Our History

4th Runcorn Scout Group’s Cheshire Wood Badge emblem which sits proudly in our headquarters

Group name tape

Where did it all begin?

4th Runcorn in 2020 is a highly successful Scout Group in Mersey Weaver District, part of the County of Cheshire. The Group was originally a member of North West Cheshire District, which ceased to exist following the merger with Widnes District in 2012.  Mersey Weaver succeeded the two districts and it is now in its 8th year. Over the years, a lot of hard work and dedication has gone in to ensuring 4th Runcorn is the best, but just how did we get to where we are? This page is going to explore the History of 4th Runcorn, how we came into existence and how our amazing volunteers efforts over the years made 4th Runcorn Scout Group C.W.B. what it is today.

This page is being constantly updated as we learn more about ourselves and we create new chapters in our Groups illustrious history. Throughout this page you will see several different name tapes which show when the Group name was changed.

Early Beginnings – 1923

According to Scout Heritage, in 1922 there were three Runcorn Scout Troops registered. “The Scouter” Magazine of August 1923 announced the creation of a 4th Runcorn Troop and warrants were issued to:

  • T. Minards – Scoutmaster
  • W.H. Moss – Assistant Scoutmaster

Both T. Minards and W.H. Moss also held the roles of Cub Master and Assistant Cub Master respectively and were issued their warrants between 15th June 1923 and 16th July 1923. This is the officially recognised creation of 4th Runcorn.

Record showing in 1922 the 3 Runcorn Scout Groups, with 4th joining them the following year

Group disappearance – late 1920s

In 1928, the Group structure that we know today was introduced and Scout Troops and Cub packs were registered as “Groups” for the first time. There are no records of either 4th Runcorn Sections being registered, it is assumed that both sections ceased temporarily.  This may not be the case, 4th Runcorn may have continued but there is no record of this.

4th Runcorn returns – 1931

4th Runcorn Scout Group was registered with The Scout Association on 12th February 1931 and given the registration number 12381. “The Scouter” Magazine lists warrants issued to the following

  • Group Scoutmaster – C. Garner – The Group’s first Group Leader
  • Scoutmaster – C. Garner
  • Assistant Scoutmaster J.R. Lloyd

4th Runcorn’s registration record, showing the original date and yearly statistics

This highlights the first time 4th Runcorn was registered as a Group and also holds the records for the group from 1947 – 1982.

4th Runcorn (Holy Trinity) – 1930s – 1940s

The Group was originally affiliated with the Holy Trinity in Runcorn. A lot of Scout Groups were originally linked with Churches and in our early days we were known as ‘4th Runcorn (Holy Trinity)’. It is likely that we took part in Church Parades at Holy Trinity. By early 1947, the Group was simply known as ‘4th Runcorn’, with the Holy Trinity part of the name being left off, it is unknown as to why it was dropped but the only Group in Runcorn which still uses a Church in their name is 6th Runcorn (St. Edward’s) and formerly 2nd Halton (St. Augustine’s) until it closed in late 2011.

This record shows the Groups registration in 1937. Registered back then as 4th Runcorn (Holy Trinity). a lot of Groups were originally Church Groups with us being originally linked with Holy Trinity Church in Runcorn.

This record shows 4th Runcorn as part of North West Cheshire District from 1947

Bold Street, Runcorn – Our first home – 1920s – 1953

Back in the Group’s early days we met in Bold Street, Runcorn Town Centre (Runcorn Old Town as it is now known). There are few people still alive today who were part of the Group or even remember us meeting at Bold Street so we have had to do quite a bit of research to find information. Below is some pictures of what was 4th Runcorn’s Bold Street headquarters, the map shows a small building at the very bottom of the street on the right hand side. There are also some aerial images from the 1940s which show the building.

This section of Map shows the original headquarters of 4th Runcorn on Bold Street. The HQ is the small building towards the top of the image on the right hand side of Bold Street

1949 – The street which runs through the middle of this image is Bold Street. 4th Runcorn’s HQ is a small building to the far right of the street near to the waterfront (bottom right of image)

1949 – The long lock building at the top of the image has three parts. 4th Runcorn’s HQ is to the right of the smallest part towards the centre of the image. It has a lighter coloured roof to those around it

Photograph taken from the Manchester Ship Canal gantry wall. The Daniel Adamson Steamship (upper centre) can be seen above the lock. 4th Runcorn’s Bold Street HQ can be seen to the right of the ship.

Moving uptown – 1950s

The Group decided to move to a new location in Higher Runcorn in the early 1950s. The move officially happened in 1953 and there have been many changes, but we have remained at the Park for nearly 70 years now. In 2023, the Group will celebrate our 100 years since we began, however, it will also mark the 70th anniversary of our HQ.

Photograph showing the original park at Runcorn Heath c. 1904

This postcard dates back to 1905. The location shown is the Heath Park and the future location of our HQ, the small tree to the left of the picture is in fact the ‘leaning’ tree that stands at the front of our HQ today, meaning it is nearly 120 years old! Credit: Runcorn Historical Society

This photo shows the Runcorn Waterworks Pumping Station at the Heath Park c.1905. The lake was originally used as storage for Runcorn’s water supply. The Station was demolished in the early 1950’s, around the same time that 4th Runcorn’s HQ was built adjacent to the works. Credit: Photo by Runcorn Historical Society and information from Stuart Allen

Map of Higher Runcorn from 1952, before 4th moved to the Park. Runcorn Heath is left of centre at the bottom and the Pond can be seen

Aerial image showing Runcorn Hill and Runcorn Heath Park. Park Road runs from the centre to the right of the image

Map of Higher Runcorn from 1960s showing the 4th HQ (Black building by the pond) at the side of the Park

4th Runcorn Scouts 1963 with the Swimming Cup. Credit: Sam Bennion, Information originally provided by John Frodsham

Photograph showing the Shelter where the park is today, 4th’s HQ was built to the left of this building.

4th Runcorn Scouts took part in the 1961 Gang Show. John Frodsham can be seen on the back row, 5th from the right.

A period of development – 1980s – 2000

We are currently researching this area and compiling the relevant images and information that will provide a full look at our history. Please bear with us whilst we do this

4th Runcorn’s ambitious leadership team always wanted the best facilities and experiences for its young people. With this in mind, in the 1980s, plans were put to the drawing board to build a new HQ building. This new building provided new toilets, a new entrance and main hall and would replace part of the old headquarters which can be shown on the map below.

This photo shows the original HQ. The building was a backwards ‘L’. The bottom part of the ‘L’ was demolished and replaced with what we now know as the main building and entrance area.

When the new HQ building was finished, the Group were satisfied with the work completed. However, their ambitious nature meant that they did not want the momentum to slow. The ageing wooden Hut alongside the new building was in need of repair. The Group took the decision to knock down the original HQ that dated back to 1953 and build an expansion that would give 4th the best facilities and one of the best headquarters in the district. In 1998, the Group completed the works and 4th Runcorn’s HQ was complete, with updated buildings that were ready for the new millennium.

Picture of the original Scout HQ which was demolished in 1997 to make way for the new building that was completed in 1998.

Original drawing of the HQ expansion from the 1990s. As displayed in the Headquarters meeting room

New building display board showing the progress through photos.

Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Runcorn in 1998. 4th Runcorn Scouts came home from that year’s Summer Camp, Chamboree to be a part of the Queen’s visit. Some are visible to the left of the photo behind the Queen.

4th Runcorn Scouts welcome Queen Elizabeth II to Runcorn. Pictured: 4th Scouts John Dunning & Tom Findlow (bottom, in the Guard of Honour). Linda Wilkinson, who has supported the Group for many years is also in the crowd (diagonal left of the Queen). Credit: Stuart Allen

What does the C.W.B. mean?

One of the questions we are often asked is “What does C.W.B. stand for on your nametape?” It stands for Cheshire Wood Badge and it was presented to 4th Runcorn Scout Group by Derek Oliver, the then County Commissioner of Cheshire. It was his own personal Wood Badge which he presented to the Group in recognition of the quality of Scouting which was being offered to the young people at the time. He suggested that the Group might be known as 4th Runcorn Scout Group C.W.B. and this has remained our name ever since.

The Millennium and beyond – 2000s

4th Runcorn’s fundraising was often a popular event to attend. This headline was advertising the Duck Race, ran on the Pond annually

4th Runcorn have had many representatives over the years at World Scout Jamboree’s. The 20th World Scout Jamboree in Thailand was no different with two Scouts attending

In 2001, John Frodsham, who was Group Scout Leader at the time, took on the role of District Commissioner for North West Cheshire District succeeding April Nicholas in the role. Wendy Frodsham took over as Group Scout Leader.

4th Runcorn celebrated its 80th year in 2003, a photo collage of our 80th celebrations is displayed at the HQ.

4th Runcorn celebrated the centenary of Scouting in 2007. Several members of the Group attended the World Scout Jamboree hosted by the UK.

4th Runcorn celebrated its 90th year in 2013, Group sections made decorations for the headquarters. Wendy Frodsham stepped down as Group Scout Leader and soon after, Barry Newport took over the role and has been in the position ever since.

Queen’s Scout Award : 4th Runcorn has often had dedicated members. Lewis Morgan(far left), who went to 4th Runcorn and later went on to be a leader at the Group, was no different. Lewis attended the St. George’s Day parade of Queen’s Scouts at Windsor Castle.

4th Runcorn Scout Group on Remembrance Day Parade, November 2016

Newspaper clip from 2017 : Matt Marnell (Scout Leader) attended the 24th World Scout Jamboree in North America in 2019

4th Runcorn Scout Group in 2019

4th Runcorn Scouts, Remembrance Day Service, November 2019. Credit: Tony Schofield

4th Runcorn Scouts, Remembrance Day Service, November 2019. Credit : Tony Schofield

The Roarin’ 2020’s

Following 20 years with no major works to the HQ, the Group Executive Committee set about replacing the fencing around the HQ. This in itself was going to be a large project and would require significant fundraising to replace the whole perimeter fence. In late 2019, the group were approached regarding the redevelopment of the HQ surroundings and plans were drawn up and presented to the Group Executive committee that would provide the Group with a lot more than initially envisioned. The ambitious plans would completely change the look of the HQ and its surroundings and go far beyond what the Group had originally begun to plan for.

Plans presented to 4th Runcorn Executive Committee in late 2019, showing the new look for our headquarters surroundings

In early 2020, work began on what would be the Group’s largest project since the building expansion was completed in 1998. Photos of this project becoming a reality are available in our Group Projects page. In mid April 2020 the project was completed and the Group are absolutely delighted with the finished project.

Visual showing the upgraded HQ surroundings set to be complete in 2020

We are delighted to share with you the finished project, April 2020

Our Centenary – 2023

Currently 4th Runcorn is in its 97th year, with only 3 years to go until our Centenary year, preparations will be underway in the coming years to plan our Centenary year!

Group Scout Leaders

4th Runcorn’s current Group Scout Leader is Barry Newport, he has held the position since 2014. Our former Group Scout Leaders are:

  • C. Garner 1931 – ????
  • ??????? ???? – ????
  • John Frodsham 1978 – 2001
  • Wendy Frodsham 2001 – 2014
  • Barry Newport 2014 – present

Chairperson

4th Runcorn’s current Group Chairperson is Carol Walker, she has held the position since 2007. Our former Group Chairs are:

  • Howell Hodgett ???? – ????
  • Brian Lunt ???? – 2007
  • Carol Walker 2007 – present

Key People

Coming soon

The Honorary Members of 4th Runcorn C.W.B.

In 2019, we launched a lifetime achievement award to recognise those who have given their time to 4th Runcorn over the years. Below is the current list of Honorary members, with us planning to continue to add to this over the coming years.

Honorary Members of 4th Runcorn Scout Group C.W.B.

The nametape given to Honorary Members of 4th Runcorn Scout Group C.W.B.

4th Runcorn Scout Group C.W.B. Gold edition logo 2017-

4th Runcorn’s Scout HQ logo using the new brand

Timeline