St John’s (14th Farnworth) Scouts Closed in April 2017

What have we been up to?

On Saturday 3rd November I was honoured to be invited to Westminster Abbey to celebrate my 40 years as a Brownie Guider.  I had a brilliant day. James accompanied me as my guest , thinking that it would be like when Auntie Betty got her MBE and that he would be meeting the Queen again. I told him there may be a bag check and he immediately replied, “OH NO! Do they not know what Guiders carry in their handbags ? The Service will be over before we get in!

Whilst queuing outside the Abbey I heard someone say they were from Clitheroe and turned round to see Hylda from Waddow Hall who I first met on my first Pack Holiday aged 6 1/2 years old. This was Norma’s Test Pack Holiday for her Licence, back in 1966. It made my day that Hylda was there as she was part of my very first memories of being a Brownie.

It was a very moving and emotional service, especially when a 16 year Venture Scout , a with Lymphoedema, told the congregation how Scouting had changed her life and that she had been accepted by everyone as a normal person and treated the same as everyone else for the first time in her life. It brought a tear to my eye.

I reflected on everyone who has encouraged and influenced me throughout my Guiding Life, so many wonderful people some of whom, alas, are no longer with us. I hope that the many girls who have been Brownies under my care during the past 40 years still remember the life skills and values we shared together.

Susan Stevens.

These two pictures are of the last of the scout troup which closed in the 1st week of April 2017

St George's Day Service at St John's Church on Sunday 27th April 2014.

Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, from Bolton South with Farnworth District took part in the St George's Day Parade, which started at 2.00pm at the Cenotaph in Farnworth Park. They then paraded up Market Street, turning left onto Church Street, before being welcomed at St John Church.  The service was conducted by Rev'd Carol Pharaoh and was attended by over 230 members of the Scout movement, friends and parents.

During the service Johnny Lewis, who has been involved in Scouting for over 70 years, was presented with the 'Silver Wolf,' the highest award in Scouting, by Colin Hilton.  All the Beavers from the newly formed 12th Bolton (Rosehill) Beavers were invested.

Keith Entwistle - Leader in Charge

Thankyou to John Entwistle for the photos.

14th Farnworth (St John’s) Scouts in the Early 1960’s

Photographs Courtesy of Derek Ainsworth.

I joined the cubs probably in 1959 and then moved onto the scouts around 1961.

We used St Johns Ground Floor School Hall for Troop meetings. We also had a room in the basement for storage.

We went on a number of Scout Camps locally at Middlewood and Giants Seat.

We camped at a place called Rowen, near Conway in North Wales on three or four occasions.

The Scoutmaster was Eric Wilkinson at the time I was in the scouts and the Assistant leader was Norman Jackson. They were also assisted by Captain Burles, who was a Church Army Captain.

We had many Gang Shows, which were held in the First Floor School Hall. I appeared in all of these. The shows were directed by Bill Riley and the pianist was Frank Tattersall.

Derek Ainsworth

Our Scouts' History

14th Farnworth (St John's) Scout Canal Boat Adventure in 1989

Scouters Keith Entwistle and Peter Smith embarked on a week long canal boat trip with 9 scouts in the summer of 1989.  They travelled to start their boat journey at the canal basin before the Ponteysylite Aqueduct in North Wales, at the junction of the Shropshire Union and Llangollan Canal.  One photograph shows them sailing over the aqueduct at Chirk.  Two days were set aside for a mini bus to meet the canal boat at set locations along the Shropshire Union Canal.  They travelled to the River Dee where they enjoyed Kayaking and building their own raft.

The 14th Farnworth Scout's display at the 'Waterloo Open Weekend at St John's Church on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th October 2015.

The 14th Farnworth Scouts display at the church's 'Heritage Open Days' celebrating the 180th Birthday of St John's Church. It was held from Saturday 9th September to Tuesday 12th September 2006.

Beavers, Cubs and Scouts ‘Flower Festival’ Display September 2001.

The  14th Farnworth (St John’s) Beavers, Cubs and Scouts sponsored a floral arrangement, depicting the hymn ‘O Jesus I Have Promised’, at the church’s Flower Festival celebrating the 175th birthday of St John’s Church.  The event was held from Friday 7th September to Sunday 9th September 2001. 

 14th Farnworth (St John’s) Scout Group

The Scout Group was very active during the year with eight Beavers, eight Cubs and five Scouts. We also had five leaders/helpers.

They were involved in a variety of activities such as map reading, knot work, cooking, crafts, first aid and a hike. However, as the year went on, numbers began to decrease and we lost leaders and helpers as well. We contacted several people who had expressed interest in joining the group but unfortunately this did not materialise.

After Christmas we were down to FIVE members with 1 leader and 1 helper.  The District Commissioner was aware of our situation and came to discuss our plight.  He reluctantly concluded that we would have to close the group, particularly as there was no ‘back-up’ committee in place.

It was with great sadness, that after so many years, 14th Farnworth (St John’s) Scout Group would close and for the first time since 1954, there will be no scout group associated with St John’s church.

Yours in Scouting,

Graham and Heather

Church Magazine May 2017

It is with great sadness to report the death of a former (14th Farnworth) St John’s Group Scout Leader, Colin Hilton, on 6th October 2019.

Colin attended St John’s School and Church.  He joined the 14th Farnworth St John’s Cubs (there were no Beavers in those days) in 1955 and never left the Scout Movement. He became a Scout and gained the ‘Queens Scout’ award, before becoming St John’s Scout Leader, Group Scout Leader and Farnworth District Commissioner.

Colin was instrumental in setting up the first ‘Beaver Colony’ in the district, at St John’s in 1982.  

Throughout his service to the movement, he organized many Gang Shows, Scout Camps and encouraged hundreds of Scouts to work towards their scouting badges and achievements.

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