8th Eastleigh

Group Enquiry Line : 0845 644 5258

Website: www.8theastleighscouts.org.uk

Scouting in Fair Oak had its beginnings during World War 1. Formed by Col. Cheke of the Cockpit, at this time it had its own drum & fife band. It appears that during the twenties and early thirties, both the Cubs and Scouts wore scarlet scarves (as indeed they still do today). They sometimes met in an old barn that was situated opposite the present H.Q. The Rovers wore purple scarves edged with an orange border and had their den in a thatched building in Paynes Lane.

It was the 13th November 1935 that the 1st Fair oak re-started and has run uninterrupted to this day. At this time meetings were held in the Church Rooms. Fund raising consisted of one jumble sale per year. During World War II, the group continued Scouting and formed a War Service Patrol, acting as messengers. They had weekend camps at Hall Lands Farm off Mortimers Lane under camouflaged ridge & bell tents. After the war meetings were held in a unit aircraft battery hut at Manor Farm, Allington Lane. In 1946 they started to build their own H.Q. in Sandy Lane, opposite Victena Road, completing in 1949. At this time the Leaders were Ted Russell ( cubs) , Eric Balch ( Scouts) & Bob Gotch ( Rovers & Group Leader). Eric of course, better known as Skip, was Group President until 2005.

The start of building a new estate in 1960 meant the Group having to move. Temporary accommodation was taken in the dis-used school (now Fair oak Court) but vandalism made staying there impossible, so assisted by a local councillor they moved into the disused Working Mens Club, having to renew the whole floor that had been destroyed by rot, the building having been derelict. After long negotiations with Parish Council H.Q. was acquired in trust from the Charity Commissioners. The building had been built by volunteer labour in 1896 as a Salvation Army Hall but there failed to be sufficient members and the Salvation Army moved out in 1900. In 1902, a Mr Pember bought it, to be used a Working Mens Club. Extensions have been added, including cloakrooms, store rooms, Venture Den and in 1990 the Derben Room where Leaders and Group Exec. Meetings are held. The Group has its own Logo, the Fleur de Lys set in an acorn, and Motto, ‘Floreat Quereus’ (Long live the Oak tree). We have a very active Group Executive that raises a lot of funds at all sorts of events, enabling us to keep Scouting at an affordable price for the boys,. We also pride ourselves on the equipment that we provide, not only for Group events but also to the District.

So from a membership of 22 in 1935 to over 100 today. At one time during 1970, the Cubs waiting list was so long that the Group called a meeting of the parents of those boys and the then D.C. Graham Taylor, informing them that the only answer would be to form a new Group. They met the challenge and a new Cub Pack was formed, the (7th Eastleigh) 2nd Fair Oak.

This group has 2 Beaver Colonies, 2 Cub Packs and 2 Scout Troops. The group did have a Venture Scout Unit. [click here] to go to the Explorer Scout page.

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