CROSLAND Moor Scouts marked the end of an era when they met for the final time at their headquarters.
Members old and new gathered at the headquarters on Moorside Avenue to say goodbye to the 50-year-old building which is being demolished to make way for the Scouts’ new headquarters.
The now crumbling headquarters was built for under £2,000 by Scouts, parents, friends and tradesmen in the area who rallied round. It was the first purpose-built headquarters in the area for Scouts.
The new building, which will cost £450,000, is intended for use by the whole community. Its facilities will include a large hall, resource room, plenty of storage space and a meeting room so that two groups can use the building at the same time.
The environmentally-friendly centre will be fully accessible for wheelchair users and it is hoped there will also be a play area suitable for people with disabilities.
Past and present members of the Scouts had an emotional final meeting at the old headquarters where they looked at old photographs and shared fond memories.
Old faces at the last meeting included Keith Sykes, who attended the first meeting as a cub 50 years ago and is still a Scout leader in the district.
Retired leader Geoff Ellis also attended the meeting. Geoff, who was shortlisted for an award for his services to the community in this year’s Examiner Community Awards, joined Crosland Moor Scouts as a 12-year-old and served as a devoted leader until his retirement earlier this year.
Assistant Group Scout Leader Christina Smith, who has been a member herself for 30 years, said the last meeting at the old headquarters was emotional.
“It’s like an end of an era because there were people at the final meeting that were there at the first meeting,’’ she said.
“There’s an awful lot of memories, but we’ll make new memories in the in the new building. I’m sure that building will be there a very long time after we have gone.”
At the packed final meeting, a slide show of archived pictures of activities at the headquarters over the years was shown and there was a flag lowering ceremony to mark the start and end of the meeting.
The scouts now have all the funding in place to build their new headquarters after securing a £300,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund and £100,000 from Kirklees Council.
They also held a number of fundraisers themselves, and the Cubs and Scouts contributed themselves by filling milk bottles with loose change.
All of the group, including its young members, have been involved in the whole design process of the new building and have had the opportunity to have their say on what they want.
Work on the new-look building is expected to start in the New Year and the scouts hope to move into their new headquarters by the end of the next year. Until then, they are holding their meetings at Crosland Moor Community Centre.
Christina added: “We’ve been fundraising for five years and it’s been hard work, but we’ve finally made it.
“We’re looking forward to the new building. A phenomenal amount of work has gone into raising the funds for it, but everyone has pitched in.
“It’s may be the end of an era, but it’s also the beginning of a new one. We’re building for the future and for all the boys and girls who will come to enjoy scouting and other activities.”