THE PRE-WAR YEARS
1926 — 1939
This chapter deals with the period when Sale became a separate Association from Altrincham in 1926, to the beginning of the Second World War in 1939.
It is based on the District (or Association as it was known at that time) and is dealt with year by year.
This was a period of great development and started with the following report appearing in the Sale & Stretford Guardian in November 1925, following a meeting of the Altrincham Boy Scouts Association, of which, at the time, Sale formed a part.
For some considerable time, it had been felt that it would be to the advantage of Scouting in Sale and Ashton-upon—Mersey District for a separate Local Association to be formed for that area. This having been approved by the Commissioner for East Cheshire the following resolution was submitted and passed —” That a separate Association be formed for the Troops and Packs in the Sale area, the boundary between the two Associations being that of the Sale and Ashton-upon-Mersey Urban Districts’ “Thus a separate Association for “Sale and District” came into being, the first meeting of the new body being held on 13th inst., at which official appointments necessary were made”. A further report in the same paper appeared on Friday 13th November 1925 — “Scouting is an active interest in the District, and the District Commissioner is about to form a Local Association, for which purpose a meeting of all Scout Officers and supporters is to be held in the 1st Brooklands Headquarters, Eaton Road, tonight (Friday) to formally elect officers etc. This will be an epoch in the history of the local Movement and it is hoped will awaken still more public interest in the aims and ideals of Scouting”.
The first District Commissioner of Sale was Mr. W. King B.A. —”Billie”, who was Headmaster of Sale High School for Boys. The following officers were elected: Chairman — F. Rossiter (who had been District Scoutmaster in Altrincham 1921 — 1923), Hon.Treasurer — R.H. Atkins. Hon.Secretary — ‘l‘. Marriott-Moore Jnr., 57 Mersey Road, Ashton-upon-Mersey (Tom was a member of 1st Brooklands Group and played an important role in establishing several new groups in Sale).
Following the Inaugural meeting a registration form was completed and approved by the District Commissioner for Altrincham Association on the 18th November 1925. This form was sent to Scout Headquarters in London and the registration approved on 13th January 1926.
The following details were shown on this registration form:—
Chairman – Frank Rossiter Snr., “Redcroft”, Carrington Lane, Ashton-upon-Mersey.
Hon. Secretary – Thomas Marriott Moore Jnr., 57 Mersey Rd, Ashton-upon-Mersey.
Details of Association
S.M. Name & Address
1st Brooklands (Scouts)
4, Beech Villas, Beech Road, Sale
1st Brooklands (Rovers)
20, Cross Street, Sale
27 Lansdowne Road, Sale
14 Linley Road, Sale
H. Wilkinson (Scouts)
R. Bannister (Rovers)
3rd Sale & Ashton
Salopia, Sibson Road, Sale
4th Sale & Ashton
90 Marsland Road, Sale
1st Sale Moor
Heatherlea, Marlboro Road, Sale
Wolf Cub Packs
Miss M. Pilkington
183 Marsland Road, Sale
3rd Sale & Ashton
Endcliffe Park Avenue,
This was the beginning of Sale and District Boy Scouts Local Association. Another important event which happened during the inaugural period was the visit of the Chief Scout’s Commissioner, Major Lord Hampton D.S.O., D.L , on Saturday 14th November 1925. After being greeted with the Grand Howl by the Cub Packs of Altrincham and Sale at the Baptist Schoolroom, Hale Road, Altrincham, he proceeded to the 1st Brooklands Headquarters where he met the Scouts and Rovers of both Altrincham and Sale Association. En-route he opened the new Headquarters of the 2nd Ashton Troop behind All Saints’ Church in Somerset Place off Mersey Road.
In 1926 the Scout Association appeared in the Sale Directory and Yearbook. The entry gave details of the membership and aims of the Movement together with a list of the District Officials and details of all the Troops and Packs.
During the year, the first annual sports was held and made a profit of 15/6d !! There was also a showing of the Scout film “Tenderfoot Tim” at Sale Palace Theatre on Ashton Lane (more familiarly known as the “Bug Hut”). In September the District Commissioner, Mr. W. King formed a new Troop at his school, and it was named 5th Sale and Ashton (Sale High School). The Scoutmaster was Mr. B.G. Parker, and he was assisted by Messrs. W.H. Atkinson, R. Parker and F.M. Jones. The Cub Pack was formed at the end of that year with Tom Marriott-Moore as Cubmaster and his “wife to be” Miss. M.T. Grant as assistant. The Headquarters was at the school in Poplar Grove. Their uniform consisted of gold neckers and navy-blue shirts.
In October the first Association Annual General Meeting was held, and the existing officers were re-elected with Mr. H.K. Pilkington as Badge Secretary, Mr.H.Yates as District Cubmaster and Mr. H. Hamnett as District Scoutmaster.
1927 was a year of further development during which two new Troops were formed and one was abandoned.
3rd Ashton was formed by Mr. J. Hampson, an old 1st Brooklands Rover. He became Scoutmaster and Cubmaster and they met in an old army hut in Green Lane, Ashton—upon—Mersey, which was moved later to Hawthorn Lane. They wore red neckers and green shirts as their uniform and started with 12 Scouts and 12 Cubs.
6th Sale was formed by the Rev. J. Chapmans, the Vicar of St. Paul‘s Church. The Scoutmaster was Mr E.W. Leicester, and he was assisted by Mr. H.G. Barnes, formerly a Rover at 1st Brooklands. They met in the Church School in Cambridge Street and wore light green neckers and dark green shirts.
3rd Sale and Ashton was disbanded due to lack of support.
1st Sale Moor was moved from St. Anne’s Church to Roebuck Lane Mission and became 1st Sale.
This was a great year for 1st Brooklands who won all the trophies at the first Swimming Gala (which raised nearly £11) except the junior shield, won by 2nd Ashton. They also won the Challenge Shield (a memorial to C.M. Pilkington) and the Challenge Flag presented by District Commissioner W. King. Fred Price of 1st Brooklands became the first King’s Scout in the new Sale Association.
The annual sports was a disaster. It was washed out after the first race (100 yards) on the 23rd June. An attempt to hold them on the 30th June was rained off, but they were finally held on 4th July. The results are not known. During the year 1st Brooklands and 3rd Ashton were invited to Tatton Park by Lord Egerton, an Association Cub Parade was held at St.Mary’s Church and the Sale Rover Conference was held at 1st Brooklands Headquarters.
From some notes written by Mr. S.H. Davies, who founded 2nd Sale, it appears that an earlier Troop was formed at St. Anne‘s Church in 1917. It was founded by Scoutmaster Reynolds who came from London and four 2nd Sale Scouts joined him, three of whom became his Patrol Leaders. A Cub Pack was formed in late 191.8. It was known at this time as 3rd Sale but obviously did not last long.
During 1928 Groups were required to re-register. Mr. H. Hamnett was now Scoutmaster of 1st Brooklands and they had 5 Scouters, 38 Scouts, 30 Wolf Cubs and 21 Rover Scouts. 2nd Ashton had Mr. W.P. Orme as Scoutmaster and they had 4 Scouters, 15 Scouts, 20 Wolf Cubs and 15 Rover Scouts. Mr. J. Hampson was still Scoutmaster of 3rd Ashton and they had 4 Scouters, 15 Scouts and 18 Wolf Cubs. 4th Sale and Ashton were still led by Mr. H. Harbourne and had 1 Scouter, 9 Scouts and 12 Wolf Cubs. 5th Sale and Ashton had Mr. L. Smith as Group Scoutmaster and 3 Scouters, 38 Scouts and 18 Wolf Cubs. 7th Sale (Presbyterian) was formed in May by their Scoutmaster Mr. T. Marriott—Moore with Miss. M.T. Grant as Cubmaster. They met in the Church Hall near the Church in Northenden Road and wore McDonald tartan neckers, blue shirts and Black Watch kilts.
1st Ashton moved to the Mission in Glebelands Road, but the Scouts faded out later in the year. Their Cubs, however, continued for some time under Miss. F. Anderson.
There is no record of the re—registration of 1st Sale, 3rd Sale or 6th Sale although they continued to exist during 1928. 3rd Sale, who met at St. Paul’s Dargle Road Mission, were not on the census for 1926 and it would appear that they had been temporarily disbanded only to be reinstated in 1928 under Scoutmaster Mr. K.W. Bradshaw. Most of the District officials continued in office except Miss. A. Howarth who took over as District Cubmaster and Mr. T.W. Wright became District Treasurer. Mr. W.E. Gregson was appointed Assistant District Commissioner and Hon. Publicity Secretaries were appointed – Mr. ’I‘. Marriott Moore, Mr. W. Tate and Miss. M.T. Grant. Mr. F.K. Polter became Badge Secretary.
A “Scoutcraft” exhibition was held in Sale Town Hall on Saturday, 28th April, and was opened by the County Commissioner Mr. N. Bury. All Troops and Packs in Sale took part in various displays which lasted from 2.30 to 10.30pm
1st Brooklands was very successful again, winning the Commissioner’s Challenge Flag and all trophies at the Swimming Gala. 5th Sale and Ashton however won the football competition after a play off. 1st Brooklands and 3rd Ashton_won_ the Cub Sports. The St. George’s Day Service and Sale District Rover Conference were held at 1st Brooklands Headquarters and the Armistice Day Service took place at the Sale Palace Theatre. There was an outing for all Cubs and Scouts in Sale and Altrincham to Tatton Park and a Joint Cub Service was held in Broadheath .
1929 was the year of the World Jamboree at Arrowe Park. 18 Scouts from Sale formed part of “C” Troop in the East Cheshire contingent. They came from 1st Brooklands, 3rd Ashton and 5th Sale
and Ashton. Scoutmaster Pilkington of 1st Brooklands was Assistant Scoutmaster for the first week. Several Wolf Cubs from Sale attended the Cub Rally including 12 from 1st Brooklands.
Mr.W.King resigned as District Commissioner at the end of the year and Mr.Gregson retired as Assistant District Commissioner. These positions remained vacant. Mr. W.D. Hamblin, a stalwart
supporter of 1st Brooklands became the first District President and Mr.W.P.Orme became District Rover Leader.
Two of 1st Brooklands Scouts gained “firsts” in Sale. Fred Price gained his Gold Cords and Troop Leader Bob Page his Bushman’s Thong.
The St.George’s Day Service was held at the Presbyterian Church and the Armistice Day Service at Sale Palace. A Rovers Own Service was held in the Baptist Chapel in Ashton Lane at which Tom Marriott—Moore played the organ and following which a parade was led by 1st Warrington Rover Crew Band of Pipers to 1st Brooklands Headquarters where the annual Rover Conference was held.
The Association Sports and Swimming Gala were held, most trophies being won by 1st Brooklands and the annual Cub outing to Tatton Park took place. The title of 2nd Ashton (St. Mary Magdalene) was changed to include the title “Lady Kilvert’s Own”.
There were no changes in Groups in 1930 except that 2nd Ashton Rovers moved their Rover Den to Broadoaks Hall and 7th Sale formed a Rover Crew under Mr.T.Marrintt—Moore.
There were several changes in District officials, the most important being the appointments of Mr. E. Bate as District Commissioner. Mr. S.T. Hovell was appointed Deputy District Commissioner and Mr. H.Hamnett as Assistant District Commissioner (Rovers), relinquishing his post as District Scoutmaster. Mr. W.P. Orme finished his term as District Rover Leader. Mr. T. Marriott—Moore ceased to be District Secretary and was awarded the Thanks Badge but Miss. M.T. Grant filled in as Assistant District Secretary until further appointments were made the following year.
Two important events took place during the year — 1st Brooklands celebrated their 21st Anniversary and a District Scouts Own was held in the Town Hall and a parade to St. Paul’s Church to commemorate the visit of the Lord Bishop of Sale, Gippsland, Australia. The Bishop presented a trophy in the form of a kangaroo skin bearing a campfire scene and a message in woodcraft signs and requested that it be used for an inter—troop competition. Mr. Bate reciprocated with a statuette designed by the Chief Scout representing a Scout in an attitude of striving upwards and inscribed with a greeting from Sale.
1st Brooklands celebrations consisted of a campfire on the Saturday preceded by a talk by the County Commissioner. Dr. Stocks. on camping. A Scouts Own was held on the Sunday and on Monday the Rovers attended a lecture on the “Quest for Adventure” followed by a debate “Country Scout versus Town Scout”.
The usual Armistice Day Service was held. The Association Sports were held at Woodbourne Road, 6 Troops taking part and trophies were presented by the District President, Mr. Hamblin, and his wife. The Sale District Rover Conference was again held at 1st Brooklands Headquarters with the parade led by the 1st Harrington Rovers Pipe Band and a service at the Baptist Chapel on Ashton Lane.
The District was re—registered in 1931 showing 9 Groups: 1st Brooklands, 1st Sale, 2nd Ashton, 3rd Ashton, 3rd Sale, 5th Sale and Ashton, 6th Sale, 7th Sale and the Ross Rover Crew (8th Sale); 4th Sale appear to have ceased to exist although they appeared again in the census in 1933. Total numbers were Cubs 142, Scouts 153, Rovers 58 and Officers 39.
The Ross Group (which became 8th Sale) was a break-away from 7th Sale and was formed with Mr. J. Anderson as Group Scoutmaster and Mr. S.T. Hovell as Scoutmaster, they met at White’s Farm. Dane
Road (now demolished).
Miss. A. Howarth was appointed District Cubmaster, Mr. H. Allsop as District Scoutmaster and Mr. T. Marriott-Moore as District Rover Leader. Mr. W. Tate became District Secretary and Mr. Marriott—Moore his assistant. Mr. W.O. Hamblin ceased to be District President and his office was left vacant for the time being.
The Cubs went to the circus at Belle Vue in January and travelled by train to Gorton Station.
5th Sale and Ashton took a party of Senior Scouts and Rovers to Finland. This was quite an adventure as they were the first British Scouts to visit this country.
9th Sale Scout Group was formed in 1932. It was sponsored by St. Anne‘s Church, Northenden Road and met in the church school in Trinity Road. The Scoutmaster was Mr. H.J. Harbourne, who had run 4th Sale and Ashton Scouts and Cubs at Trinity Wesleyan Chapel, and the Cubmaster was Miss. I. Proudfoot. The Group started with 30 Cubs and 16 Scouts. They wore purple neckers and khaki shirts. Their flag dedication service at St. Anne’s Church was attended by several Groups.
During the year 3rd Ashton moved to St. Martin‘s. school on Ashton Lane.
Miss. A. Howarth became Assistant District Commissioner(Cubs), relinquishing her position as District Cubmaster and Mr. A.E. Wright became Assistant District Commissioner(Scouts).
The Cub sports were held at Tatton Park and the joint winners were 1st Brooklands and 3rd Sale. 1st Brooklands attended an Old Wolves Meet in Pendleton; and 5th Sale and Ashton held an exhibition and concert at Sale High School on Friday 1st July. It consisted of a display by the Cubs, a signalling display by the Scouts, followed by various games. The concert consisted of 2 sketches by the Scouts and a sketch by the Rovers followed by a campfire.
The District re—registered in 1933 showing 12 Groups: 1st Brooklands, 2nd Ashton, 3rd Ashton, 1st Sale, 3rd Sale, 4th Sale and Ashton, 5th Sale and Ashton, 6th Sale, 7th Sale, 8th Sale, 9th Sale and 10th Sale. Total numbers were 457.
4th Sale and Ashton started again, sponsored by the Ashton Congregational Church in Park Avenue by the Rev. H. Clarke, and 10th Sale was formed as a Cub Pack only at Sale Preparatory School in Northenden Road. The Cubmaster was Mr. C. Bingham—Wilson and they wore brown and gold neckers with blue jerseys. During the year 1st Sale Moor Group, which later became 1st Sale Group attached to Roebuck Lane Mission, ceased to exist.
There were several changes in the District Officers:- Mr. S. Hovell ceased to be Deputy District Commissioner, Mr. C. Stuart became District Cubmaster, Mr. J.E. Morris became District Scoutmaster and Mr. H. Stanton became District Rover Leader replacing Mr. T. Marriott—Moore. Mr. H.A. Atkinson took over as District Chairman from Mr. F. Rossiter, Mr. T.W. Wright resigned as District Treasurer and The Rev. H.M. Leay, Curate of St. Mary’s, took over as District Secretary from Mr. W. Tate.
The highlight of the year was the Scoutcraft Competition held at the Town Hall on 29th April and opened by Cyril Atkinson K.C M.P. The eight Groups participating carried out various displays and plays and were assisted .by the Guides and Scouts from Altrincham. There was a parade in the afternoon and the evening ended up with a Campfire.
The Cub Sports Day was held in Tatton Park — seven Packs took part. 1st Erooklands won the Totem Pole. 3rd Ashton were successful in the Swimming Gala. There was also a Cub Sixers Camp at Disley.
Total numbers dropped slightly to 445 in 1934 – this was probably Partly due to the fact that the remaining section of 1st Ashton — the Cubs — ceased to exist.
Several District Officials retired – Miss A. Howarth as Assistant District Commissioner(Cubs), Mr. A.E. Wright as Assistant District Commissioner(Scouts) and also Mr. J.E. Morris as District Scoutmaster, these Positions being left vacant temporarily. The two brothers R.S.E. and H.J.C. Sandbach took over as District Secretaries from The Rev. H.M. Leay.
Early in January, the Cubs visited the circus and put on a play called the “Cub Optimists” at 1st Ashton Headquarters in March. Five Packs took part and a profit of £5 6s 4d was made.
The St. George’s Day Parade was held at Sale Congregational Church and 3rd Ashton won the Cub Sports at Tatton Park.
A County Rally was held and Sale District‘s display was that of Recreational Physical Training and a demonstration of camping.
10th Sale was formed in 1935. It was sponsored by the St. V1ncent de Paul Society and met in two rooms on the ground floor of the Catholic Young Men’s Society in Earl Street. The first Scoutmaster was Mr. E.G. Kennedy and he started out with 12 Scouts. They wore white and gold neckers and khaki shirts. 6th Sale ceased to exist due to lack of support and 8th Sale (Ross) moved to Priory Gates, Dane Road.
Total numbers increased slightly to 461.
Mr. C.W. Brown became District Secretary and Mr. E. Neville became Badge Secretary. The Commissioner‘s Flag was awarded to 5th Sale and Ashton, who did well in the Swimming Gala, winning the Junior and Senior Shield and tying with 8th Sale for the Novice Shield. 1st Brooklands won the Cub Trophy, and also the Sportsmanship Shield. 3rd Ashton won the Sports and 2nd Ashton the Ambulance Competition.
Scouters were very busy this year – 15 of them attended a Scouters’ Camp at Birch Vale and 85 attended the Scouters’ Social at 1st Brooklands Headquarters. A Scout Bonfire was held at Crossford Bridge to celebrate the Royal Jubilee and this was preceded by a parade from Sale Baths. The Cubs held their celebration at the Pyramid Cinema.
The St. George’s Day Service was held at the Wesley Chapel in School Road and the Cub Sports at Tatton Park with 1st Brooklands winning the Cub Totem Pole.
There were no Group changes in 1936, numbers remaining static at 469.
Mr. F. Rossiter was appointed President. Sidney Potter became Chairman instead of Mr. H.A. Atkinson. Mr. J. Anderson became Assistant District Commissioner(General Purposes), Mr. S.T. Hovell, District Scoutmaster and Mr. G. Rowlatt, District Treasurer.
The Commissioner’s Flag was won by 5th Sale and Ashton and 2nd Ashton won the Cub Sports. There was a Field Day at Tatton Park. Lord Egerton was there, along with an attendance of 150 people. The Cubs paid their usual visit to the circus and the Association held a Dance on Christmas Eve. The first District Bulletin was issued this year.
A new Pack — 12th Sale — was started by the Rev. Harold Clarke at Kent House School in 1937. Their Cubmaster was Miss G.H. Given. 10th Sale had ceased to exist by this time. Total district numbers were 427. Mr. C.W. Brown ceased to be the District Secretary and Mr. E. Neville Badge Secretary.
This was a year of celebration – firstly it was the Silver Wedding of the Chief Scout and Chief Guide, for which a collection was made. Cubs donated a 1/2d, Scouts 1d and Rovers and Scouters 1/—.
Secondly there was the Coronation of George VI. A party of 3 King’s Scouts from Sale attended the service in Westminster Abbey they were L. Wright and J. Barrow of 5th Sale and Ashton and J. Davenport of 2nd Ashton.
Three trees were planted (2 copper beeches and 1 maple) in Brooklands Gardens by Mr. F. Rossiter, the District President Mr. E. Bates, District Commissioner and Mr. S. Potter, Chairman. A Coronation concert was also held, the profits being donated to the Cub Sports in Tatton Park and a weekend Scout camp.
The World Jamboree in Holland was attended by 6 Scouts and a Rover from Sale. Cubs were invited for the day to Tatton Park by Lord Egerton and the St. George’s Day Service was held at St. Mary’s Church.
1938 was a year of outstanding progress. At the Annual General Meeting held at Field’s Cafe, the Secretary reported an increase in membership of 191 to 644. Two new Packs were formed, and 7th Sale was re—formed, two new Rover Crews were formed and a new Group — 14th Sale was founded. It was sponsored by Sale Moor Methodist Chapel in Northenden Road and met in the schoolroom. The Cubmaster was Miss.0’Connor and the Scoutmaster, Mr. W. Bentley assisted by Mr. E. Collins. They wore light blue neckers and khaki shirts.
There were several changes in the District Officials Mr. R.S.E. Sandbach took over as Assistant District Commissioner(Purposes) from Mr. J. Anderson, Mr. M.C. Stuart became Assistant District Commissioner(Cubs) and Mr. H. Stanton ceased to be District Rover Leader. Mr. R. Travis became District Secretary, Mr. S. Parker Badge Supervisor, and Mr. W.M. Hartley Badge Distributor.
2nd Ashton Rovers set up their Den, adjoining the Sale Palace, and 5th Sale and Ashton , having held a very successful Summer Show, raising over £300, moved to their new Headquarters at Woodbourne Road School, and an Old Scouts Group was also formed by 5th Sale and Ashton.
Mr. Hovell, the District Scoutmaster, reported that he had been asked to provide 56 decent cyclists as messengers for the Ashton-upon-Mersey Air Raid Precautions scheme formed as a result of the National Emergency and the Scouts helped by delivering A.R.P. leaflets.
The Commissioner’s Flag was presented to 11th Sale and the Camping Trophy to lst Brooklands. A Thanks Badge was presented to Mrs. Bates, the wife of the District Commissioner, for her work in many ways to the movement; and Mr. J. Harrison was made Honorary Group Scoutmaster of 3rd Ashton on his retirement from the Group.
The parade for the Armistice Day Service started at the Sale Palace proceeding to the British Legion Headquarters in Southern Road and on to the Pyramid Cinema for the service, and afterwards to Broad Road for dismissal. 300 attended the St. George‘s Day Service, which was held at Sale Moor Methodist Chapel in support of the new Group, 14th Sale. A Scout Week was held in July, District Events being a Church Parade and a Rally and Campfire.
1939 started well — 2 new Groups being formed. 15th Sale was formed by Mr. C.G. King of Sale Grammar School and operated from the School in Moss Lane. Mr. King was Scoutmaster and was assisted by Mr. A.H. Hall. When registered they had 37 Scouts.
A Group was also formed by Rev. L.T. Howe at Normanhurst School but apparently this Group was not given a number and did not last very long.
Mr. H.J.C. Sandbach took over as District Cubmaster from Mr. C. Stuart and Miss. E. Chester acted in his absence after he was “called up”.
1st Brooklands Cubs were split into 2 Packs and a District Old Scouts Association was formed, Mr. N. Chilton being Secretary. The start of the Second World War in September had a severe effect on Scouting, as so many Scouters and Rovers were “called up” for National Service.