I am very honoured to be invited to write an introduction to the History of Scouting in Sale District.
John Parker began as a Wolf Cub in 5th Sale and Ashton Group, later becoming a Scout and following that a leader in the same Group. John then became involved in the District, undertaking duties as Gang Show Treasurer, District Badge Secretary, District Treasurer and Chairman. When he died, he was just commencing a second term as President.
Obviously, there was no one better to produce this record of Scouting. John devoted many hours compiling this history of the Groups and District, since Sale District Scout Council came into being in 1926. This involved meticulous work in following up leads, talking to people, getting copies of records, programmes etc, but I am sure you will agree that the result is very worthwhile. Without John’s commitment and hard work, some of the history of Scouting in this area may have been lost forever.
I believe that publication of this book is by way of appreciation to John Parker for his hard work, loyalty and dedication for the benefit of young people in Scouting within the local community of Sale.
District Commissioner (1985 – 1991)
Sale District Scout Council
During 2019, after volunteering in Scouting for less than 4 years, I offered my services to Sale Central Scout Group to serve as an interim Group Scout Leader. Nearly 2 years later, during one of many “Lockdowns” due to the Coronavirus pandemic that was sweeping the world, I began looking into the history of Sale Central Scout Group.
I was aware that they were the newest group to be added to the district in 2005, but as a relative newcomer to Scouting, I had little idea about the heritage of the group suffice to say that they had been formed from a merger between three Scout Groups; 1st Brooklands, 2nd Ashton and 5th Sale and Ashton, I knew that the Sale Central necker was made up of the colours of the three groups but I knew very little else.
I began by asking older Scouters for their memories of the time of the merger, information wasn’t always given freely but slowly and surely, I began gathering information.
Two documents were of great value to me in my research.
- I was already aware of the amazing work of Ian Billingsley who had been archiving the 1st Brooklands Scout Troop. Ian’s work was my inspiration and although primarily focussed on 1st Brooklands, it also gave me a great insight into Scouting within Sale.
- The second document that was given to me by the District Commissioner, Andy Atherall was to prove the catalyst for me undertaking this labour of love, it was colloquially referred to as the ‘little green book’ and more formally entitled “A History of Scouting in Sale (1908 – 1990)” by John D Parker (District President: 1988 – 1991).
After reading through the little Green book many times, I set about digitising its content for posterity.
Once I had the contents in a usable digital format, I could then start to present it unabridged before attempting to fill in the 30 year gap from when the book was written until the time of my update.
Assistant District Commissioner (Scouts) 2018 – present
Group Scout Leader (Sale Central Scout Group) 2019 – present