Village celebrates as new Scout HQ opens

HAPPY HUT GOERS: Members of 1st Bures Scout and Guide Group outside their new hut.
HAPPY HUT GOERS: Members of 1st Bures Scout and Guide Group outside their new hut.
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After more than six years of waiting, young Cubs and Brownies in Bures are celebrating the completion of their £85,000 Scout hut.

The new building, in The Croft, includes showers, disabled toilets and a kitchen, as well as storage space for the site’s camping area.

Members of the village’s 100-strong troop, made up of children from Explorers, Scouts, Cubs, Brownies and Rainbows, have been quick to make the most of the building, which is an extension of the former hut.

An open day and fete was held to mark the completion of the project.

“Work was finished on Friday and we had the grand opening the next day,” said Cathy Platt, chairman of 1st Bures Scout and Guide Group.

“We had around 50 members who came and they were all so excited to see the hut and get inside to look around.”

The extension, which was started in July 2011, had been in the pipeline for many years, with work only able to get under way following two planning applications.

Before this, the group had held meetings in a former Army hut, which had been used during the Second World War.

Mrs Platt, whose son Ashton, six, attends Beavers, with daughter Hollie, eight, at Brownies, said the new building would make a dramatic difference.

“Everyone was used to meeting in just a hut with the storage outside,” she said. “Now that we have a kitchen, we can do cooking and it opens it up for everyone.

“It will be so much nicer for people using it and for the visiting troops that we get camping here.”

In order to fund the work, which was carried out in three phases, the group staged numerous fundraising events, including jumble sales and raffles.

It also applied for grants and launched a buy-a-brick scheme – giving people the chance to spend £5 on a brick which would be displayed in the lobby of the headquarters.

“We applied to Suffolk Community Foundation and lots of different projects to ask for help,” said Mrs Platt, who lives in St Edmunds Lane, Bures.

“People were very generous and we had lots of volunteers who helped. Many were parents whose children had been to Scouts and had moved on, but they still lent a hand. There was a real community spirit.”

Former Scout leader Graham Lumley was the project manger for the scheme, with support from current leader Paul Snelling and former group chairman Kate Sarley.

Mrs Platt said now the work was complete, the group was eager to attract more members.

“There is always room for members if they would like to join and volunteers who want to help at meetings,” she said.

For more information, go to visit www.1stburesscouts.org.uk.