A short history of the group

It is thought that 2nd Didsbury (88th Manchester) scout group was formed in 1911 and early records are a bit thin on the ground, this date was agreed on after extensive scrutiny of the scout county records. We have some photos but little else of the early days. It is thought the group met in a rented hall in Elm Grove near where the dairy offices and cinema used to be (opposite the school).

The group was formally closed down during the second world war and reformed after. This is the reason for the 2nd 88th (2/88th) as it was the second formation of the group. It is thought that the group lost a number of men to the war but there are no known records.

This is the earliest photo we have but we do not know the date.


Shortly after the war the group built it's own wooded HQ on rented railway land on Beaver Rd opposite where the existing HQ is today, this is where the flats are today. It is thought that the group whist drive started around this time and continued into the 90s.

Around 1960 St Aidan's (334 Manchester) scout group amalgamated with 88th and the neckerchief was changed from the traditional original green to maroon. An additional wooden building was added to the side of the existing one. Ron Fawkes scout leader at 334 became scout leader and Eddie Johnson was Group scout leader.

Around the same time 218th that was a large group base in the grounds of St Nicholas. They were noted for their scouting village of railway carriages. 218th amalgamated with 127th  who had their HQ where the Supermarket is on Fog Lane near the station, the other side of the railway embankment from St Nicholas. At this time 218th moved to 127th and expanded the buildings at the site. This unfortunately was short lived as the railway who owned the land sold it to a building developer and the group had no HQ and could not go back to St Nicholas as they had removed their building (coaches) there.

As a result of this in 1966 218th amalgamated with 88th and the neckerchief was changed from maroon to gold. Another reasons for the amalgamation was that 88th was short of leaders and 218th had plenty.

At this point the group had 1 cub pack, and a scout troop. Shortly after amalgamation the group had two cub packs, two scout troop and a venture scout unit was formed after their introduction in 1967. Fred Lowe who was GSL of 218th took over from Eddie Johnson as GSL and Eddie became president.

The advanced party report in 1967 was responsible for the removal of senior and rover scouts and the introduction of venture scouts 16-20 year olds. As this all happened over the amalgamation period we ended up loosing the strong Rover crew that 218th had as the majority left.

1978 the group suffered the same fate as 218th had earlier and was given notice to leave the site by the owners British rail and the hunt was on for a new location. After a lot of hard work by the exec and local councillors the land where we are now was leased from the council. There was then the problem of raising enough money to build a new HQ this was achieved with a tremendous amount of effort by the group exec. We managed to build the new HQ  and move in  before we had to vacate the old one.

We moved into the new HQ “the lodge” (it was to good to be called a scout HUT) in 1980.

Shortly after the move the 2 troops combined. The Friday troop now meeting with the Tuesday troop. There were still 2 cub packs meeting on Tuesday before scouts and Thursdays. We restarted the Venture scouts unit around 1982 (Viking VSU) meeting on Wednesdays.

1982 the group started a Beaver colony on Monday nights, this was a new section to scouting for 6 to 8 year olds. We also were allowed to let girls join all sections.

1986 Fred Lowe finished as GSL and Keith Hampson took over.

1994 the main hall was getting too small so plans were made and funds were raised to extend it by a third.

1998 the Venture scout unit closed due to the remaining members all going to university and no older scouts due to go up.

2000 we opened a second beaver colony meeting on a Wednesday night.


2001 after our latest camp at Kandersteg International campsite in Switzerland there was a demand for our neckerchief to be more colourful to enable easier swapping. As the Gold was a bit drab it was decided to combine the old maroon and gold.


2002 we had to combine the 2 cub packs with the closure of the Tuesday night pack.


2004 The Didsbury Viking explorer scout unit, which is a district run section was formed holding it's meeting on a Wednesday at our HQ.
The Explorer scout section replaced the younger age range of the Venture scout section in 2001. From 2001 Explorers 14 – 18 year olds, Network 18 – 25 year olds ( Venture were 16 -20 year olds and Scouts were 11 – 16 year olds ).


By 2014 demand for places saw us open two new sections a second cub pack and a second scout troop. In order to facilitate this we had to re-jig meeting times to accommodate all sections. Beavers meeting on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Cubs meeting on Mondays and Thursdays, Scouts meeting after Beavers on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Explorers meeting after Cubs on Thursdays.


2018  We started the process of renegotiating the lease for the land with the council after a lot of effort this was done for a further 40 years and we felt secure enough to spend a lot of money modernise the toilets, kitchen and relocating the office, This was completed in 2021.