Our History

Several Scout Groups have served the Fakenham area since Baden-Powell wrote Scouting For Boys.  On this page we are attempting to tell their stories.  If you have any information on these or other local Groups we would love to hear from you!

Fakenham District

Fakenham was formerly the centre of a District in The Scout Association.  Districts are organisational bodies that look after a number of local Scout Groups.  Fakenham District was merged with Mid-Norfolk District in 2003 to form Central Norfolk District.

Groups operating in the former Fakenham District area included:

  • Fakenham Lancaster Baden-Powell Air Scouts
  • Fakenham Wensum
  • Nelson Rural
  • Melton Magna
  • Wells Sea Scouts (closed 2011)
  • 1st Little Snoring (closed 2011)
  • 1st Sculthorpe (closed 2009)
  • 1st West Raynham (closed 1994)
  • 2nd Fakenham (closed 1969)
  • 1st Fakenham (renamed 1968)
  • 1st Hempton (Holy Trinity) (closed 1962)
  • 1st Hempton Sea Scouts (closed 1954)
  • 1st Walsingham (closed)

Fakenham Scout Groups

In February 2008 the leaders of Fakenham Wensum Scout Group held a meeting with their Scouts to discuss a series of frustrations that the Group were experiencing and, with the Group Scout Leader (GSL) and most of the leadership threatening to resign, look for a way forward.  As a result of this meeting with the young people the leaders decided to seek a more effective way to meet the needs of Fakenham's young people.  Scout leader Richard send an email to the Baden-Powell Scout's Association, to see if they could provide an alternative support option, and the end result of this was the formation of Fakenham Lancaster Baden-Powell Air Scouts, as part of the B-PSA. 

The Fakenham Lancaster Baden-Powell Air Scout Group was registered under the B-PSA on 7th March 2008, initially meeting at the Fakenham Rugby Club, located just off the Wells Road, arranged by Scout leader Wayne.  The Group Scout Master was Guy, who had  formerly been the GSL at Fakenham Wensum. 

By May 2008 the Group had outgrown the buildings at the Rugby Club and started to look for a new home, which was found at the Fakenham Children's Daycare Centre, behind the Cricket Club.    The Group was also given use of a local field for training exercises.

Recognising that their new home was not going to be able to accomodate the increasing demand for places, the Group started looking for a more permanent home.  In late 2010 the Sennowe Park Estate, long-time friends of the Scout Movement, offered the Group use of a site close to the Fakenham Race Course, and plans to develop a suitable HQ were put in motion.  A fund-raising effort, where Senior Scout Master Richard contacted a large number of local and aviation companies requesting a small donation, released the funds needed to pay the first required fees for the site.

Although we now had a site, the derelict building that were left by the previous user were unfit for purpose.  Luckily Richard tracked down an available building (by literally chasing a lorry carrying a mobile classroom back to it's depot and asking if the company had any buildings that they would like to donate).  With a very short deadline for deliver, a small team cleared the space for the new building to be delivered - and our new HQ became operational.

Keen observers may notice that the Fakenham Lancaster's flag carries a small badge of a hand making the Scout sign.  In August 2008 Richard arranged for members of the Group to attended a Jamboree celebrating the centenary of the first Scout Camp run by Baden-Powell at Humshaugh, Northumberland in 1908.  The Humshaugh camp is accepted to be the first actual Scout Camp, as the boys who attended B-P's first camp at Brownsea were not Scouts.  This small badge reflects the Group attending the ceremony that took place on 22nd August 2008 at the actual site of B-P's camp.  The Scouts who attended this event were informed by the Founder and President of the B-PSA that these badges should be worn on their uniforms from that time on, with the same being applied to the flag's of the attending groups.

The Group provides Traditional Scouting, with an aviation emphasis, to young people aged 5 to 25.

1st Fakenham were established on the 3rd May 1923, with their headquarters listed as being on Bridge Street.  In 1923 there were two Scouters, Scout Master John Pattison and Assistant Scout Master Clifford Andrews and the Troop started with 48 Scouts.

By 1928 Clifford Andrews had taken over as Scoutmaster, and was now responsible for the 20 Scouts and 5 Rover Scouts who made up the Troop.

1st Fakenham Scout Group was re-registered on 21st October 1948 as part of the North West Norfolk District.  At this time the Group was meeting at the Congregational Schoolroom on Norwich Road (pictured).  The Group Scout Master was S. Cooper, with C. Harrison being Scoutmaster and C. Knight listed as Assistant Scoutmaster.  At this time the Group had 28 Scouts.  

In 1st April 1968, 1st Fakenham Scout Group, now a part of the Fakenham District, asked for permission to change their name to Fakenham Wensum Scout Group.  This change was requested by Group Scout Leader D. Mann.  This change was granted by Imperial Headquarters at 25, Buckingham Palace Road on 8th April 1968.

Fakenham Wensum moved into a new purpose built headquarters, located close to the new Community Centre.  This was on land which had historically been used as a training area by Fakenham Scouts, as evidenced by photographs kept in the local newspaper archives.  Another change which took place at this time saw the Rover Scout section, which allowed Scouts to continue until they were 24 years old, replaced by Venture Scouts, catering for 16 to 20 year olds.

A fairly major change for the Group took place in 1999, when they started to accept applications from girls wishing to become Scouts.  Fakenham Wensum was one of the first Groups to welcome girls into Scouting.

In the 2001 review of Scout Districts the Fakenham District was merged with Mid Norfolk District.  As a result of this change, Fakenham Wensum Scout Group became a part of the Central Norfolk Scout District. 

Two years later the Group lost its Venture Scout unit.  After they were abolished the Venture Scouts returned to being Senior Scouts, but this unofficial unit was short-lived and was replaced by a District operated Explorer Scout unit, for Scouts aged 14 to 18, meeting in Dereham.

Due to the interests of several Scouts and leaders, an Air Scout section was opened in the Group during late 2006.  In 2008 the Air Scout section of Fakenham Wensum broke away from Fakenham Wensum, and the Scout Association, becoming the Fakenham Lancaster Baden-Powell Air Scout Group.

In 2009 the numbers on the Group's role were boosted by the merging of Sculthorpe and Little Snoring Groups into Fakenham Wensum Scout Group, and although the Scout section closed within a couple of years it has since re-opened.  The group continues to offer the Scout Association's programme to children aged 6 to 11 years. 

2nd Fakenham (Salvation Army) Scout Group were first registered on 10th February 1954, meeting in the Salvation Army Hall on Oak Street.  

The investiture of the new Wolf Cub pack took place on Friday March 5th, by Rev. Brown (District Boy Scout Commissioner), and was conducted privately in the the Army Hall.  The picture to the left of this paragraph, provided by the Archant News Group, shows the Pack taking the salute during this ceremony. 

The official inauguration took place at a public ceremony on the evening of Saturday 6th March, conducted by Major Emerson D.Y.P.S  County  Chaplain for Salvation Army Groups, who presented the new pack with their flag. 

Roy Sayer was commissioned as "Cub Master", who was responsible for 20 Wolf Cubs.  Unlike 1st Fakenham, who were an "Open Group", 2nd Fakenham were sponsored by the Salvation Army.  The registration of the Group was, therefore, approved by Major Drenham of the Salvation Army.

2nd Fakenham closed in 1969, following the Advance Party Report, with the remaining Cubs, Scouts and leaders joining the Fakenham Wensum Scout Group.

1st Hempton Sea Scouts were formed on 28th June 1937 as part of the North West Norfolk District.  The Scoutmaster was Leslie Arthur Freeman, with Harry William Neale as Assistant Scoutmaster.  At registration the group had 7 Sea Scouts. 

Their headquarters was the former windmill on Shereford Road, a fact that drew national attention - with a photograph appearing in the May 1938 edition of "The Scouter". 

Sadly the mill was demolished during the early part of WW2, due to concerns that the Luftwaffe were using it to help guide them to RAF West Raynham.  

The group closed in 1954.

On 11th May 1955 1st Hempton (Holy Trinity) Scout Group opened at the parish church, although no longer listed as a Sea Scout unit.  1st Hempton continued to operate until March 1962, with the remaining Scouts joining the 1st Fakenham Scout Group.

Little Snoring was established by Central Norfolk District of the Scout Association in 2007, the centenary year of Scouting.  Due to problems finding enough adult support, the Group initially operated as part of Fakenham Wensum Scout Group.  By early 2008 the Group was operating on its own, with leadership being provided by a mix of volunteer leaders and Scout Association staff.  In 2009 the Group was merged back into the Fakenham Wensum Scout Group, although meetings were still held at Little Snoring.  The Group had closed by mid-2011.

Researched from original documents by Richard Cullen, our former SM(s) - January 2008, edited December 2008. Thanks to The Scout Association for their help in researching this article.