History of 1st Weybridge (the oldest scouting group in Surrey)
Established in 1907 when six boys studied and practiced the lessons Lord Baden-Powell taught in his book “Aids to Scouting” on woodcraft, tracking skills, and survival. Their names: T. Kirk, C. Aylott, A. Lyddon, F. Armstrong, Shackleford and Todman.
These six boys were the nucleus of the first Scout Troop in Weybridge. In those days there was no uniform. In the newspaper cutting they stand stiff and awkward or sit cross-legged, each one wearing a different style of clothing. The one thing they have in common is the pride with which they each hold firmly a wooden staff, a symbol of their united purpose, their shared enjoyment and their open acceptance of Lord Baden-Powell’s training in the value to survival of a length of wood.
“Aids to Scouting”, written by Robert Baden-Powell as an Army Training Manual, but considered so important that it was used as a text-book in boys’ schools. Baden-Powell was encouraged to write “Scouting for Boys” published in 1908, which started the success of the Scout Movement when more and more Scout Troops sprung up all over this country.
Our link with Brooklands Museum
During an air display at Brooklands, a French pilot, Mr Robert Cordonnier, attempted to take off in his Hanriot monoplane. He abandoned his take-off after a short hop, but before he could stop the machine it ran down the bank of the Wey and into the water. A group of Scouts was on hand and the boys jumped into the river to rescue Mr Cordonnier from the stricken aircraft.
The scouts in question were members of the 1st Weybridge Scouts, one of earliest registered Scout groups in the country. The connection between 1st Weybridge and Brooklands had already been formed when, in 1907, six boys approached the leader of their local boys’ club (Mr Hugh Locke King, the man responsible for the creation of Brooklands) for guidance on forming a Scout group. The relationship was cemented by the actions of the 1st Weybridge Scouts during the above incident. In recognition of their actions, Brooklands bestowed the group with perpetual free entry to the track.
Mr Cordonnier was awarded his Aviator’s Certificate (number 221) by the Aero-Club de France later the same month. We can only assume that his flight at Brooklands did not form part of the skills-test for his license.