If you have any documents, photographs or information regarding the groups history please email us

1st Hook Scout Group History for the 21st Century

2023 The group celebrates its 100th anniversary with a number of events including a large group and family camp at Walton Firs and a formal dinner in Kingston along with section specific activities. 1st Hook Scout & Guide Band is closed due to low membership and remaining members transition to Kingston & Malden Scout & Guide Band. After more than 30 years Carole Atkinson steps down as Akela from Hurricane Cubs and Richard Hackett steps down from the Group Exec. Steve Crow & Nikki Bates receive the Chief Scouts Commendation for good service. Rebecca Mould, Kay Gooud & Gemma Huggins receive the Award for Merit. Anne-Marie Howells, Colin Stevenson & Paula Thompson receive the Bar to the Award for Merit.

2022 Covid19 restrictions on Scouting activities end and all sections begin to return to their usual activities and camps. Camping is allowed without any restrictions for the first time in 2 years. Fergus Lang steps down as GSL and Stuart Thompson takes over as GSL with Ian Newbery taking on the AGSL role. The Hook Beerfest makes a very successful return and is the biggest fundraiser yet. The group begin preparations for the 100th anniversary of 1st Hook in 2023.

2021 The year starts with a 3rd national lockdown and all sections once again go back to virtual meetings until restrictions are eased in April. Sections start to meet back face to face with strict guidelines which are eventually eased in the Summer allowing the troop to go on a shorter local summer camp, the first camping the group has done in 17 months. Ivan Gideon steps down as Apache leader and the section is temporarily closed as all beavers have moved up to Cubs. The group are able to start to fundraise again, collecting trolleys at Chessington Garden Centre in December.

2020 On 16th March The Scout Association suspend all face-to-face Scout meetings, activities and events due to the Global Covid19 pandemic. All sections adapt their programme to virtual meetings and events until restrictions ease in the summer. Sections start to meet back face to face from September adhering to strict guidelines on numbers, social distancing, face coverings and cleaning. The 2nd national lockdown from 5th November – 2nd December suspends face to face Scouting for the second time and once again sections carry on meeting virtually. All fundraising including the Hook Beer Fest is cancelled, subs are suspended. During the suspension of face to face Scouting the boilers at HQ are replaced and the heating system is completely renovated.

2019 48 Scouts, Explorers and Leaders attend the Haarlem Jamborette in The Netherlands for their summer camp. The group makes the difficult decision not to hold its annual summer fair for the first time in over 40 years. The Hook Beer Festival continues to go from strength to strength and celebrates its 10th anniversary having raised more than £80k for the group and local charities since its inception. The group is saddened by the death of Graham Tucker, group exec member and lifelong supporter of the group. Gary Howells, Jason Low and Julie Findlay receive the Award for Merit.

2018 The Group completely refurbishes the HQ toilets including the addition of showers and a disabled toilet. The band celebrates its 80th anniversary with a number of events finishing with an anniversary concert at the kings centre where members past and present played alongside each other. Surbiton South ESU have an expedition to Zanzibar to teach in a school and explore Tanzania. Kieran Voong stands down as ESL. Kieran Voong receives the Award for Merit and Graham Tucker receives the Bar to the Award for Merit. 

2017 The group purchases a light weight minibus. Sue Barden stands down as AGSL. Fergus Lang receives the Chief Scouts Commendation for Good Service. Roy Watts, Matt Cheyette & Ed Hackett receive the Award for Merit. Richard Hackett & Neil Mclean receive the silver acorn. 

2016 70 Scouts, Explorers and Leaders travel to Malaysia and Singapore for their annual summer camp.

2015 A Pack and B Pack are renamed Spitfire and Hurricane. Julie Findlay becomes Group Chair after Neil Findlay stands down to take on the role of District Commissioner. Due to the success of the Hook Beer Fest and trolley collecting at Chessington Garden Centre it is decided to no longer continue with the Christmas Fair as an annual fundraiser. Trevor Strong receives the Award for Merit and Stuart Thompson receives the Bar to the Silver Acorn.

2014 Fergus Lang becomes GSL after Chris Mould stands down and takes on the role of ACSL and Quartermaster. Roy Watts stands down as AGSL and Stuart Thompson steps down as ASL after 35 years and becomes AGSL. HQ car park is completely resurfaced. The group attends the District X-Camp at Polyapes celebrating 10 years of Royal Kingston District. The Troop & Explorers announce plans to run a trip to Malaysia and Singapore in 2016. Neil Findlay receives the Award for Merit.

2013 A big year as the group celebrates its 90th anniversary and the bands 75th anniversary with a number of events including New Years Eve parties, a formal dinner and a large group and family camp at Blacklands Farm. A group badge is permanently added to the back of the group scarf. The Troop and Explorers have their first international summer camp in a number of years at Kandersteg in Switzerland. Navaho Beavers is reopened with Anne-Marie as Beaver leader in addition to running Cheyenne. The band is one of the winners of the Brightsparks project and record a track for an album. Christine Menhennett receives the Chief Scouts Commendation for Good Service. Lucy Barden, Colin Stevenson, Sarah Yule and Paula Thompson receives Award for Merit. Sandra Newbery receives the Bar to the Award for Merit. 

2012 The Band plays at the Olympic Park during the opening weekend of the Paralympics.  The group start undertaking an annual fundraiser collecting trolleys at Chessington Garden Centre in December to raise funds as well as the profile of the group. Julie Shortland receives the Chief Scouts Commendation for Good Service. Jane Walker and Anne Bridger receive the Award for Merit. Shirley Edwards receives the Bar to the Award for Merit.

2011 Paula Thompson becomes Group Secretary taking over from Rachel Butler. Sandra Newbery steps down as SL and the Troop Leaders Collective (TLC) take over the running of the troop.

2010 First ever Hook Beer Festival is run as a fundraising event for the group and local charities organised by Neil Mclean. Neil Findlay becomes Group Chairman and Richard Hackett becomes Group Vice President. Sue Barden receives the Silver Acorn.

2009 Sandra Newbery takes over as SL after Andy Edwards steps down. Roy Watts and Sue Barden take on AGSL roles. Kevin Barden, Lesley Mould & Trevor Strong receive the Chief Scouts Commendation for Good Service. Graham Tucker, Andy Benham and Rachel Butler receive the Award for Merit. Ray Bridger & Neil Mclean receive Bar to the Award for Merit. Chris Mould receives Silver Acorn and Bob Bushell receives the Silver Wolf.

2008 The band takes part in a marching band festival in Portugal. Stuart Thompson receives the Silver Acorn. 

2007 Ivan Gideon takes over running of Apache Beavers from Sue Benham. District centenary camp is held at Polyapes to celebrate 100 years of Scouting. Chirs Rogers and Paula Thompson receive the Chief Scouts Commendation for Good Service. Anne-Marie Howells and Lynn Newman receive the Award for Merit and Carole Atkinson receives the Bar to the Award for Merit. 

2006 Chris Mould takes over as GSL as Clive Uridge steps down. Surbiton South ESU go to Ireland for their summer camp. Sandra Newbery receives the Award for Merit.

2005 Kieran Voong takes over the Explorer unit from Sam & Graham Peace. The Troop visit Brugge for a day trip whilst on summer camp.

2004 Amalgamation of Surbiton and Kingston & Malden Districts is accomplished under the leadership of District Commissioner Bob Bushell. Colin Stevenson takes on the role of Group Treasurer from Bob. Chris Mould moves from Scout Leader to Assistant Group Scout Leader and Andy Edwards returns to the group as Scout Leader with Roy Watts as ASL. Two minibuses have been acquired to provide the group transport for the foreseeable future. The group is saddened by the death of Phil Menhennet, Life President of the group. Former GSL, Tony Edwards, accepts the invitation to become the new Life President. Clive and Joan Uridge receive the Silver Acorn.

2003 Group 80th Anniversary celebrated with a Dinner/Dance at the Hilton Hotel, Cobham. Awards this year include the Chief Scouts Commendation presented to Maureen Smith and Fred Thompson; Medal of Merit to Group Chairman Peter Menhennett and Bar to Medal of Merit to Stuart Thompson. Decision taken to permanently dispose of group coach due to increased maintenance and running costs. Old style Scout uniform finally phased out in Dec 2003. The Group newsletter, the Green Scarf, is published and distributed electronically by Kevin Barden, as Fred & Betty Thompson step down after many years of production. The group website, initially set up and run by Graham Tucker, is also taken over and relaunched by Kevin Barden. Plans announced to amalgamate Surbiton and Kingston & Malden Scout Districts into one district in late 2004. Bob Bushell is confirmed as the DC of the new district. 

2002 The new training programme and changes to sections go ahead, with the introduction of Explorer Scouts for 14-18 year olds. The Scout Network for 18-25 year olds is also established. Plans are made to introduce a Young Fellowship at 1st Hook to help retain young adults within the group structure. Chris Mould takes on the role of Assistant Group Scout Leader (AGSL) as well as remaining Scout Leader and Transport Manager. Plans for Project 2003 to Romania are put on hold. Awards of the Medal of Merit go to Sue Barden, Shirley Edwards & Jed Gardiner; Chief Scouts Commendation to Ian Johnston, Janet Johnston & Jane Walker. The tragic death of David Carrick, former cub, scout, senior scout, scout leader, quartermaster and trustee, in a motorcycle accident, shocks the group. Barbara Thompson, Harry Chatfield, Wilf Sayer, Bill Thompson and Rev Frank Giles sadly pass away.

2001 Gradual transition to the new uniform and training programme begins. The band retain the title of National Champions at the last National Scout Marching Band Championships. Venture Scouts Christine Budhan & Lucy Barden take part in the GLSW Expedition to the Seychelles. Kay Emmerson is selected to take part in the World Jamboree in Thailand 2002 and Lucy Barden joins the Jamboree leadership team. Plans are made for Project 2003 - a group expedition to Romania to support scouting in a part of the world lacking resources. The group is saddened by the premature death of David Howells and the passing away of Alan Jones, Margaret Blythe, Bunny Gravett and Ivy Goodale.

2000 The Scout Association Programme Review Implementation introducing new uniforms and changes to section is announced, to be effective by 2002. District Millennium Camp at Polyapes takes place in May. 1st Hook Band take part in the Lord Mayor's Show and also become Borough Champions at the Kingston Youth Band Competition. David Sadler stands down as Venture Scout leader and is replaced by Justin Spanner. Harold Oakey, former Group Scout Master and Group Life President, dies, aged 92. Phil Menhennett takes on the office of Group Life President. A Long Service Award is presented to Anne Rogers (15 years); Chief Scouts Commendation to Carole Goble, Alan New and Brian Townsend; Medal of Merit to Chris Mould and Neil McLean; Silver Wolf to Tony Edwards.

1st Hook Scout Group History for the 20th Century

1999 Concerns over falling numbers of Beavers leads to the closure of the Navaho colony. B Pack Akela Carole Atkinson is awarded the Medal of Merit. The Group is awarded the County Commissioner's Standard for a further 3 year term. Increased concerns over safety during church parades leads to a reduction in their frequency and improved marshalling. Carole Goble is appointed as Group Secretary. Chris Mould takes over as Transport Manager from Alan New, who has looked after the group transport for nearly 20 years. Derek Spencer receives the Silver Acorn.

1998 New curtains are fitted in the hall thanks to the generous financial support of George Findlay and his Dance Club, and the Friendship Club both of which subscribed to the cost. Derek Spencer and Betty Thompson stand down as Treasurer and Secretary, respectively, after 21 and 24 consecutive years service. Bob Bushell takes over as Group Treasurer. The Venture Scout Unit visit Canada. David Sadler takes over as leader of the Venture Scout Unit from Colin Stevenson. Eileen Wilson, leader, supporter and friend to many sadly passes away. The Group is represented at the World Jamboree in Chile by Graham Baker and Lucy Barden.The Group celebrates its 75th Anniversary. Joan Uridge, Ray Bridger and Ann Rogers receive the Medal of Merit. Betty Thompson receives the Bar to the Medal of Merit.

1997 A new coach is bought for £12,337 and a minibus for £4,970. The Band again play at the Hampton Court Flower Show and also the London Marathon. New central heating boilers are installed at a cost of £2,000. Cis Steer retires as Leader of the Hook Friendship Club after 15 years and is succeeded by Maureen Smith. John Donaldson, County Commissioner and good friend of 1st Hook sadly passes away. The first 'adult' pantomime (Oklahoma!) is a huge success. Frank Carter – one time Scout Master for many years, sadly passes on. Susan Dean receives the Bar to the Medal of Merit.

1996 Coach breaks down on Summer Camp and has to be scrapped. Lottery application for funds is unsuccessful. Band become Supreme Marching Band Champions of the Scout Association and take part in the Queens Birthday Parade up The Mall. David Thompson stands down as Bandmaster and passes over the reins to Justin Spanner. Bob Bushell retires as District Commissioner. Clive Uridge becomes Group Scout Leader. The Venture Unit's performance of Sleeping Beauty plays to four packed houses. Fred Lovell, a long standing supporter and for many years our 'odd job man' sadly passes away. Margaret Meineck and Stuart Thompson receive the Medal of Merit. Bob Bushell receives the Silver Acorn and Tony Edwards receives the Bar to the Silver Acorn. Phillip Howell receives the Certificate for Meritorious Conduct.

1995 A momentous year for the Band. They win for the first time the Kingston Youth Band Championship and play at the Hampton Court Flower Show. In August they parade before thousands and the entire Royal Family as they take part in the VJ Tribute and Promise Parade down The Mall. They also, for the first time, lead the National Scout Parade of Queen Scouts on St George's Day at Windsor Castle. Chris Mould takes over as Scout Leader from Neil McLean. A Transport Fund is established to raise funds for a new coach and minibus.

1994 The Band become the Marching Band Champions of the Scout Association and again play in the Lord Mayor's Show and lead for the second year the Remembrance Parade through Windsor. Sue Barden takes over as Akela of 'A' Pack from Paula Thompson. Very long standing supporter, tireless fundraiser and friend, Audrey Menhennett sadly passes away. David Carrick receives the Medal of Merit.

1993 Once again we host our Danish friends. The joint band performs as a guest band at the Royal Tournament. 1st Hook Band takes part in the Lord Mayor's Show - the first time it does so without having to join forces with other bands. Harold Oakey appointed Life President of the Group. Another of our long standing friends and members, Dr. David May, sadly passes away. Reg Blythe, Jack Rogers and Clive Uridge receive the Medal of Merit.

1992 Apache Beaver Colony formed. Stage 3 completed and brought into use at a cost of some £80,000. Colin Stevenson takes over as Venture Scout Leader from Nigel Ling. Les Aggas, a member of the Group from the early days and one of the original trustees sadly passes away.

1991 The Group is opened to girls of all ages as 'Girls in Scouting' is given official clearance. Glad New, parent, supporter and BP Guild Chair and George Spencer, parent, supporter, minute secretary and Executive member sadly both pass away. Richard Hackett receives the Medal of Merit.

1990 The Troop, Venture Unit, Band and Guides visit Denmark. David Carrick takes on the role of Quartermaster assisted by Nobby Powell. Les Brown, former Bandmaster and supporter of the Group for many years, sadly passes away. Work on the stage 3 extension begins. Sue Bushell receives the Medal of Merit and Tony Edwards receives the Silver Acorn.

1989 A replacement coach is bought at a cost of £4,600. Uniform changes take effect - sweat shirts are in for the cubs but the scout beret and cub cap go. David Carrick stands down as Troop Leader. Bob Bushell receives the Medal of Merit.

1988 Once again we entertain our friends from Denmark. The Band celebrates its 50th birthday and perform as a guest band at the Royal Tournament. Venture Scouting is 21 years old. The gear boxes from both the coach and the lorry are stolen whilst they are parked within the HQ grounds! The lorry is repaired but the coach is scrapped. The roof of the HQ is replaced at a cost of £7,700.

1987 Harold Oakey celebrates his 80th Birthday. The Troop holds its Summer Camp in Holland. The Band achieves National Status Grade A at its annual inspection. Another of the stalwarts of the Group, George Winston, sadly passes away.

1986 Bob Bushell is appointed as District Commissioner for Surbiton District. David Thompson takes over as Bandmaster from Richard Hackett. We are all saddened by the deaths of three Group members; Mike Howe, an Asst. Scout Leader; Doug New, a long standing member of the Group who had held both Group and District appointments and Bill Richardson, former District and Borough Commissioner and great friend of the Group.

1985 Navaho Beaver Colony is formed. Tony Edwards is appointed District Commissioner of Kingston and Malden District. David Carrick takes over as Scout Leader from David Deane. Geoff Hodges and Cis Steer receive the Chief Scouts Commendation for Good Service. Peter Uridge receives the Medal of Merit.

1984 The Troop, Venture Unit and Band visit Denmark. Phil Menhennett retires as County Commissioner. Tony Edwards retires as Group Scout Leader. Initial plans for the stage 3 extension to the HQ are drawn up. Susan Dean, Ray Eades, George Spencer and Betty Thompson receive the Medal of Merit. Roy Dack, Robert Powell and Derek Spencer receive the Bar to the Medal of Merit. Marguerite White receives the Silver Acorn.

1983 The first Beaver Colony for 6 to 8 year olds is formed and named 'Cheyenne'. Members of the 1st Hook Guides are invited to join the band. We host the Kibaek Tambourkorps for the second time. The Group celebrates its 60th Anniversary with a family camp and a Dinner Dance. Marguerite White stands down as Akela of 'B' Pack after 25 years service. She is succeeded by Wendy House who in 1984 hands over to Carole Atkinson.

1982 The Band again takes part in the Lord Mayor’s Show as part of the County Band. The new Chief Scout, Maj. Gen. Sir Michael Walsh, visits the HQ for a Troop Night and watches the Venture Unit preparing for its first pantomime.

1981 The Group holds its first 'Auction Sale'. The Venture Unit camp in Delft, Holland. Roy Dack stands down as Akela of 'A' Pack Cubs after 25 years . Three long standing supporters of the Group sadly pass away - Frank Carrick, Bill Sapsed and Don Taylor.

1980 Phil Menhennett appointed as County Commissioner. The Troop visit Holland. Ann Thorne – ex ACM 'B' Pack cubs sadly passes away at an early age. Tony Edwards receives the Medal of Merit.

1979 The Band visits Denmark. The Group acquires its first coach and a van. Derek Spencer receives the Medal of Merit.

1978 The Band plays in the Lord Mayor's Show as part of the County Band. The first female members are invested into the Venture Unit. The Group acquires its own transport - a minibus. The Group plays host to the Kibaek Tambourkorps from Denmark

1977 The BP Guild loses its separate identity. Lord Baden Powell - Grandson of the Founder - attends the Groups 'Display'

1976 Stewart Hall receives the Silver Acorn and Phil Menhennett receives the Silver Wolf.

1975 The new HQ opens - the re-building has cost £45,000. Glad New and Robert Powell receive the Medal of Merit. Audrey Menhennett receives the Silver Acorn.

1974 Phil Menhennett retires as Group Scout Leader and is succeeded by Tony Edwards. Ralph Oakey, for many years the leader of the Rover Crew passes away. The re-building of the HQ begins with Stages 1 and 2 being built. The Group runs its first charity shop in Kingston. Roy Dack and David Meineck receive the Medal of Merit.

1973 The Group celebrates it's 50th Anniversary with a Group Camp at Walton Firs, Commemorative Church Parade and Dinner Dance at Surbiton Assembly Rooms.

1972 The Troop spend their Easter Camp at Feignes in France.A Cine Film recording the very 'damp' experience was enjoyed for many years but has now been lost.

1970 The Group acquires its own printing machine.

1969 Colin Smith, for many years the Rover Crew Leader and a stalwart of the Group, sadly passes on.

1968 'A' Pack cubs win the Surbiton District Swimming Gala - again! Jack Wilson receives the Medal of Merit. Doug New receives the Silver Acorn.

1967 Band enters the National Scout Band Championships and wins three trophies. The Summer Fete is revived. 'A' Pack cubs win the Surbiton District Swimming Gala. Phil Menhennett receives the Silver Acorn.

1966 New band equipment - 6 side drums and 12 single valve bugles - are purchased for £280! The Senior Scouts visit Holland.

1964  The Rover/Guild den is officially opened. Skipper Oakey retires after 30 years and is succeeded as Group Scout Master by Phil Menhennett. Skipper is appointed ‘Honorary Group Scout Master’. A new Scout County of Greater London South West is formed - Phil Menhennett is appointed Asst. County Commissioner for Scouts.

1963 Operation Touchdown’ camp held at Walton Firs Campsite forthe Scouts with the cubs gathered on Epsom Downs. The Chief Scout - Sir Charles Maclean visits but dreadful weather conditions spoil the events.

1962 The Rover Crew is presented with the Surrey County Standard at Guildford Cathedral for winning the County Competition.

1961 An ex-army hut from Richmond Park is purchased and erected at the rear of the HQ to provide a new Rover/Guild Den.

1960 Colin Smith re-forms the Rover Crew. The Guild of Old Scouts camps at Norwood Farm. Harold Oakey receives the Silver Acorn.

1959 Skipper Oakey celebrates 25 years of leadership with the Group.

1957 The Troop Leader and two Asst. Scout Masters attend the World Jamboree in Sutton Coldfield. Hospitality given to Canadian Scouts attending the Jamboree.

1956 Eileen Wilson (nee Newark) stood down as leader of 'A' Pack Cubs - Roy Dack takes over.

1955 Phil Menhennett (Mr M) takes over as Scout Master leaving Skipper as Group Scout Master.

1954 The first Scouter's Dinner is held in the HQ.

1953 The Group became an 'Open Group' having until now been formally linked to St Paul's Church. Ralph Oakey receives the Medal of Merit.

1951 The HQ is opened on 22 September and a Grand Fete held to celebrate. The Guild of Old Scouts is formed.

1950 Plans for our first HQ on the Verona Drive site are passed and building work begins.

1949 The senior scouts camp in Jersey under the leadership of Jack Wilson and Harry Chatfield (courtesy of Alf Ashbourne GSM, St Helier Sea Scouts and founder member of 1st Hook).

1948 Meetings return to the Parish Hall. A Senior Troop (15 - 18 yrs) is formed.

1947 The Band is re-formed. The Troop spend Summer camp at Milford on Sea where trapped rabbits go some way to eke out the meat rations.

1945 The war ends and Skipper returns to once again take up the reigns as Scout Master from ‘Gaffer’ Horton. The Rover Crew is re-formed under the leadership of Ralph Oakey.

1944 Flying bomb attacks begin and evacuation leaves group numbers low for a short time but all meetings continue.

1943 Dickie Cole, the founder of the Group, dies.

1941 An Air Scout troop formed under the leadership of Wilf Sayer. The Founder of Scouting, Lord Baden Powell dies. Harold Oakey receives the Medal of Merit.

1940 Skipper Oakey called up and Gaffer Horton takes over as Scout Master. Tents have to be camouflaged. The Parish Hall is turned into a British Restaurant and scout meetings are moved to Tolworth Central Hall (now known as Tolworth Girls School).

1939 The outbreak of the war temporarily stopped all meetings. The land purchased in 1938 now let out for allotments. Anti-gas measures form part of weekly meetings once they resume. The Group sets about collecting waste paper to help the war effort as well as raise funds for the new HQ.

1938 The Band is formed. For 1/6d per hour a local TA unit member provides 2 hours training a week. The land the HQ currently occupies was purchased by the Group for the sum of £178!

1937 A Group Committee is founded and a 'Display' held. Plans are made for an HQ 60’ x 25’

1936 The Group starts a 'Building Fund' to raise enough money to buy its own HQ.

1935 The Troop's numbers have grown to 27 and they win the Tipkee Flag and Cup.

1934 Harold Oakey becomes Scout Master and is christened 'Skipper'. There are 12 boys in the Troop!

1925 The first of many Rover Dinners is held on November 5th

1924 The Rover Crew (18 to 25 yrs) is formed under the leadership of Alf Ashborne

1923 Official registration of 1st Hook Scout Group under the leadership of Dickie Cole. A cub pack is also formed to join the Troop which it is thought to have been meeting - unregistered - since 1909

The Hook Yell

The below information was relayed to Peter Menhennett former Group Chairman by Harold “Skipper” Oakey the first Scout Master and one of the founding members of 1st Hook.

In the early days of the group, which at the time met at the church hall in hook road, the rover crew were the mainstay of the group. They used to attend a large county rover camp at Ranmore Common every year, with the normal practice of walking from Hook with all the camping gear on a trek cart up to Ranmore Common and pitch their tents along each side of the roadway. However as each crew arrived from Richmond or Kingston they would shout their own yell to let everyone know who was arriving. Hook rover crew did not have a yell so Skipper made one up based on his old school chant from Rutlish school at Raynes Park.

The other reason Skipper mentioned was that at the time Hook was not winning anything and so he went around to the other groups and found out that it was the supporters that shouted these yells with and to the Scouts that pushed them on to win things. So along with the yell there was also a small green ribbon with a hook that was worn by supporters to show that they were with Hook. Skipper by this time with the help of the other founder members, one of which was his brother Ralph, had gone to each of the parents and involved them to run social events such as dances to fundraise.

Skipper said that the yell was always to be used at the following events:

It was shouted in such a way that by modern standards it could and was taken by some as a sign of arrogance by those who were not in the group. But for those in the group it was sheer pride at being part of a winning team. It was perhaps that success that saw a downturn of the use of the yell, for it was very demoralizing for those groups at competitions to be beaten and then hear the victors shouting their own name louder than anyone else could.

In recent years (2010+) there has been a resurgence of the use of the Hook yell. It is taught to all sections within the group and is still used to mark significant awards and achievements, thanks & appreciation and at campfires.

H. O. O. K. - HOOK





H. O. O. K. - HOOK!!

Our HQ

The following was recorded from a conversation Peter Menhennett former group chairman had with Robert “Nobby “ Powell along with three other ex 1st Hook scouts. This story was originally relayed to Nobby by George Winstone (famous for his Rover Dinner joke telling).

One of the first buildings used by 1st Hook was a wooden barn next to the Harrow Pub at Chessington. This would have been after the split from St Paul’s Church, when the group stopped using the Church Hall and went out on its own. Scouting was started in 1907 by Baden Powell and this barn was used about 1908 which was well before our recorded history as the group only registered officially in 1923. Apparently the owner of the pub loaned it as a meeting and storage place. It was accidentally burnt down, some say deliberately, to gain permission for the current pub building where the car park is. 

After that time around the mid 1940’s a building which has also been demolished was used to store the camping gear. This was located at the junction of the Hook Road and Priory Road where George Winstone lived, on what is now a large flower bed. I always wondered why the road junction was so wide. Apparently during the war this bit of land held a large Air Raid Warden Shelter made of brick and concrete, so after the war about 1946 it was empty and we had the chance to store things there until our present land was developed.

The reason we wanted storage space was that our current land and the original corrugated building had been commandeered for the war effort, so the group could not use it during the war years. Prior to the war the steel roof was up but no ends built, so it was used as a storage shed for building materials, possibly for the Kent Way prefabricated houses. This may be the reason for our funny drainage system but that is another story.


Nobby had been with the group starting as a cub in 1942, when his Akela was Peggy London. Peggy went on to marry Phil Gray who was a stalwart of the post war Rover Crew. They had three sons, Ian, Gerald and Colin who went through the group. Phil Gray had a building business, called Slade Gray at the back of the shops at the Ace of Spades by Middleton’s Laundry next to our HQ land. 

Phil had a secretary named Joyce Chinnick who lived in Tolworth Avenue and was a Cub leader with 'C' Pack. She and her husband Ron were instrumental in forming the Badminton Club which used to meet on Sunday afternoons and Monday evenings (after Band), now Wednesdays. Joyce was on the original Scouters Dinner Committee and only left the Group when Ron's job took them to live in the USA. Nearby was the Stickley coal yard, which was opposite the Harold Oakey Grocery shop. These family names are all strongly connected with the group’s history. So the land we now have had strong local connections.

The Green Scarf

The green scarf was the groups newsletter that was produced by the group to keep members and supporters informed about the activities within the sections and group as a whole 3 times a year.  To keep up to date with current events and activities within the group please check out our facebook page. Past editions to the Green Scarf dating back to January 2003 can be viewed below.