The Scout Movement in Alsager

In 1907 Major–General Robert Baden-Powell, after seeing the social conditions that many children had to face, decided to form a youth movement based upon the life-style of the messenger boys used during the Boer War. Since it was a requirement of these young boys to carry messages over considerable distances without being observed by hostile Boers, they were referred to as Scouts. The youth movement that Robert Baden-Powell founded was therefore called ‘The Boy Scouts’. The aim and method was to encourage the Physical, Intellectual and Spiritual development of boys by the use of a structured training programme supervised by adult leaders. This type of training was quite innovative in its day since it encouraged self-determination and the development of leadership skills by forming the boys into patrols of six to eight boys. Each patrol was led by a Patrol Leader, who would be one of the older boys, with a Second (Assistant Patrol Leader).

It was with the above thinking in mind that the first Boy Scout Group was formed in Alsager in February 1908 when the Crewe and District Association was founded and later becoming South West Cheshire in 1923.

The earliest remembered meeting place was in the Old Pumping Station in Well Lane. This building was situated where the drive to St. Gabriel’s School now stands.

During the 1950’s the group, under the patronage of Mr. Douglas Frayling prospered and needed to find a larger headquarters. At this time the group comprised of two Wolf Cub Packs and one Scout Troop. The group continued to flourish under the leadership of the Group Scout Leader Mr R. Barratt and in September 1964 a small committee was formed to raise the funds to provide a new and purpose-built Scout Hall.

The committee worked tirelessly and the group was able to embark upon a building programme such that on 7th December 1968 the new headquarters was opened by Mr C. Marshall Amor, the Secretary of the Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle Divisional Scout Council, in the presence of local dignitaries.

The Hall, situated in Cedar Avenue, was named The Frayling Scout Hall in acknowledgement of the assistance given by Mr Douglas Frayling both physical and financial. On 31st March 1970 the group transferred from the South West Cheshire District to Staffordshire Scout County to become the 13th Stoke-on-Trent & Newcastle (1st Alsager) Scout Group.

The Alsager Group continues to do well and its membership has flourished over the years and they currently have a membership in excess of 180 members.