Cambridge District: Changes

Cambridge District Scout Archive

Cambridge District was the first in the region. Within a few years other local Districts formed and some Troops transferred. The early recording under Cambridge for Troops as far away as Wisbech can be read as a conscious holding measure.

The District has on at least three occasions been divided into sub districts, in the 1920’s which did not transfer into the development of new Districts, 1934 and 1974. On each of these occasions the numbers of Troops had grown too large for ready management. The town and county division (Cambridge and Cambridge District in the naming of Troops and Groups) were the dividing lines in 1935 which resulted in Districts without a strong core. West Cambridgeshire and the early version of Mid Cambridgeshire were both reabsorbed.

The 1983 split of the town, in the face of North Cambridge objections, lasted 18 years. The new Mid Cambridge became Crafts Hill and persists. South Cambridge became Granta and was itself split in 2012 and elements taken back into Cambridge.

Troops and Groups on the margins of this large District have occasionally been taken into neighbouring Districts. The chart does not attempt to record these individual movements.

Following the reintegration of parts of Granta in 2012 (see below) the new boundaries were not clearly delineated. Rather where new groups were operating near the boundaries of districts Cambridgeshire County statedin 2020 ‘We don’t have lines drawn to denote District boundaries although some roads may suggest a boundary.  It is more a case of agreement between District Commissioners with approval from County as to which District a particular location fits in.’  

Cambridge Archives

1910    First District in the region with other Districts forming and some groups being reallocated.  Troops from Cambridgeshire, some of which may were allocated to Cambridge as the premier working District in the County, gained their own Districts.  Until 1911 there was no County organisation.

1915 Agenda for the Cambridge BSA May 19th 1915 discusses the proposed Newmarket district and other districts currently part of the Cambridge area.

1922    Working as four sub districts N, E, W, S (details unclear)

1934    Working as Sub Districts        

  • South Cambs. 25th, 40th, 47th, 51st , 52nd, 56th, 61st, 1st District, 3rd District, 4th District , 17th District
  • North Cambs. 16th, 32nd,43rd, 45th, 46th, 57th, 58th, 59th, 64th
  • Cambridge      not listed

1935    Became separate Districts     (North Cambridge initially became East Cambridge then Mid Cambs.)

  • South Cambs.                          25th,40th, 47th, 51st, 52nd, 56th, 61st, 68th, 69th 1st, 3rd, 4th District DC R P Richards
  • East Cambs. (Mid Cambs.)     16th, 35th , 45th , 59th, 63rd, 65th, 67th, 66th DC Dr Gilbert
  • West Cambs.                           39th, 50th, 62nd – these three soon close, 17th District (Barton) to South DC E H Lee-Warner
  • Cambridge                              2nd, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 26th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st, 36th, 41st, 42nd, 53rd, 60th, 64th (split between ACC Macfarlene Grieve 5th, 7th, 60th: ADC Feary 11th,12th, 14th, 22nd, 24th, 26th, 28th, 41st, 53rd, 55th: ADC Rev B F Shepherd 2nd, 8th, 15th, 28th, 29th, 36th, 54th, 64th)

1946    Regained                     16th, 45th Landbeach, Cottenham, Swavesey, Bottisham VC, Impington VC

1972    Working as N and S Sub Districts

1974    Working as N and S and Crafts Hill Sub Districts

1983    Became separate Districts

  • North Cambridge                    1st, 3rd, 10th, 12th, 14th, 18th, 26th, 32nd, 50th, 54th, 1st Coton
  • South Cambridge                    4th, 5th,7/23rd, 11/9th, 13th, 15th, 16th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 57th,
  • Crafts Hill                                1st (Histon, Over, Bar Hill, Bourn, Willingham, Caldecote, Elworth and Boxwell) 2nd Cottenham, Oakington, Swavesey, 6/17th Cambridge, 48th Cambridge

1986 It is clear from the following that the boundaries were not clear to Cambridge South, if to anyone.

2001    North and South Cambridge re united (24/5/2001)   At this point the Groups were

  • North Cambridge                    1st, 3rd, 12th, 14th, 18th, 26th, 32nd, 50th, 54th
  • South Cambridge                    5th,7/23rd, 11/9th, 13th, 16th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 57th, 1st Fen Ditton

2012    Gained from Granta

  • To Cambridge                         Shelford and Stapleford, Duxford, Sawston 
  • To Newmarket                       Linton and Abington
  • To Royston                              Harston, Bassingbourn ?  +               

JWR Archivist Jan 2019