Bill Hargreaves – Gone Home

Bill, 2nd from left in photo, passed away on 4th April following a period of illness, He was a good Scout and a tireless supporter of Scouting, not only in West Lancs Scout County but also in the wider North West Region.
Throughout his life and certainly during the many years he has been a County Vice President, an appointment he was very proud to hold, he still took every opportunity to “shout for Scouting” no matter the occasion or location.

Bill’s early Scouting life was very much centred around 1st Broughton Scout Group , the church and surrounding community events, he was to all accounts very active and it was very plain to see he was always going to be a Leader, later as well as various leadership roles with 1st Broughton he was very also very active in Preston District holding  a number of appointments within the District many at the same time.

One of Bills lasting Scouting legacies, and there are many, was his role in the acquisition and development of Waddecar Scout Camp. During the early 1950s Alice and Albert Waddecar had generously offered to provide the Scout County of North West Lancs with its own Scout Campsite, Bill was a good friend of  both Alice and Bert and along with 5 or 6 other senior figures in the then County set about visiting a number of potential sites & farms, visits were made to locations in Silverdale, Calder Vale, Scorton, Garstang, and Singleton before settling on Wood Top Farm, Waddecar’s real Name, Bill had told me on a number of occasions that Wood Top was agreed on by all involved due to its access to open country, the Bleasdale Fells and of course the River Brock, the original intention being to develop not only the Camping Fields but also the Farm Buildings. Wood Top was purchased by Mrs Waddecar and in 1954 Bill as ACC Leader Training he became a founder Member of the New Site Management Committee. As well as developing the Training Field for the sole use of Leader Training courses along with Tom Gregson , he later helped design and a build the Tom Gregson Chapel and of course a really major piece of work in the designing and fundraising that led to the building of Helme Lodge.

Bill has held many appointments and positions of responsibility in both N W Lancs and West Lancs, in 1957 the County were able to send Two Troops to the World Jamboree at Sutton Coldfield, Bill was chosen to Lead one the Troops but had responsibility for coordinating the organisation of both groups. In 1960 He was appointed to the dual role of County ACC Senior Scouts and ACC Rover Scouts, both very appropriate as their respective mottos were ” Look Wide and Service” both Mottos very close to the Bill Hargreaves we all knew. 1967 saw Bill Appointed County Chairman for NW Lancs, and in 1973 he was Co-Chair of the working Group that undertook the formation of a new West Lancashire Scout County following the Boundaries changes in local Government areas.  In 1974 Bill became the first County Chairman of West Lancashire Scout County. Other appointments that needed his deft touch included Chairman of the jointly owned Bispham Hall Campsite Management Committee. In 1981, Bill was very instrumental in the formation of West Lancs Campsites Board which eventually saw the Scout County taking on the Management of Great Tower as well as Venture Forth Base and Waddecar, he was appointed its first Chairman in 1982.

Bill’s service to Scouting was Recognised by the National Scout Association on several occasions but him being awarded the Silver Wolf, the highest award in scouting, in 2004.


The funeral will be at 11.00am on Tuesday 18th April at St Clare’s Catholic Church, Sharoe Green Lane, Fulwood, Preston. PR2 9HH

There will be a family ceremony at the Crematorium following which there will be refreshments at the White Bull, Preston Road, Longridge. PR3 3BA

Those not attending the Cremation ceremony are invited to go directly to the White Bull where they will be joined by members of the family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By using this site, you agree to our cookie policy