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Kidsgrove Scouts Go Inactive for 2022


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It is with great sadness that I bring you the news that the Kidsgrove Scouts have officially gone inactive for the 2022 season. 

Unfortunately, the corps is yet another casualty of the Covid pandemic. Having not fielded a corps since 2019 and with Europe having lost two full seasons, the demise was ultimately down to both staff and membership moving on to other interests and pursuits. The organisation is not dead though as the Kidsgrove Junior Scouts are being reformed to be a local parade corps and as an opportunity for youth in the "Potteries" region of England near Stoke on Trent to learn and participate in music. The organisation still retains all the equipment and gear. Whilst the door is certainly closed, it hasn't been fully deadbolted, but the corps administration has stated that fielding a corps again is not likely to be on the cards for "the near future"...

For those new to the activity, this is a really big deal. Kidsgrove had reach far and wide on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. I will offer a brief history lesson if you'll indulge me...

Formed in 1908, The corps began life as a scout band , performing primarily in parades.

In the early 1960s, a fire destroyed all of the band's instruments. Taking this as an opportunity to start afresh, John Swindells borrowed money from his father, bought new instruments, and re-formed the group into a more structured organization. By 1972, the Scouts had grown into the UK national scout and guide champions. The corps gave up the traditional scout uniforms only in 1992.

In 2001, the corps embarked on a different direction in show concept, from heroic show music to jazz. They finished 2003 in second place at the Drum Corps Europe Open Class competition and fourth in the British Youth Band Division I contest.

Ultimtely John's son Rob took over teh day to day running of the corps and over the last 20 years or so the corps became known as an extremely tight knit group with many generations sharing the field together. Mom, dad and kids all in uniforms was not at all uncommon and several marraiges were formed within the ranks. 

Competitive success really took off from 2007 when the corps won their first Drum Corps United Kingdom Championship title and they won it 7 more times  in 2009, 10, 11, 12, 14, 18 and 19. 

In the UK the Kidsgrove Scouts Juniors also won the Junior Class Championship five times in 2008, 10, 11, 12 and 13.

In Europe the Scouts won three titles in 2010, 15 and 19.

And finally the corps was also well known in the USA having competed on the DCA circuit making finals at each calling in 2010 (6th), 2012 (7th), 2015 (6th) and 2017 (7th). Prior to the Covid pandemic, the cors was due to attend the DCA championships in 2020.

Edited by Cainan
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Cainan is too modest to say this (which I attribute to the legendary "British Reserve"), but Kidsgrove was the finest drum corps the UK ever produced. Over the years they created a new standard for the activity in Britain,  and I for one salute them for it.

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5 hours ago, ironlips said:

Cainan is too modest to say this (which I attribute to the legendary "British Reserve"), but Kidsgrove was the finest drum corps the UK ever produced. Over the years they created a new standard for the activity in Britain,  and I for one salute them for it.

Best bit?

I'm not even British! I just married one!!

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Very sad indeed 😞

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A sad day.  Great corps, great people. 

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