Suffolk: 1st Saxmundham Scout Group back together four years after devastating hut blaze

Firefighters were called to a playground

Firefighters were called to a playground - Credit: Archant

A Scout group which nearly disbanded after its hut was devastated in an arson attack four years ago have reunited after moving back in to its restored hut.

Haydn Morris, chairman of the 1st Saxmundham Scout Group, led the official re-opening of the hut on Saturday after a fire tore through the building in June 2009.

The large fire, believed to have been started deliberately, destroyed about a third of the hut in Memorial Field, Renham Road in Saxmundham.

Leaders of the group spoke of their anger and disappointment following the blaze, which destroyed flags, equipment and records dating back 50 years ago when the hut was originally built.

“The fire gutted the old hut, destroyed most of the group’s equipment, documents and records,” Mr Morris, who started volunteering at the group in 2011, said.

The troop were forced to seek an alternative temporary venue and relocated to Aldeburgh Scout hut.

“Inevitably the distance involved saw numbers decline down to single figures,” Mr Morris.

Most Read

The group was faced with the very real threat of extinction, but Mr Morris revealed a whole host of local councils, businesses, charities and organisations contributed to the success of the financial restoration of the hut, which was overseen by the scout group’s committee.

It is now set to be used by dozens of Scouts, Cubs, Beavers, Brownies and Rainbow youngsters every day of the week.

“The fact that we are here today is testimony to the efforts of the dedicated band of volunteers and supporters who helped us,” Mr Morris added.

“As an ex-Cub and an ex-Scout, I have first-hand experience of the benefits of Scouting and I firmly believe that a strong Scout group in Saxmundham is not only beneficial to helping the development of young people in the area but is also beneficial to the town itself.”

The group celebrated the official re-opening with a go-kart race in karts devised and built by cub members.