Bransgore’s heritage

6th Christchurch (Bransgore) Registration Number 34688

In the Headquarters Gazette for November 1910, under New Troops September 26th to October 26th 1910, was listed Bransgore (St. Mary’s), Scoutmaster E Nicholson with 20 Scouts. Bransgore Scouts are mentioned in the Christchurch Times in 1911 and 1912. It is reported that there was a Bransgore Troop being run by the Rev. E. Molyneux from 1913 to 1918.

In 1925 Bransgore Scout Headquarters was registered as “Church Room” Bransgore and a Scoutmaster’s Warrant was issued to Brig. Gen. G.E.F. Sanders, a reported colleague of Baden-Powell and later District Commissioner of Christchurch. In 1928 the Group was re-registered as 6th Christchurch (Bransgore) Number 3418 with 14 Scouts and continued to run until 1939 with a Cub Pack being added in 1935.

It is not clear what happened during the war or up until 1959 with the Bransgore Group. One report suggests that they combined with Burton to form the Avon Valley Group in 1938 or just after. While another report states that they combined with the Sopley Group. One thing is certain that Sopley were re-registered in 1946 and a list of their leaders appears in the Hampshire County Register up until the Group’s closure in 1953. Reports suggest that Scouting re-started in Bransgore in 1951 and the County Register also lists their leaders, which contain some of the same names as the Sopley lists from 1952 up to 1954 when Bransgore was no longer listed.

In October 1959 a Headquarter’s Registration lists 6th Christchurch (Bransgore) number 34688, Scoutmaster Phil Churchill, Assistant John Mcintyre (Mac), Cubmaster Audrey Hitchins, Assistant Ann Hoare, Group Headquarters “Littlemead” Bransgore. There were 12 Wolf Cubs and 18 Scouts. In the 1962 Hampshire County Register the Headquarters is “Trees” Cuckoo Hill, Bransgore, Group Scout Leader Phil Churchill, Cubmaster Ann Hoare and Scout Leader John Mcintyre. Later in 1967 the Headquarters is given as The Scout H.Q., Poors Common, Bransgore (this was a small concrete building beside the lane that led to Poors Common) and the Group Scout Leader was J.D. Williams.

Since the start of Scouting the small village of Bransgore has become a sprawl of housing estates and population has increased many times over. Bransgore started in 1910 with 20 boys but now has a membership of about 100. It has not always been easy to find a venue for the activities and over the years practically every hall in the area has been used together with the Village School and the very cold and isolated hut on the deserted track to Poors Common. In 1976 a wooden building was purchased and erected in Burnt House Lane on land belonging to Lord Manners. The Group are indebted to him for allowing them a long lease at a peppercorn rent. They quickly outgrew this building so set about serious fund raising and in 1992 built a superb brick headquarters on the same site, with part of the old building being kept and used as a Venture Den.

In 1971 Venture Scouts became part of the Group and Beavers were added in 1986. With a superb headquarters, dedicated leaders and committee giving tremendous support, the future of Scouting in Bransgore looks very secure.

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