A wonderful photo has kindly been sent to us of the scouts at Kings Weston on the eve of the Second World War. After the death of the last Squire, Philip Napier Miles, the estate was sold off in various portions. Our understanding is that Bristol City Corporation bought much of the land including Penpole Wood with the intention of leasing it to the city’s scout troops as a camping ground.
We were delighted to discover that a record of the years that they used Kings Weston exists and we were sent this image by Peter Laurie who is recording the journal of scout leader G.K.N. Webber for Mrs Mary Lowden before it is transferred to the Bristol Record Office.
This photo was taken from just below Penpole Wood, about where Mancroft Avenue now lies, and looks across the park towards Kings Weston House in the distance behind the tree. The old kitchen range of the house is still apparent and dates this photo to either summer 1937 or 1938, before work on converting the building into QEH school started. It is a poignant image knowing that many of the scouts would soon have enlisted in the armed services as the Second World War broke across Europe, but this sunny afternoon and the group enjoyment of erecting the camp flagpole is a million miles away from the threats the future held.