Off to a good home

27 July 2012
It was the end of an era in West Parley when the redundant former Scout Hut in the Recreation Ground was dismantled last weekend to go to its new home in Gosport. Some 15 volunteers got to work on the hut on Saturday morning and most of it was on its way on Monday. West Parley Parish Council was faced with a large bill to dispose of the wooden building that had been unused for almost 2 years. Instead it offered the building free to Scout groups in the region.

Lisa Reade of the 6th Gosport Air Scouts said "We jumped at the chance of replacing our existing leaky building that was at the end of its useful life. We could not afford a new building so the thought of reusing a hut that had already been well used by West Parley Scouts was very appealing to us. Though the hut is quite old it is well built and watertight. We will now refurbish it and start to put it back up."
Councillor John Cullen says "This is a great example of co-operation between two communities; real localism in action. It is unbelievable how much support there has been for this."

Scout Hut crew
Councillors and Volunteers take a well-earned break

In Gosport over £3000 has been raised to cover the cost of moving the hut. Much of this was raised with the help of a local running club who donated the proceeds from their annual half marathon. This was topped up with individual and company donations and money earned by local youngsters bag packing in supermarkets. Funding from the Dorset County Community Fund will pay for services to be disconnected and for final site clearance in West Parley. Once the site is cleared a number of trees will be planted to commemorate the Queens Diamond Jubilee using funding provided by the EDDC 2012 Community Grant Fund.

Councillor Alan Macdonald says "Yet again our village came up trumps when help was needed. Particular thanks go to Parley Sports Club volunteers and Oates Construction whose help has made this project so much easier. The Gosport volunteers have been able to use the facilities at the adjoining Club during demolition. We hope they enjoyed their brief stay in the village".

Harley Elkins, Group Scout Leader, says "To thank West Parley the Gosport Scouts have launched new scarves with a blue edge in tribute to the Scout Group which used to meet in the hut. The Dorset group's former leader has donated a portrait of the Queen for the refurbished hut and one of Robert Baden Powell, who founded the Scout movement."

Councillor Mrs Pat Couper says "We have lost a bit of our history but know the refurbished hut will be put to good use for many years to come. We are all looking forward to seeing the hut back in use in the Autumn."
Councillor John Cullen summarises "This project has gone from being a potentially huge financial drain for us to a brilliant collaboration between 2 communities. We are all being asked to recycle more and reuse items as much as possible but reusing a whole building must be unique."