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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.