3rd Gidea Park Scout Group
web site . . .
HQ. The Rowswell Hall, St Michaels Church, Gidea Park.
 Beavers (6 - 8 years) Tues & Fri | Cubs (8 - 10.5) Tues & Fri | Scouts (10.5 - 14) 7:30 Thur

A Starting Place.

In 1982, Romford District put together a brief history of each Group to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Scouting. In regard to 3GP it states the following.

The Group started in 1934 and the first troop camp at Botley, was held that year. The Group has always been centred on St Michaels Church. Before the church halls were built they met in a hut off Balgores Lane.
The first Group Scout Master was the Rev. Elvin, with Freddie Rowswell (a master at Brentwood School), as the Assistant Scout Master.

1935 saw the first of many foreign camps — three days in Brussels and eleven day in the Ardennes.

The Group kept going through the war years, boys helping with wartime emergency services. After the war in 1946 the Troop was again camping abroad.

In 1952 the Rover Crew was established and a Group Gang Show took place. As the years ticked by Scouters were found for the increasing number of boys. Freddie Rowswel became Group Scout Master, followed by R.Gingell, P.Rance and now Allen Matthews, a member for 55 years.
The present Group H.Q. was built under the watchful eye of Tony Jones, by with willing parent help. The premises are shared with the Guides. The name — Rowswell Hall — aptly named after this keen 3rd Gidea Park Scouter who still maintains contact with his many Scouts around the world. The Hall provided better facilities for Scouting and events to attract parental involvement.

Throughout its near half century the Group has maintained close association with the Church. Nevertheless it is an open Group and many denominations figure among its members.

This brief account is contradicted by the 1934/5 District Year Book (Scout Pie) in a number of ways not least that Scout Pie states the St Michaels section of the 1st Gidea Park was meeting in the Church Hall at St Michaels in 1934. As Scout Pie was written at the time it is probably the more accurate source. It also contradicts the Headquarters stamp on the Group registration certificate.


The registration form for 3rd Gidea Park is dated October 22nd 1935 and is signed by F.W. Rowswell in the role of (acting) Group Scout Master and by W.W. Nicholass in his role as Assistant Scout Master.

However there are those who are convinced the Group started as early as 1933, and exactly what role F.W. Rowswell officially held is also a matter of debate. We have records of a first summer camp at Botley in 1934 and a second one in Belgium in 1935 but the Group wasn't registered until October of that year.

These pages attempts to unpick these conflicting reports and create an accurate account of the history of 3rd Gidea Park. A number of sources have been used but the most influential have been:

Apart from being quoted above, the Group History published in 1982 is being ignored.