Search is on for Mundesley’s oldest Scout
The search is on to find Mundesley's oldest Scout and turn him into a VIP at a special ceremony this summer.
After many years of hard fund-raising and elbow grease, the village's new Scout headquarters will be officially opened on August 20 and chiefs would like Mundesley's oldest Scout and youngest Beaver to perform the honours.
The group had originally asked Chief Scout Bear Grylls if he could attend but the adventurer had other commitments that day and so Bruce Hogg, chairman of Mundesley (First) Air Scouts, put on his thinking cap.
Mr Hogg's idea was sparked by the memory of seeing a photo in Mundesley surgery of the youngest and oldest patients who had opened that building many years ago.
Research has revealed that a Scout group was first formed in Mundesley in 1937 but there was a break for a couple of years after the second world war. The group went dormant for a while at some point later on until it was resurrected in about 1973.
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Final touches are now being put on the new steel-framed Scout hut, on the Cromer Road. The �100,000 project was first launched in about 2002 to replace a dilapidated building used by the children.
'It fell to bits after a lot of patching. The smell of damp hit you every time you opened the door,' said group secretary Alison Thompson.
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Original plans for an eco-friendly building, using straw bales, were abandoned because of the cost. Mrs Thompson said the project had been an uphill struggle as several attempts to secure Big Lottery funding had been unsuccessful.
But the group struck lucky when the Norfolk Youth Fund awarded them �25,000. Bequests, donations and fund-raisers ranging from jumble sales to a children's story especially written by former Group Scout Leader Heather Palmer, have helped the group reach their target.
Mr Hogg said they could not have realised the dream without huge support from the community, including donations of kitchen fixtures, flooring and architectural expertise, and practical help with building and fitting out the hut.
As the building has begun to take shape, so Scout numbers have grown and Mrs Thompson said there were now about 60 members and the list was growing. They do not know if the youngest Beaver has yet been recruited.
The new HQ, which measures about 10m x 20m, will include facilities for disabled people and a shower. It will be open for other community groups to use.
Anyone who thinks they are, or know of, Mundesley's oldest Scout, can ring Mrs Thompson on 01263 722115 or Mr Hogg on 01263 720943. They would be interested to hear from both the most veteran member of Mundesley Scouts and any veterans from other Scout groups now living in the village.