1st St Margarets Scout Group was founded on 24th November 1919 by a local man, Mr Laurence, who decided the only thing St Margarets needed to turn it into an earthly paradise – all the other necessary attributes being in place – was a Scout Troop.
Mr Laurence installed himself as leader, or “Skipper”, and the story has it that the first meetings were held under a gaslight on a street corner. True or not, the fledgling troop soon found themselves settled in a room over Shipman’s Garage behind St Margarets Hotel.
In 1920, a mood of what the “Richmond and Twickenham Times” described as “Scoutitis” swept over the district, sparked by the arrival of 5000 Scouts from all over the world who were camping on the Old Deer Park as part of the 1st World Scout Jamboree. The reporters were euphoric.
“A great camp – a remarkable demonstration of what is possible in the way of training boys in civics”.
Encouraged by “Scoutitis”, Skipper Laurence started a Wolf Cub Pack for younger lads, which was an instant success.
In 1936, Shipman’s Garage was sold and the 1st St Margarets moved to Ballards Removals in Crown Road with their new leader, Monty Garrett, who was later to become Mayor of Twickenham.
During the war, the Scouts held their meetings in Twickenham Film Studios. By then, the group had grown to include Wolf Cubs, Scouts, Senior Scouts and Rovers. Sadly, during the war two Scout Leaders from the group, “Polly” Parrott and Ted Chance, were killed in action. They are still remembered today with a commemorative plaque on the shaft of the Troop Flag.
After the war, 1st St Margarets met up in a number of different locations. In 1957/58, the Senior Scout Section met in Marble Hill House. Other sections of the group made do with the garden of the Rising Sun pub in East Twickenham, the Orleans Secondary Modern School (now Orleans Park) and more recently, in the old Mission Hall at St Stephens School, where the Cubs and Scouts are still based today.
In [DATE], 1st St Margarets Scout Group admitted their first girl and continue to welcome boys and girls equally today.
Over 100 years after it was first established, 1st St Margarets Scout Group celebrated its Centenary in 2019 with a camp out in 3rd Osterley and continues to thrive to this day. They keep doing what they have always done – camping, learning new life skills, earning badges, looking for leaders and having fun doing it.