13th Ipswich Sea Scout Group History

The 13th Ipswich Scout Group was formed in February 1929 with 6 boys, who met in the vestry of St Andrew’s Church in Henslow Road. This was not too popular with the Church authorities and after 6 months the Scout Troop moved to Milton Street where they shared a wooden hut with the 9th Ipswich.

In 1931 the Cub Scout section was formed, the hut in Milton Street was sold and meetings were held in local School rooms. In 1934 a Rover section was formed for the older boys within the Group.

In 1936 the Troop found a more permanent Headquarters in the stables at Gable House, Cauldwell Avenue and became entirely a Sea Scout Group. With the arrival of the Guardship “Quest”, a retired Thames Barge moored off Pin Mill, the Troop’s water activities flourished on the Orwell.

At the outbreak of the Second World War the Troop received a large number of evacuee Scouts from London. By 1942 all the Scouters had joined the Services and the Group was run by a War Service Patrol consisting of Senior Scout Patrol Leaders.

By 1946 most of the leaders had returned from the Forces and a search started for a permanent Headquarters site, this was found at our present location in Rushmere Road. A new wooden hut was opened in 1947 by the Mayor and for the first time in 18 years Cubs, Scouts & Rovers were able to meet at their own Headquarters.

By 1957 enough money had been raised by the Parents Committee to embark on building a new brick Headquarters and the foundation stone was laid by the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich – Dr. Morris.

A large Boathouse was added to the Headquarters in 1964 for storage of boats, canoes, mini bus and other equipment.

In September 1984 a Beaver Colony was started to cater for the needs of the 6 – 8 year olds.

In 1999 after many years discussion with the Local Authority the parking area was purchased consolidating our site in Rushmere Road.

Between 2004 and 20014 the Headquarters building was refurbished with a new Kitchen, Toilets, new insulated roof, a building extension with 18 person meeting room and accessible toilets and flush floor shower room. In 2015 we added solar panels to our HQ to lower our electricity usage.

In 1943 the Group received Royal Naval Recognition and has maintained this since and is RN recognised Group No. 4. There are only 100 RN recognised Sea Scout Groups in the UK and to maintain this the Group is inspected every other year by a RN Officer either at Waldringfield or at the HQ.

The Group has a small hut and camping area on the banks of the River Deben at Waldringfield with 2 shallow water moorings for our boats. This is used as a base for sailing, rowing, canoeing and for smaller camps.