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About us

Scouting has existed in Glamorgan West since the very beginning. In 1907 Sir Robert Baden-Powell came to Swansea and delivered a lecture on “Scouting for Boys”.

About Us

Scouting has existed in Glamorgan West since the very beginning. In 1907 Sir Robert Baden-Powell came to Swansea and delivered a lecture on “Scouting for Boys”.

By the end of 1908 several Troops were in existence. Swansea was registered in 1909; Neath, Port Talbot, Aberavon, Clydach and Ystalfera in 1910; Mumbles in 1911; Morriston, Seven Sisters, Crynant, Resolven and Reynoldston in 1912; and Cwmtwrch, Skewen, Loughor, Pontadawe, Briton Ferry and Trebanos in 1913. Counties and Districts were established, and the first Commissioners appointed in 1912.

By 1914 there were 20 groups in West Glamorgan County, with a total number of 525 persons. Scouting flourished in West Glamorgan during the First World War. There was no shortage of leaders, and the Scouts were active in various patriotic causes – assisting the police, the hospital services and the local farmers.

The Port Talbot and District Scout Association had originally been formed in 1909, but it was not officially registered until April 1916, at which time W. Miles was the Chairman, and there were five groups in the District.

In 1919 the Chief Scout returned to Swansea and inspected a parade of 250 Scouts from Swansea and Carmarthen.

New troops were established steadily throughout the 1920s, and the Mumbles District was created in 1922.

By 1927 there were 6 groups in Neath.

By 1931 there were 32 Scout Groups registered in Swansea.

In 1934 there were 6 Districts and 66 Groups, and 7 Districts two years later. The total number of Scouts in West Glamorgan in 1934 was 2,577 (260 Group leaders and officers, 925 Wolf Cubs, 1095 Scouts, 150 Rovers, 128 District and County officers and 19 Commissioners).

Few records survive from the days of the Second World War, relating to the County as a whole, although there are suggestions from the Groups and Districts that the movement was adversely affected by a shortage of leaders.

After the war, in 1946, the old training campsite had to be vacated but in 1948 a 21 year lease on the Silver Cross site was purchased by the Welsh Scout Council. It was refurbished by local Scouters and Rovers, and was run by the South Wales Training Team for the next 23 years.

The 1949 census (the first after the war) showed 64 Groups in the County, with a total membership of 2,745. This was the first year of Senior Scouting, but there were only 185 Senior Scouts – as against 222 Leaders and 153 Local Association Officers.

During the 1950’s records are to be found mostly at a more local level, but this was a period of confidence in spite of the problems posed for many leaders by the demands of National Service The census figures show a modest expansion from 2544 in 1950 to 2800 in 1955.

In the late 1950s a Neath District Headquarters was built at Cadoxton.

In 1954, when there had been 876 Scouts under 15 in the County, there were only 59 over 15, and the main “leakage point‟ was at what should have been the transition.

In 1959 a unique, and short lived, experiment was tried with the County organisation, when Swansea was elevated to the status of sub-county, containing five districts. This did not lead to the expected improvements in communication, and was discontinued in 1971.

The Swansea sub-county Annual Report for 1964-5 shows there were no fewer than 42 Groups in the sub-county, divided between the 5 Districts (Gower, Central, North, Valley, Mumbles).
The Scout and Guide Headquarters at Bryn Road was opened by Lady Olave Baden Powell on the 18th July 1968.

Since 1980 number have fluctuated. In 1985 there were 75 Groups, in 2006, only 39.

As late as 2000 there were 7 Districts in the County: Swansea North, Swansea Central, Swansea Gower, Neath, Port Talbot, Swansea Valley and Lliw Valley.

By the census in 2006, 4 districts remained. Swansea Central and Swansea North amalgamated to form Swansea District. Neath and Port Talbot came together to form Afan Nedd District. Swansea Valley merged with Lliw Valley to form Cwm Newydd. With Swansea Gower remaining.

In 2007 West Glamorgan went through further reorganisation under a new Area commissioner (Rob Lloyd), where all Districts will be combined and the campsites will become the responsibility of the Area Executive.

The 2006 census returns show a total of 1340 Scouts and 204 Leaders in the Area, divided between 39 active Groups. The biggest district is Afan Nedd, with 438 Scouts and 61 Leaders.

The merger of the districts lasted 4 years, before 3 districts were recreated: Afan Nedd, Cwm Newydd, and Swansea and Gower.

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls