Welcome to the history of the 1st Stoke-on-Trent & Newcastle, St. Andrew’s Porthill Scout Group.
Here you can read about the history of our Group from its beginnings to around 2003. To read about what we have got up to since then, please visit our main web site here.
You can see various original documents from the Scout Association and our own archive, and photographs from various sources are shown on these pages.
If you know anyone in the photos or are an old Scout yourself, please get in touch with us by clicking here. We are really interested to hear from anyone connected with the Group in the past.
The Scout Troop was started in 1908 by a number of boys in Porthill starting their own patrol and following BP’s ‘Scouting for Boys’. The Leaders followed afterwards! So we are only a year younger than Scouting itself.
The first piece of information showing that the Troop existed in 1908 has been found in a copy of The Staffordshire Sentinel football edition dated Saturday 5th December 1908.
The second cutting is from the following Saturday, 12th December 1908, and gives a report of the match. The report reads –
‘Porthill Scouts were entertained at May Bank. Play was exciting in the first 20 minutes and Hawkins scored for the visitors. Before half time he again found the net. In the second half both sides played well, but one of the home backs fouled and from the penalty Gibbs scored. Shortly afterwards May Bank were awarded a penalty but Tomkinson saved. Two minutes afterwards the home team scored, but before the finish Hawkins scored again thus accomplishing the ‘hat trick’. The Scouts returned winners by four to one.’
The earliest record The Scout Association has about the Troop is the warrant of Mr. W Hockett of 3 Sparrow Terrace, Porthill. This was dated 14th December 1908, but the records don’t state with which Troop!
A hand written notebook with the title ‘Boy Scouts Organisation Register for The Potteries and District Boy Scouts Association’ has been found in the archive of Stoke-on-Trent & Newcastle Division and this has lists of all the Troops in existence between 1908 and 1910, the Scout Masters, the Assistant Scout Masters and even lists of the boys in the Troop and which patrols they belonged to! It states that Mr. Hockett was 42 years old, having been born on 23rd January 1866. He wasn’t the Scout Master for very long however, he resigned on 10th March 1909. In the list of Scouts it gives the details of two of the Scouts mentioned in the above newspaper article. At this very early stage there were 34 Scouts in the Troop!
Click here to see the book, but be warned it is a large download!
However, Mr. Hockett (as J Hockett not W Hockett, an error presumably) does appear in the minutes of the Potteries and District Scoutmasters meeting, held on 29th October 1908.
The minutes state that –
Mr. Hockett offered to conduct the monthly parade at Porthill it being decided to leave the Burslem Parade until November.
On the second page –
Mr Hockett offered his services to all the Scoutmasters of the district free of charge and was duly thanked by the chairman for same.
Quite what his services were, we don’t know!
After Mr. Hockett resigned, the Scoutmaster was Mr. W. J Slack & this is recorded in both the minute book and the ‘Boy Scouts Organisation Register for The Potteries and District Boy Scouts Association’ book.
Again from the Potteries and District Scoutmaster’s minute book –
14th April 1910
It was proposed and seconded that the next Scout Rally should take place at the Headquarters of the 5th North Staffs Troop (Porthill) on Saturday, 23rd May preceded by a field day of the combined Troops in the afternoon.
As you can see, the Troop numbers hadn’t quite settled down at this point (see the ‘Boy Scouts Organisation Register for The Potteries and District Boy Scouts Association’ book).
An original Porthill Scout?
Errr, no actually that is a drawing by Baden-Powell himself, but that is how one of our original Scouts would have looked.