Church Lads Brigade and Scouting

Cambridge District Scout Archive

No recorded links remain in the Cambridge Archives between the Church Lads Brigade and Scouting. Nationally links have been recorded. Unlike the Boys Brigade, the CLB did not have a named representative on the District Membership.

St John’s

The Parish Magazine of the Church of St John the Evangelist, Hills Road, 1909 and 1910, record a CLB operating intermittently as leaders could be found. With a minimal overlap, if any, the 1st Cambridge District Troop was initiated from the Church. Without access to the records from 1911 further details are unclear. It may be hypothesized that the Church decided to try another approach, or that a new volunteer arrived with a pre existing zeal or knowledge of Scouting. These first attempts at scouting also had a limited life.

It is of note that the CLB at St John’s did not transmute into Incorporated Church Scout Patrol (ICSP) which had started in March 1909. This body was absorbed into the CLB in 1913/14.

The records do report the major activities of the CLB, drill and camping.

St Luke’s & St Matthew’s

A CLB was running at St Luke’s and hosted a ICSP (see separate page)

St Matthew’s registered a ICSP No S. 0299 (25/2/1911) but no records of the CLB remain.

Some events were held in which BB, CLB and Scouts were all present; a Nov 1925 Remembrance Day meeting was held with all three bodies, Scouting providing (by implication) the majority. Other parades can be assumed – W T Thurbon, in his talk Archaeology of Scouting, recalls joint Church parades.

Only St Luke’s recorded a CLB in the 1938 local directory.

No CLB’s were listed in Cambridge in the 1964 review of youth activities.

Membership of the Church Lads and Church Girls Brigade (as it now is) does not suggest any active units in Cambridgeshire. The National volunteer base in 2020 is c. 650.

JWR Archivist Dec 2020