Cymdeithas Hanes Resolfen History Society

A web log for the Resolven History Society which publishes articles and stories related to Resolven and the immediate surroundings.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A short History of Scouting in Resolven

The Society held its annual members night in December. This year a quiz " with a difference" was held and a good time was had by all. The meeting ended with some festive refreshments. Gwyn Thomas has unearthed this history of the Scouting Movement in the village.A History of Scouting at Resolven

The Scout movement started at Resolven in 1910, with the formation of the Woodpigeon Patrol at Rheola by Miss Elizabeth Vaughan (who later married Captain Mark “stick it to the Welsh” Haggard). This early troop was very active, giving gymnastic displays in the old Mission Hall. They were also considered to be one of the fastest troops at pitching and striking camp in local competitions. They also helped to line the route when King George V came to open the Civic Centre at Cardiff in 1912.

By 1913 they had grown to quite a large troop and at least six of them saw active service during the 1914- 18 war. In 1920, the troop’s Headquarters was the old coach house. They attended the First International Jamboree at Olympia in London where they were issued with old bell tents in which to camp in Richmond Park. All the Welsh Scouts at the Jamboree were reviewed at Alexandra Park by HRH the Prince of Wales, who had just returned from a visit to Australia.

When Mrs Haggard married Mr Shouldham the troop was taken over by Miss Mollie Vaughan, on her subsequent marriage to Captain Moll at Resolven Church the troop was then left in the capable hands of Joe Pickford. He was made Scout Master, however following his move to Australia the troop was disbanded since it lacked a headquarters. It is also noteworthy that the troop possessed the only bugle band in the area. In 1923, Eddie Vasil received his Assistant Scoutmaster’s Warrant.

The 1st Resolven Group was formed in 1929, the Scoutmaster being Mr Clayton Thatcher. Their HQ was the Salvation Army Hut where the Royal British Legion now stands. Mr Thatcher was helped by:
Cub Master, Mary Janet Evans of Cory Street;
Rover Leader, Bert Williams of Neath Rd.;
ASM Thomas Hancock of Company St.
ACM Hepsie Jones of Rugby Rd.,
ARL David Edwards of John Street.
The Group continued until 1931, when it closed.

On the 31st of May, 1937 the 12th Neath (Resolven) group was registered for the first time. This time David Edwards was the Scout Master and his assistant was Mr Reg Duke of Neath Road. This group met at the old tennis ground Resolven, however they also closed in 1943.

Scouting was restarted by the Rev. A J Lewis on the 21st of March 1947 with the HQ now at Tan-y Rhiw Road. Mr Joe North became Scout Master with Peter Funning as ASM. Rennison Edwards of Rugby Road also served as leader during this period. Mr Frank Funning became Scout Master in June 1952 and later became Assistant District Commissioner. He held office in both posts until his sudden death in October, 1968. During his time as GSL Mr Funning was assisted by Mr Neville Funning ( who still lives in Coronation Avenue, Resolven. Others who have helped are Miss Margaret funning ( nee Morgan), Miss Ann Vasil, Mrs Jean Thomas, Mrs Pat Thomas ( Cefn yr Allt) , Mr Philip Jones, Mr Ivor Thomas, Mr John Funning, Mr Dave O’Brien and Mr Gwyn Thomas who was the GSL in 1969 when this account was first noted.

Further research will have to be carried to bring the story up to date.

Gwyn Thomas 10 December 2007.

To all members and friends of the Society :

Nadolig LLawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda