Scouting in North East England

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Scouting in North East England refers to Scouting in the official region of North East England. It is largely represented by the Scout Association of the United Kingdom and some groups of traditional Scouting, including the Baden-Powell Scouts' Association.

The Scout Association North East Region includes two official regions of England, North East England and Yorkshire and the Humber. This region contains eight Scout Counties. Cleveland, Durham and Northumberland are in the official region of North East England, while Humberside, Central Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire are in the official region of Yorkshire and Humberside and are covered in Scouting in Yorkshire and the Humber.[1]

Durham University Scout and Guide Group, and Newcastle Universities Student Scout and Guide Group (a.k.a. NUSSAGG, serving Newcastle University and Northumbria University), affiliated with the Student Scout and Guide Organisation (SSAGO), are in this region.[2][3] A notable Scout at Durham University was Professor John Alan Chalmers (1904–1967) who was Durham University Rover Scout Leader, Assistant County Commissioner and District Commissioner for Durham City, with his Scouting and scientific work recognised in his obituary by the Royal Meteorological Society.[4]

History of Scouting in North East England[edit]

The first official Scout Camp after the creation of the Scout Movement was at Humshaugh.[5][6] In 2008, Jamboree 2008 an independent Jamboree, was held near the original site to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the first official Scout Camp.[7] A notable early Scout in Northumberland was Captain Cecil Victor 'Swannie' Swan, M.C. (1887–1964), a friend of Baden-Powell and a contingent leader to early Jamborees.[8]

The Scout Association Counties[edit]

The Scout Association in North East England is administered through three Scout Counties, Cleveland Scout County, Durham Scout County and Northumberland Scout County.

Cleveland Scout County[edit]

County badge as worn on the uniform of Scouting members in Cleveland
Map of England highlighting the location of Cleveland

Cleveland Scout County is concurrent with the area of Cleveland, England on the border between County Durham and North Yorkshire, and provides Scouting opportunities for young people and adults in the areas around Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees, and Middlesbrough.[9]

The County is currently divided into 5 Scout Districts.

  • East Cleveland District[10]
  • Tees Valley North District[11]
  • Middlesbrough District
  • Redcar and Eston District
  • Stockton and Thornaby District

Durham Scout County[edit]

The badge worn by all members of Durham Scout County.

Durham Scout County covers the political county of Durham and the southern half of Tyne and Wear.[12]

The earliest record of Scouting in Durham City is 1910. At this time there were 6 Scout Groups and 140 Scouts. By 1936 there were 24 Scout Groups stretching from Waterhouses to Cornsay and Pittington. Over the years the various Scout Groups across the district have opened, closed, merged and reformed. 4th Durham Scouts were founded in their present form 1926 and 5th Durham Scouts two years later. Some signs of the Scout Groups which have now closed can still be seen in the current Group numbering system for example, 3rd Durham (founded 1953) and 6th Durham (founded 1930) merged in 1966 to become 9th Durham Scout Group. In 2006 the 1st Durham Group and 9th Durham Groups merged to form the 19th Durham Scout Group.[13] According to the 2012 Census there are currently more than 500 young people involved with Scouting in Durham City and District.

The County is divided into 14 Scout Districts:

  • Bishop Auckland[14]
  • Blaydon and District[15]
  • Chester-le-Street
  • Crook and Weardale
  • Darlington and District[16]
  • Derwentside[17]
  • Durham City and District[18]
  • Gateshead and District[19]
  • Houghton-le-Spring and District[20]
  • Peterlee
  • Seaham and District
  • South Tyneside[21]
  • Sunderland[22]
  • Teesdale

At the 2012 Census there were over 5,500 young people involved in Scouting in Durham County being supported by over 1,000 adults.[23]

Northumberland Scout County[edit]

Map of the UK highlighting the location of Northumberland

Northumberland Scout County covers the political counties of Northumberland and part of Tyne and Wear.[24] the County has introduced an award for Groups, to give them goals and create a more efficient and better group. The award "The County Standard" is gained by achieving a number of goals/targets published every year by County. 2nd Seaton Delaval Scout Group was the first to achieve this award.

The County is divided into ten Scout Districts:

  • City of Newcastle (Great North & Newcastle East Districts combined in 2012)
  • Benton District
  • Blyth Valley District[25]
  • Castle Morpeth District
  • Hadrian District[26]
  • Mid-Northumberland District
  • North Northumberland District[27]
  • Tynemouth District[28]
  • Wansbeck District
  • Whitley Bay and District[29]

Northumberland Scout County organises Caud Marra, an annual winter camp at Hawkhirst Scout Activity Centre in Kielder Forest for the Scout section, and fun days for Beavers.[30][31]


The Cleveland Scout Association County Camp Site is Raven Gill Campsite.[32] Stockton District's campsite is "Pybus".[33] 'Seeonee Lair' (Kettleness) Activity Centre is the responsibility of the East Cleveland Scout District.[34] Moor House Adventure Centre is run by Durham Scout Association County [35] and licensed by the Adventure Activities Licensing Scheme.[36]

A number of camping and indoor accommodation sites are available within Northumberland.[37] These include the Ford Scout Campsite and Powburn Adventure Centre].[38][39]

Former Scout Campsites within the North East Region: Gosforth Park was situated close to the race course in Newcastle.[40]

Gang Shows[edit]

  • Blyth Valley Gang Show started in 1992.[41][42]
  • Middlesbrough Gang Show, started in 1950, runs every two years.[43]
  • Newcastle Gang Show is the second oldest Gang Show in the world, having been started in 1937. It closed in 1992, but resumed in 1998.[44]
  • Tynemouth Gang Show, started in 1947, runs every two years.[45]
  • Whitley Bay Gang Show.[46]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Scout Association North East Region
  2. ^ Durham University Scout and Guide Group
  3. ^ "Newcastle Universities Student Scout and Guide Group". Retrieved 2018-02-10. 
  4. ^ Hutchinson, W. C. A.; T. W. Wormell (1968). "Obituary Notice, Dr. J. A. Chalmers". Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. John Wiley. 94 (399): 121. doi:10.1002/qj.49709439922. 
  5. ^ "Humshaugh: - A Fortnight in Baden-Powell's Holiday Camp". "Johnny" Walker's Scouting Milestones. Archived from the original on August 13, 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-26. 
  6. ^ Walker, Colin (2008). The Dawn of the World Scout Movement. Write Books. Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. 
  7. ^ News report on Jamboree 2008 Archived 2008-09-06 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "Scouting Milestones - Scouting Personalities". Archived from the original on 2012-09-08. 
  9. ^ Cleveland County Scouts homepage
  10. ^ East Cleveland District
  11. ^ Hartlepool District
  12. ^ Durham Scout County
  13. ^ Durham City and District History
  14. ^ Bishop Auckland
  15. ^ Blaydon and District
  16. ^ Darlington and District
  17. ^ Derwentside
  18. ^ Durham City and District
  19. ^ Gateshead and District
  20. ^ Houghton-le-Spring and District
  21. ^ South Tyneside
  22. ^ Sunderland
  23. ^ Durham Scout County Directory 2012-13
  24. ^ Northumberland Scout County
  25. ^ Blyth Valley District
  26. ^ Hadrian District
  27. ^ North Northumberland
  28. ^ Tynemouth District
  29. ^ Whitley Bay and District
  30. ^ Caud Marra Online
  31. ^ Hawkhirst Scout Activity Centre
  32. ^ Raven Gill Campsite
  33. ^ Stockton District Campsite "Pybus"
  34. ^ 'Seeonee Lair' (Kettleness) Activity Centre
  35. ^ Moor House Adventure Centre
  36. ^ Adventure Activities Licensing Scheme
  37. ^ Camping & Indoor Accommodation
  38. ^ Ford Scout Campsite
  39. ^ Powburn Adventure Centre
  40. ^ Gosforth Park
  41. ^ History of Blyth Valley Gang Show
  42. ^ Blyth Valley Gang Show
  43. ^ Middlesbrough Gang Show
  44. ^ Newcastle Gang Show
  45. ^ Tynemouth Gang Show
  46. ^ Whitley Bay Gang Show