Hele Trophy

Cambridge District Scout Archive

The Hele Trophy has come to light, hidden in plain sight in the County Offices.  Enscribed

it is a carved stave with the winners placed on individual engraved plaques around the shaft.


The third Annual camping competition was held … at Abington. Three patrols took part … representing Cambridge, South Cambs and Mid Cambs local associations. The winners were presented with the Hele Trophy, a handsome Scout staff totem pole carved by Don Potter of Gilwell and presented by Dr T S Hele, Master of Emmanuel College and President Of Cambridgeshire Boy Scouts Association.

It would appear that this event in July 1939 was not recorded on the staff. It was won by the 11th Cambridge. The above record is in the 13th Cambridge archive, but the competition was run by A J Covell who was past SM of 13th and it is very likely his photoalbum that is now held by the 13th.

The Hele Trophy was for the Camping conducted with the best Scouting spirit ‘To encourage good camping and enjoy it’.  Described as a carved totem pole in one report it is the size of a thick stave and carved in an exotic wood.  The first plaque is an introduction. It was first awarded in 1937 and 1938.  (See above for 1939) After the war it was again awarded from 1949 to 1980.

1937Peewit12th CambridgeViscountess Clifdens Own
1938Hawk7th CambridgeCounty School
1949Kestrel12th Cambridge
1950Raven12th Cambridge
1951Raven 12th Cambridge
1952Raven 12th Cambridge
1953Peewit1st Soham
1954Owl1st Gamlingay
1955Hawk1st Burwell
1956Swift10th ElyKings School
1958Squirrel5th Cambridge
1959Otter2nd Newmarket
1963Falcon14th Wisbech
1964Swift1st Abington
1965Panther4th Ely
1966Peewit1st SohamGrammar School
1967Falcon 14th Wisbech
1968Falcon 14th Wisbech
1969Curlew 2nd Wisbech
1970Curlew 3rd Wisbech St Augustine’s
1971Curlew3rd Wisbech St Augustine’s
1972Hawk3rd Wisbech
1973Falcon3rd Wisbech
1974Eagle2nd Wisbech
1975Bulldog1st Chesterfield
1976Osprey3rd Wisbech St Augustine’s
1977Osprey 3rd Wisbech
1979Tiger1st Fordham/1st Moulton
1980Osprey3rd Wisbech St Augustine’s

From written records I have it in 1950 when it is described as Junior County Camp competition and was won by the 12th at Abington, in this year the County Shield was introduced for Senior Scouts.  The junior team with normal camp gear the senior scouts in lightweight camp gear.  Senior Scouts were introduced in 1946.

1949    12th Cambridge

1950    Raven patrol               PL John Armstrong

1951    12th Cambridge           (called it the Junior County Camp)

1975    Best standard of camping, Menus, food storage and preparation, camp gadgets

1979    Stradishall,  Mr Rollinsons Farm.  County Camp and Hele Trophy.

Named after T. S. Hele, (Thomas Shirley) affectionately known as “Timmy”, Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University 1943 -45 Master of Emmanuel from 1935 to his retirement in 1951.

The name is often given as County Cup’ rather than the Hele Trophy

The attendance of Cambridge District patrols steadily diminished in the latter years of the competition. It is not clear why, the troops had solid camping records throughout these years. The 17th Cambridge (Fox) won the associated Gauntlet in 1970.

JWR Archivist May 2019