Nationwide search for cub scout leader ends in success

Former Abingdon Cub Scout leader Kathy Hayward being reunited with her treasured memories by the leader of 1st Honiton Scouts, Helen Turner, and her daughter Zoe Braunton-Turner. Former Abingdon Cub Scout leader Kathy Hayward being reunited with her treasured memories by the leader of 1st Honiton Scouts, Helen Turner, and her daughter Zoe Braunton-Turner.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
2:34 PM

Former cub scout leader reunited with her treasured memories.

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A nationwide search for the owner of a cache of scouting memorabilia discovered in Honiton has finally ended - after its owner was found living just ten minutes away from where the hunt began.

First Honiton Scout Group leader Helen Turner launched an appeal in February to track down the Oxfordshire cub scout leader Kathy Chalmers, now Hayward, after discovering a collection of her photographs, clippings and letters in the scout hall in Dowell Street.

The bag of items was found when Helen was clearing out the scout hall last year and documented Kathy’s aid mission to Bosnia as part of the ‘pass the parcel campaign’, which was started by the Abingdon cub scout leader and adopted by the Scout Association.

However, Helen had no idea how these items came to be in Honiton.

To track down Kathy, Helen turned to the national Scout Association, who were unable to help.

She then contacted the local newspaper in Oxford, who had previously reported on Kathy’s trip to Bosnia, to help find her.

Helen says she had nearly given up hope and was ‘flabbergasted’ when she received a call telling her that Kathy had been found, and only lived 10 minutes away from the scout hall.

And last Friday, Helen was finally able to reunite Kathy with her treasured collection of belongings, which are thought to have been in the scout hut since 2005.

Helen said: “Just seeing her face when she came into the scout hall when I gave her the bag, you could see all the memories coming back.

“It was just lovely to give it back to her and it completes her collection.

“I’m pleased it has gone back to Kathy because the bag has been sat in my loft.”

Kathy moved to Honiton in 1999 and told the Herald that she had taken along the bag of photographs and clippings to show the scouts when she made a donation to help them buy a water heater.

She said she was delighted to be reunited with her scouting memories and added: “It really is a blast from the past. I am so relieved.

“I just thought that’s it - it is gone. There are a lot of treasured memories here.”

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