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Scouts & Guide Centre 50th Anniversary

by Haddenham Webteam – 16th June 2024
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Haddenham Association of Scouts and Guides celebrates Golden Anniversary

The Haddenham Scout and Guide Association is celebrating 50 years since the Scout and Guide Centre was opened at Banks Park, with a Golden Anniversary Afternoon Tea on 14th July. Volunteers from the past and present are invited to attend the celebration.

The Association is a registered charity that supports Scouting and Guiding in the village. Proposals for the Haddenham Association of Scouts and Guides were adopted in 1972 and the Executive Committee was formed led by first Chairman Peter Williams and representatives from the village uniformed organisations, including Guiding member Carol Saetta.

At the end of the following year, on 1st Dec 1973 the Centre was opened by Roy Harding, Chief Education Officer of Buckinghamshire County Council. At that time, there were 9 uniformed units with 200 children enrolled.

The Association owns, maintains, and manages the Scout and Guide Centre, primarily as a meeting place for village Scouting and Guiding units but the Centre has been used by many other organisations and individuals for community activities and private hire events.

Current Chairman Richard Kendall, who has been in the role since 2002 says: "When the Scout & Guide Association built the Centre in 1973, I am sure those involved were not thinking ahead as far as 2024. Here we are now, 50 years later, with a building that is still serving its intended purpose as a venue for Scouting and Guiding units' meetings, but for almost all that time, the Centre has also been the home of a preschool, Puddleducks and now CHUF. Countless children have come through the doors, and, with support from the Association, Scouting and Guiding still flourishes in the village and the Centre is now a well-established and important community facility."

Over the last 50 years, there have been hundreds of volunteers who have given their time to run and support Haddenham Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Venture Scouts, Rainbows, Brownies and Guides. Thanks to these volunteers, thousands of local children have enjoyed the experience and adventure of being part of the Scouting and Guiding movement.

Representatives from the uniformed organisation always attend and support the annual village Remembrance Parade and Service in St Mary's Church and at the War Memorial. Members have helped with numerous community activities, including visiting local residential care home, litter picking, cleaning St Mary's Church, building bug hotels at the Community Orchard, stewarding at Open Gardens events and fundraising for many local charities and good causes.

In 2016, the Association ran the first Haddenham Scarecrow Festival, which has grown and become a well-supported annual event, having raised well over £15,000 for local and national charities in the last 9 years.

To celebrate their Golden Anniversary, the Association is hosting an Afternoon Tea Party on Saturday 14th July, 2-5pm, to thank all the volunteers they have been able to contact. They have already invited as many individuals as possible but inevitably others will have moved away or lost contact with the current Committee. If you were involved with any of the units, but have not yet received an Invitation, the Association would love to hear from you by 22nd June.. Please contact the Association by 22nd June by email at Julie.fell543@btinternet.com or by text/phone at 07971 193476

If anyone has any photos or memorabilia specifically about the Scout and Guide Centre of Scouting or Guiding in Haddenham, please email us on scarecrowhaddenham.festival@gmail.com

Francesca Flaxton
Brownie Guider and Association Committee Member

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