ONE of York’s oldest Scout groups is set to celebrate its centenary this year with a series of activities, including camping, holding a party, planting a tree and burying a time capsule.

1st Heworth Scouts was formed in 1919, when a group of children - along with leaders Ivor Spence and Fred Smith - began meeting once a week in the loft of a vicarage coach house to make friends, take part in activities and learn valuable skills, said spokeswoman Katherine Johnson.

She said that a hundred years on, the group was still going strong, with a new generation of leaders, scouts and volunteers.

“Despite the decades that have passed, young members still sleep in canvas tents and learn skills, such as how to cook on a campfire,” she said.

Neil Ballantyne, a 1st Heworth leader, said leaders felt some traditions were important to keep alive, such as passing on vital survival skills to members.

But he said some things had changed for the better over the years, with Cubs and Beavers sections launched and a move, first from the loft into a wooden hut and then into a new home made of brick in Bad Bargain Lane in the 1970s, built by parents, which was still used today.

“During 1st Heworth’s 100-year history, the group has been inspected by scouting founder Lord Baden Powell himself - as well as the King in the 1930s,” he said.

“Recently, to mark the 100-year anniversary, children from all three 1st Heworth sections have been busy designing a centenary badge.

“Each member will receive one of these, along with a commemorative necker. And there are other plans to celebrate the incredible milestone.

“We will take part in various camps and of course have a birthday party. We are also hoping to plant a tree and bury a time capsule to remember this achievement.” He added that 1st Heworth wanted to thank everyone who had been involved and given their time over the years.

*For more information, go to