In 1906 and 1907 Robert Baden-Powell, a lieutenant general in the British Army, wrote a book for boys about scouting. In the summer of 1907, he held a camp at Brownsea Island in England – this camp and the publication of ” Scouting for Boys ” are generally regarded as the start of the Scout Movement. During the first half of the 20th.C , the movement grew to encompass three major age groups for boys ( Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Rover Scouts ). Robert’s sister, Agnes, was very much impressed by the movements’ popularity and felt that something similar should exist for girls. In 1910 the brownie guides ( originally called the Rosebuds, a name which didn’t catch on ), girl guides or girl scouts and ranger guides were formed with Agnus as leader.
The village boasted of Boy Scouts, Cubs, Girl Guides and Brownies and the Netherthong Boy Scouts were known as the XI Huddersfield Troop. In July 1978 a new Venture scout unit met for the first time.
The scouts played a football match against St.Andrews Reserves at their ground at Crodingley, Thongs Bridge in February 1911.They won 4-2 and the best player on the field was Corporal H.Matthews who scored a hat-trick. In December, five scouts with their Hon. Scout master journeyed to Leeds for the review of the West Riding Scouts by Lord Baden Powell. On December 30th. the Scouts held their 2nd. annual entertainment in the National School. H.Mellor was the honorary scoutmaster of the troop.
On November 22, 1913 many of them attended a great rally and inspection at Bradford by the Chief Scout, Lt. General Sir Robert Baden Powell.
The following scouts and ex-scouts of the Netherthong troop served in HM Forces in WW1. J.Battye, N.Coldwell, E.Crookes, C.A.Hudson, R.Horner, J.Marsden, V.Mosley, H.Matthews, G.Hoyle, B.Earnshaw, E.T.Sykes, A.Lockwood, R.Lee, H.Hebblewaite, J.Wadsworth and H.Lawrence. For further information please read the chapter on World War 1.
Lt. H.Matthews was born in Holmfirth but joined the Netherthong Troop in 1910. He was the first scout in the Huddersfield area to obtain a commission in the army and the first to make the supreme sacrifice.
The Express in the 1910s/20s published a column in most editions titled Scout Notes covering all the various Groups in the Valley. In November 1926 they printed a table of the Holme Valley Scout Association Football League. There were six teams, Netherthong, Meltham, Lane, Holme, Brockholes and Wesleyans and after five games Netherthong were unbeaten with ten points.
The Girl Guides had their colours dedicated at Wesleyan Chapel in April 1927 and the service was conducted by the Rev.W.Salisbury. They were known as the 20th. Huddersfield Netherthong Girl Guides and in July 1933 they presented three short plays in the open air at Fairfield lent by the kindness of Mrs. Floyd. Other attractions were a cake stall and side shows and over £4 was raised. In March 1940 they joined with the 1st. Holme Valley Scouts to run a whist and beetle drive, supper and concert. £5 was raised which was sent to the Finnish Council in Leeds towards the Finnish Appeal Fund.
The Holme Valley Boy Scouts ” Gang Show ” , presented by Mr.Powell was staged in the Netherthong National School on May 1943. The proceeds of £2 7s 6d were given to the Aid to China Fund. The following year the Gang Show was held in March at the Wesleyan Church Sunday School.
In September 1950 the Holme Valley District Girl Guides held their second annual Parents’ Day at Netherthong. Guides, from all companies, competed in the afternoon for the District Guides Shield. A picnic tea was supplied in the Day School and the Shield was presented to the Netherthong Guide Company.
The following month was the 21st. Annual Parade of Girl Guides and Boy Scouts. It was held at the Wesley Chapel for the Harvest Festival services and Mr. J.W.Green of Fleetwood ,who for many years had been the organist at the Chapel, returned to that position for the day. Ian Mackensie, a cub, gave a reading as did scout Cedric Wakefield.
Miss Joan Brook, the Captain of the Netherthong Guide Co., made a presentation in November 1953 at the Council School to Mrs. D. Borwell, until recently a lieutenant of the Company, who was moving abroad.
In October 1960, the Guides, Brownies, Rangers and members of the Trefoil Guild gathered at the Day School to make a presentation to Mrs.R.Mason of Brockholes, who had resigned from her position of District Commissioner. The gift was a stainless steel tray suitably inscribed.
Miss Judith Fawcett of Broomy Lea Lane, a member of the Girl Guides, was presented with a Queen’s Guide badge by the Divisional Commissioner in July 1962. She had been awarded the Badge for Fortitude almost two years previously for her courage under physical difficulty
.A report in the paper for April 1975 said that that year promised to be one of the most exciting years since their formation in 1969 for the 7th.Holme Valley ( Netherthong ) Scout Group. On April 20 they were to be host to the Holme Valley District Scout Association at their St.George’s Day Parade. Glynn Taylor, a member of the Group, was awarded his Chief Scouts Award at the AGM at the School on April 30 and it was hoped at that meeting to finalise plans for new premises.
In February 1971 Sally Elizabeth Taylor of “Oldfield ” , Cooper Lane, Holmfurth who was a member of the Netherthong Unit became, at the age of 13 , the youngest ever Guide to receive the Queen’s Guide Award. 11 other Guides from the Unit had also in previous years achieved the distinction. She was presented with the award by the Huddersfield Divisional Commissioner, Mrs.Fowler, at the Primary School. Sally, a pupil of Holme Valley grammar school, also became the youngest-ever holder of the Queen’s Guide Award in the Holme Valley.
The Scouts held a Sponsored Litter Collecting Campaign in May 1971 when about 20 cubs, scouts, parents and helpers combed the area around the village, Wolfstones Heights, Deanhouse, Mark’s Bottom and the Netherfield Estate for litter. The sponsorship was on a weight basis with each stone of litter counting as a point. They collected 1,742 pounds of metal and 1,492 pounds of scrap paper which raised a total of £30. A bonfire was built from all the rubbish and the UDC took away the non-combustibles. In November a district guiders training evening was held in the Day School when guiders from units in the Holme Valley were given practical and theoretical help in running their units. Mrs.Jean Lockwood was responsible for the Brownies section with Miss Christine Brown responsible for the Guides. The last activity of the year was in December when the Brownies held a Christmas Concert as their ” Christmas Good Turn.” The concert included items by the whole pack, by smaller groups and solos, duets and recorder recitals. The refreshments were served by the Guides.
At the annual camping competition for the Holme Valley District Scouts held at Wooley in May 1974, 8 patrols took part and the Fox Patrol from the Netherthong group took 1st. prize with 401 points, New Mill Eagle Patrol came 2nd. with 357 points and the Otter Patrol, also from Netherthong, came 3rd. with 356 points. The Cup was presented by Derek Crossland the Asst. District Commissioner.
The sun shone for the 7th.Holme Valley Netherthong Scouts’ Autumn Fair held in September of that year. The Honley Scout Band and the Scouts led a colourful procession of children, many in fancy dress, round the village. Besides the many side shows there was tombola, archery and pony rides. Fancy dress prizes were won by Simon Alderson, Kim Helliwell, Peter Mackay, Sally Wilson,Janette Haigh and Andy Capstick. Prizewinners in the handicraft competition were Jonathan Whitaker, Kim Searby, Frazer Ball, Lisa Rowe and Tracy Hobson. The two winners in the decorated bikes were Catherine Hobson and Tracy Hobson.
The St.George’s Day Parade in April 1975 went down in the annals of Scouting in the Holme Valley as the day there assembled in the village the biggest gathering for this occasion ever known in the history of local scouting and it was the first time it had ever been held in Netherthong.The parade assembled in Leas Avenue and, led by the band of the 6th. Holme Valley ( Honley ), the cub-scouts, Scouts, Venture and Rangers with their drums sounding, trumpets playing and flags flying marched up New Road to the village, turned down Giles Street and up Outlane to the Church watched by a very large crowd of villagers, friends….. The church was packed and the service began with the “Battle Hymn of the Republic “. When the service was over they marched round the new Deanhouse estate and halted in St.Mary’s Road where the colours were marched off and the parade dismissed.
220 scouts from the various Holme Valley Scout Troops along with 30 leaders held a successful 3-day week-end District Camp in the village in September. The programme included special water events such as canoeing and sailing in dinghys, thanks to In Slaithwaite Angling Club and the owners of Feins Mill who allowed the use of their dam in the village. There was also a model aeroplane display as well as a fire-fighting display.
Sarah Whitaker received her Queen’s Guide Award on her 14th. birthday from the District Commissioner for the Holme Valley at a ceremony held in the Junior School in October She was living in Miry lane and was a member of the 2nd. Holme Valley Company and had worked for over three hours to attain the award. The
A surprise presentation was staged at a Holmfirth disco for Mrs.Lesley Taylor who was leaving the Scout Group after 15 years. She had been a member of the group since its formation, Akela of the cubs for most of the time and she became group scout leader three years ago. During her years in scouting she had seen her three sons gain their chief scout awards and one was awarded the Queen’s Scout award. To mark her retirement, the parents’ executive committee commissioned a painting of Netherthong from Mr.Martin Holroyd of Brewers Fine Arts. Mr.John Marshall, the former scout leader, was appointed group scout leader and Mr.Brian Parlor took over as scout leader. In the photograph, artist Martin Holroyd presents his painting to Lesley Taylor whilst John Marshall and Terry Irving look on.
The Annual meeting of the 7th. Holme Valley Scout Group was held in April 1976 and Mr. Tempest, Group Scout Leader, reported on the group’s achievements for the previous thelve months. N.Taylor won the Richard Leach Memorial Trophy for Scouts ( indoor cooking competition ) for the 2nd. year running. Alan McKenna’s last act as temporary leader was guiding the team to 5th. place in the Brow Hike at Sowerby Bridge which was an improvement on their 9th. position the previous year. He thanked all Patrol leaders and Scouts for their assistance but did ask for extra help in running the Scout Group. Mr. J. Jackson, chairman of the Group, welcomed the largest attendance of parents and friends in the Group’s history and told of the current situation on the much needed Scout Hut. The Cub Scout report came from Akela, Mrs. L. Taylor, who told of the large number of badges that had been gained and the boost they got from winning the District Cub Scout Competition. Mrs. Ball, the group treasurer, said the accounts showed a healthy cash balance from a satisfactory year of fund raising.
A report in March 1977 was headlined ‘ Recent revival of the 7th. Holme Valley Netherthong Scouts’ and went on to say that in November 1976 the future of the group was grim and a closure seemed imminent. But, thanks to the loyalty of three boys, the group did not fold up but continued to prosper and these three boys, Richard Kitson, Fraser Ball and Mark Tempest, were awarded the highest award in the scouting world, The Chief Scout Award. Mr.John Marshall was appointed the new scoutmaster.
In the same month the 2nd. Holme Valley ( Netherthong ) Brownies held a special party to mark the 21st. anniversary of their formation. They were formed on March 12, 1956 and since then have had six Brown Owls. Miss M.Foster lives in Bath and along with Mrs. J.Booth now resident in Australia was unable to attend but the others Miss F.Warren, Mrs. J.Rothwell and Mrs. Helliwell were present. In December as part of their jubilee venture the Brownies entertained residents of Greenacres Old Folk’s Home, Meltham. Under the direction of Mrs. J. Edinboro and Mrs. J.Hellawell they sang a selection of songs and carols and presented a play. Solo items were given by Rachel and Rebecca Pearce, Catherine Booth, Helen Ballantyne, Susan Middleton, Heather and Claudia Jackson and Sarah Clegg. The musical accompaniment was provided by Mrs. D.Redfern, Sarah Whitaker, Denise Edinboro and Deborah Peebles. A new Netherthong Venture scout unit met for the first time in July 1978 under the leadership of policeman Lloyd Edwards of Honley. They started with eight members but hoped to add more and the meetings will be held in the Scout HQ in the Zion Chapel.
The following photograph shows scouts,cubs,guides, members of the church choir and villagers in Towngate at the remembrance service in November 1978. The following month the Scouts celebrated their 10th. anniversary in the School. 130 guests joined the members.
A total of £128 was raised when the 2nd. and 8th. Holme Valley Brownies held a bazaar at the school in October 1979. Proceeds went to the children’s ward at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. The photo shows the Penine East Division Commissioner with brownies at the bazaar.
For the 1979 Remembrance Day service a contingent of cadets from the 1466 Holmfirth Air Training Corps marched from their headquarters at Thongbridge to attend the service. The Squadron padre, the Rev.John Capstick, conducted a short service in the church followed by a parade round the village with scouts, cubs and guides to the memorial. After the two-minutes silence “The Last Post ” was sounded by Clare Robinson. The first photograph shows the Church choir, scouts,cubs and Holmfirth Squadron air cadets at the service. The second photograph shows Clare sounding The Last Post.
Kim Helliwell, 15, of 12 St.Mary’s Road, Deanhouse , a Holme Valley Guide received her Queens Guide badge at a bring and buy sale at the County Primary School in April 1979. She was presented with the award by the Holme Valley District Commissioner, Mrs.J.Rothwell.
April 11 1980 was a very special occasion when the Netherthong Brownies flew their new flags for the first time. Members of the two village packs had decided that they wanted flags instead of pennants and a concert was arranged to raise money. Each brown and yellow flag bears the name of the pack in yellow and they will be on show at guiding events. The two packs, known as the 2nd. and 8th. Holme Valley, have 35 members between them aged between 7 and 10 years old.
In July, Claire Robinson of St.Mary’s Drive, became a Queen’s Guide. She was presented with her certificate and badge by the District Commissioner, Mrs. Joan Marsh, at an International Evening held by the Netherthong Guides, of which she had been a member for four years. 14 year old Claire had attained 22 badges and had helped with the cub pack as part of her work towards the certificate. She was also a keen swimmer, played cornet in the high school band and was a member of the Kirklees Youth Band.
The Harvest Festival later that year in October was a grand occasion as the following set of four photographs show. In the first one Group Scout leaders Peter Tempest and Ian Clegg lead the parade up Outlane from Zion chapel. The second shows the Holmfirth guides set out on parade to Holmfirth. In the third the Honley Scout and Guide Band head down New Road after the service. In the final photo one of the cub packs joins the parade.
Dozens of cubs and scouts took part in a St. George’s Day parade in the village in April 1982. Honley Scout Band led the parade to the village church for a service of re-dedication and the parade from the church was led by the hosts, the 7th.Holme Valley ( Netherthong ) pack carrying the district St.George’s Flag which they would keep for the following year. Three of the local scouts, Jonathan Whitaker, Sean Taylor and Mark Tempest travelled to Windsor to attend a St.George’s Day parade for Queen’s scouts.They joined about 2,000 scouts in a parade led by the Welsh Guards to Windsor Castle where for an inspection by the Queen.
An army of little Compos and Nora Battyes invaded Sid’s cafe, Holmfirth for a special drink of tea. The young stars were Netherthong brownies ( eighth Holme Valley ) in fancy dress who were taking part in a national brownie tea-making contest. The competition was for brownies to find the most unusual place to drink tea with a first prize of a VIP trip to Paris. The brownies chose the last of the Summer Wine programme for their theme and dressed up either as Compo or Nora Battye. The girls took it in turn to make tea and serve drinks.
The following day they decided to invite parents along for a meeting and about a dozen mums took part and dressed up with brownie caps. A special birthday cake was made to celebrate the 70th. birthday of the national brownie movement. The evening was organised by guiders Mrs.Betty Tempest and Mrs. Stephanie Darby and parent Mrs. Sarah Baxter. The photo shows the brownies with some of the parents.
In July 1978 a new Venture scout unit met for the first time under the leadership of policeman Lloyd Edwards of Honley. They started with eight members and hoped that more would join and they agreed to be named the Netherthong Sherpa Venture Scout Unit.. The meetings would be held in the Scout HQ in the Zion Chapel. Two months later they raised £96 at their Autumn Market. The attractions included children’s fancy dress, a pet show, mini auction, children’s races, market stalls and a talent competition. Music was by the 6th. Honley Scout and Guides band.
The Brownies were still very active in the 1980s and, in December 1984, they raised £21 for the Ethiopian Appeal by giving a concert in the village Zion Chapel schoolroom. It featured musical items, poems and readings and a small presentation was made to pianist Mrs.Olive Davidson. Mrs. J. Hellawell, who was giving up as Brown Owl, received a thank-you gift. Thanks were also given to Mrs. June Edinboro and Mrs.Dorcas Shuttleworth. Several months later, in February 1985, they paid a special tribute to their former leader, Mrs. Judith Hellawell, at a presentation night in the Zion Chapel, as seen in the photograph below.
Anyone for tea? As the photo shows the Brownies took part in a national tea challenge and raised £15.
In December 1985, the Netherthong B team were the winners of the Holme Valley Scouts Winter Competition. They were James Booth, Gareth Senior, Mark Rockett and Jack Fancy.
The husband and wife team of Mr.Richard Green and Mrs. Nicole Green received their scout leaders awards at the same time in a presentation at the village school. They are pictured receiving the warrants from Mr. Laurie Minney , the District Commissioner of the Holme Valley Scouts.
In 1986 all over the country, cub scouts celebrated the 70th. birthday of the movement formed on 16 December 1916. The photograph below from May shows the cubs wearing a special Rainbow Year badge.
Guides and Brownies from the Holme Valley enjoyed a successful sports day at Holmfirth Cricket Club in June 1986. 8 Brownie packs and 5 Guides took part and the 8th. Holme Valley ( Netherthong pack ) were the winners and received a shield from Ann Taylor
In November 1986, present day members of the 2nd. Holme Valley Netherthong Guide Company got into the spirit of the Diamond jubilee celebrations by dressin-up in the old guide uniforms of the 1920s & 1930s. Charlotte Malthouse, Helen Wilkinson, Vicky Owen, Alice Farecy, Sally Horne and Kate Irving feature in the photo below.
In January 1987, a Fancy Dress Rainbow Party and competition was organised by the Cubs. Jonathan Redfearn, who was dressed as a rainbow, was the winner. The party was held to celebrate 70 years of Cub Scouting and the day of the party was the actual day when the movement was founded. Holding the cake in the photo were Cub Scout Leader Nicole Green and Asst. Cub Scout Leader, Claire Robinson.