WHEN Woking District Scouts said thank you to John and Veronica Brown, it was interesting to learn something of the Scouting history of these two stalwarts who have decided to stand back form being actively involved in Scouting in Woking – after a mere 50 years or so.

In fact, the number of years John and Veronica have been involved as leaders or helpers is 68 plus 50 – 118 years. They are definitely not shirking when they, at last, step back – a little.

At the recent AGM of the Woking District Scouts, before a packed hall and in front of district and county Scouting representatives, John was presented with a set of plants for his garden and a certificate of commendation from the district commissioner Kath Brown. 

Veronica was also presented with her 50-year service badge and certificate by Phil Currie, deputy county commissioner for Surrey.

John joined as a Cub in Harpenden in 1943, and went on to be a Scout and Senior Scout and was one of the first to earn the Queen’s Scout Award back in 1953 – soon after the coronation of Elizabeth II.  

When he moved to Woking he became an assistant Scout leader in 1st Brookwood Scout Group and soon progressed to be Woking’s ADC Scouts, then Surrey ACC Scouts (Activities) in 1976. 

He organised the very first Scoutabout at Ardingly which was, and still is, a great success.  

When he reached 65, in line with the rules of the time, he was forced to leave his uniformed post but then took on the role of assistant county treasurer and, later, county treasurer. He received the Silver Wolf Award in 2008 for all his work.

Veronica was a Brownie and then Guide in Middlesex and after the move to Woking she became a Cub leader with Brookwood Cub Pack, which she held until 1970, then became Woking district badge secretary for more than 20 years before standing down in 1976.  

On moving to Horsell she worked with Beavers and became a district Beaver leader with many Beaver Colonies. On reaching 65 she, like John, resigned her uniformed warrant. 

She became the chair of the Scout Fellowship and finally Beaver Colony instructor, giving that up last December.

Both Veronica and John stressed they would always be keen to support Horsell Scouts and that they had thoroughly enjoyed being part of this special group, and especially its past May fayres.