Scouting in Romsey District is driven by and for our young people. The District team are adult volunteers from across the Romsey area who regularly come together to support our nine Groups, Explorer Units and fellow volunteers, as well to lead our engagement with many local events and activities.
Romsey District is one of the largest in Hampshire. Our 2022 Census of members recorded that we have over 900 young members and around 300 adult volunteers. This was an increase on previous years and means the District is about as big as it’s ever been. This makes us really happy as it means that more young people (and adults) can benefit from the fun and friendship that Scouting offers.
As with our Scout Groups, the District has uniformed and non-uniformed roles, lead by our District Commissioner, and all taking responsibility for different aspects of our activities. To read more about who the key members of the District Team are, what they do and how to contact them, please visit our Meet the Team page.
Scouting in Romsey through the years
The first recorded Scout Group in Romsey – 1st (Romsey Town) – was set up very soon after the Scout movement began in the UK. It was not long after that Groups were organised into clusters to work together and so Romsey District was born.
Over the years, the District has varied in size and shape, as Groups have been established or closed. For example, Romsey District originally included many of the Groups in the Totton area (including what is now 2nd Copythorne ‘Stanley’s Own’). However, in the mid-1980s, it was felt that the District had become too large and a handful of the most southerly Groups were re-organised to sit as part of New Forest North District. Hursley Group used to be part of Romsey District but it closed due to falling numbers in the late 1990s. We are pleased to see that the village is booming again now such that the Scout Group has been revived, only as part of Chandler’s Ford District (which probably makes more sense geographically). We know that – at one time at least – there had been at least thirty one Groups in Romsey District. The last Group that had to close was the 16th Romsey (Broughton) Scouts.
As you would expect, in more than one hundred years of Scouting, we have also seen a remarkable number of dedicated individuals dedicate their service to us. In due course, we would like to mention as many of them as possible on these pages so please consider this as a work in progress.
Lord Louis, Mountbatten of Burma
When Louis Mountbatten, the uncle of Prince Philip, married Edwina Ashley, Broadlands House in Romsey became their family home. Lord Louis was a keen supporter of Romsey events and was quickly persuaded to become President of Romsey District Scouts. After his death, his Silver Elephant Award (the highest award presented by Scouting in India) was given to Hampshire County Scouts and has become the top Award that the County can present. Read more about the Silver Elephant here.
Dr Peter Johnson
Dr Peter Johnson OBE was a local GP, as was his father before him. When he returned to Romsey after serving in World War II, he offered his services to help Scouting. He was our District Commissioner for 18 years before changing role in 1965 to became the District Chairman for another 24 years. In 1988 he was made our District Vice President, a role he actively filled until his death in 2002, attending his last event only three weeks before he died. The District and 1st Romsey Group HQ building is name the Dr Peter Centre in his honour. Read more about his life and Scouting here.