9th Lymington Sea Scout Group was first established as Lymington’s first Sea Scout group in 1921 by Mr Robert Hole. Rejoicing in the name of The Quarterdeck, the troop met in Newman’s Rooms. Foundering after just 12 months, it was resuscitated by Mr Hole a few months later with four recruits who met in the stable block behind Heathcote House in St Thomas Street. The troop soon acquired two dinghies in which the boys mastered the rudiments of boat work before accompanying Mr Hole on cruises aboard his yacht.
The early activities of the troop included rowing, sculling and dinghy sailing, not to mention mariners bends and hitches! The boys also camped, hiked and participated in a number of sports, of which boxing was a favourite. They enjoyed putting on shows and the Scouts harmonica band was very well known and regarded in the 1930’s.
In his book entitled ‘In the Company of Heroes‘, Ronald Walsh shares his experiences with 9th Lymington. “At age seven (1927) I joined the sea-cubs and later on the 9th Lymington Sea Scouts, which was formed by Mr Robert Hole and run by Mr Claridge, two men from whom we learnt a great deal, including rope splicing, knots, rowing and sailing in the ex-Royal Navy whaler we had moored at the river side. Obviously proximity to the river meant that we spent many hours on it or in its vicinity. Some weekends we sailed across to Gurnard or Yarmouth on the Island.”
In 1934, Lord Baden-Powell made a surprise visit to Lymington and remarked that with the forest to the north and the Solent to the south, Lymington’s young people were well placed to put scouting ideals into practise!
The troop continued to grow, with the number of dinghies increasing, premises coming and going, boys coming and going and returning with boys of their own, then with grandchildren of their own!
Royal Naval Recognition was awarded in 1939 to recognise the high quality of Sea Scouting offered by 9th Lymington.
The current TS Kent building was opened in 1991.