The group was founded in 1942 as a small section of the 167th Birmingham, South Parade Methodist Scout Group, Senior Scouts, (age range 16 to 18) who’s desire to improve their knowledge of seamanship lead to weekly meetings at Powells Pool. The Group was registered as 1st Sutton Coldfield Sea Scouts early in 1943, with no Headquarters and only one old Sailing/Pulling dinghy. (Built in Malta in 1896 and renamed Golden Hinde after Drakes Ship.)

The uniform was changed from the normal khaki to navy blue. As the group was founded during wartime rationing the neckerchief was made from the un-rationed Blackout material and inch white tape to the design we still use today.

As funds were non-existent, Regattas were held in 1943 & 1944, with the help of Walsall Sea Scouts who also used Powells pool, which raised £180.00 and £200.00. (large sums of money for the war years)

In 1944 the group was awarded Recognition as an Admiralty Training Unit, which it retains to this day in its current form of R. N. Recognition, having regular inspections to ensure that standards are maintained. The M.O.D. limits the recognition to the 100 best groups in the U.K.

With the regatta funds together money from some benefactors the first headquarters were built on the present site and opened in 1947 by the Mayor of Sutton Coldfield Mrs Garrard. (The present H.Q. is the 3rd to occupy this site and the Boat Repair Shed is the second) The recorded membership at the opening was 46 Scouts and 36 Cubs.

1949 Saw a visit to the group by the Chief Scout Lord Rowallan when he was rowed round the Powells Pool in the groups latest pulling/sailing boat La Foray an old ships lifeboat.

With the desire to expand the fleet of boats, in 1950 the Parents & Supporters Association was formed with fund raising being their main aim. Their achievements were illustrated on the 13th September 1952 with the launch, by the Sutton Coldfield Mayoress Mrs Frank Taylor of the first clinker built Rover Class Pulling/Sculling/Sailing boat named Regina. This was followed in 1956 by its sister ship Endeavour. The two G.R.P Rover class boats in current use are the replacements for the original timber craft.

With the expansion of the population of post war Sutton Coldfield and the popularity of Scouting it was found necessary, for administration purposes to assign a number to each scout group. These numbers we allocated in order of the date of original formation of the groups and so 1st Sutton Coldfield in 1956 was also known as 10th Sutton Coldfield but retained its original registered name.

Over the years since its formation the group have won every district, county and national trophy, they have competed for, at some time, both for Scouting and Sea Scouting.

The original Headquarters opened in 1947 was replaced 10 years later with an ex-military Nissan hut. This was done using voluntary labour and a novel approach to construction. The new building was erected over the old and when complete the old building was dismantled and carried out of the door which enabled the buildings to be used continuously during the construction.

Almost as soon as the new headquarters was open it was the subject of an arson attack and required a 75% rebuild which was complete in time for the opening of the world scout Jamboree in Sutton Park on 1st August 1957.

A second fire to the building occurred in the late 60s which resulted in a total loss. The Building you now see is its replacement, which has undergone a major refurbishment since the millennium.

Over the 60 years since its formation many ex-members have made a career in the royal and merchant navy and 1000s of young people have benefited from their time as a member of 1st Sutton Coldfield Sea Scouts and long may it be so.

Alan Smith