A DEVIZES scout group was celebrating at the weekend as they celebrated being the second troop in the world to be set up.

1st Devizes was formed in June, 1908 and their scout hut in Southbroom Road was officially opened in 1919.

On Saturday there were fun and games in the same hut as scouts past and present celebrated its centenary.

Devizes Scouts were set up in June 1908 by Lt Col Kenneth Steele, a brother-in-arms of founder Lord Baden-Powell at the siege of Mafeking during the Boer War in South Africa.

Lord Baden-Powell visited Devizes in March 1910, just two years after the local troop was founded.

Col Steele lived at Springfield House in Potterne Road. He received his Scoutmaster’s warrant in November 1908, so beginning a proud tradition that continues today.

Group chairman Helen Collier said: “The first camp was held at Lockeridge in August 1909 and in March of the following year Lord Baden Powell visited the town to see how the troop was getting on.

“It was while the troop was at camp in Savernake Forest in August 1914 that the First World War broke out and members of the troop subsequently died during the hostilities. “With peace came the completion of the Scout Hall and it was formally opened by Lord Methuen on 14th July 1919. The gold key used for the ceremony still exists among the Scouts’ memorabilia.”

Modern day scouts, who are members of 1st Devizes, have been learning the history of their group for the past 12 years as they prepared to first celebrate their formation and now 100 years since the scout hut opened.

The Scouts have learned about wood whittling, starting fires by rubbing two pieces of wood together, boiling up billy cans to make tea and all the old-fashioned survival skills favoured by Chief Scout Bear Grylls.

Scout crews have also take part in the Devizes to Westminster canoe race, which was founded by Rover Scouts Laurie Jones, Brian Smith, Pete Brown and Brian Walters in 1948.

The scout badge includes a picture of Devizes Castle taken from the town arms with the year 1908 on it.