Red letter day for Dersingham Scouts

Hunstanton mayor, Carol Bower, cuts the anniversary cake, surrounded by some of the present and former leaders and members of Dersingham's Scout and Guide group who attended the open day ANL-140411-114839001
Hunstanton mayor, Carol Bower, cuts the anniversary cake, surrounded by some of the present and former leaders and members of Dersingham's Scout and Guide group who attended the open day ANL-140411-114839001

Former scouts and guides joined present day members of the Dersingham Scout and Guide group to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the opening of their headquarters in Manor Road on Sunday.

The open afternoon featured displays of memorabilia including trophies, hard earned badges and scrap books as well as photographs which showed the various stages of the construction of the village headquarters.

A prized possession is a shield presented to Dersingham Boy Scouts in 1910 which showed that scouting was flourishing in the village only three years after Robert Baden-Powell held his first scout camp on Brownsea Island in 1907, and two years before the official forming of the Scouting Association by Royal Charter in 1912.

The day evoked memories of friends who recalled the day 50 years ago when they began their ten year campaign to raise the £5,000 needed to build the headquarters.

It was opened by the then group scout leader, Eric Riches, on the 2nd November 1974 on land provided by the Sandringham Estate.

Some ten years later the necessary money was found to build an extension which would provided extra storage facilities.

Lynne Wheeler, one of the groups’ present day guide leaders, said: “Before the headquarters was built scouts, cubs, brownies and guides all met at different venues around the village.

“When it opened it became a home to all those units.”

At the beginning there were about 60 young members and five different units, now seven units boast a membership of 150 who use the headquarters every week.

The occasion was marked with a special singing of Happy Birthday to the headquarters after the movement’s guest of honour, Hunstanton mayor Carol Bower, had cut a special cake made by committee secretary Jane Woods.

Past and former members also signed a commemorative banner which will be mounted on a wall in the headquarters.

“We’ve had a very successful afternoon and we met many former members who enjoyed the afternoon reminiscing about times gone by,” said Mrs Wheeler.

Currently the group is again fundraising – this time to find the money to cover the cost of replacing a dilapidated ceiling, fit state of the art lighting and redecorate the interior.