Cuffley Scouts/Potters Bar Scout District History

The First Cuffley Scouts are proud to be a member of Potters Bar and District Scouts.

This history of Potters Bar Scout District was written and presented by Charles Dace, the District Commissioner for Potters Bar Scouts on Saturday 27th February 2010, following the District’s Centenary Hike to the Morven Girl Guide Headquarters.

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Potters Bar Scouting includes Cuffley,North Mymms,Brookmans Park,Northaw,Little Heath & the surrounding areas


Cuffley,Beavers,Cubs,Scouts,Explorers,Bayford,Epping Green,Little Berkhamsted,Brickenden,Hammond Street,


Potters Bar Scout District Time Line

The early years

1901: Population of Potters Bar is 2671. Old part of the town: Southgate Road, Mutton Lane (parts of), Hatfield Road, Osborne Road, Hawkshead Road, Church Road, Frampton Road, Thornton Road and Coopers Road. The Causeway and Cotton Road and the High Street.

1907: Lord Robert Baden Powell held an experimental camp on Brownsea Island.

1908: Scouting for Boys printed in newspaper and later book form.

1909: The idea of starting Scouting in Potters Bar is mooted.

1910: Scouts start at St John’s School in June. In July of the same year Scouts meet for the first time in Little Heath at the Parish Hall and later in Little Heath school. Both troops started by soldiers who had fought in the Boer War.

Potters Bar Scouts become part of Barnet and District Scout Association along with Arkley, New Barnet, Barnet Vale and Totteridge.

World War One

1914-1918: Scouts in the District helped at the Voluntary Aid Detachment hospital, situated at the junction of Hawkshead Road and Hatfield Road. Scouts also used to sound air raid warnings and the all clear. Cycled through the town blowing a bugle and carrying a placard.

The District is unique in that it is the only District in which two Zeppelins were brought down during the war. On 1st October 1916 one minute past midnight Lieutenant Wulstan Tempest shot down Zeppelin L31 over Potters Bar. The airship had bombed 304 houses and 6.5 acres of glasshouses in the Cheshunt area and tried to break free of a pyramid of searchlights across Barnet, Little Heath, Essendon and Letty Green – before Lieutenant Tempest fired on the airship from the south.

Post World War One

1921: With a shortage of leaders the two troops were obliged to amalgamate/join forces. At the first meeting there were eight from Little Heath and five from Potters Bar so the troop was referred to as 1st Little Heath & Potters Bar.

1924: Miss Sanderson, who lived at Morven gave money to build a Scout Headquarters on Quakers Lane in memory of her nephew, Keith Sanderson, who was killed in October 1915.

1927: Cuffley Scouts were formed and in their early existence went on a cruise with the County Commissioner Sir Percy Everett. They were the first Potters Bar Scout troop in the area to go abroad (Holland).

1931: The Cuffley Scouts evolved into The First Cuffley Scout Group and were registered with the International Head Quarters. The Potters Bar population had grown to 5720.

1932: 1st Northaw Scout Group started.

1933: 2nd Potters Bar Scout Group started. Around this time the District became known as Barnet and Potters Bar under the control of a District Commissioner.

1930’s: Saw massive house building projects in the town; Billy Lows Lane, Mount Grace Road, Dugdale Hill area and the Sunny Bank area. As a result of this the population had grown to 13,681.

1938: 3rd Potters Bar Scout Group formed.

1939: 4th Potters Bar Scout Group started; they began at the old Methodist church on the Hatfield Road, then moved to the current location in 1940. 5th Potters Bar formed and held meetings at King Charles the Martyr. 6th Potters Bar Scout Group formed at Elm Court and 1st South Mymms Scout Group started.

World War Two

During the 2nd World War, Scouts from the District helped in different ways. 3rd Potters Bar collected waste paper using a horse and cart, 1st Northaw welcomed evacuees from London, 1st Little Heath & Potters Bar, 1st Cuffley and 1st Northaw all helped to construct Morrison Shelters and 1st Little Heath & Potters Bar helped man a fire engine.

1940: 1st Cuffley became the wardens of Tolmers Scout Camp, opened specially to give children from London a rest from the bombing.

1943: 6th Potters Bar bombed out of Elm Court by a doodle-bug and joined forces with 1st South Mymms.

Post World War Two

1946: 1st Little Heath and Potters Bar started a Sea Scout Troop and 7th Potters Bar started at Stormont School.

1947: A bad year for the Barnet and Potters Bar Scout District as both 1st South Mymms and 6th Potters Bar closed. But it was also the year in which the District ran a rally to mark the 40th anniversary of Scouting in the field behind Miss Sanderson’s house at the junction of Hatfield Road and The Causeway.

1949: Bob-a-Job week started and Scouts from the District, during the Easter holidays, went around doing jobs for the community.

1950: 3rd Potters Bar closed as did 7th Potters Bar.

1951: 9th Potters Bar Scout Group started at Lochinver House School

1954: 8th Potters Bar Scout Group started at The Assumption Church on Mutton lane and then moved to Cranborne School.

1956: 1st South Mymms Scout Group reformed but this time known as 2nd South Mymms and met in South Mymms Parish hall.

1957: 10th Potters Bar Scout Group started and met in Cranborne School to begin with then moved to their own Headquarters at the top of Mymms Hall Road.

The Sixties and Seventies

1963: 2nd Little Heath Scout Group started and with its formation brought Air Scouts to the District.

1964: This year had mixed blessings for the District. It was the year that 11th Potters Bar Scout Group started, which met at the United Reformed Church. The District broke away from Barnet to become Potters Bar & District. This coincided with Potters Bar moving out of the county of Middlesex and into the county of Hertfordshire.

1965: An auspicious year in that 4th  Potters Bar were the first Scout Troop to camp at Lochearnhead railway station in Scotland.

1967: The Scout membership in the Potters Bar District was 700 strong, which is roughly the same figure as it is today.

1970: 4th Potters Bar started the Dolphin swimming club for members of the Scout and Guide movement to be able to learn to swim.

1971: Potters Bar Scout District had a new Scout Headquarters on the Hawkshead Road.

1972: 8th Potters Bar closed.

1973: Potters Bar Scout and Guide band formed, now known as the Hertfordshire Show band.

1975: 3rd Potters Bar reopened by substantial help from 4th Potters Bar leaders. They met and still meet in the Oakmere Youth Centre.

1976: 10th Potters Bar merged with 5th Potters Bar to become 5th/10th.

1977: 9th Potters Bar closed.

The more modern era

1984: 11th Potters Bar closed, but the Scout Headquarters is still behind the church in Church Road, if anyone wishes to restart the Group!

2000: Silver Phoenix Explorer Scout Unit started.

2007: Scouts in Brookmans Park and Welham Green joined the District from neighbouring Mid Hertfordshire. and became known as North Mymms Scout Group. The Group probably formed during the 1930’3/40’s as the housing stock in Brookmans Park is of a similar age to that of Potters Bar.

At the time of writing

During my time as District Commissioner, we have reopened Beavers and Cubs at 1st Northaw,  Scouts at 1st Cuffley, Beavers at 2nd Little Heath and 2 new Explorer Scout Units; one in Cuffley and one in Potters Bar. However, in 2009, 2nd Potters Bar closed and the Scout section of 1st Northaw closed.

Charles Dace; 27 February 2010 (this edition edited for the legacy Wetpaint Wiki maintained by the 1st Cuffley Scout Troop.

Please visit the Potters Bar and District Scout website for additional detail about our Scout District and the Hertfordshire Scouts website for additional detail about our Scout County.