Formation and early years
The Group was founded in 1972. However, before that date, there were many discussions and letters, dating back as far as November 1969, between Major R. N. ('Roly') Orr of New Ash Green and George May, the Scout Commissioner for Gravesend District.
The first aim was to set up the Ash Green Scout and Guide Supporters Association. The inaugural meeting of that Association took place on Tuesday 16th December 1969 at Ash Parish Hall where the meeting, chaired by the rector of Ash cum Ridley, Rev B.C.C. Compton, agreed the constitution of the Association. The aim of the association was to 'assist the Brownie Guides in Ash and New Ash Green; and Cub Scouts, Scouts and Guides if a Pack, Troop and a Company are formed over the next year or two'.
On 10th July 1970 the District Commissioner, George May agreed that a Cub Pack could be formed in New Ash Green, but as a detached Section of the Longfield & Hartley Scout Group, which was well established at the time. The Cub Pack would be known as the 'Ash Green Pack'. 'Roly' Orr was appointed Deputy Group Scout Leader of Longfield & Hartley Scout Group, with 'special responsibility for the affairs of Ash Green' and the intention that, eventually he would become the Group Scout Leader of Ash Green when the Scout Troop was formed. The 'mutual' border between the Groups was set at the Black Lion Public House in Ash Road.
The Cub Pack in Ash Green first met in September 1970 with Brian Cowland as the Cub Scout Leader ('Akela'). The Pack was granted permission to wear a plain brown scarf (necker) to distinguish it from the yellow and brown scarf of Longfield & Hartley Scout Group.
Ash Green Scout Group was officially formed and registered on 1st April 1972 with the HQ shown as the Village Hall, New Ash Green. The name 'Ash Green Scout Group' was chosen as it was intended to be inclusive of both Ash and New Ash Green. The Group scarf (necker) primary colour was white (for Ash) with a green border (for New Ash Green) was also introduced.
The registration document shows that there were 30 Cub Scouts and an anticipated 15 Scouts (anticipated by Sept 1972), 5 Uniformed Scouters and 4 Instructors. Roland ('Roly') Norman Orr was the Group Scout Leader, Brian Charles Cowland was the Cub Scout Leader with Carolyn Cowland and Margaret Burningham as the Asst. Cub Leaders. The Scout Leader was Brian Parlett and he was supported by 'Roly' Orr acting as Asst Scout Leader in addition to his GSL role. By the first Scout Census for the Group in 1973, there were 25 Cub Scouts and 21 Scouts in the Group.
In July 1974 12 Scouts and 2 Leaders camped at Kingsdown National Scout Campsite near Deal, Kent. The Camp Leader was Bryan Parlett, the Scout Leader.
By 1977, the Group had significantly grown and there were 24 Cub Scouts and 38 Scouts registered at the Annual Scout Census. In 1978 the number of Cubs had grown to the point where two Cub Packs were needed, and the Annual Census shows a total membership of 101 for 1978, rising further to 117 in 1981. By 1980, the Group was well established in the New Ash Green Youth Centre, having moved there in 1978 or 1979 and the Census showed a membership of 117.
In December 1981 Bryan Parlett, the Scout Leader announced the splitting of the Scout Troop into two separate Troops and that he would take over the role of Group Scout Leader as 'Roly' Orr had stood down from that role in the April of that year. The existing Beaver, Cobra, Eagle and Lion Patrols would meet subsequently on Tuesday evenings as one Troop under the leadership of Jeff Allen, Tony Harmsworth and David Hodgson and the Otter, Panther, Tiger and Wolf Patrols would become the other Troop, meeting on Friday evenings, under the leadership of Nils Janson, Derek Brown and John Nicholls. It was in this written announcement that the idea of a badge on the point of the scarf is first suggested.
On the 1982 Annual Census the Scout section had been split into two Troops. The Group consisted of two Cub Packs and two Scout Troops, with an overall membership of 116.
1982 marked the 10th Anniversary of the founding of Ash Green Scout Group and a non-denominational Service of Thanksgiving and Rededication took place on 24th October at St Peter & Paul's Church, Ash. This also coincided with a celebration of 75 years of Scouting.
In a 'file note' from Bryan Parlett (by then the GSL of Ash Green) dated 10 March 1983, it seems that one of the Cub Packs was known as 'Badger Pack'. The Akela, Janice Owen was standing down from that role at Easter, and Ann Johnson would take over as Akela. A third Cub Pack, to be known as 'Fox Pack', was due to start on Thursday 5th May of that year with Lesley Dennison as Akela.
All the photographs shown on this page are estimated to have been taken between 1975-1979.