Chapter 2.

Chapter 2.

The Early Years

1908 -1926

This chapter deals with the period to 1926, when Sale became a separate Association from Altrincham. Each Group is shown separately as, apart from 1st Brooklands, not a great deal of detail is known.

1st Sale Scout Troop

This Troop was formed in May 1908 by William Browning (who was said to be the first Secretary of Manchester Scouts) and was originally known as Sale Congregational Scouts. They were attached to Roebuck Lane Mission, which was part of Sale Congregational Church in Montague Road. They wore dark green shirts, and their Neckerchiefs were emerald and black.

The original leaders were:—

Scoutmaster                         William Browning

Adjutant                                  G. Dixon

Assistant Scoutmasters G. Williamson

E.P. Veitch

A.P. Veitch

There were 23 members, exclusive of officers, and the Troop was open to all boys between 11 and 18 years of age, who were members of the Sunday School at Roebuck Lane Mission.

Meeting night for “practice” was originally on Monday between 7.00 and 9.00pm but changed to Friday, then Wednesday and back to Monday by 1913. The Financial Statement in 1913 showed an amount of £10.13s.8d and expenses included — wheels for cart £1.12s.4d., camp equipment 12s.0d and camp equipment carriage 6s.0d.

The Troop attended the first Manchester Rally at White City having marched with thousands of other Scouts from Albert Square, Manchester. They also attended the Rally at Windsor in 1911. They appeared in the first registration of Altrincham District in 1911 and were still in existence when Sale District was formed in 1926.

There were two other patrols of Scouts in Sale in 1908 — one from Ashton—upon—Mersey led by Patrol Leader A.Crosby Junior and the other from Sale Moor had Headquarters in Sale New Hall in Fairy Lane. Both these patrols attended the first Manchester Rally but had ceased to exist by 1926.



1st Brooklands Scout Group

1st Brooklands Group was formed in January 1909 and is the only Group that existed before Sale District broke away from Altrincham to have continued to operate until today — 81 years of continuous existence !

The boys met originally around a lamppost in Marsland Road, near Brogden Grove and, as was the custom, found their own Scoutmaster, Mr. J.E. Chick. Very soon after, they moved to the cellar of Brogden House, Brogden Grove, owned by Mr. E.H. Turner, who succeeded Mr. Chick as Scoutmaster in 1911. They later had a short spell of meeting at Barkers Lane Council School, before moving to a large loft in Wycliffe Place behind Atcheson’s Garage in Washway Road. Under the loft was a smithy and a good deal of smoke and smut penetrated to the loft so that Scout Night was always bath night as well !

In 1920 it was decided that the Group should have its own Headquarters and the initial finance was raised by an exhibition in Sale Town Hall, opened by Colonel May, Secretary of the Manchester Association of Scouts. The prime mover behind the exhibition was Mr. S.H. James, who by that time had become joint Scoutmaster with Mr. S.T. Hovell, A piece of land was obtained in Eaton Road and building commenced in 1921. All the work was done by members of the Group and friends and the Headquarters was eventually opened on 15th December 1923 by the Earl of Stamford. This building was in use until 1975 when their present headquarters was built.

1st Brooklands was shown on the original registration of Altrincham District having Mr. S H. James as Scoutmaster, Charles Cadman as Assistant Scoutmaster, Miss Stubbs as Cubmaster and Miss Fox as her assistant. There were 12 Scouts and 18 Cubs.

When the Troop and Pack were first registered in 1919, there were three joint Scoutmasters: S.T. Hovell, H. Hamnett and S.H. James and A. Cave was their assistant. The Cubs were still run by Miss Stubbs. The numbers were :— Scouts 28, Rovers 10, Cubs 24.

Members of the Troop attended the Windsor Rally on 4th July 1911 and at the Birmingham Rally in 1913 won their present Troop colours in an open international signalling competition, the team consisting wholly of King’s Scouts. They also attended the Imperial Conference of Wolf Cub Workers at Manchester Grammar School on 19/20 July 1919.

In July and August 1920, they attended the first International Jamboree at Olympia and Richmond Park, London. In 1924, they attended the first Empire Scout Camp at Wembley also in 1924 they were represented at the second International Jamboree in Copenhagen, by Tom Marriott—Moore as ASM and Scouts Jack and Tom Bowen.

Gordon Turner of 1st Brooklands became the first King’s Scout in the Altrincham Association and also won the Silver Wolf which at that time was awarded for outstanding merit and high character. Jim Hodgson gained the first Gold Cords in Cheshire. At the Annual Meeting of the Manchester Association held on 26th November 1921, Scout Wilson was presented with the Silver Cross by Lord Hampton.

1st Brooklands won several sporting trophies in the period before 1926, whilst still in the Altrincham Association. These included the Junior Tug-of-War in 1920 and 1921, the Senior Shield for Swimming at the Gala at Sale Baths in 1921 and the Commissioner‘s Challenge Flag in 1924.

During the First World War, twelve Scouts acted as coast-watchers at Sunderland and in 1918 an Air Raid Patrol was formed to help the Police. Several other activities took place during the war, such as distributing Air Raid Warning Bells, assisting at a War Bond Parade, giving out Ration Notices, Hospital Orderly Duties, collecting wastepaper etc.

1st Brooklands also took part in many other local activities like the Annual Armistice Parade and service at the Palace Theatre, Sale Carnival Procession, and the Exhibition of Scoutcraft at Sale Technical School in April 1921.

In 1921, Lord Egerton visited their Headquarters and agreed to be their Patron and on 15th October 1922 BADEN—POWELL was persuaded to visit their Headquarters and signed the Logbook.

This covers very briefly the activities of 1st Brooklands prior to 1926 and apologies are given for those items not included due to lack of space. More will be heard of 1st Brooklands in the post 1926 period.

1st Sale and Ashton Scout Group

This Group was formed in 1912 and replaced a Group of British Boy Scouts — a rival movement at that time.

They first met in the old fustian mill over the houses in a street called “Cabbage Row” off Egerton Street off, Chapel Road. Fustian is a rough material similar to jute and was used for sacking etc. It was worked by individuals as a home industry. The attic over these houses had large windows which were ideal for the process. This area of Sale was a very “dark” area and outsiders who visited had to be very careful. Later they moved to “The Shanty” in Dargle Road and in 1918 to the Township School in School Road. The first Scoutmaster, Mr. G.B. Wood, was assisted by Mr. G.E. Wood but after a disagreement with the committee they left and Frank Rossiter, who had been an instructor, took over as Scoutmaster in 1914, with S.H. James as assistant.

They also had an Honorary Scoutmaster, Mr. R.M. Stuart, who was seriously paralysed but worked “like two horses” and, with his wife, inspired everyone in the Group. Frank Rossiter went on to be the first Chairman of Sale District, and subsequently its President. He was also District Scoutmaster of the Altrincham Association from 1921 to 1923.

They obviously had connections with the Territorials in the Drill Hall which was nearby (where the car park to the Civic Theatre now is) because Frank Rossiter was a Sergeant Major and they had as Patron Lieutenant G.C. Hamilton M.P. They put on a Scout play at a concert with other Sale Troops at St. Mary’s Hall and won several events in Altrincham Association sports in 1921. They had ceased to exist by 1926 when Sale District was formed.

1st Ashton Troop

This Troop was formed in May 1914 by George Royle of the 1st Sale and Ashton Troop. It was sponsored by the. Independent Methodist Church in Glebelands. Road whose Minister was Mr. Blackburn. Mr. H. Hamnett was Chairman of the Troop Committee. The Troop started in Chapel Road, but‘ in 1915 it moved to the Mission in Finney Bank Road, later moving to the church premises in Glebelands Road. In 1917 they occupied a stable in York Road. The opening ceremony was attended by 2nd Sale and Scouts from Manchester Boy and Girl Refuges and Homes. In 1928 it moved to the mission in Glebelands Road where it remained until it ceased to exist in about 1934. A Cub section was formed in 1927 under Miss F. Anderson and this section continued after the Scouts faded out in 1928. The original Scoutmasters were J.J. Hawkins and Mr. Sherratt. D. Rostron took over the Scouts in about 1925 with Jimmy Hampson and J.W. Rostron as assistants. They wore green shirts with a brown necker, but by 192B their neckers had changed to light green.

Little is known of their early activities as there is no mention of them in the Church records. but we do know they attended a joint Church Parade with 1st Brooklands at the Independent Methodist Church on 4th May 1924 and in the same year camped at Aber.

They attended. an Armistice Service in the Palace Theatre in 1925 and the District Sw1mming Gala in 1927.

At the District “Scoutcraft” Exhibition on 28th April 1928 the Cubs put on an item called “Singing Game” but the Scouts had closed down by this time.

2nd Sale Troop

This Troop was formed in 1914 by Mr. S.H. James of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank in Northenden Road, Sale. It was sponsored by Sale Wesley Chapel in School Road and the Scouts met in the Sunday School Room at the rear of the Chapel. This Chapel was demolished to make way for the shopping Precinct, the Chapel moving to The Avenue.

Mr. James was assisted by Mr.Hamnet.t, known later as ‘Pop’ and he was a stalwart with the Rover Section in Sale being Assistant District Commissioner(Rovers) from 1930 for twenty years or more.

Mr. James, after several years as Scouter, became Scoutmaster of a Troop at Henshaw’s Institute for the Blind in Old Trafford.

The Troop was nicknamed the “Chocolate Creams” because they wore chocolate-coloured jerseys and white neckerchiefs.

Little is known of their activities because the chapel records are not complete, but they did participate in a Parents Social at St. Anne’s School with 1st Brooklands and 3rd Sale and Ashton in 1919 and they collected paper during the war. On the 12th May 1917 they presented a Union Flag to the Scout Troop at Manchester Boy and Girl Refuges and Homes and conducted several Scouts’ Owns there. They also took them to the opening of 1st Ashton Headquarters in York Road.

Soon after this, because of lack of support from the sponsors, they operated jointly with 1st Brooklands and in 1920 they disbanded — the boys joining 1st Brooklands together with their Scouters.

A photograph is in existence showing this Troop and the 1st Sale and Ashton Troop parading on Empire Day 1916 — this belonged to Hewitt Sumner who appears as a boy in the photograph and later became Assistant Scoutmaster at 1st Brooklands for many years, the only others recognised in the photograph are the two Scouters, despite appeals in the local press.

2nd Ashton Scout Group

This Group was originally founded in 1917 but the first phase of their existence only lasted a short while and eventually they ran jointly with the 1st Sale and Ashton Group. When they disbanded in 1919, the boys joined 1st Brooklands. They were always connected with St. Mary’s Church and the founder was Rev. T. Eaton McCormick with the curate Dudley E. Sturt as Chaplain. Their first meeting place was the Parish Hall in Harboro Road. Mr. S.T. Hovell, who was a well—known figure in the district for many years, was connected with the Group in those early days, probably as Scoutmaster although no records of his warrant as such exist.

The Group was started up again in 1924 and was registered on the 23rd July of that year. Mr. R.W. Ashby was Scoutmaster, Mr. H. Yates was Cubmaster and H. Wilkinson, and R.P. Bannister were Assistant Scoutmasters. They had a temporary headquarters in Sandiway Road. There is a record of them attending a parade starting from British Legion Headquarters for the Armistice Service in 1926.

This Group is still in existence today and more will be heard of them in the post — 1926 period.

3rd Sale and Ashton Group

This Group was formed from the former Tiger patrol of 2nd Sale Troop in 1921 and was sponsored by the Ashton-upon-Mersey Congregational Church in Park Avenue. These boys were members of Ashton-upon-Mersey Congregational Church and had joined 2nd Sale in 1917. Once again, a minister of the church was active in the Group, the Rev. W.A. Powicke being Scoutmaster and Cubmaster in the early days.

They joined a parent social at St. Anne’s School with 1st Brooklands and 2nd Sale Troops and were shown in the census return for the Altrincham Association in 1921. They also attended the Altrincham Association Church Parade with 1st Brooklands in that year.

There are records of them camping with the Bulldog Patrol of 1st Brooklands in 1921 and later that Year camping at Brackendene following a camp of 1st Brooklands.

Not long after this support fell away and although they were still in existence in 1926, they had ceased to exist by 1928. 


The camp site was the residence of the District Commissioner for Altrincham Association at the time, Mr. Assheton Clegg. The house is on the right-hand side of Charcoal Road, Dunham Massey, if you travel from the traffic lights on the main Chester Road. The garden is well-known in the spring for the “hosts” of daffodils. The camp site was across the road in the Paddock . 

3rd Sale Group

There is little known of this Group prior to 1926 except that it was founded in 1920 and was sponsored by St. Paul’s Mission in Dargle Road. Their Scoutmaster and Cubmaster was Mr. J. Stuart and they met in the cellar of the Mission church. They Wore Green shirts and brown neckers.

They were recorded ‘in the Altrincham Association census of 1921 and were still in existence in 1926.

4th Sale and Ashton

This group was registered on 20th June 1921 although it was founded in 1920. They were sponsored by the Trinity Wesleyan Chapel in Northenden Road at this time and met in the Church Hall at the back of the Chapel. Mr. H.J Harbourne was Scoutmaster and Cubmaster and was assisted by Messrs A.E. Penny, H Almond, S. Simpson, N. Bridgeford and A. Greenwood in the period up to 1926.

They appeared in the Altrincham Association Census  of 1921and attended the Armistice Service at the Palace Theatre in 1925. This Group prospered in the Post – 1926 Period and was still in existence until very recently.

2nd Sale & Ashton

There is some confusion between this group and 1st Sale Group because both were sponsored by the Roebuck Lane Mission of Sale Congregational Church. 2nd Sale was founded in 1920 by the Rev. J.E. Stephenson who was Scoutmaster, assisted by Messrs. W. Fairclough, E.H. Lueder and R.W. Ashby. The Cubmaster was Miss. N.J. Fox. On the 7th August 1921 their colours were dedicated at Sale  Congregational Church by the Rev. T. Webster and later that month took part in Sale Carnival Procession, they wore blue shirts and grey neckerchiefs and appeared in the Altrincham Association Census in 1921. In 1922 they had 18 Scouts and 8 Cubs — these numbers remained the same in 1923. They had ceased to exist by1926.

1st Sale Moor

This Group was formed in 1925 by Mr. C.L. Hankey who became their first Scoutmaster. They were sponsored by St.Anne’s Church, Church Road. off Northenden Road and met in the Church Hall near the Church.

Mr. H. Allsop was Group Scoutmaster and Mr. T.C. Chor1ton succeeded Mr. Harkey as Scoutmaster in 1927, having been his assistant before that. They attended the Armistice Service in the Palace Theatre in 1925 and were still active in 1926.