The 9th Heywood Scout Group is a well established group in the centre of Bamford.
A brief history
The 9th Heywood (St. Michael’s) Scout Group was originally formed in the 1940’s but closed at some time in the 1950’s. The Group then reformed in 1959 and has since grown from strength to strength.
In the late 1950’s the then Vicar of St. Michael’s Church Bamford (Rev’d G L Challinor) initiated the re-formation with Cubs and Scouts meeting in St. Michael’s school, latterly joined by a Senior Scout section. We became part of Heywood District within Greater Manchester North Scout County. Heywood District was absorbed into the new Pennine District in 2014. Eventually the Group outgrew the facilities that were available to us in the school and we sought our own HQ more centrally located in Bamford.
Land was made available to us from Rochdale Council off Diggles Lane, Bamford subject to a 25 year lease. Construction commenced on the 2 June 1975. A temporary HQ in the form of a wooden shed was erected on the site whilst the main pre-fabricated concrete structure was completed. The new building was officially opened on the 11 February 1977 and has been our home ever since.
The Group further expanded to having 2 Cub Packs (Pathfinder and Viking packs). The Scout section grew accordingly and a Venture Unit (subsequently renamed Explorer Unit) completed the Group. Eventually we returned to running just one Cub Pack as sufficient leaders were not available to continue with two. When Beavers were introduced to the Scout family we formed our own colony which has remained popular. The Explorer Unit is not currently in operation but, subject to finding suitable leaders it is hoped the unit can once again flourish.
Being close to Ashworth Valley Scout Camp Site, we have always had a close connection with the camp site and continue to do so through section activities and with Pennine District.
Our current HQ building is now showing it’s age and has several major issues which need addressing. In anticipation of a major refurbishment or even a re-build we have been putting funds aside to cater for this eventuality. As of today in 2019 we have ambitions to re-build completely and with a recently renewed and extended lease from Rochdale Council (of 99 years), together with Planning approval we are focusing on a brand new building with facilities suitable for Scouting today and the foreseeable future.