Cottenham: Outline History

Cambridge District Scout Archive

Cottenham Scouts have had several names.

  • 14th Cambridge District                      1924 – 19?
  • 46th Cambridge (Cottenham)              1928 – 1934
  • Cottenham                                          1935 –
  • 1st Cottenham                                     ?    -1948
  • 53rd Cambridge(1st Cottenham)                     
  • 1st Cottenham
  • 2nd Cottenham

14th Cambridge District (Cottenham)         

The Troop had been in existence since February 1924.  The last reference is in 1925, it is not listed in the AGMs of 1925/6 (printed in 1927) and 1926/7 (printed in 1928). 

In 1928 Troops and packs were re-registered as Groups.  Around the same time the old dual system of registration Cambridge (inside the town boundary) and Cambridge District (outside the town boundary) was ending. 

46th Cambridge (Cottenham) 1928 – 1934

Whilst not registered until 1931 the Group is listed in 1928.  The lack of census returns for the years 1928 – 1930 is unexplained.  It is not unlikely that the Troop/ Group had fallen into abeyance and was listed in anticipation but not registered until active in 1931.

The Group was re-registered in 1st July 1931 with the IHQ number 12904 with two officers and twelve Cubs.   It was based at Old Meeting Baptist Church schoolroom.  The only listed leader on the registration document was

  • Rev Albert Edley? Willing      

It was a ‘Open’ Group

The Group sent in Census figures to Cambridge District for Scouts. 

  • Cubs                1931 – 1934
  • Scouts              1932 – 1934

Note: From this date the record is less absolute.  It comes from many sources.

Cottenham                             1935 –

In 1935 the large Cambridge District split into four.  Cottenham was initially working in Sub District Cambridge North ahead of the division.  This name lasted for a year and Cottenham, alongside other Groups dropped the Xth (Village) and became known by location alone.

Cambridge North quickly changed names twice to East Cambridge and finally Mid Cambridgeshire.  Cottenham does not appear not have transferred on either occasion, presumably being closed.  As the records relating to Mid Cambridgeshire Groups are lost the date of (re)starting is lost.

1st Cottenham

Mid Cambridgeshire lost stability during WW2 and was absorbed back into Cambridge District.  At this point a 1st Cottenham is listed as returning alongside other Groups to Cambridge District, initially as a temporary measure.

Census Returns listed under 1st Cottenham

  • Cubs                1948   

53rd Cambridge (1st Cottenham)       1948 – 1955                20045

On full re absorption Mid Cambridgeshire Groups were given new Cambridge numbers largely in the 50’s.  The use of the 53rd Cambridge is short.  In 1951 they are called 53rd in the AGM report in 1953 1st Cottenham.  A date of re registration as 1st Cottenham of 18th July 1949 with the HQ number 20045. However, they are listed in the census returns as 53rd.

Census Returns listed under 53rd Cambridge (1st Cottenham)

  • Cubs                1949 – 1955
  • Scouts             1950 – 1955

This group appears to have stopped in 1955/56.

Note: A 1952 record lists the Group as 63rd (1st Cottenham). This was probably a mistake. At this entry they were meeting at Corbett Street and had a Chaplain.

1st Cottenham                                      1971 –  1978                20045

Reformed with the same HQ number but clearly as 1st Cottenham.

Census Returns listed as 1st Cottenham

  • Cubs                1971 – 1978
  • Scouts              1972 – 1978

2nd Cottenham                                    1979 – 1984 +         39908

In 1978 the 1st Cottenham closed and the 2nd Cottenham opened.

Census returns listed as 2nd Cottenham

  • Cubs                1979 – 1984
  • Scouts              1979 – 1984

In 1984 Cambridge District once again divided and Cottenham moved into Cambridge: Crafts Hill.  The Group continued but records are no longer reported to Cambridge District.

2nd Cottenham is currently active in Cottenham, Cambridge: Crafts Hill District.

JWR Archivist July 2022