Cambridge District Scout Archive

Only two local reference to ties has yet been located in Cambridge the District Archives. 

This once ubiquitous item of wear is superficially at odds with the outdoor image of Scouting.  Its existence as the standard piece of uniform reflects the need to demonstrate responsibility of the leaders to those outside the movement.  It also echoes the reality that most scouting was and is not in the field but in populated areas.   As Scouting became recognised and gained worth the need diminished and ties became an optional extra.  Local expectation or rules may have required them for parades and ceremonies.

1909 POR        Ties were the standard uniform for leaders, the neckerchief reserved for camp.

1920 Cambridge University Rovers chose to have a plain blue scarf not a tie.

1938 POR        Ties were an optional extra to a scarf.  Correct or preferred wear for Church Parades was not given.

1967                Advance report recommendations

  • Venture Scouts            Dark brown tie
  • Air Venture Scouts     Light blue tie
  • Sea Venture Scouts    Black tie
  • Male leaders               Green tie

1977    Uniform review.  Scouters were again permitted to wear the Group scarf

1989    POR     Tie or scarf and woggle. 

2018    POR     Leaders Uniform         Group / Explorer Scout Unit / Scout Network / universal / Gilwell / Scout Active Support scarf (as entitled) and woggle or, on formal occasions, a blue tie.             

This last is an option for formal occasions rather than a requirement as can be seen in St Georges Day Parades at Windsor Castle.

A number of ties exist in the Cambridge District Collection, most with a Scouting symbol.  One plain green tie and one blue have been donated.

Cambridge Archives

1920 At the meeting to propose Rover Troop at the University item 12 stated ‘ that the tie should be light blue, red, yellow and green.’ Ties were soon ruled out and scarves substituted. Some difficulty was experienced in achieving a proper ‘Sky blue’ colour.

1956 CUSAGC A tie design was discussed – in terylene, light blue fleur de lys on a green background at about 13/- each. The tie was a an additional item alongside the scarf of light blue with a lion badge.

1971                ‘…the DS Team wearing scarves at a St Georges Day, he asked if this was correct.   Mr Chambers said scarves should not have been worn.’

1977                Complaints were received by Cambridge District concerning the Gang Show team wearing scarves at a St Georges Day service.  Quoting POR the objection was both on the grounds of scarf rather than tie and separating the younger members of the Gang Show team from their groups.

Ties can, of course, be tied in a variety of ways

Tie Pins and Tie Clips

Ties sometimes suggest tie pins, a small remnant of male adornment hidden behind a badge. Several examples of these two forms of tie pin exist on a pin card in the collection.

And a smaller version with an indeterminate shield form in the middle.

Tie clips also stop the tie from flapping about, but became a fussier piece of male attire.

JWR Archivist Feb 2020