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History of 7th Lichfield Scout Group

1961: 7th Lichfield Scout Group started in St. Michael's Hall.  Ian Cowburn became the first warranted leader on 7th June 1961.  He started with 4 cub scouts who were about 10 years old.  As numbers grew and the boys got older a Scout Troop was formed and lead by John Williams.

1967-8: A second Cub Pack was formed.  'Friends of the 7th' started fund raising for a Scout Hut led by Mr. S. Shearman MBE.  Money was given generously by the Charities of Lichfield.

1970: The Scout hut on Ash Grove was formally opened by the Member of Parliament.

During the 1970's at one stage 18 leaders were assisting 2 Scout Troops, 2 Cub Packs and 1 Venture Scout Group.  They were very busy at all levels.  Parties of Venture Scouts travelled as far as Germany, Switzerland and America.

The 1980's saw a decline in enthusiasm and by 1991 there was 1 Scout Troop, 1 Cub Pack and and 1 Beaver Colony.  Most of the existing leaders had left over the previous year and the group faced the very real prospect of closure.

The GSL at the time, Mr Brian Homewood made an appeal for help to the parents in the group and this was answered by an influx of new leaders.

By 1992 the group was operating with renewed vigour.  In the words of Brian Homewood from a newsletter in 1993 'The current leaders of the 7th Lichfield (St. Michael's) Scouts can be specially proud as they have pulled the group from a major leadership crises that could have seen the Group close down.  It is now going strong for the benefit of about 60 boys.'

Under Brian's stewardship the lease of the land from the council on which the Scout Hut sits was renewed for another 21 years, having expired in 1991.  However, very little had been spent on the Scout Hut in previous years and it was showing it's age, having been battered by over 20 years of heavy use.

A newsletter from January 1993 on the subject of faults with the Scout Hut reads... "On cold nights water condenses and freezes on the inside of the roof.  When it thaws the water drips onto the floor ... The floor is in a bad state and must be repaired.  Door posts have rotted at the bottom.  Another door is broken and needs rebuilding or replacing.  The store behind the garage has a leaking roof."  The list of problems goes on and on.

By 1995 enough funds had been raised to replace the light asbestos roof with a new insulated steel roof and the work was duly carried out only for further problems to be identified with the electrics which required more fundraising to repair.

The leadership of the time persevered and eventually the Scout Hut was refurbished to a suitable level.  This period set the stage for a sustained period of growth where the popularity of the Scout Group remained steadily high.

The group has continued to benefit from sound leadership through to the current time where we operate two sections of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.  We run to capacity year in year out.  We are the largest Scout Group in the District and certainly one of the most active.  The 7th can proudly boast the best qualified leadership with the most permits in the whole of Staffordshire County.

7th Lichfield is fortunate enough to have reached a kind of 'critical mass' where we no longer struggle to attract leaders and children - our good name stands before us.  We benefit from several well established fundraisers and our accounts are in a very healthy state.

This brief history of our Group should serve as a reminder that we should not take these things for granted and rest on our laurels.  The group has been successful before and has allowed it to slip away - the current leadership is dedicated to making sure that this will never happen again.