Use the timeline below to navigate the history of Walton Firs. A more detailed history is also available as a PDF file.
1930s – Walton Firs was a private golf club. The old wooden bungalow, now the Service Team quarters, was the club house.
1936 – "Scottie Robertson", a Scout, discovered the abandoned 9 hole golf course and through him a number of groups used the site for weekend camps.
1937 – Wandsworth, Putney & Barnes District hold a camp on the site.
1938 – Imperial Headquarters (now Scout Association Headquarters) purchased the property. The Commissioner dealing with the transaction was Colonel Walton. Walton may have also made a considerable donation to the purchase. Consequently the site was named ‘Walton Firs’.
1939 – Site officially becomes Imperial Headquarters Property, but the outbreak of War on the 3rd September prevents any official opening or camps taking place. During the War, a Royal Artillery Anti-Aircraft Battery was stationed on the site.
1943 – Olave, Lady Baden-Powell officially opened the site, planting an oak tree to commemorate the event. The tree was later destroyed in the hurricane of 1987.
1945 – After the War Bill Currie became Warden with Assistant Camp Warden, Bill Nutt.
1950s – Peter Lankaster is appointed as permanent Bailiff (as the Warden was then known). The original bridge over the ravine was built and work carried out to build workshops and a small building which became known as “Smokey Joes”, housing a shop in the summer and accommodation in the winter.
1960 – Peter became a Field Commissioner and Mr Normal Squibb took over as Bailiff. Norman continued the development work, fencing the site and extended the plumbing, providing stand-pipes in the camping areas.
1964 – Malcolm ‘Mac’ Smith took over as Warden. The Training Hut in the ‘Cub Scout Field’ was built.
1969 – Mac died on site in 1969. An English Ash tree was planted in his memory.
1970s – Bill Cook became Warden and ran the site for twenty years. In this time, the Ladies toilets + a new toilet block were added and the Pembroke building erected. The new Providore was build as well as a new Bungalow for the warden and family. The cedar wood bungalow became Service Team accommodation.
1973- Walton Firs ‘Cub Scout Day’ was instituted.
1977 – Scout Air Riffle Championships started, hosted at Walton Firs.
1989 – Bill Cook retires. Dave and Sue McIntosh take over as Warden.
1990 - 3000 new saplings were planted to replace trees damaged in the storms of the late 1980s. Archery, climbing & abseiling, canoeing and an adventure course were added to the site. The site was also rewired and had a new water system fitted. All of these jobs were completed with the help of the volunteer service teams.
Late 1990s - A third accomodation building was added using a second hand timber building from Brunswick Square in London. This provided a building with bunk rooms sleeping 24, a wash room suitable for people with special needs, kitchen and dining area.
2000s - New activities added including a maze, frisbee golf and giant games. Toilet blocks refurbished with more ladies toilets added.
2006 - New suppliers for sweets and drinks that do not contain artificial additive and colourings are being sourced.
2007 - 100 years of scouting was celebrated at Walton Firs on 1 August. A sunrise breakfast was enjoyed with the King of Sweden and members of the World Scout Foundation.
2008 - On 27 June, Walton Firs was purchased from the Scout Association by Walton Firs Foundation for £800,000.
2009 - The Dutch Barn All Weather Shelter is completed in December, and is in use straightaway. See the photo gallery for pictures of the build.
2010 - Walton Firs opens the Caving Complex in July - the first and best in Surrey! Photos in the gallery.
2012 - Building of the Patience Baden-Powell Centre begins. Photos of its progress are in the gallery.