In 1936 Mr Dalley took over as GSM. At this time the group used a disused Cow Shed in Five Ash Road as a headquarters, although main group meetings were held at Dover Road School. However, the group was growing so Bob acquired an old disused stable in Station Street, not much up the social scale buy bigger! It was christened “The Den”. 1936 also saw the re-formation of the Bugle Band.
In 1937 the Group severed ties with St Botolph’s church as a sponsoring authority and also the acquisition of the Astoria Hall in the Northfleet High Street as a dedicated Head Quarters. The scarf changed again, the black and maroon finally giving way to the scarlet and green that we retain today.
At this time a series of annual camps extended to the Channel Islands and for many years the group held relations with inhabitants of Guernsey. The Gang Show also got under way and the Old Folks Christmas parties began.
The band became very popular and moved to undertake more ambitious engagements including the St George’s Day parade in Canterbury in 1937 and the Broughton Monchelsea Tattoo in 1938. However, a highlight for the band came on the August Bank Holiday Monday in 1939 when the 1st Northfleet BP Scout band staged the Northfleet Floodlit Tattoo at Grove Road. Several hundred boys attended with their bands from groups across Kent. Based for the day at Astoria Hall, the paraded across the district, presenting the strength of Scouting to the community.
During the Tattoos Vic Bailey, the “Colonel”, a 1st Northfleet legend, was recruited from the Loose Swiss Rover Crew.
Later that summer the Group set off for Guernsey for annual camp, returning on Saturday 2nd September, 1939 on one of the final few ships to leave the islands before war was declared. (The Channel Islands were occupied by Nazi Germany for much of World War II, from 30 June 1940 until the liberation on 9 May 1945.)