The 1950s

Back to the 1940s


Twelve camps (some weekends only) — 450 campers.

First International camp for Extension Guides – Sweden 3, Denmark 3,
Holland 3, France 3, with Worcestershire as hostesses.

Twelfth Night Dance held at Farnham.

Boys camps run by counties — London, Middlesex, also Portsmouth, and by
Woodlarks Crew for Berks and Wilts.

All camps now accepting people more physically handicapped than before.

Death of C.F.C Steward(‘Bosun’) — former Chairman and founder of
Woodlarks Crew (see obituary in September 1950 Woodlarks Notes).

Concrete floor to swimming bath. More tents and equipment bought.

Australian handicapped Brownie enrolled at Brownie Extension Pack Holiday.

Christmas reunion party at Covent Garden and Sadler’s Wells.


21st Birthday Festival and Fête, attended by about 1800 people, raised
about £280. A 32—page brochure full of advertisements used as programme.
Opened by the Patron – General Sir Robert Haining, Lord Lieutenant of

Road from camp to pool tarred surface.

Deaths of Sir Percy Everett, ex-President and Vice President, Mrs R.D.
Anderson and Vice Admiral Sir Henry Kitson(Vice Presidents).

350 Subscribers to Woodlarks Notes

71 attended the Christmas reunion at Covent Garden and Sadlers Wells.
Birmingham attempting to start a Midlands Woodlarks (Paul Cadbury bought
an eight-acre site, with the idea of building 8 chalets and a pavilion).
A start also being made in Victoria, Australia. ‘

Tinned plum puddings sent from New Zealand.

10 camps held.


10 camps held, including the 5000th camper.
First year since the start that ‘Keemo’ (Col. Strover) did not run a
camp himself.

Grey Heron (Mrs Strover) received Medal of Merit.

Dr. Mennell resigned as President and was appointed President Emeritus (
he was Keemo’s doctor of his 1914/18 war injury to his arm).

Death of Lady Perceval (Vice President for many years).

Vice Presidents included:-

1 Admiral (Sir William James —,”Bubbles“)

1 General (Sir James Marshallecornwalll)

1 Air Commodore (G.O.Venn, C.B.E.)
(a real Inter-Service affair I)

Woodlarks Fair held at Marylebone Youth Centre by Beavers under Gary
Maxwell, raised £107.

Broadcast on Women’s Hour “Wheelchairs around the Campfire” including St.

Pamphlet by Margaret McElroy (Woodlarks camper) on Handicapped Guiding
and Camping, including Woodlarks.

Christmas Reunion — Bertram Mills Circus.

Working parties included 259 men from 7 counties. Girls working parties
(Beavers) started.

St. Johns and Red Cross came to give baths during camps.
Annual Meeting held at Church House – Farnham.

Col. Ling took over as Treasurer.


New oven and chimney built by ‘Timber’ Fellowes.

Flagstaff moved from lower field to just in front of chapel.

Paths in woods improved.

Awning over sink.

Woodlarks Christmas Cards.

Woodlarks Christian Union started (Jean James)

Photo Competition for best photo of activities of people in wheelchairs.

Fête held. Also a Dance at Farnham. I

12 Camps (400 Campers)


New hostel opened, on same day as Fête.

New drainage laid, separating sewage from bath water – latter goes to
Workshop garden and then via agricultural pipes. _

Alexine Strover becomes editor of Woodlarks Notes.

Swimming bath maintained by part-time paid man (I only for a year)
(The swimming bath was maintained by a student, Ralph Heywood, from
August 19th to September 8th 1955, lodging at High Wray. Colonel
Kinnaird(“Ginger”) did it thereafter, living at High Wray until
the bungalow -“Red Bank” – was ready.)

Brush fire on side of hill – Fire Brigade had to be called.

Cricket Match at Farnham Castle (with the Bedser twins) partly in aid of

11 Camps (450 campers) Very wet summer.


Workshop Trust constituted separately from Camp Site Trust.

Archery and Horse—riding introduced into Camp activities.

Woodlarks Crew dinner in Farnham attended by 31 members.

Annual Meeting held in Farnham Council Chambers.

12 Camps (500 Campers)

2 Pioneer Camps (Men over 18) for first time.

Victor Griffiths 21st year — special banquet at camp.

Dutch/English Guide Camp.

Fête held.

Bungalow on Workshop land for Col. & Mrs Kinnaird who were helping with
maintenance. Camp site contributed to cost.

Improvements to Ablution Block.

Lifting gear for beds and baths obtained.

New surface to entrance drive. (Epsom Rotarians)

January and February working parties not to be held, to enable water to be
emptied out.

Pen Pushers Club resuscitated.

Hurricane in July.

9 Camps. (400 Campers)

Twelfth Night Dance.

Demonstration by Workshop girls of Square Dancing in Wheelchairs.


Extension to dining room with folding doors on south side (cost £903)

Netball Court laid with Tarmac surface (Haslemere Round Table) Also
used for country dancing and wheelchair games.

New camp cooker (in memory of Wally Pace, a much-loved camp cook)

Electric potato peeler obtained.

Picture of B.P given by Kent Rovers in memory of ‘The Admiral ‘(Commander
J.R. Lyon DSO RN, ACC Rovers Kent and a Woodlarker for many years)

Christmas carols in aid of Woodlarks in Trafalgar Square, organised by Gay

Omnicoach purchased, to be shared between Workshop and Camp site (but
later Workshop bought out camp site’s share).

Handicraft Club started (Bridget Marriott).

10 Camps (400 Campers)

Twelfth Night Dance in Farnham. (Tenth time)


New chlorine distribution system in pump house.

Tarmac on dining-room approach.

Buildings connected to main drainage in place of septic tanks — 8 ft deep
trench dug to Lodge Hill Road.

Extra blanket cupboard

Death of ‘Uncle’ Alec Pratt (see Woodlarks Notes March 1958). ‘Uncle‘
Alec was with ‘Keemo’ during the war at Bordon and Carlisle, and had been
coming to Woodlarks since the 1930’s. His ashes were spread at Woodlarks
at the Easter Meeting. He had lost both legs, but collected the camp cash
and ruled the dormitory “with an iron hand”!

11 Camps (400 Campers) including the first mixed one — National Spastics
Society at Whitsun.

Fête held.

Woodlarks Group had 120 members.

Carols in Trafalgar Square on behalf of Woodlarks.


Hoist with sling, installed for pool and dormitory.

Path to Lodge Hill Road tarmaced.

Death of Patron, Sir Robert Haining (Lord Lieutenant of Surrey).

‘Dickie’ Wilkes, of Discoverers, 25th year.

Alexine Strover married to Captain Warren Crawford, R.E.

Stephen Dalton appointed Secretary (small salary paid).

The 1960s