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THE 1930s  Page last updated 04/10/2016

The1930s were the hey day for the Fife and Drum Band lead by Boss Perkins. They had a marching band that played at many villages carnivals and fetes as well as a dance band. They did Gang Shows and even played at local football cup matches. They did an annual concert which ran into three performances in Eynsham, then toured the neighbouring villages.


Lady Baden-Powell wrote to Sir Montagu Burrows on 19th march 1930 confirming her and B-P staying with them for a rest in the morning and lunch prior to two meetings in Oxford. This is an extract from the letter asking them to reduce the itinerary as B-P was getting very tired on official visits. The letter does not include an address but refers to this stay with them at Eynsham.

On 30th April and 1st May 1930, Chief Scout Lord Robert Baden-Powell and his wife Lady Olave Baden-Powell stayed at Eynsham Hall as guests of the Mason family and signed their visitors book. Lady Baden Powell returned again on 6th and 7th June.

The Scout Association archives show that Miss Dorothy Mason of Eynsham Hall was the Commissioner for Witney and they had scout camps at Eynsham Hall for local boys and some who were part of a migration scheme for boys from distressed mining areas during the depression. B-P had come to visit this scheme which was run by her and Mr Bertram Russell of the 1st Carterton and District Group. There were 12 boys in two patrols called Ravens and Peewits and went to a local farm to learn agricultural skills from the farmer. Some of the boys migrated to Canada and  Australia and they corresponded with Miss Mason telling her how they were doing over there.

This scheme was quite controversial at the time but according to the Scout Association Archivist Pat Styles in a letter dated 25th April 2000, was thought to be in the interest of the boys. They were given a 12 week course at Eynsham Hall which was to train them for life overseas. Their passages were paid for by The Scout Association and they were initially placed in areas by local Scoutmasters. Some found a good new life, but others did not. B-P was a firm advocate of the scheme which is why he visited the camp at Eynsham Hall and wrote the report shown on the right about it. 

George Boss Perkins was awarded the Medal of Merit for good services to the Scout Movement. He also trained the boys in Morris Dancing, Club Swinging and had toured with the band attending fetes and carnivals all over the country.

The Eynsham Scout Troop went to Pangbourne for the annual camp.

George Batts joined the Scouts in 1930. He told Richard Smith in 1985 that the Scout Master was Bill Harris with Assistants Boss Perkins and Jack Douglas. Scout Nights were on Fridays and Band Practice on Tuesdays. George played cymbals and side drum. They played at Many Carnivals and recalled that they would have played at Whitehall but it was cancelled due to the weather (date not yet known). There were three or four patrols including the Peacocks and Squirrels. He attended many camps over the years including Hastings, Paignton, Isle of Wight and Renham near Henley. They used Bell Tents as there were many surplus from the first world war. They met in a wooden hut in Queens Lane.


1930 Toll Bridge CampThe Scouts camped at Remenham near Henley and had the first "Standing" camp by the river in Eynsham. Derek Parker told us they used to camp by the Thames from Whitsun until summer camp. This photo from around 1930 is part of the Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive and they have kindly given us permission to use it here. It shows an ex-army 'Bell' tent, like the ones Eynsham Scouts used to have, set up next to the Swinford Toll Bridge on the Toll House side, looking out towards the lock keepers cottage. We're not sure if this is actually the scouts camping there, but it does give us an idea of what it might have been like, with the camp kitchen and cooking fire in the bottom right had corner. We know from the old scouts that they camped next to Horseshoe Island on the other side of the bridge in the late 30s and 40s, but maybe they camped on the other side of the bridge in the early days!

The Eynsham Rover Scouts were formed. The recorded enrolments in 1931 were....

William Harris, Cranham Street Oxford - Scoutmaster, Carpenter.

Jack Fowler, Oxford Road, Cumnor - R.M. Carpenter.

Jack Douglas, Newland Street, Eynsham - Fitter.

Jack Simmonds, Mill Street, Eynsham - T.S. Carpenter.

William Bailey, Oxford - Polisher.


The Scouts camped at Remenham.

The group built an extension to the hut to be a Rovers Den and lined the HQ with Match Board and Fly Wood. Most of the work was done by Mons Perkins and F Douglas.

The officials of the Eynsham Scout Group were: District Commissioner - Major E F Oakley JP, Secretary - Mrs Oakley, Group Scoutmaster - Mr W Harris, Assistant Scoutmaster and Bandmaster - Mr G Perkins, Cub Mistress - Miss Oakley, Assistant Cub Master and Rover Set - F J Douglas, Rover Mate - Harold Fowler, Second Rover Mate and Troop Scribe - J W Simmonds.

Click picture for slideshow1933

The Scouts camped at Sandown on the Isle of Wight.

George Perkins of Columbia Terrace, Eynsham enrolled as a Rover Scout. He was Assistant Scout Leader and a Gardener.

Click picture for slideshow1934

The Scouts camped at Sandown on the Isle of Wight.

1934 Rover Scout Enrolments.

Mons Perkins, Columbia Terrace, Eynsham - Carpenter.

Ralph Russell, Queen Street, Eynsham - Electrician.

Philip Preston, Queen Street, Eynsham - Electrician.

Herbert Ainsley, Abbey Street, Eynsham - Accountant.

Fred Maskell, Witney Road, Eynsham


Jack Douglas took over as Cub Scout Master when Miss Oakley, who had run the pack since 1922, retired.

CAN YOU ADD TO THE ARCHIVE?    Email: MarkW @ (no spaces) Eynsham Scouts Archive .org .uk

Have you got any photos, videos, documents or memories you could let us have? Are you able to add any more details to what's already here like first names, more people, places visited, things you did, dates, etc? Do you think we've got something wrong and can correct the information we've been given?  Any  information you can give us by email would be appreciated or if you can't send it electronically, we can arrange to copy your items or record your memories.


1935 Band at Horse Guards parade1935

The 1st Eynsham Scouts took an active part in the King George V Silver Jubilee and the Band played at the Horse Guards Parade in London.

The Scouts camped at Sandown on the Isle of Wight.


Eynsham and District Officials: Commissioner - Major E F Oakley, Queen Street, Eynsham. District Scoutmaster and Rover Scout Leader - W J Harris, Cranham Street, Oxford. District Cub Master - Miss R Oakley, Queen Street, Eynsham. Treasurer - E Sawyer, Newlands Street, Eynsham. Secretary - Mrs Oakley, Queen Street, Eynsham. There were 22 Cubs, 27 Scouts, 12 Rovers and 4 Scouters.

The Scouts camped in the summer at Hastings and more boys gained their Kings Scouts Badges.

1937 Band on King George VI Coronation May 12th1937

Boss Perkins retired from all scouting activities and F Douglas took over.

The Scouts camped at Paignton in Devon and celebrated The King George VI Coronation with a big event in Eynsham. The day was so popular, it was decided to make it an annual event and so the Eynsham Carnival was born.

In the picture, back row, left to right - Peter Dormer, Jack Fowler, Jack Douglas, Bill Russell, Pete Blunt, ?, Ron Harling, Bert Dormer, Mons Perkins, Phil Preston, Ernie Howard, Bill Perkins, Bill Bailey, Ernie Floyd, George Batts, Boss Perkins, Harry Green. Front row, left to right - Donald Good, Raymond Floyd, Chris Bryant, Bert? Whelan, Ralph Whitlock, Dennis Douglas.


On 25th April 1938, Eynsham became part of the Witney District. Group Scoutmaster W.J. Harris applied for the merger on 14th April 1938.

Big celebration events were held in Eynsham for the Jubilee in 1935 and Coronation in 1937. It was decided that there was money in this so the Scouts decided to organise a village Carnival lead by F Douglas and Jack Fowler.

The Scouts camped at Goodrington near Paignton with F Douglas in charge.

Derek Parker joined Eynsham Cubs in 1938, went on to Scouts and Rovers, and served on the committee helping to organise Eynsham Carnival, The Eynsham Scouts Gymkhanas, and The Bosses Night Reunion for 50 years. In this video below he shares some of his memories of a life associated with Eynsham Scouts illustrated with pictures from the archive he kept that was the beginnings of the Eynsham Scouts Archive website.

If you would like to share your memories of Eynsham Scouting on video, please email us Mark. You can send us a video, or we'll come round and film you. If you've got a few photos, or you'd like to do it with someone else who was in the group at the same time you were, that might help the memories flow.




The second annual carnival was held with the decorating of the Queens Throne done my Mrs Parker and assistants. Hatwells Fair attended for the first time.

The Scouts camped at Weymouth.



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