In the past, Fovant has helped the youth of the village by the formation of a Scout troop and a Cub pack. The process continues, although in a less formal manner, with the continuation of the Youth Club which was formed over 40 years ago.
Scouts and Cubs
Over the years, groups have been formed not just for the adults of the village, but also for its younger inhabitants. The Scout movement had started in 1907 and the 1st Fovant Scout Troop was formed in 1928 under the leadership of its Scout Master, Mr. A.S. Hamilton Cox, who had moved to Gerrard’s Cottage in Sutton Road in 1926. A year later, the Cub pack came into being, with Mrs. Kendall as Akela. The colour of the Troop’s scarf was yellow and green and the Registered number was 9469.
In 1931 Mr. Hamilton Cox resigned as Scout Master, and although it is not known who took over, the troop must have been flourishing, because by then it was known as Fovant and District and was taking both Scouts and Cubs from nearby villages. By 1932 the troop consisted of twenty Scouts and fifteen Cubs and was being led by Mr. James Dean A.D.C. The venue for their meetings is not known. As the 1930s continued, numbers started to decline and as a result, the Scout troop was closed in 1936 when Mr. Dean left the area, while records show that the Cubs finally closed in 1942/43.
[Ken Kenchingon and Brian Burton at Scout camp]However, in 1954, at the instigation of the teenaged Brian Burton, who had been a member of the Scout troop in Wilton where he was at school, the troop was revived. By this time there were numerous young lads in the village who tended to gather at the Burtons’ house, where Brian would show them the knot-tying skills he had learned. The popularity of these informal gatherings led to the suggestion of re-establishing a Fovant Scout troop. The then vicar, the Rev. Homer Hill, was consulted and supported the idea, and after much searching among eligible adults in the village, Mr. Ken Kenchington, a veteran of D-Day, was prevailed upon to become Scout Master. With the help of Skipper Nash of the Wilton troop and advice from the Wiltshire branch of the Scouting Association, the troop was formed with nine Scouts, Brian Burton becoming the senior Scout, and Mr. Leyland Assistant Scout Master.
[Scout’s Church Parade to dedicate new standard. 1955]Weekly meetings were held in the Village Hall and the group also held camps, sometimes by the pond at nearby Teffont. By 1955 the troop consisted of twelve Scouts and four Cubs and on March 27th 1955 the new troop’s flag was dedicated at St. George’s Church with an accompanying parade led by Scoutmaster Ken Kenchington, with flag carrier Brian Burton. There are other adults further back, so it is probable that a visiting troop were also present.
The troop thrived initially, but by 1958 numbers were down to just six Scouts and six Cubs, following which the troop was disbanded, although some boys joined the Dinton Troop, which was formed under Scout Master Reg Ashley and Assistant Scout Master Gaw.
[Brian Burton re-enactment – 2005]Doctor Clay, who was very much involved in the formation of the Scout troop and Cub pack in the village, was a committee member of the Scout Troops of Fovant, Dinton and Tisbury. The statistics on this page are taken from his notes concerning the movement.
In 2005 Brian Buron re-enacted his role as a standard bearer for our benefit, as you can see on the left.
Updated by: M.K.K.