Group History

Do you have old photos and stories about the 23rd?

We'd love to see them and share a bit more of our history here.

2017 - Switzerland

  • In August 2017 the 23rd Poplar went to Switzerland to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Scout Troop reopening
  • 33 Scouts, Explorers & Leaders spent a week at Kandersteg International Scout Centre the site where Baden Powell envisaged an all year round jamboree
  • This was the first time that the Scout section had ever travelled abroad

The group outside the main chalet at Kandersteg

2016 - Ossie Ossie Ossie!

  • Ossie Ali retired as Cub leader in January 2016
  • Ossie had arrived 24 years earlier agreeing to come and help with the Cubs a couple of times, eventually taking over as Akela (Cub Leader).
  • We needed somewhere slightly larger than the school to fit in all of the Cubs and former Cubs who wanted to come and say thank you for all the work he'd put in over the years
  • The evening came as a surprise to Ossie who thought Michelle had asked him to come and sort out some paperwork to do with the Carol Concert we'd held at St Paul's Church in December

Cubs and Scouts saying thank you to Ossie

2015 - Group Centenary

  • In 2015 we celebrated 100 years since a group of boys started to meet on Old Ford Road to take part in the activities that Baden Powell had written about in his book Scouting for Boys
  • We changed our scarf for a second time to add a gold border to mark 100 years
  • We visited Brownsea Island (the site of the first experimental Scout camp in 1907) for a four day camp over the Easter Bank Holiday.
  • We held a birthday party inviting the whole group, family and other scout leaders. The cake was cut by a Beaver, a Cub, a Scout and Dave (a former Cub, Scout & Leader at the group)

Our 100th Birthday cake with the old Poplar District logo on it

2013/4 - Beavers and a Royal Visit

  • Our Beavers re-opened in November 2013
  • Catherine Duchess of Cambridge visited in December 2014 along with Paralympian Steve Judge to help Beavers earn their Disability Awareness badge
  • At the time we were the most read article in the Mail Online!

Left to right: Carlos (our first Beaver leader), Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, and Paralympian Steve Judge

2012 - Return of the Scouts

  • In November 2011 a group of 3 Cubs began to take part in their Moving On award to start a new Scout Troop at the 23rd
  • In January 2012 the Scout section reopened with two patrols: the Cobras and the Wolves
  • It had been 20 years since the group last had Scouts

Scouts visit Bow Fire Station in January 2012 (their 3rd meeting)

2005 - Move to Old Ford Primary School

  • Old Ford Methodist Church closed for redevelopment work, with a new church being built under a block of flats.
  • The group was taken in by Old Ford Primary School (where one of our leaders was a teacher) and we've been there ever since!

1994 - Beaver Scouting

  • Our first Beaver colony opened in 1994
  • The section was open for several years but sadly closed due to a lack of leaders

1954 - Goodbye North Poplar!

  • In 1954 the Boy Scouts decided to merge the Local Associations of North Poplar and Poplar to become a single Poplar Association
  • The group changed its name from the 23rd North Poplar in November 1954 to just become the 23rd Poplar we know today
  • Our neckerchief was changed at this point to become blue with a white edge because one of the other groups in Poplar had the same scarf

1915-1928 - Early Years

  • Our group's story begins in 1915 with a group of boys inspired by Baden Powell's Scouting for Boys beginning to meet regularly at Old Ford Methodist Church.
  • The group was formally registered on 10th April 1916. The 8739th Scout Group to register in the UK at a time when a group might only have 6 members
      • Tredegar Square had several groups at one point including the 1st Tredegar (3rd Poplar) who refused to fully rename themselves.
  • In September 1919 the Scoutmaster Clifford Tanner received his warrant to lead the group. Tanner would be a key figure in the early years of the group, and was still present as a leader into the 1960s.
  • On the 1919 census there were 30 Scouts & 3 Rovers meeting every week at the Methodist Church on Old Ford Road
  • By 1924 we had 3 leaders with S. E. Ringett and W. D. Dickson having joined to help run a Troop of 37 Scouts which would grow to 54 by 1928