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49th Brighton Boy Scouts

The photograph below shows St Joseph’s, 49th Brighton Boy Scouts setting off for camping in Park Wood near Poynings in c1956.

From left to right Tom Paul, ??, Peter Coomber, Douglas Hodson, William Hager, Fr Simmons, Sydney Tilling, Graham Vincent, Paul Hodson, Barry Bishop, Vic ?(scout master), Joe Storrow and David Tarrant. I don’t remember any of the cubs so I haven’t added any names for them.

I think all the names are correct but would be pleased if anybody cares to correct me on that. If you can add a name, please leave a comment below.

49th Brighton Boy Scouts
From the private collection of Thomas Paul

Comments about this page

  • What a lovely picture of the scouts. I can only recognise Peter Coomber, William Hagar, David Tarrant and Tom Paul. I do recognise some of the other names but unfortunately I can’t put faces to them.

    By Kathy Nichols (15/05/2012)
  • A very interesting article. I was a senior scout in a group named 49th Brighton from 1956 to 1958, when I helped in the cub pack, then an assistant leader for cubs from 1960 the group met in Woodingdean Methodist church at the Ridgeway until 1963, when it merged with the 23rd Brighton, who used to meet near the Downs Hotel. This formed the 19th Brighton and met at the school in Downs Valley Road. Is the 19th Brighton still going strong? Len Harward was the Scout leader of the 49th and his wife, Felicity, the Cub leader, The 19th leaders were: Cubs Mike Hinds and his wife, Scout leader David Billham and Group Scout leader John Brooks. So the 49th at St Joseph’s must have opened after 1963.

    By John Todd (14/06/2012)
  • Three of the cubs are: Richard Tarrant next to his brother, in front of him Michael Lyons and on the end Stephen Turner.

    By Angela Storrow (22/06/2012)
  • Further to the comment by John Todd, I attended a service to bury the ashes of John Brooks yesterday, joined by David Bilham and my brother, Michael Foster who was also a scout leader at the 19th. A few of my own memories about John can be found at FosterRuns dot com.

    By David Foster (13/08/2012)
  • My dad, Gordon Pinnell, joined the Boy Scouts as a cub in 1936 and left as Senior Patrol Leader in 1943 to join the Air Training Corps. It would be interesting to know if anyone was around at that time.

    By Pinnell (18/08/2013)
  • Is this the same scouts that used to meet at the bottom of Elm Grove in St. Josephs church?. If it is I went to one meeting with a view to join the scouts with a lad from my class called Pat Scrace. But it was not for me so I joined the A.T.C 2234 squadron instead at Warwick Street. I did learn about knots a bit later in life. Mike Peirson.

    By Mick Peirson (20/08/2013)
  • I remember the old 49th and 23rd Scout groups very well. I noted the comments from John Todd, who I remember well as being one of the scout leaders. I was in the 23rd Brighton when we amalgamated with the 49th to form the 19th Brighton. We met at Rudyard Kipling School in Chalkland Rise. Our scout master was John Brooks, I have just learned of his passing and remember him with great affection. The other scout leader I remember well was Dave Billam. I wonder if he is still around? I also remember our old campsite at Great Walstead, near Scaynes Hill; we had great times there. Some names I remember are Chris Sherin, Vic Capman, the Coes, David Birch, Tony Sweeney.

    By Dave Crockatt (10/10/2014)
  • Aahh the 19th Brighton.  Wasn’t John Brooks known as Skip?  Tony Sweeny was a junior scout leader as I remember.  And didn’t Dave Billam go on to do something rather unfortunate?  Happy days

    By Tom (Michael) McKernan (15/12/2014)
  • Hi to all those that remember John Aubrey Brooks? That’s my grandad. Please, if anyone can help me. I remember the scout hut log cabin he built – probably with some of you? We are looking for another memorial place for him and are hoping we can lay something at the place…but I don’t know if it’s Walstead woods or Ashen grounds, can’t see anything  on maps or references online. Grandad liked the adventure and I remember us having to hike through forest and over massive steal pipes to get to the location. Thank you for your nice comments about him.. he truly was a brilliant man.

    By Abbe Brooks (12/02/2015)
  • Nice to hear from some ex-members of the 19th Brighton. I’m shocking at remembering names, but I remember Dave Crockatt and the names he mentioned, plus Richard Teague and ? Chapman. Yes John Brooks was known as Skip, he was the group scout leader, and Dave Billam was the scout leader. Tony McSweeny and myself were assistant scout leaders. I’m a bit alarmed about Tom’s comment about Dave Billam, hope it’s not too serious. And there’s a Tony McSweeny in the news this week. I won’t go into detail about it, in case it’s not the same person, but the pictures look like him. The log cabin that John and scouts built (before I was in the group) was in the grounds of Great Walstead School, near Lingfield. We camped in a clearing in the woods. Looking at Google Maps, I think it was Henfield woods. If it was a week end camp we used to catch buses to Scaynes Hill and walk along a footpath to the camp. If a big or longer camp we went via the school entrance, and yes over that pipe. I remember one of the cub leaders falling off that pipe carrying a 28lb bag of potatoes on his back, luckily he was not injured. Yes they where great times. I moved away to London in August 1965  where  I was A.S.L then and in 1972 to Torquay where I was a Scout leader till 1982 and then a Cub leader until 2001. I’m still involved with the scouts as a helper with cubs and beavers (when required) and help run the Torbay Scout Shop. I hope that is a help to Abbe Brooks, and I hope you get the memorial for John. Please keep us posted about the memorial if you get one.



    By John Todd (22/02/2015)
  • I also belonged to the 19th at the Holy Cross Church. I remember well Skip and driving in his van to camp. I think he lived in Ringmer and was  a traffic warden and always had a bandage on his knee. I was in Tiger patrol. Dave if I remember lived in Falmer Road. I remember the camp site , the hut, going down to the small stream, cleaning dixies and of course falling off the pipe when pulling the water container on wheels. I also remember  Dave  Crockatt who lived near me in Sandhurst Road and went to the same school – Woodingdean CP.

    By Steve Allard (13/12/2015)
  • Hi Abbe Brooks. I knew John Brooks for many years during the late 1950s and 1960s, right up until I left Woodingdean in 1968. I hadn’t realised that John had any children, so it was a very pleasant shock to see your piece. I am one of those you mentioned who helped to build the log-cabin in Great Henfield Wood, Great Walstead. It took some time, about 6 months roughly. We would have log cabin weekends when a number of us would visit the camp-site specifically to help build the cabin (is it still standing?). It replaced an older cabin which, by the early 1960s, was past its sell-by date! The pipe mentioned we nick-named the Bog pipe as it did carry sewage. Many times did I fall off it carrying camping equipment. I remember John lived in rather a ramshackle house in Jackie’s Lane in Newick. It was always very unkempt, the massive garden very overgrown. I believe there was a pond there as well. Inside the house it was filled with what we thought was junk, we rarely got past the kitchen. There were always piles of books and papers everywhere. We accidently upset one of these piles once and John got very upset accusing us of destroying his filing system! I remember going on many trips with him: the Lake District, the Peak District and in 1963 the scout group’s first ever trip to Scotland. I believe I have a picture of that event. One of the highlights was a pickled onion eating competition and we always dined on the journey at the Jungle Café up the old A6 near Shap. We always did these longer trips at Easter and were charged £10. Not bad for 10 days away. Yes, very happy memories of him. Hi also to Steve Allard and John Todd. The lad Chapman, you mentioned John is Vic Chapman. I’m still in touch with him.

    By Dave Crockatt (10/02/2018)
  • I remember being in the 49th cub scouts at Milton Rd, right up to the amalgamation with St Martin’s 6th Cubs where we met in Whippingham Rd.
    I left the 6th not long after the move and instead joined the 15th in Whitehawk. Great memories of the camping trips at Park Wood and I remember a week’s trip away in a cabin but not where, lol.

    By Michael Taylor (14/05/2020)

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