2nd Warwick Sea Scouts looking for former member as it celebrates 60th anniversary

Scout camp from 2004
Scout camp from 2004

The sea scouts group will celebrate its 60th anniversary this weekend on Saturday November 23.

The 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts group is trying to get in touch with former members and leaders to join a new ‘alumni’ group.

Marc Gadsby, Group Scout Leader for the 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts, said: "We would love to hear from former, members, leaders and their families which is why we have set up a 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts ‘alumni’ group.

"We are hoping we can get back in touch with lots of people from the last 60 years so we can invite them to our new hut opening, which we hope will be in 2020 if we raise the final funds."

The 2nd Warwick would now like to get in touch with former members and leaders and are asking them to register for their alumni group at www.2wk.org.uk/get-involved/alumni .

They would also like to collect more photos or memorabilia from the last 60 years. People can see their current collection on the alumni website and would love to hear from anyone who has any more photos they can share with the group.

To celebrate 60 years since the formation of 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts and 100 years of the Royal Navy Recognition Scheme; their Cubs, Scout and Explorers are heading off to Portsmouth for their 60th anniversary weekend as part of a ‘Frosty Frigate’ camp when they get to sleep in one of the historic dockyard museums. Not to be out done, their Beavers will be sleeping over in Warwick’s Market Hall museum instead.

The 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts group started in 1959 and in 1966 it moved from the Nissen hut where the sheltered housing in Pickard Street is now, to their new HQ building in St Nicholas Park of Warwick.

Their new HQ was opened on April 30, 1966 by The Rt. Hon. Earl of Aylesford, having cost the group £2,000. The group continued to raise an extra £450 to fully fit out the new building.

In the 1970s they started their two-week summer camps, something that has continued ever since. The group grew again in the 1980s and the second floor was added to increase the space available.

The group had no money to pay someone to do the job so a team of leaders and parents did a massive and excellent job of putting in the first floor, and on January 12, 1985 the hut was re-commissioned as a two-floor building.

On November 24, 1986 the inaugural meeting of 2nd Warwick Beaver Scout Colony took place.

The group’s high standards led to the award of Royal Navy Recognition on December 31, 1987. This honour is currently granted to only 104 Sea Scout Groups in the UK at any one time.

In 1996 the foot bridge across the river by the hut was installed, massively increasing the amount of passers-by and making sailing more tricky on the river. In 1997 the guides joined the scouts on camp and this was the early stages of the girls’ scout troop.

Easter 1999 witnessed massive flooding across the country and the river flowed through the scout hut for the first and only time.

Girls were officially welcomed into scouts in September 2000, when the ‘Vanguard’ section was established, starting off with two patrols and building up to the six they have today.

In 2003 an Explorer section was created and mixed cub pack ‘Daring’ was set up.

In 2005 the sailing club, where all the group’s sailing boats were stored, burnt down. Luckily this was while they were away on summer camp, so no equipment was destroyed.

The sailing club building was never rebuilt and is the site that the group are currently vacating to give back to parkland as part of their future development plans, since building their new jetties and boatyard in 2018, that was formally opened by HRH The Duke of Kent.

The group has significantly grown over the last 60 years and has a current membership of more than 200 including its co-located Explorer Sea Scout Unit. They now have four sections in the group covering six years to 18 years old: Beavers, Cubs, Scouts (a girls’ troop and a boys’ troop) and Explorers.

Earlier this month on November 9 they broke ground on their new HQ building, which will give them a home for the next 60 years and beyond. The new HQ will also allow them to expand the group and offer more Sea Scouting to local children and open a great community space for residents of Warwick.

As Lord Aylesford said in 1966, ‘A headquarters is a place that should grow forever. Once it is finished it ceases to live.’

To help raise the final funds for their new HQ the 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts have a special on-line 60th anniversary raffle.

Star prizes include a Land Rover Driving Experience, Indoor Skydive and Family Annual Pass for Warwick Castle plus lots of other prizes. Raffle tickets cost £1. The drawing will be made on Saturday November 23. People can buy tickets at www.goldengiving.com/raffle/raffle60th
If people want to get in touch about the alumni group or can help with the final funds they need; donate any goods to help them fit their new hut out or would like to volunteer with the group then please email seascouts@2wk.org.uk or visit www.2wk.org.uk or follow on Facebook www.facebook.com/2wkseascouts