Buckhurst Hill History

Bygone Scouting in Buckhurst Hill

Until recently there were two Scout Groups left in Buckhurst Hill, 24th Epping Forest, formed 30th October 1937, based at St Stephens Church and 28th Epping Forest, formed 3rd December 1928, based at St James.  Sadly due to the lack of adult volunteers the group at St Stephens closed. Originally 28th Epping Forest was called 2nd Buckhurst Hill.  When Epping Forest District was formed the group changed its name to 28th Epping Forest.  A couple of years ago Epping Forest joined with Epping & Ongar to becme Royal Forest District.  This larger district includes Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Loughton, Waltham Abbey, Ongar, Abridge, Theydon Boise, Theydon Garnon, Moreton & Fyfield.  Recently the 28th Epping Forest have decided to go back to their roots and change their name back to 2nd Buckhurst Hill.

There were other scout groups in Buckhurst Hill and more information about those will be added as it is found.  It would be great to have any photos or stories of scouting in Buckhurst Hill.

28th Epping Forest/2nd Buckhurst Hill Scout Group

St James URC, Palmerston Road

This group is still very active with Beavers (6-7pm Thursday evenings), Cubs (6.30-8.00pm Thursday evenings), Scouts (7.30-9.00pm Thursday evenings) term times only.  Also meeting at St James on Sunday evenings are the Roebuck Explorer Scout Unit.  If you would like more information about joining this group please contact Neil Taylor  ef28scouts@aol.com

Denny Lalonde - This is me taken April 27th 1944. I was a Boy Scout in the 28th Epping Forest Troop and we met every thursday evening at seven pm In the Hall near the top of Russell Road. Our Scout Master was a Mr Griffin, we called him "Griff". He was a really nice man and good leader. He lived near the top of Palmerston Road.
Not much else to tell except that in those days if was a bit scary heading home in the pitch dark from TOC- H at nine in the evening on a winter night. Especially during an Air Raid.

Jack Straw MP - "I was a boy scout once: 28th Epping Forest brigade, based  on the Buckhurst Hill congregational church, Palmerston road, Buckhurst Hill, Essex - centre of the world"

24th Epping Forest Scout Group

St Stephens Church, Albert Road

David Ringwood- "A picture of my dad David Ringwood a cub in I think, the 24th Epping Group.  His brother in law was Nat Reason who was the scout leader for some years." Nick Ringwood

circa 1941

The following extracts are taken from

AN OLD SCOUT REMEMBERS.... some early memories of the 24th Epping Forest (St Stephens) Scout Group by Ken Barker

The 24th Epping Forest (St Stephen's) Scout Greoup was officially registered at Scout Headquarters on 30th October 1937. Although the Group had been active for a few months beforehand, the official investiture of the new Group was held at St Stephen's on Friday 12th November. There were 10 boys who started the Group, known as the "Famous Ten" - Dennis Cousins, Berti Harris, Clive Osborne, John Reason, Edward Sparrow, Ron Braybrook, Ted Blackman, Charlie Field, Alfie Jacobs and A Hicks. 

The first Group camp was held at Swanage in the summer of 1938 with the boys from 6th Enfield Troop.  In the summer or 1939 the Group held its first Camp on its own, at Ditchling, near Brighton, but this was to be the last summer camp for a number of years. 

With the outbreak of the Second World War and the Scouters going into the armed services, the recently formed Group had to close again, to be re-opened when the War was over.


Mr N Reason
Mr K Barker
Mr D Greenwood
Mrs C Greenwood
Mr A Morgan
Mrs B Willis
Mrs D Carter

The following is the menu and food list for the Whitsun Camp at Theydon Mount (around 1951).  I wonder how similar this is to what Scouts eat at camp now?


Bread and Butter, Jam, Paste, Tea
Cocoa and Buscuits

Cereal, Scrambled Eggs, Baked Beans, Bread, Tea
Stew, Custard and Apple Crumble
Bread and Butter, cucmber and pilchard sandwiches Choc biscuits, Tea
Soup (Oxo)

Cereal, tinned tomatoes and bacon
Luncheon meat, potatoes, Tinned Peas, Mandarins, Evap Milk

Shopping List

8 Loaves 8s

8 Sterilised Milk 5s 8d

2 Tins Consensed Milk 3s 4d

8 lbs Sugar 3s 9d

¾ lb Tea 5s 3d

2lb Marg 4s

2lb Jam 3s 8d

1 large paste 1s 3d

¼ lb Cocoa 1s 1d

1lb Sweet Biscuits 1s 6d

Bottle Coffee 2s 6d

Box Cheeses 1s 3d

2 Large Cereals 4s

18 Eggs 6s

2 Large Beans 2s

2½lbs Stewing Mince 8s

12 Oxos 1s 6d

1lb Carrots 1s

1lb Onions 6d

12lb Potatoes 5s

½lb Lard 8d

Custard Powder 1s 6d

2 Jellies 2s

1 Cucumber 1s

1 Large Pilchards 1s 9d

15 Choc Biscuits 3s 9d

3 Tinned Tomatoes 4s

1½lb Streaky Bacon 3s 9d

2 Tins Luncheon Meat 2/11 size 6s

4 Tins Peas 4s

3 Tins Mandarins 4s 6d

Large Evap Milk 1s 2d

Pkt Salt 5d

Pkt Brillos 1s 3d

Gal. Paraffin 2s 2d

Tea Cloths

Dish Cloth

First Aid

2 Orange Squash 3s 6d

Methylated Spirits 1s

Fares 16s
Total £6 10s

Memories of the 24th by Stanley Brand (& Alf Jacobs)


Pre-war, as well as the 24th and 28th, there was a third troop the 13th. Who met at the Baptist Church Hall at the junction of Palmerston Rd and Westbury Rd. I am not aware of any affiliation to the church. 

The 24th. had almost no contact that I can recall other than joining them to for a 'Guard of Honour' to Lady Crossman the doyen of Buckhurst Hill House (and mother of the Labour Cabinet Minister of Diaries fame) when she opened a function one Saturday afternoon early on in the War.  Probably a fund raising for Wings for Victory or to raise the cost of a Spitfire.

The initiative to form the Troop probably came from the Priest in Charge at St.Stephen's - the Rev.John Anderson Burley; and the help from St.Luke's stemmed from his friendship with the priest there.  Alf & I are not sure if Rev John was officially involved with the Troop but he certainly gave us full support and we remember being driven to prepare a weekend camp site at Coopersale one Saturday morning in t he dickey seats of the open topped car he had as his transport.  After St.Stephens he went as Vicar to St.Peter in the Forest - probably before War broke out but as with our Troop Officers he immediately joined up to become an Army Padre.

Alf and I have never heard the term "Famous Ten" and have no idea where it can have originated.  The ten listed include Ron Braybrook but we think he joined later.  Charlie Field is in error and should be Charlie Fewell (his father was aptly named as he delivered Girlings Coal from the Station Yard with his horse and cart)  A Hicks is a name we neither of us recall as a Scout.   Though I am not mentioned I assure you I was there at the beginning.

The first camp was in 1937 with St.Luke's at Cromer below is the group photograph showing us all - Scouts from the two Troops and the Cubs from St.Lukes 6th Enfield.

The second camp was at Swanage in 1938 and in 1939 we went to Ditchling.  

Alf & I were both Patrol Leaders and think there was one or perhaps two more Patrols and can add some names to those listed but sadly not all of them, so again I think it best not to try with them.

Memories of 1938 are all very good.  The Camp Site was excellent and when in Swanage we had the use of the Swanage Sea Scouts Hut on the Sea Front.   We also had the opportunity to try to row their boat and I prefer not to remember my failure.   A skiff on Connaught Waters was my limit

We had a lot of activities on site and trips to Swanage - to bathe at the Dancing Ledge - to the Caves; and Corfe Village and Castle.   My snapshots are attached.   With names where recognised

I am sure the weather was good and this first camp with the 24th. on our own very successful.

Memories of this Camp begin with Alf Jacobs and myself travelling to Ditchling on a Saturday morning - just the two of us to begin to set up the camp for the arrival of the others late in the evening.  Many of them had to work until mid-afternoon before their fortnight holiday could begin - I was luckier and Alf was still at College.

A very clear memory is of Rain of which there was quite a lot.  We were fortunate in that the Landlord of the pub adjacent to the farm allowed us to breakfast and spend a while in the bar before opening time on the worst days. 

We had the St. Stephens' lay reader with us and he did all he could with prayer to persuade the camp fire to burn.

I am not sure just how aware we were that War was near and the only related memory is seeing Spitfires (or Hurricanes) flying below us when we climbed to the top of Ditchling Beacon.

I guess we would have travelled to the coast but nothing specific comes to mind.   The weather brightened up and the Troop was in good heart and I am sure we all had a great break. Sadly of course everything changed a few weeks later. 

After war was declared and everyone expected Air Raids for which we were ill-prepared it was decided that the Mid-wife should have an escort if she was called out during the black-out


So Alf and I were asked to sleep at the Health Centre on Buckhurst Way to carry the lady's bag and ensure her safety.

I only remember one such trip and the idea was soon forgotten.  Whether any other Troops were involved I do not know.

Move on to the time of Dunkirk and invasion fears and I went with my bike to the old Woodford Police Station to sleep there and be on hand to cycle through to St.John's church to tell the ringers to sound the alarm if the telephone lines were down!

Alf did not do that as he did not have a cycle.

That also did not last long!!  Again I do not know if there was a roster with others being involved.

The writers of Dad's Army would have made something of that I am sure!!

These memories and the 'Guard of Honour' indicate that we kept the troop going for some months but I cannot add anything more.  I doubt the Midwife and Courier stories would be believed if you put them on record.

At 17 I joined the Home Guard. Two or three years ago I sent to the Epping Forest Museum in Waltham Abbey a panoramic photo of the entire Home Guard Company - with names and a smaller one of the Platoon which included my father and myself. 


22nd Epping Forest Cub Pack

St Stephens Church, Albert Road

Photo & information supplied by Stanley Brand

Here is a copy of a Box Brownie Snapshot of the 22nd Pack taken after a St.George's Day Parade on Woodford Green 1931 plus or minus a year. The 22nd were also at St Stephens but only lasted a few years in the early thrities. Akela is Daphne Myson the oldest of 4 daughters of the then owners of Taunton House School.

The 22nd. was attached to St.Stephen's as you know and we met in the church hall - or occasionally at Taunton House on Saturday afternoon.  As a 'treat' we were at least once entertained to tea at The White House near the Castle at Woodford by Colonel Mallinson who appeared mud covered after refereeing a rugby match.  There was an element of 'helping' the less well off around us.

13th Epping Forest Scout Group
Pre-war, as well as the 24th and 28th, there was a third troop the 13th. Who met at the Baptist Church Hall at the junction of Palmerston Rd and Westbury Rd.

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