Girton Scouts: Outline History

Cambridge District Scout Archive

The District has few records concerning the group in any of its incarnations; a few names, a few Census returns.   The first Troop was short lived, the second Group started whilst part of another district and the records after 1984 are held by another Scouting organization.

  • 5th or 6th Cambridge District (Girton)                         1920
  • Girton                                                              1938 – 1944?
  • 10th Cambridge (Girton)                                 1947 –  1947                            ?19499
  • 51st Cambridge (Girton)                                  1948 – 1953                            26641
  • 10th Cambridge (Girton)                                 1953 – 1956                            31845
  • 10th Cambridge (Girton)                                 1957 – 1978                            33242
  •  FSE 1st/2nd Cambridgeshire (Girton)              1984 –
  • 16th /52nd Cambridge (Littleton House School)          
  • 10th Cambridge (Girton) 2022 –

5th or 6th Cambridge District (Girton)                       1920

Girton’s first listed Scout Troop was in 1920 and was given as both 5th Cambridge District and 6th Cambridge District in the same year. It did not last long. The 5th was later recorded as Barton in 1920 and the 6th was Papworth Everard from 1923.  All the references to Girton for both numbers come from 1920.

Girton                                                                         1938 – 1944?

The next known group was in founded in 1938 in the period when Girton was in the catchment of the new Mid Cambridge District. This new District was one of three that budded off the very large Cambridge District in 1935.  The District dropped Xth Cambridge (Village) format and just used village names.   The Mid Cambridgeshire District faltered during WW2 and taken back into Cambridge District in 1944, initially on a temporary basis and in permanently in 1946/7.  A Girton Scout Group is recorded during this time but does not appear to have been active at the point of transfer.  Unlike other ex Mid Cambridge Groups Girton, under the old Mid Cambridgeshire village names, does not show census returns for 1948 in the year before gaining new ‘Cambridge’ numbers in 1949.  This would suggest that it was in abeyance and that the 51st was a new group not, as with other Mid Cambridgeshire Groups, a change in name.

1939 – 1944   Girton’s War by D R de Lacey tells of the Group raising money for the BEF Comfort Fund and in 1940 cooperating with the Littleton House School Group in collecting waste paper. The names of Roy Naylor, Stan Dixon and Carlos Griffith alongside leaders Freddie Barrett and Mr. J Rule are mentioned.

Joseph ‘Ken’ Hichisson was a ‘keen Scout from aged 8’ and said to have co-founded a group in Girton. This was presumably in 1938 or 1957 if the registration was for a new group. Born 1918 (see Cambridge News 16/4/2013) later treasurer Cambridge North.

10th Cambridge (Girton)                                            1947                                        ?19499

This short lived iteration of the 10th did not return any census figures.  The HQ number is unclear.    This appears to have been a very short lived attempt at a restart but was never an active group.  It is not listed as starting in the AGM reports around this date.  It is of interest as it foreshadows the use of the 10th for Girton in 1957.

51st Cambridge (Girton)                                            1948 – 1953                26641

Numbers were given to the Mid Cambs. Groups and Girton was registered as the 51st Cambridge on 7th November 1948. This new group registered a Rover Scout in 1949, probably a helper/ leader from one of the established Cambridge Crew.

Census returns give

  • Cubs                1949 – 1950
  • Scouts              1949 – 1953
  • Rovers             1949

It was meeting on the Village College Ground at Histon for some of this period. The 56th Impington amalgamated with the 51st in 1949 or 1950. On 8th March 1953 51st Cambridge (Girton) became 51st Cambridge (Histon).  Later in the year a new 10th Cambridge Group opened. 

10th Cambridge                                                          1953 – 1956                 31845

Census returns give

  • Scouts              1955

The new 10th Cambridge gave only one set of Census numbers.  These are usually a year in arrears.  The Group was listed as closed in 1956.  The new HQ number indicates that it was a new Group. This Group met at York Street Youth Club and on closure was absorbed into the 29th.  The identification as ‘Girton’ is likely to be a recording error – York Street is a fair way from the village.  It was identified by number alone in the 1955 and 1956 AGM reports.

10th Cambridge (Girton)                                            1957 – 1983                33242

Girton opened again as the 10th on 27th May 1957 with a new HQ number.

Census returns give

  • Cubs                1958 – 1983
  • Scouts              1955, 1958 – 1983
  • Ventures          1968 , 1973 – 1979, 1983


FSE 1st/2nd Cambridgeshire (Girton)                         1984 – c 2018

 In 1984 the Group became members of the FSE (now ESF) Iceni Province.  They were one of 14 ESF Groups in England (numbers post 2010). As required by Charity Commission the assets of the 10th Cambridge (Girton) Group went to Cambridge District and the warrant holders were deemed to have resigned and other leaders asked about their intentions.  They had to start again. The group prospered for a number of years eventually stopping around the start of the Covid lockdown.   Written details are lacking for this event.

16th /52nd Cambridge (Littleton House School)

Littleton House School was based in Girton.  A ‘closed’ group in a school for boys with special needs details can be found under Structure/ Troops and Groups/ 11th – 20th Cambridge/ 16th Cambridge and / 51th – 60th Cambridge/52nd pages.  They did not recruit from outside the school and much of the leadership support came from the University Rovers.

10th Cambridge (Girton)

A new 10th Cambridge (Girton) was started in 2022 and by 2023 is running Beavers, Cubs and Scout sections.

JWR Archivist May 2023