1908 Formation of 1st East Grinstead Scouts
Probably the most reliable report appeared in the East Grinstead Observer Newspaper on 11th February 1982 having been drawn from letters of a founding member, Alfred Bingham to then Group Scout Leader Edgar Cooper. As follows;
Scouting grew from humble beginnings
The Pewits patrol paved the way
A former Assistant Scoutmaster in the town, Mr. Alfred Bingham, claimed that the 1st East Grinstead Troop was one of the first formed in the British Empire. Mr. Bingham, who lived in East Grinstead before moving to British Columbia, Canada, wrote about many of his fond scouting memories in a number of letters to another previous scoutmaster, Mr. Edgar Cooper. Mr. Cooper, of Hackenden Lane, East Grinstead kindly loaned us the letters to feature in the newspaper as they give a clear insight into early scouting life. Mr. Bingham explains how the first scout patrol was formed in the town from several ex choirboys and a couple of boys brigade members of St. Swithun's Church in 1908.
The first patrol, known as the Pewits, was made up of Mr. Bingham, Leonard Bingham, Corp.. George Smith, Harry Mitchell, Fred Winter, Fred ,Norman, Jamie Beard, Bernard Smeed and a boy named James.
The second patrol included patrol leader George Smith, Corp. George Avey, Fred Piddleston, Owen Bingham, Fred Avey, Freddie Day and two more whose names could not be recalled. The first scout clubroom was an old store over the passageway between the Co-op store and another shop in Glen Vue Road
Mr. Bingham believes the rent for these premises was one shilling a month and it was open every evening from 6.30pm to 10pm. Local scouts met there on Saturdays as well to go on weekend camps and cycle runs.