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Scouts celebrate

PUBLISHED: 14:13 23 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:26 07 July 2010

Generations of Scouts lined the streets at the weekend as one of the oldest groups in Britain celebrated its centenary.

1st Dereham Scout group was set up in March 1908 by two youngsters inspired by Robert Baden Powell's famous book Scouting for Boys.

Generations of Scouts lined the streets at the weekend as one of the oldest groups in Britain celebrated its centenary.

1st Dereham Scout group was set up in March 1908 by two youngsters inspired by Robert Baden Powell's famous book Scouting for Boys.

Having persuaded their schoolmaster Howard Costigan to be their Scoutmaster the Deer Patrol was soon established.

And to mark 100 years of adventures, camping and neckerchiefs, on Sundayafternoon the group, accompanied by Beavers and Cubs, proudly paraded through town before attending a special service at St Nicholas Church.

The parade was led by the Salvation Army band and the salute was taken by Colin Burleigh a scout in the 1940s, Lt Col Angus Watson of the Light Dragoons, and the Scout county commander Richard Butler.

Hundreds of people braved the grey overcast weather to cheer on the group before squeezing into the church, which was soon left with standing room only.

Former leaders travelled from across the country to share scouting tales with members and between hymns the beaver and scout promise and laws were read out.

Claudette Webster, who helped organise the event and whose husband David is assistant cub leader, said: “I'm pleased with the turnout.

“We wanted people to be able to share our celebrations. We are here and have been for 100 years.”

Afterwards at the Scout headquarters a cake was cut by Lt Col Watson and Mr Butler and flowers were laid in memory of the four founders of the scouts who lost their lives in World War One.

The 1st Dereham group now has two cub packs, two beaver colonies and a Scout group with a second patrol called the Peewits formed.

For many years the group met in Church House but in 1957 the group acquired the former Congregational Church premises in London Road.

Last year a pantomime production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs written and produced in recognition of the centenary celebrations by Cub Scouter Bobbie Heath was so well supported that they plan to put on an Aladdin show later this year.

tFor more information contact Claudette Webster on 01362 694495.

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