Sea scouts prepare for 95th anniversary and former member are invited

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Former members of the 94th Bedford Sea Scouts are being invited to a 95th anniversary day along with present members and friends.

The reunion will include a day of activities and reminiscing on Saturday, October 1.

The group started out in 1921 as the St Paul’s Weslyan Troop, which consisted of cubs and rovers and met in Harpur Street, later moving to Holme Street, where Bedford College now stands, when the church link was broken.

A Sea Scout Troop was formed and in 1942, with the assistance of the Rotary Club, a move was made to a headquarters in reconstructed stables in Duck Mill Lane. The troop had a high standard and Admiralty Recognition was obtained, putting the group among the top 100 in the country.

Recognition was kept until 1954 and that year an ex-lifeboat, The Mafeking, was bought and converted to a cabin cruiser.

The group spent time based in Granville Street, Spring Road in Kempston, and later moving to the Slipe in Queens Park.

In 1999 the group decided to share a building in Kempston being used by the 7th Bedford Scouts and so the 7th/94th Bedford Sea Scouts Group was formed.

Other notable dates include 1946 when scout Harold Parry was awarded the Cornwell Badge, the highest honour in scouting, for fortitude and endeavour during great suffering.

During the high floods of 1947, rovers in their canoes delivered milk to residents in flooded areas.

In 1972, a link was made with a Dutch Sea Scout Group based close to Amsterdam and exchange visits were arranged.

The group now has beaver, cub and scout sections for both boys and girls, supported by experienced and committed leaders, backed up by an enthusiastic executive committee of parents and friends.

A spokesman for the group said: “Over the past few years the group has participated in a number of community based projects.

More recenty the group has collected food to donate to food banks, gathered warm clothing to help the homeless, sent equipment and other essential items a to Calais to support the refugees and immigrants.

“As at its formation in 1921, the 94th Bedford Sea Scouts Group continues to provide exciting and developmental activities for young people to help them grow into mature and balanced adults.

“We look forward to welcoming current and previous members to our day of activities and reminiscence.”

To receive an invitation to the anniversary event, please contact either:

Maureen Sandiford on 01234 852226 or Andy Culpin by email at a.culpin@ntlworld.com