20th Glasgow Scout Group History


We are actively researching the history of the group.   See Researching the History for details.


Selection of photos from the past and present in our Gallery


The following information has been collated from various sources including Scouts Scotland, local newspapers and other publications as well as personal records and recollections. It will be added to, or amended, as and when additional details are collected.



Robert Baden Powell held the first Scouting event, a camp on Brownsea Island in Dorset in the summer of 1907. This camp together with the subsequent publication of his book, Scouting for Boys, led to the rapid growth of the Scout movement across Britain and globally.



The First Glasgow Scouts date back to 26th January 1908 and are the oldest registered Scout Group in the world. The 24th Glasgow (Bearsden) Scout Group was also formed in 1908.


The original 20th Glasgow Scouts were registered in 1913 in Langside in the Glasgow South East Scout District. Their registration number was 4833


The 20th Group number was then reallocated in 1922 to a new Scout Group that met in Blochairn UF church in Glasgow North Scout District with a registration number of 9393



Wolf Cubs started in the UK



Rover Scouts started (?) in the UK


A group of Scouts from the First Glasgow Scout Troop were in Milngavie in the vicinity of Tannoch Loch on 19th January when several persons fell through the ice. The Scouts organised a rescue and brought all persons to safety. Patrol Leader Robert Cochrane was awarded the Cornwell Badge for his – ‘leadership and courage in saving lives’. Two other Scouts, George Battison and Walter Coutts, were awarded the Silver Cross – ’for their conduct at the ice accident’.



The title of 20th Glasgow was reallocated a second time and on 23rd November 1931 the 20th were registered with a meeting place of Milngavie Public School with a total of 29 Wolf Cubs. There were 3 Cub Leaders who were listed as Miss J.R. Stewart, 9 Fergus Drive, Milngavie, A Cochrane, Germiston (?), Milngavie and Miss Allan, Dunalwyn, Milngavie. Miss Allan was the first to receive her warrant as Cub Master in September 1932.


The Group had a registration number of 13369 and they may also have had the title (2nd Milngavie)


The Cub Pack continued over the next few years with around 25 Cubs.




The 13th Glasgow (1st Milngavie) Cub Pack was started by Ronnie Walker, Jock Stevens and Ronald Sellars previously of the 1st Glasgow. They met in the Old Mill Hut and had a khaki neckie with an orange border. The Pack met weekly and had 2 sixes.




The registration details for the 20th Glasgow changed on 9th May 1939 with St Luke’s Church as the sponsor, the Church Hall as the meeting place and the Group registration number was now 20268. They had 12 Wolf Cubs and the Scouter was J Milligan (junior?) of 18 Keystone Quadrant. The Group was part of Kelvin District and was shown as a “controlled” Group, which probably meant it was formally linked to the church



1939-45 (?)

There were 2 Patrols (Kestrel and Kiwi) of Milngavie Scouts within what appears to have been a Milngavie section of A Company of the First Glasgow Scouts



The 20th Glasgow now had 38 Wolf Cubs and they met in St Andrew’s Church Hall with the Rev Barkway and 4 other Scouters in charge




The first Scouts now appeared on the census return for the 20th Glasgow, and there were 20 of them recorded as well 36 Wolf Cubs and 3 Scouters.



The Rev Barkway of the Parsonage was appointed Group Scoutmaster (GSM).



The annual Scout census returns over these 3 years were Wolf Cubs (30, 24, 26), Scouts (15, 24 ,26) and Scouters (4, 2, 5) showing a gradual growth in total numbers of 49 to 50 to 57



The 20th Glasgow changed from a sponsored or controlled Scout Group to an open Group in March 1946. There were 26 Wolf Cubs, 36 Scouts and 5 Leaders



The numbers in the Group over these 2 years were Wolf Cubs (22, 17), Scouts (16, 24) and Scouters (5, 6)



The 20th Glasgow reached a major milestone on 1st October 1949 with the opening of their own new Scout Hall behind the Bowling Club in Claremont Gardens. The building was formally opened by Sir James Weir French.


The Cub and Scout numbers had grown again to 35 Cubs and 26 Scouts. 2 Rover Scouts were also shown in the census return.



The total numbers (Cubs, Scouts and Scouters) in the Group stayed high and increased from 66 up to 92.



Rover Scouts continued to appear in the census with a high of 9.



The census recorded 68 Cubs and 51 Scouts



A second Scout Group, the 210th was formed in Milngavie and they met in St Joseph’s Primary School, however the new Troop only lasted until the mid 60’s when they closed down and many of their members joined the 20th Glasgow.



The annual census included 8 Rover Scouts.



The Glasgow Scout Districts changed and the 20th became part of North West 3 District.



88 Cubs and 62 Scouts were recorded in the census.



16 Scouts and Leaders travelled Denmark to take part in the Ny-Hedeby Scout jamboree in Denmark



The 20th Glasgow Group name changed to include (1st Milngavie)



Another major event in the Group’s development was the opening of the new Scout Headquarters in Main Street on 17th November 1973. The building was formally opened by the County Commissioner Ronnie Caldwell. The hall cost £26,000 to build and the opening ceremony included contributions from Bob Whyte, Group Scout Leader, Ray Robinson, Group Chairman, Rev Roy Paterson, Group Chaplain, Nigel Orr, Scout Leader and the Provost of Milngavie, John Breckenridge. The dignitaries were assisted by two 10 year old Cubs, Paul Neilson and Euan Thomson.



The Scout District for the 20th Glasgow changed to Bearsden and Milngavie Scout District. This was to match the new Bearsden and Milngavie District Council area that was formed as part of local government reorganisation in Scotland in 1975.



The census recorded 58 Cubs, 45 Scouts and 8 Venture Scouts



Girls were now allowed to join Scouting in the UK, although this only applied to Venture Scouts.



The Beaver section for 6 to 8 year olds was started in the UK. They formally became known as Beaver Scouts from 1986.



Girls were now allowed to join all sections of Scouting across the UK, including Beaver, Cub and Scout sections.



The 20th Glasgow held a 65th Anniversary Social Evening and reunion in the Scout Hall on 15th November.


More local government reorganisation in Scotland led to Milngavie becoming part of the new East Dunbartonshire Council area



Explorer Scouts in the UK were replaced by Venture Scouts

New Scout logos and uniforms were launched



Peter Duncan, a former Blue Peter presenter, became the first Chief Scout in the UK to be appointed through a new application process.



The centenary of Scouting events included a world Jamboree held at Hylands Park in Essex and one Scout from the 20th Glasgow (Josh Mowforth) was selected to attend along with 40,000 other Scouts from all over the world.



Another reorganisation of Scouting across the UK saw the formation of Clyde Region. This was an amalgamation of the previous two Scout Areas of Greater Glasgow and Lanarkshire. The 20th Glasgow were now part of Great Western Scout District, which included Scout Groups from the former Bearsden and Milngavie, North Western and Northern Districts.



Bear Grylls was appointed Chief Scout


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