registered on the 25th May 1948 this Group has continued ever since.  A local history suggests they were founded in 1947.   If so the delay might suggest a gap between intent and execution or a post war hesitation in registering untried new Groups.  Unlike post WW1 delays were not common at this time.  On foundation they had one leader and 24 Wolf Cubs.

The Group was sponsored by Cherry Hinton Church (St Andrews) and were recorded as meeting at the vicarage stables (late 20th century) after the main block was demolished.  The Parish rooms and the school were also listed as meeting places.

  • Walter Christopher Ward       CM

Walter Ward became active at District level by 1950 but little more is recorded.  Initially a Sponsored Group it changed its name and became ‘open’ on 13th September 1966.  They inherited or reused the Cherry red scarves of the 1944 Group. 

The Group has returned census numbers for

  • Cubs                1948 – 1984
  • Scouts              1949 – 1984
  • Senior Scouts   1949 only

Beavers were started in 1987. 

In 1984 the large Cambridge District divided into three and the 27th became part of Cambridge South.  Cambridge North and Cambridge South re-amalgamated in 2001.

The Group is active in District events winning 1971 Alert trophy (equal first), the 1986/7 District Swimming gala and the 2007 Cub Sports.  They also had an attempt to make the longest sausage in the world in 1975. 

JWR Archivist Aug 2022