4th Cambridge: Free Church & Corrie Road 1949 – 1992

Cambridge District Scout Archive

Re-regstered on 11th May 1949 and meeting at the Free Church, Congregational Hall, Cherry Hinton Road, this incarnation of the 4th had an IHQ number of 27306 and a scarf of Navy Blue with a Gold border. They started with two leader (the Keating’s) and 14 Scouts.

  • Frank Harold Keating GSM all c. 1951 when the Group had eleven named leaders
  • Ralph Conrad Keating SM – described as Service, ie a Rover
  • B Swindells CM
  • A Barlow Instructor

Around 1959 the Group, who met in the Church Hall were asked to hold a Church parade about four times a year.   They enquired about the cost of hiring Perne Road (District HQ) for 6 months at 5/- a night.  The use of the Church Hall was stopped in 1966.

They are also given as meeting in Cowper Street, off Cherry Hinton Road, but where is hard to determine. Scarf Navy Blue with a Gold boarder.


The early years of the Group are poorly recorded and the Keating family input probably under played by the available records. The first involvement of Dave Law, Pete Maskell and his family is undated. The eventual building of a group meeting place appears to have been a major focus but did not diminish Scouting activities.

The defining feature of the Group since before the opening of the new building 1977 was its very close involvement with the 17th Guides. It is not clear when the association began. The name 4th/17th was well understood at the time as the joint ownership of the Corrie Road building and increasingly the joint activities of the two groups. A 17th Cambridge Scout Group remained in existence for much of the time amalgamating with the 6th to become 6th/17th in Cambridge: Crafts Hill District.


Both Cubs and Scouts ran between 1949 and 1984, when records end, except for 1956 and 1957 when no scouts were reported. 1959 a ‘second pack’ was named but only one by the end of the year.  In 1964 they were running with 38 scouts with 16 Cubs moving up.  In 1965 a Senior Patrol was formed, meeting fortnightly.

A note in 1963/64 of the ‘1st camp at Abington’ for the Cubs is unclear.  It suggests that they had not camped at Abington previously, that they had not camped at all or, possibly more likely, that they were returning to camping with a new leadership team or completely new pack.  The Scouts camped at Dovedale, which suggests some skills.

Camps, from remaining trophies and memorabilia removed from Corrie Road, are

  • Scout Camp 1969 Leo
  • Chalfont Heights                    1970    Cheyenne        Mixed male and female names in Cheyenne. Not labelled 4th /17th camp.
  • Chalfont Heights                    1970    Cheyenne ‘Out knocker’ Cheyenne tent peg trophy
  • Tolmers                                   1971    Locust              Winners  Initials, no forenames
  • Phasels Wood                         1972                           Trophy or memorabilia
  • Youlbury 1973 Trumpet     Trophy or memorabilia with notes Mixed patrol, labelled as a Scout camp.
  • Tolmers                                   1974    Eskimo             Mixed male and female names in Eskimo.  Three patrols Zulus, Red Indians, and Eskimos.  Labelled a Scout Camp
  • Walesby Forest                       1977    Planet              Winners.  Also Star, Moon, Sun. Mixed male and female names in Planet, no information on other patrols
  • Belchamps                              1980                            No other information
  • Chalfont Heights                    1987    The Jokers      Winners
  • Buckmore Park                       1989    Mr Sneezy Patrol        Trophy or memorabilia

None of the above are labelled as a joint camp.  1974 is labelled a Scout Camp, but has both male and female names in the winning patrol. It is assumed that the 4th Scouts and the 17th Guides camped together. These and other trophies photographed below.

From Tony Claydon July 2022 we have ‘There is a bit of history about this . I will try and condense it . The SL& Guide leader were married or about to. Prior to this the Guides would go to camp one week the scouts the following . Often at different sites. The Scouts were planning to go to Tolmers – on the visit to the site along with the Guide leader it was mentioned to the Camp warden how things had worked in the past . He said that he had joint Scout & Guide camps there . All that was needed was the local Cambridge Guide Commissioners permission.

Corrie Road

The Corrie Road Scout & Guide HQ was opened in September 1977 by the Personal Secretary to the Chief Scout, Ronald E Meyer.  The building was jointly owned by the 4th Cambridge Scout Group and the 17th Cambridge Guide Company.  The Guides continued to meet at the building until 2022 under Jenny Hoyos, at which point they surrendered the lease to the Council.

Copy of order of ceremony with signatures of

  • Harry Mainwaring      County Commissioner
  • Mrs. G Andreyev         Guide Division Commissioner Cambridge City
  • Geoffrey Datson          District Commissioner, City
  • Ron Meyer                  who performed ‘The Opening’ P
  • Rev C L Taylor             who performed the blessing
  • And one other that cannot be clearly read or related to the list of roles.

Thanks badges were handed out but the recipients not named, although a list from the 1970’s/ 80’s we have:

         Guide Thanks Badges to

  • Anthony Claydon
  • Colin Maskell
  • Peggy Maskell
  • Peter Maskell

         Scout Thanks Badges to

  • Auban Bonus
  • Edna Howlett
  • Alam Kelamn
  • Pat Kelman
  • David Law
  • Joan Law
  • Peggy Maskell
  • Ruth Millard
  • Harry Nunn
  • Ralph Sargent
  • Margaret Turpin

Much of the building work was done by volunteers of the group. To raise funds they ran Fetes, Jumble Sales, Beetle Drives, Carol singing, Barbeques, Dances and Gang shows.  They ran a market stall, as did the 28th, selling good quality jumble.  A Whist Drive, maybe a little dated at this time, was rejected, following the poor attendance at the Beetle Drive, also possibly past its peak.  The money raised was matched by external funds: a Council grant and a grant from National Scouting.

The leaders were given pewter mugs at the opening ceremony, that of Tony Claydon being lost in a pub fire (people kept their own mugs in their ‘local’). Other pottery mugs survive.

  • David Law SA

Gang Shows

A date of 1963 is confirmed for a Group Gang Show, but a photo of the eleven 4th & 17th members in a District Gang Show (undated but probably from the 1970’s) also exists.  Nick Hoyos of the 4th was producer of the four District Gang Shows from 1971 to 1974. 


The frames of canoes remain in between the rafters of the building.  Neither the Pack nor the Troop are recorded as winning District Trophies.  Full lists of competitors have not been collated.


  • Pete Maskell GSL c.1977 (Chiefy)
  • R Henderson   from post 1950 list ‘Scouter in Charge‘
  • David Law       SA and 40 years Long Service
  • Nick Hoyos
  • Colin (Skip) Maskell SL
  • David Reed SL
  • Freda Oakes CSL
  • Jenny (Captain) Hoyos GL

Pete Maskell was remembered by Geoff Oliver as being particularly good at ‘turning around’ a number of youngsters who were directed to the 4th as part of the justice/ youth service in the 1960 and 70’s. This initiative was used as an alternative to other sentences.

Winifred Flack Barrett, of 183 Hills Road, and F A Bendall were signatories on the original lease. Winifred’s son was later involved in the 7th and took the name Syd.

Minutes from 1958 – 1980 are held in the Archives, a 1991 equipment list and Hut Maintenance Committee minutes from 1992.

Archive Note: The 4th and the 28th were both built at the same time and based off either end of the same Road. Whilst not mistaken in the records it was not unusual for the two to be mistaken in practice on the ground.

JWR Archivist Jan 2021