On the 25th of Febuary 1929 1st Burnmoor Scout Group was formed as the New Lambton Council School Scout group, and met in a building near the current Burnmoor petrol station. Wilfrid Galley, a motorcycle enthusiast, Mark Pratt and headmaster Stuart Lambton were the founding members. The group consisted of 12 Wolf Cubs and 18 Scouts.


1929 Group Registration
1929 - Fredrick "Tom" Bedlington at D Pit

On the 6th of April 1933, the Group's name changed to 1st Burnmoor. In the early 30's Mr W. G. Henderson, an insurance agent became Scoutmaster, he had been a Scoutmaster at 1st Herrington.

1933 Change of Name


1st Burnmoor at Wasington
Harold Hughes, Pat Henderson, Sunny Turner, Tom Bedlington
1936 Rations from camp kitchen East Gate


Mr Henderson fought in the war with the RAF and was killed in action in 1944. After the war another 1st Herrington assistant Scoutmaster became 1st Burnmoor Scoutmaster, his name was Mr Robert Forster, a coal mine fitter at Sixth Pit. He became known as Skip. The group now met at an old concert hall near the beck in the dip, down from the current scout hall. Skip took the scouts to camps with a treck cart in the early years to places like the Old Mill at Lumley. They also camped at Crutherston, Eastgate, Blanchland, Raby Castle, and Carlisle.

The group were camping in bell tents and cooking on open fires, kit inspections were carried out as they still are today. Skip, who plied his trade from 1st Herrington's strict taskmasters Dickinson and  McLaren, was himself very strict but was respected by the scouts. The group held campfires, with Skip's favourite song being "my bonny lies over the ocean" complete with actions!

Group activities included gymnastics and table tennis, knotting and estimating, as well as signalling and tracking.

In 1966 they camped at Cargo when the World Cup was on; the locals invited the scouts into their homes to watch the match. On Sunday the group went to the village church and the locals were so pleased the church was so full they bought ice creams for all the boys.

Herrington Scouts
Robert Foster (2nd left) and Dickinson  (Middle) at Herrington Scouts


8th of June 1956 Fredredirick (Fred) Forster, a bricklayer and council area foreman, the son of Robert Forster became Scoutmaster.  Fred Forster was to become a major influence to the Group's leaders and members and was a respected community member. Warranted service began in January 1953 as an Assistant Scout Leader, Fred's commitment has been recognised by the award of the Long Service Decoration in 1976, the Medal of Merit in 1990, the Bar to the Long Service Decoration in 1992, the Bar to the Medal of Merit in 1997, the Chief Scout's Long Service award in 1999, Honorary Scouter in 2003 and the Silver Acorn Award in 2004

Using the patrol system Fred created generation after generation of self-confident Scouts who still show him their respect today.


Fred Forster

The group moved to an NCB-owned building next to Lambton Nursing Home in the late 60's, and Fred Forster, a bricklayer and council area foreman became Group Scout Leader (GSL).  Fred Forster was to become a major influence to the Group's leaders and members and was a respected community member. Using the patrol system he created generation after generation of self confident scouts who still show him their respects today.

Fred was supported by the groups first committee, with people like Alan Nicholson, Hugh Ridley, Sid Mathews, Wilf Keating, Jim Jordan helping the group to fundraise through dances and beetle drives. Leaders blossomed like Neil SmIth, Carol Forster, Kevin Brown, Michael Bass, and Martin Ridley.

Camping flourished, with camps at Walk, Brothers Water, Finthswaite, Loughrig Tarn, Abbotsford, Derbyshire, Selkirk and Jersey. As well as other destinations, the content and way things were run was an absolute pleasure for scouts. From travelling to camp on the back of George Vardy's wagon to camp court at the end, it was class.

First Marquee
Fred (4th left top) With 1ST Burnmoor's First Marquee. Robert Foster Just Below


In 1974 the Venture Scout section, for 16-20 year-olds, was first registered at 1st Burnmoor, in In 1976 it was the first section of The Scout Association to open up to female participants.

Over the years Ventures created the group magazine, VOMIT (Ventures Oficial Magazine In Type). Some of the original copies remain with the group... and make for a fantastic read.


When the NCB hired hall at Lambton, had it's lead pinched and the group decided they would try to build their own HQ. Local people and businesses raised money, and the group purchased some land for £400.00 from Lord Lambton. George Vardy, who has taken the groups gear to camp for many years for free, gave the group JCB's and equipment; and local tradesmen and labourers, Scouts, committee,  Harry Harvey, and Don Laverick all gave time for free to build the hall we have today.

A newspaper reports the hall was ready to open in 1975, in the picture, leaders are Fred Forster, Neil Smith, John Bedlington, and cub scouts Ian Smith (J+B Coachworks), and Mark Blunt. Work was hard and long until disaster struck when while waiting for the roofers, gales came and blew the gables and roof trusses over. Men cried. How could everyone continue? But they found money and strength and finished what they had started. In fact, the sight of the devastation meant local people were more willing to help and fundraise.

Finally in 1975, the hall was completed and the county secretary Mary Vasey opened the hall and 1st Burnmoor headquarters was named after it's old group scout master, Robert Forster house.  



On the 27th of November 1988 Allan Forster followed in his father and grandfather's footsteps and became the Group Scout Leader (GSL), a role previously caled the Scout Master. Allan's commitment has been recognised by the award Award of Merit in 2013 and the Chief Scout's 30 years service award in 2015.

Group membership numbers from the annual census:

Section 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Beavers 13 11 11 14 20 15 15 14 18
Cubs 16 21 12 15 18 25 20 18 19
Scouts 15 16 15 20 19 13 16 17 16
Total 44 48 38 49 57 53 51 49 53






Group membership numbers from the annual census:

Section 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Beavers 17 21 20 27 21 13 13 19 23 16
Cubs 16 19 26 20 13 13 23 22 21 21
Scouts 8 10 14 18 22 24 14 14 16 15
Total 41 50 60 65 56 50 50 55 60 52


Group membership numbers from the annual census:

Section 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029
Beavers 24 26 24 23            
Cubs 21 25 30 30            
Scouts 17 17 16 19            
Total 62 68 70 72