Eye: New era dawns for Scout group after hut demolition

The scout hut in Eye is being demolished. Cllr Guy McGregor, Neil Bolger (scout leader) and Joan Nor

The scout hut in Eye is being demolished. Cllr Guy McGregor, Neil Bolger (scout leader) and Joan Norman (group scout leader) start the demolishion. - Credit: Archant

A new era dawned as the first blows were dealt to an out-of-date scout hut.

The 1st Eye Scouts began to take down their headquarters in Wellington Road as part of a fundraising day on Saturday.

The group, which includes Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers, has more than 80 children and hopes to be able to cater for even more with a replacement new-build after raising almost £130,000 over several years.

Demolition of the old building, which has been on site for around 40 years and even then was second-hand, will be completed in the coming days and the new hut could be up and running as early as September.

Chairman of the group and Eye town mayor Merlin Carr said: “The idea of getting rid of the hut surfaced every 10 years or so and I think this present push to get it replaced took place about five years ago because of a change in committee and the Scout group which led to new enthusiasm.


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“It’s gradually getting worse and worse and the children have had to put up with a leaky roof and that sort of thing.”

The new, larger, hut will allow for more storage, a meeting room, main hall, separate men’s and women’s toilets, a covered porch and there are even hopes to install a climbing wall.

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Group Scout leader Joan Norman said support from the community had been “fantastic”.

Money for the project has come from numerous donations including one from an anonymous person who gave £50,000, £1,000 bequeathed by former Scout leader Richard Parker to be spent on a flagpole, a further £900 from private donations, £600 from London marathon sponsorship, £200 from Eye Town Council, £20,000 from Suffolk County Council’s Corporate Regeneration Fund and £2,500 from Hoxne and Eye councillor Guy McGregor’s locality budget. People have also sponsored inscribed bricks to be used to pave the site.

Around £15,000 is still to be raised and the inside of the building will be completed as and when funds allow.

Mr McGregor cast one of the first blows of the sledgehammer along with Ms Norman and 1st Eye Scouts leader Neil Bolger.

The children will use Yaxley Village Hall for the remainder of their meetings before the summer break.

To donate to the Scout hut project, email merlin_carr@hotmail.com.

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