Roughton scouts’ unusual 53-foot ‘thank you’ to Norfolk County Council

Hilary Cox (left) and Kate Royall on firm ground after their abseiling adventure. Picture: DAVE ROBERTS Hilary Cox (left) and Kate Royall on firm ground after their abseiling adventure. Picture: DAVE ROBERTS

Sunday, April 20, 2014
8:00 AM

Scouts in Roughton, near Cromer, said “thank you” for a grant by inviting Norfolk County Council chairman Hilary Cox to abseil down the side of their headquarters.

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Hilary Cox (left) and Kate Royall bounce their way carefully down the sides of Roughton Mill. Picture: DAVE ROBERTSHilary Cox (left) and Kate Royall bounce their way carefully down the sides of Roughton Mill. Picture: DAVE ROBERTS

First Rural Roughton Mill Scout Group is based in a 200-year-old windmill which doubles as a useful abseiling tower.

The building has just spent a £35,000 grant from the County Construction Fund on major improvements to their home.

They celebrated with an abseiling morning when Mrs Cox was joined by Cromer community stalwart Kate Royall, who was once a Brownie with the group, at the top of the 53ft tower.

“It was a bit scary because you have to lean back and lock your knees straight. You put a lot of faith and confidence in the person standing at the top,” said Mrs Cox, who had never abseiled before.

Kate Royall abseils down the side of Roughton Mill. Picture: DAVE ROBERTSKate Royall abseils down the side of Roughton Mill. Picture: DAVE ROBERTS

“The view was utterly tremendous - you could see the sea.”

Scout leader Colin Broughton-Begley said the cash had been used to carry out a range of improvements including replacing windows in the hall, replastering and painting the walls, boxing in and insulating the roof space, and stripping back, staining, resealing and varnishing the floor. Six new cupboards had also been installed, new toilets and sinks fitted, and the old granary rebuilt with a kitchen, shower and toilet.

“Jobs that had waited and waited to be done, are now done. You walk in and it’s warm and comfortable - it’s second to none,” he said.

The group, which currently has about 60 children in different sections, is staging an open day on Sunday June 22 when they hope members old and new will drop in to see the changes.

Hilary Cox abseils down the side of Roughton Mill. Picture: DAVE ROBERTSHilary Cox abseils down the side of Roughton Mill. Picture: DAVE ROBERTS

The scouts moved into the mill, which had become a home for chickens, 35 years ago when: “You stood on mud and looked up at the sky,” according to Mr Broughton-Begley.

After renting it for decades, they managed to raise £230,000 in just over a year to buy the property about four years ago.

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