Morley Trophy

Cambridge District Scout Archive

The Morley Trophy was first competed for in 1928.

A Silver Bugle was given in 1911 by Alderman Morley.  In 1925 it was felt that a Bugle was not a suitable prize for Scouts and it was sold and a shield purchased.

The last of these is not engraved on the Bugle.

The Bugle was reintroduced as a Trophy for the Senior Query Competition in 1947. It was won by

  • 1947 12th Cambridge Drake
  • 1948 12th Cambridge Grenfell
  • 1950 12th Cambridge Grenfell
  • 1962 26th Cambridge Wingate
  • 1965 12th Cambridge Drake

The new trophy, the Morley Trophy, was introduced, the first known date being 1928.  It was donated by Mr Valentine-Richard who declined the offer of having it called after himself. See under Alfred Valentine Valentine-Richards/ People/ Individuals

The Morley Trophy lasted many years at least through to 1970.  It has split to accommodate the start of Senior Scouts in 1946 and later Venture Scouts.   Shields for second and third place are known. 

A shield is held by the 12th Cambridge.  This is clearly the shield in past photographs.

  • The 8 larger innermost shields 1928 – 1935
  • And 8 smaller shields 1936 – 1944 (omitting 1940) placed between them are hallmarked silver.
  • The three rectangular plaques top, below the central boss and bottom are 1959, 1960 and 1961.
  • Twelve further shields have been moved to the back, 1945 -1958 omitting 1949 and 1957
  • The innermost 12 are blank except the upper two which record 2001 28th and 2002 12th.  This was presumably the last running of the Trophy, as it now resides with the 12th.

 A full list of winners is not in existence and the records taken from Annual Reports and District Newsletters are not always clear about the year of the event.  The shield does not indicate when it was not run.

A Senior Morley Cup (Senior Scouts) is in the District Archive Collection as is the third place shield (see below).

Third Place See separate page
See separate page

See separate entries

The format of the competition has altered each year, possibly to get greater involvement than camp based competitions achieved.

1928 Won by 4th Cambridge (Peterhouse) it included Questions, Games, Pictures (etc.), Mystery, and General Behaviour.


1931 – 32        Morley Competition: A bike hike, teams of 3

Winners in 1933 were 2nd Cambridge.  Note (o.c.) for officer commanding


Details of Trophies held in 1942, 1944, 1947, 1948, 1949, & 1950 remain. In 1942 Patrols from six troops participated; 7th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 29/42nd and 54th.


The Morley Trophy of 1953 was a combined hike camp and incident challenge.

Each Troop could enter one team of four with a combined age of 58, one of which could be 15+.  This gave flexibility but effectively ruled out teams of Senior Scouts (15years and older – first formally recognised in 1946). The nine teams entered were from 5th, 7th, 11th, 12th, 19th, 23rd, 26th, 29th and 60th.

The teams were to open their instructions on reaching the starting point on the Saturday.  The camp was 8 miles away.  They were required to fill in a hike report and hand this in on arrival.  Staves should be carried.

Inspection on arrival

  • pitched tents, cooked and prepared an item for the campfire.

Campfire, Prayers, lights out 22.30


  • 09.30               Inspection
  • 10.30 – 12.30  Incidents
  • Cook dinner     Inspected
  • 14.30 – 15.30  Incident
  • 16.30               Inspection

The five incidents were: Stalking, First Aid test, Pioneering  (fly flag from the highest point they can and estimate the height), Report on Duxford Chapel, Make a useful camp gadget.   No full report survives but reports and sketches of the chapel show a great variation in skills.

                                                                                                Max score

  • Inspection on arrival                                                             40
  • Kit and packing                                                                       40
  • Log Book Narrative/ sketch/ map                                        50/25/25
  • Inspection Sun AM Personal / site                                       40/40
  • Incident Stalking/ First aid/ Pioneering/Observation/+   60/75/75/45/45
  • Dinner              Cook/ serve                                                     35/15
  • Menus                                                                                     50
  • Scout Spirit                                                                              10
  • Final inspection                                                                       40       

Three shields were awarded in the 1950’s.

1953 First place 12th Cambridge     Second place 7th Cambridge   Third place 5th Cambridge
 Shooting sticks, judges and the judged.

A letter from the judges described the overall standard as ‘reasonably high’ and ‘pretty satisfactory.’  They did comment on the legibility of the reports but noted that the patrols were given no time to write them up.  In the Suffolk events they had a week to complete the report.


From 7th records in Cambridge Archives: The challenge for one year in the early 1960’s was a course around Cambridge, each section covered by a different Scout:

Running1.5 miles
Wheeling a wheelbarrow0.33 mile
Pulling a trolley0.33 mile
Walking1.5 miles
Horseback2 miles
Cycling6 miles
Raft0.5 miles
Canoe1.5 miles

Competition varied year by year

  • 63        a relay race
  • 64        observation challenge and light weight camp
  • 65        Camp and orienteering
  • 66        Pentathlon, construction, cooking, stalking, marksmanship and agility
  • 67
  • 68        Coracle race from Midsummer Common (no entries) postponed

Full competition paperwork exists for 1963, 64 and 66.

Here called Abington trophy

The Trophy in the picture from 1933 appears to be identical to the one pictured below.  It is not known if there was a temporary change of name, in this year of Abington Camp opening, or this was  an error of understanding by the reporter.

JWR Archivist Feb 2019