The 1st Godstone Scout Group celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2011 but the Group is actually much older and the magnificent building we now occupy is positively ancient.
1st Godstone Scout Group started on the 16th March 1908 with 11 boys and 2 scouters but they didn’t register with the Scout Association until 1911.
The Group has some photos and documents from 1908 to 1910 in the archives which indicates that the Scouts were operational in the village at this time.
Their headquarters ‘The Endeavour’ building goes even further back in time. The Group originally met in the White Hart Barn in the village. However, the present building was constructed by the Rover Scouts between the years 1936 and 1938 but the materials used came from a much older building originally a barn in West Sussex going back, we think, as far as the sixteenth century. The result was that the building, even though new at the time, looked like one of Godstone’s oldest structures.
The framework came from this barn and much of the cladding and fixtures from many Tudor cottages being demolished at the time. Some of the old timbering has been traced back to the old ‘Haunted House’ where Dick Turpin’s mother was reputed to have lived.
In the Group’s extensive archives we have kept all the worksheets kept by the Rover Scouts at the time of construction – they recorded over 3,500 man hours of work. The headquarters has a fine old Tudor back door into the lobby of the building which is paved with 12th Century Purbeck stones from a church floor in the Avon area. The Troop Room is constructed on the lines of an old Tudor banqueting hall with a minstrel’s gallery leading to what was the scouters den but is now a fairly up to date kitchen. The walls are a mixture of genuine Tudor bricks and, would you believe, some stone from the original Waterloo Bridge and The Houses of Parliament. The Rover Scouts collected a variety of materials on their many expeditions abroad, including the 1937 jamboree in Holland and a trip to the mountains of Mourne in Ireland.
When one considers that this remarkable building was the work of amateurs it was an incredible achievement and the result was, if not, better than if it had been constructed by the professional craftsmen.
A local architect produced plans for the building after studying nearly a thousand examples of Tudor craftsman. The Rover Scouts translated those plans into a reality at a recorded cost, would you believe, of £460 – a building that stands to this day and is a pride of the village.
To stimulate enthusiasm the Group prepared a fascinating log as the work progressed, photographs were taken each week showing the Scouts at work and the general growth of the building. These photographs are still held in the archives and it is still interesting to see how much work and skill was involved in the construction of the building.
The person we have to thank for this fine building is the scout leader at that time in 1937 who was none other than Horace Fairall who founded the present firm of Fairalls, in the village, still going strong today.
After ‘The Endeavour’ was completed the Second World War intervened but in 1947 a new Headquarters building for the Cub Pack called ‘The Bounty’ was erected further along the Green in the shape of a Tudor Dovecote. Both buildings stand today as an example of 1st Godstone Scouts fine heritage.
In 2000 the Group improved ‘The Endeavour’ by adding the kitchen and the ladies and gentlemens toilets and in 2010 an extension was added to the rear of the building to make room for much needed storage.