A brief history of the 9th Formby Scout Group

The first registration for Scouts at St. Peter was as the 37th Southport (4th Formby) on 24th July 1929.  The Group was led by the GSM (Group Scout Master) Robert McGregor of 3, Cheapside Formby. The Troop opened with 20 Scouts and the SM (Scout Master) was a James Tyrer of Southport Road. The Troop met in the Parish Church Hall also known as the Victoria Hall. The reason for the dual name was that Formby was still part of Southport and District Scouts which at that time also included Ormskirk and what is now Skelmersdale, but didn’t include Crosby. The popularity of Scouting was on the increase at the time due to the World Scout Jamboree that was held in Arrowe Park, Birkenhead. However the records with Imperial Scout Headquarters show the Group had closed in 1931 at the time of the Scout Census.

The second registration for the 4th Formby is 25th March 1938 there are no details of the closure of this group, but would assume during the Second World War. There is now no Southport moniker as by this point Formby had split off from Southport, in 1934 being strong enough to go it alone supporting 8 groups in the District. The GSM (and SM) was Morace Lamb of Stanley Road, with two ASM’s (Assistant Scout Masters) Roy Freyer and Leslie Gavigan both of Ravenmeols Lane. The Troop opened with 23 Scouts. This incarnation of the group again met at the Parish Hall, now the Victoria Hall but unlike the first Group which was classed as open, this was a ‘controlled’ group which had the permission and support of the Parish and the ‘incumbent’ (Vicar) Rev. H.P Barsley who signed the registration document.

The third registration for the 4th Formby is the 4th April 1949, again there is no information of the closure, but they did not appear on the 1955 District list. The Group was now “sponsored” by St. Peters and was still supported by the Rev. Cannon H.P Barsley, probably reflecting the changing times of the early post war years the Troop opened with just 8 Scouts, the S.M being W. Burt of Alderson Crescent, there being no GSM at the time. The District was merged back into Southport during 1955, as only the 1st, 6th & 8th Formby still existed although the latter two where Cubs only and connected to boarding schools in Formby. This was before the large expansion of Formby during the 1960’s which increased the population considerably, and led once again to the expansion of Scouting in the town.

Formby split from Southport again on the 30th May 1977 although the District had been renamed Sefton North following the 1974 reorganisation, the Groups being renumbered again, or dropping their XYZ Southport Group number at the time. Unfortunately this all occurred just before the current St. Peters Scout Group was reformed on the 22nd September 1977 so it took the next available number becoming the 9th Formby. It was again Sponsored by the Church but as an open group, and signed off by Rev. Kevin Eastell. The GSL being Michael Hammond of Alexandra Road Great Crosby. The CSL (Akela) was Susan Sanderson and her husband Norman being ASL (Assistant Scout Leader), while the SL (Scout Leader) was Robert Mitchell. The Group opened with 12 Cubs and 5 Air Scouts, the Troop being an Air Scout Troop so slightly different to the Troops in the District. Easily identifiable by their blue shirts.

So in 2019 the Group legitimately celebrated 90 years since St. Peters Scouts first started and with healthy numbers in all sections continues to thrive.

With many thanks to Mark Sheil for this article