34TH REIGATE (Meadvale) Scout Group


COUNTY                                SURREY

DISTRICT                               REIGATE

NAME OF GROUP                ST JOHNS (Boys School) Redhill 34th Reigate




                                                            14 HARDWICK ROAD





NUMBER OF OFFICERS                  1

NUMBER OF SCOUTS                     9

TOTAL OF ALL RANKS                   10









NEW TITLE                            34TH REIGATE (MEADVALE)

DATE OF CHANGE               30TH SEPTEMBER 1935

APPROVED                            10TH DECEMBER 1935


SCOUTMASTER                    R.G.BENNETT

REGISTRATION                    10875


The Group was first called the 34th Reigate St John's Boys School.

When the Group moved to Meadvale it took over from the 16th Reigate Meadvale Group, and it became the 34th Reigate (Meadvale) Scout Group, in 1935.

To start with the Group only had a Scout section but by 1935 the Group had Cubs as well, in 1950 the Group had Rovers for the first time until they became Senior Scouts in 1956. In 1967 the Group was back down to just running Scouts and Cubs, but a venture Unit started again in 1977 until 1982. The Beavers were started on 12th January 1987. In January 2002 the 34th started Explorer Scouts in Meadvale.The Group currently still has Explorers, Scouts, Cubs and Beavers.



 The original group in Meadvale was the 16th Reigate who started in 1913 by 1915 they had 42 Scout and 12 cubs with six of their leaders on active service in the war. In 1918 the Group went camping with the Earlswood Troop to Eastbourne.In 1919 the Group won the District Sports Day. In 1923 the Group had a member in the Forster Challenge Swimming Shield winning team. At a meeting held on 22nd January 1930 Mr. Bishop informed the committee that upon a proposal made by Mr. Moser that he should join him at 14th South Park, he suggested that the committee should release him from Meadvale.Mr Cole facilitate Mr. Cole starting his new Troop at Meadvale.Mr Cole, however, would not entertain taking over Meadvale,and made it clear that his proposals only related to a certain number of lads that he had already given a certain amount of training and that these should form a nucleus for a Troop at St Johns Day School. After much discussion Mr Bishop was asked to continue and it was also decided that Mr Cole could start a Troop at the St Johns Boy School. The 34th Reigate (St Johns Boys School) started in 1930 with nine Scouts and one leader. The fortunes of the 16th sank and to keep them from going under completely they joined with the 34th to become the 34th Reigate (Meadvale) in 1935. In the early 1930's there was four Groups of Scouts and Rovers near and under St John's the 2nd Earlswood, 16th Meadvale, 32nd Reigate Rovers Scout Group and the 34th Reigate (St John's Boys School).At a meeting on the 18th January 1933 the meeting stated that there was some concern that the 34th St Johns Boys troop were taking all the members away from the other two Cub packs as the 34th did not have a Cub pack because of the age of the children at the School. It was proposed to join the 16th and 34th at a meeting held on 7th December 1934.At a meeting held on 10th July 1935 it was agreed and past that the two groups would go under the name of the 34th with Meadvale being added on. To become the 34th Reigate (Meadvale).This was put forward to the Scout Association on 30th September 1935 and it was past and agreed on 10th December 1935.





ST JOHN'S SCHOOL                        REDHILL        8/1928-11/1935

MEADVALE VILLAGE HALL           REDHILL        11/1935-23/5/1952

SCOUT HUT MEADVALE                REDHILL        24/5/1952-TO DATE



The eighth scout Law states - a scout smiles and whistles under all dificulties.This has been rigidly observed in the construction of our new headquarters.

In the very beginning, difficulties arose that would have caused a lot of people to "throw the job in”, we just made light of them and carried on.

It was in June 1950, having got the plans passed by the local Council, (after they had refused our original application for a temporary hut) we started to dig out the footings, our trouble began right away, part of the ground had at some time been made up with all sorts of rubbish and we were told to dig down to solid earth. Having removed several old army dixies,much scrap iron, some old metal adverts, signs and many other treasures, not least of which was a whole egg  vintage unknown, we eventually found rock bottom at five feet.

The next thing that wasn't according to plan was a lorry load of ballast that was dropped in the wrong place. Every bit had to be wheeled a quarter of a mile, it was done in one evening, at the double.

One of our biggest snags, of course, was that the site could not be reached by road; everthing had to be wheeled from Somerset Road, or Cronks Hill Road. When you consider that among other things we have used, 25 c yds, ballast, 12 c yds, sand, 5 tons cement and 10,000 bricks, you will see that it needed many smiles and much whistling.

However, to continue with the story of the building, having got the footings passed before Summer Camp, we got cracking on our return and the building began to take shap.Before Christmas the outside shell was completed and we had a roof over our heads.

More snags were encounted, but we got over or around these in some way or another. During the early part of 1951 that we learned the grand news that Surrey County Youth Council had granted us £150 towards our building.

We decided then that we would build a lavatory and a rover den on to the main building immediately instead of waiting as was our original intention. During 1951, the rate of progress slowed, interest waned and we decided to give the job a rest, during June, July and August, very little work was attempted.

After the holiday period the interest gradually returned and the end began to come into view. Even now we cannot say we have finished, much remains to be done, but we have achieved our aim, the hall is usable, and improvements can be carried out at odd times.

Space does not permit me to say all that I would like to, there are many stories which must go untold, but in conclusion I would like on behalf of all the "Gang" to say that we are proud of our achievement. We have done what we set out to do, and we have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, and we have kept the eighth Scout Law.

                                                Ganger Ron Bish






"Sir" said a boy to me one day, "could you please spare me a minute or two after School today?"

I must explain that at the time I was Headmaster of St John's School Redhill, and was also the absentee officer of the 1st Easebourne (Lady Cowdry's Own) Troop, a Troop that I had to leave when I accepted the appointment at Redhill.

I had at that moment no idea why this request was being made. It is true that the boy who made it, the Head Boy of School, and Chorister in St John's Church, had with other choristers, shared the 1st Easebourne Camp that year and the year before, and it is true ,also that on each occasion on the return journey, I had been asked a little wistfully "can't we have a Troop of our own Sir in the School?", family affairs, professional interest and my temporary work as a choir - master to be able to do anything about it.

But why the reader may ask, had these boys, non Scouts, been sharing a Scout Camp? The answer is simple. I had been asked to become temporary choirmaster owing to the illness of the organist, and the boys had done well and kept up the standard of singing expected of them. So much so that the vicar said to me in early summer” these boys have done well. They ought to receive some encouragement. What a pity it is they cannot go away together, into camp, or something like that.” The rev L.G.Mannering (Cannon), then the vicar of St John's, had no idea I would say that it was quite possible for this to happen, that I was running a Scout Camp for my old troop again as they had not found a Scoutmaster to take my place, and that I was sure that Troop would raise no objection to the presence of these boys with me, provided that the boys concerned agreed to submit themselves to the Scout Law and to Scout discipline while away from home with me. I mentioned also that of course the full costs of this camping would have to be raised by St John's, and this the vicar readily agreed. The next time I saw the boys as Choirboys I put the idea to them and it was received with enthusiasm. I explained what was meant by the Scout Law and distributed kit list and sheets of information. In due course they spent a fortnight with the 1st Ease Bourne at Rustington and the first request was made for a troop of their own, and refused.

The next year precisely the same conditions were operating, but this time rather more choristers took part, we camped in the Isle of Wight, and one of the details they saw and which impressed them much was a Rover Investiture. Again, on the way home, there came the request, Can't we have a Scout Troop Sir? And again I am afraid, I repeated the answer of the previous year, but I must confess I did not feel too happy about it. Then there came the request with which this strange little story of lad’s loyalty and persistence began and I told the lad Ernest Claydon nicknamed "SOS" by his chums, that he could come and see me when School had ended for the day. In due course he appeared at my desk. "Well?" I asked. Sir he said, most politely, "do you think you could give permission for one of the classrooms to be used one evening next week?” I expect that could be arranged" I said "but what is it all about?” and then came the bombshell "Well sir, he said"some of us want to get together to pass the Tenderfoot Test"I can still remember that for a few moments I just looked at him, and he looked at me, in silence.I said at last " lad you must tell me more about this" and then out it came. "It’s like this, Sir "he said "We've been to two Scout Camps, and we liked it. We began to learn about Scouts, and some of the Easebourne were teaching us all about knots, flags, and the law and so on. When we came back this time we decided to carry on even if we could not have our troop so we have been getting ready for Tenderfoot test and we want to be tested just to see if we could pass it.

What could I say? Of course, I made the obvious reply that they could certainly use a room, but I pointed out that the School authorities would want to know who would be in charge, whom had they in mind? Again very quietly, there came the reply,” Please Sir, we were going to ask you!" This time I think there was a hopeful cheery glint in his eyes, challenging me. I accepted the challenge. "Very well" I said "you have asked for this, and you shall have it. If I test you, you will be tested as no other lads have ever been tested for this test. "Yes Sir" came with steady quietness that I began to respect and which had made him a first rate Head Boy of the School. "So come along on Thursday next week,” I went on,” 7 o'clock. Bring with you all that you think will be needed for this test. I will do the rest" "Thank you very much Sir" he said. Then he told me that since Camp these half - dozen lads had meet at each others homes in the evenings, where, with copies of Scouting for Boys and other Scout literature, they had trained themselves and had tested themselves, until they thought the could manage the test. They wanted to pass the test properly, as they put it.

I went home very thoughtful that evening. I was a busy man. There came the evening of the test. The lads assembled, and each had brought all that was necessary for testing in the Tenderfoot test, and I set to work. The test I had prepared was of School-Examination standard in its severity. I tried hard to see that no detail was omitted, no mater how trifling. They passed, brilliantly, and at the end, when the last coil of rope and the last colored pencil had been put away, they stood in line before me. "You have all passed, and passed well" They grinned, and then "Can't we have a Troop Sir" came again.

And that is how the long, honourable story of the 34th Reigate Troop began in 1928. Could boys of today show such quiet, steady presistence, such steadfast loyalty to principles, such pursuit of vision, such overcoming of baffling difficulties? Yes. I think so. My salute goes out to those lads who have remained loyal ever since, but chiefly I think to "SOS" who, starting from being "Civilian visitor" became Scout,Second,Leader,Officaer,and now Group Scout Master of

The Troop which, he insisted should come into being. To the Scouts of the 34th. , today I would say "Look around you in your new H.Q., and then think back to that starting moment when a boy said to his headmaster,” Sir, could you please spare me a minute or two after School today?"

Good luck ,34th                                                                                                                                                                                                           H.C.C.


                                                                        (First Scoutmaster)






POS     NAME                                                             POS                 YEARS


1          SPENCER M                                          ASL/SL/GSL/ESL   29        (*)


2          RON BISH                                                      ASL/GSL         24

3          JOHN COOPER                                             CL/GSL           21

4          SHARRON BALCOMBE                              ACL/CL          17        (*)
5          ROBERT WALKER                                        ACL              17        (*)
6          ANGELA HARRIS                                          ABL.BL/SL    16
7          GERRY GAULE                                             ASL/SL          16                   
8          BARBARA TURNER  (**)                             ACL/CL          15       

9         G.H.FASE                                                       ASL                 14
10        PETER.TESTER                                              CL                  13

11        J.F.FULBROCK                                             CL                   11

12        BARBARA STYLES                                       ACL/CL          11

13        IL FULBROCK                                               ACL                10       


(*) =    STILL WITH THE GROUP                (**)=   NOT CONTINUES





1          MR PEARMAN                      1951                -           1957                6

2          MR FRANK CAIN                 1957                -           1958                1

3          MR FRANKHAM                   1958                -           1964                6

4          MR COOPER                         1964                -           1966                2

5          MR FREEMAN                       1966                -           1972                6

6          MR FIELD                              1972                -           1975                3

7          MR SADLER                          1975                -           1980                5

8          MR JOHN STYLES                1980                -           1989                9

9          MR FRANK FUNNELL         1990                -           1995                5

10        MR DAVID SAYCE               1996                -           2003                7

11        MR DAVID HIX                     2003                -           2005                2

12        MR ADIAN SMITHSON       2006                -           2008                2         

13        ROB LYNCH                        2008                -          2010                2         

14        JOHN ANDAMS                  2011                 -         2013                2
15        DAVID  THOMPSON         2013                 -          TO DATE                    




                                    E.G.NEATE ESQ,O.B.E.

                        COUNTY COMMISSIONER FOR SURREY

                                                ASSISTED BY

                                    THE REV J.B.PHILIPS,M.A.

                               VICAR OF ST JOHN'S REDHILL



                                     SATURDAY 24TH MAY 1952


An extension to the Scout hut was started in the Summer of 1959.



DATE  LEADERS       SCOUTS         CUBS              BEAVERS       Senior/Ven/Ex

.........................................16th Reigate(Meadvale)..........................

1915    6                      42                    12                    -                      

1934    2                      7                      23                    -                       -

..........................................34th Reigate (ST John's Boys School).....   

1930    1                      9                      -                       -                       -

1931    1                      14                    -                       -                       -

1933    2                      16                    -                       -                       -

..........................................34th Reigate (Meadvale).........................

1935    4                      24                    16                    -                       -

1936    5                      17                    17                    -                       10

1937    5                      12                    15                    -                       13

1938    6                      15                    18                    -                       6

1943    3                      19                    28                    -                       -

1944    3                      18                    26                    -                       2

1945    4                      10                    28                    -                       -

1946    5                      18                    23                    -                       2

1947    2                      22                    16                    -                       -

1948    4                      15                    15                    -                       -

1951    3                      17                    24                    -                       6

1952    4                      10                    22                    -                       6

1953    2                      10                    18                    -                       -

1954    6                      16                    14                    -                       4

1955    5                      14                    21                    -                       6

1956    6                      12                    23                    -                       -

1959    6                      19                    27                    -                       10

1960    6                      34                    15                    -                       9

1961    7                      34                    21                    -                       5

1963    6                      32                    28                    -                       5

1964    5                      17                    26                    -                       10

1965    5                      19                    26                    -                       10

1966    3                      17                    24                    -                       10

1967    5                      19                    22                    -                       -

1969    4                      20                    24                    -                       -

1975    4                      24                    24                    -                       -

1980    5                      18                    24                    -                       8

1987    6                      15                    32                    7                      -

1992    8                      23                    24                    24                    -

1993    8                      19                    24                    24                    -

1994    8                      21                    24                    24                    -

1995    6                      21                    27                    15                    -

1996    7                      29                    22                    18                    -

1997    7                      22                    22                    23                    -

1998    7                      24                    21                    26                    -

1999    7                      22                    22                    27                    -

2000    7                      24                    20                    29                    -

2001    6                      24                    21                    28                    -

2002    6                      22                    20                    29                    -

2003    9                      15                    20                    17                    15

2004    9                      23                    19                    18                    15

2005    9                      24                    20                    28                    14

2006    14                    24                    24                    30                    14

2007    13                    24                    24                    27                    21

2008    11                    24                    24                    19                    15

2009    13                    24                    28                    24                    24

2010    13                    24                    26                    22                    23

2011   16                 24                  24                 24                  24

2012   14                 24                  24                 20                  18
2013   15                 24                  31                 26                  16   


 The history of Redhill owes its origins in pocket communities of Linkfield Street, Hooley, Wiggy, little London and MEADVALE. Meadvale was known in the 19th century as Meads Hole. The name means meadowland hollow. There were a number of dwellings and pottery businesses scattered over the common including some kilns. A famous painter Samuel Palmer lived in the village at the Chantry Meadvale until his death in 1881. In Victorian times the village had two butchers, a baker, a draper, a tailor and a grocer’s shop. The first school to be opened was held here in the village hall. Parents had to pay one penny a week for each child. At the beginning of the 19th century, there was a tanyard adjoining Earlswood Common at the entrance to Meadvale. Clarence Walk was once known as Cats Walk. St John’s was near the area called little London and the cottages were called Crockeerty well, which provided the local water supply.


(Spence) ESL

 My own memories of Meadvale date back to when I was a Scout in the late 1970’s Meadvale still had a Off licence (Which will all went in and brought Shandy Bass from on the way home from Scouts), the Post Office, hair dressers and general store. We always use to go into Berry’s and get our sweets and drinks before going on camp or trips out. Now days they have all gone and Meadvale lacks the local sprit it use to have. 



 The original group in Meadvale was the 16th Reigate who started in 1913 by 1915 they had 42 Scouts and 12 Cubs with six of their leaders on active service in the war. In 1918 the group went camping with the Earlswood troop to Eastbourne. At a meeting held in January 1930 after much discussion Mr Cole was told he could start a Troop at St John’s Boys School. The 34th Started in 1930 with nine Scouts and one Leader. The fortunes of the 16th sank and to keep them from going under completely they joined with the 34th to become the 34th Reigate (Meadvale). It was proposed to join the 16th and the 34th at a meeting held in December 1934. At a meeting held in July 1935 it was agreed and past that the two groups would go under the name of the 34th with Meadvale being added on. They became the 34th Reigate (Meadvale). This was put forward to the Scout Association in September 1935 and it was past and agreed in December 1935.



34th REIGATE (1930-2007)


 The 16th original Colour for a scarf was purple this was then changed to Royal blue. In 1930 the group was started as the 34th Reigate in February. Harold Cole from Hardwick Road was the first Scoutmaster. The colour of the scarf chosen was Red and White strips. The group had two flags, vaulting horse, parallel bars, trek cart and £10.In 1930 the group won the Reigate District Life saving award.

 In 1935 the group was amalgamated with the 16TH to form the 34TH Reigate (Meadvale) and moved to Meadvale. In 1935 the Cubs were started. The Group got it first form of transport the old trek cart which it used to carry all the equipment for camp on with the boys walking along side. Summer Camps included Hayling Island and Fairlight.


 During the Second World War the 34th had up to a maximum of fourteen on active service. They also lost two of their Leaders who were killed in the war. There were no camps during the war. A two-week camp to Bexhill cost a total of £7 nowadays a 10-day camp cost over £12,000. Summer Camps included Bexhill on Sea and Hayling Island.


 The plans were approved for the new hut in June 1950. The hut used 10,000 bricks to make. In 1951 the extension with den, toilets and kitchen was started after the group were given a grant for £150.Opening of the new Scout Hut happened on 24th May 1952 by the County Commissioner.  In 1953 the group went camping with the 16th Lambeth Scout Group. In 1958 the group got its first ever flag.

In 1958 the group brought 34 staves (Some still in use today)

Then just under two years later the Cubs got their first flag. In June 1959 the group were granted permission to change their scarves to plain red with a two inch white square from their previous red and white stripped scarves. This was the first time the group used the Pascal lamb.

At a meeting held in January 1959 the Group Scout master had asked to advice his supporters committee that regular sessions of bingo should help the group raise funds. The committee did not agree that such methods of fund raising should be approved. In 1959 the Scouts were helping the East Surrey hospital by doing some decorating and helping at the Surrey Agriculture Show. Also in 1959 the Group had its first Two Queen Scouts. In the 1950’s the Group used an open back lorry to transport kids and kit to camps. 1959 saw Mr Peter Mitchell Spencer's dad helping run the Scout along with his brother. Camps in the 1950’s included Bexhill, Margate, Hastings, Marlborough and Failight.


 In 1960 it cost £3 to go on Summer Camp nowadays it cost of £300 plus a lot of fund raising. In 1964 the group brought a second hand army marquee for £45. In 1966 the group brought a new canoe. They also brought a new patrol tent for £23.30 new ones now cost over £500.

In 1962 the Group went to Wembley to the ice Show instead of a Christmas Party. In the Mid 1960’s the Group had its most ever Queens Scouts when it had ten in its ranks. In the 1960’s the Leader jack Wicks use to ride along behind the lorry on his motorbike picking up bits of kit that had fallen of the lorry. In 1966 the Senior Scouts joined together with the 2nd Reigate. In 1966 the Group held a large Gang Show. Also in 1966 the trek cart was out collecting jumble when it went into a car doing £6 worth of damage. The Wheel of progress was started in this year for best Scout/Explorer. In 1967 the Venture Scouts were started in Meadvale. In 1967 the Leaders did a fund raiser walking from Meadvale to Chichester in Sussex. Also in 1967 the new uniform came in. Camps during the 1960’s included IOW, Luxembourg, Wales, Chalmouth and Dorset.


 In 1971 the group held a jumble sale here in Meadvale hall at the end the realised they had sold the halls Hoover and polisher. In 1973 the Group held a reunion in October at St Mary’s Hall in Reigate to celebrate 60 years of Scouting in Meadvale. In 1974 the group won best group in District. In the early 1970’s the group got an old water company van as transport. This was fitted out with seats from Reigate Bus garage. Spence started in Scouts in 1977. In 1978 the Venture Scouts were

Re-started in Meadvale. Next transport was an old ambulance. Numbers were low and there was only one Patrol called The Patrol. Camps during the 1970’s included Switzerland, Bridgeport and Trowbridge.


In 1980 Spence won the Wheel of Progress as a Scout. The Ambulance gave up; the last time we used it the leaders had to jam a screwdriver into the gearbox to change gear. Great Fun!  In the early 1980’s the Venture Scouts joined forces with the 2nd Reigate. Spencer's Dad and Mum were back with the group this time helping Cubs. In 1982 Spence won with another Scout and two Guides from Meadvale a National competition called Tandermania looking at disabilities, skills and camping and won a free trip to France. Also that year Spence was part of the team that won the District football competition and Spence finished Runner up in the County Orienteering competition. In 1986 the Group won the best float in the Reigate Carnival. In January 1987 the Beavers started in Meadvale, to start with they were not aloud to wear the groups Scarf and they had their own Beaver Scarf. Summer Camps in the 1980’s saw them go to Winchester, Guernsey, Deal and Marlow.


In December 1990 Spence took over as Scout Leader. Again the Scouts started to help the East Surrey hospital by helping look after Courtyard gardens at the hospital. In 1994 the Group won best Group in District. In 1994 and again in 1995 the Cubs won the District Swimming Gala and Capsize. In 1995 Cub leader Sharon started and the September saw me start in Beavers. In November 1995 the Group held a 60th anniversary of the 34th Reigate (Meadvale) with the oldest leader and the youngest and smallest Beaver! (Nick Harris now a 6 foot 5' Explorer helper) In January 1996 Robert started in Cubs. In the mid 1990’s Spence ask his company to give him their old mini bus so they just did costing him £25 which they gave back to him in Cash. The early 1990’s saw the Scouts dominate at lot of events winning Swimming competitions, Football, kontiki, Best Flags, Campfires, Raft Races, Volleyball and Assault courses. In 1992, 95 and 96 the Group held large Gang Shows. In 1995 the Scouts won the District football competition, and the County Sailing award. The Summer Camps saw them visit Bristol, Windermere. Torquay, IOW, Norfolk and Dorset.



In 2003 Spence started the Explorer unit in Meadvale and the first Explorer enrolled was Andy Wyeth. Rev Nicolas Calver blessed the flag in St John's Church. In 2003 we set a record again by being the first Explorer Unit in Surrey and District to have Queen Scouts (Four) including Stu and Andy. In 2004 the group finally got the chance to replace the windows which were put in when the hut was built in the 50’s they found out they were not put in properly and yet they had lasted over 50 years. In 2004 we again had two more Queen Scouts. The current form of transport is the old St Beds mini bus with sixteen seats. Also there was a gang Show held in Meadvale Hall but for the first time ever all four sections took part, The Beavers, Cubs, Scout and the Explorers. The kitchen was finally renovated but again the walls are not square and the floor slopes. The Explorers finished third in the County Night Challenge and the Explorers and the Scouts both won the District Kontiki Raft races in 2005. Our 75th year saw for the first time all the section Camping at Boiderhurst on one fantastic Camp with over 100 leaders, Explorers, Scouts, Cubs and Beavers taking part plus many day visitors. The summer camps included Scotland, Ireland, Jersey, Switzerland, Somerset, Czech Republic, Austria ,Staffordshire for the Centenary of Scouting, France and we finished with Croatia.

The Unit won the District great Escape camp for the first time.We went to the Isle of Wight for Summer Camp had one more Queen Scout and four attend the Queen Scout presentation at Windsor meeting Prince Charles. We also had the Group 80th birthday Camp.2011 saw six more Queen Scouts and a fantatsic camp to Switzerland with 45 going our biggest ever. 2012 saw the Unit gt four more Queen Scouts , Summer Camp was to Wales and we took part in the Olympic Bike Ride. 

Some interesting Facts about the 34th


We have had 13 Chairmen                             


We have had 8 Beaver Leaders                     


We have had 12 Cub Leaders                        


We have had 14 Scout Leaders                       


We have had 1 Explorer leader                     


We have had 13 Group Scout leaders


(Not including Spence four times/Chris D twice)  



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