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EDITIONS
 Friday, 17 January, 2003, 14:02 GMT
New HQ for valleys scouts
The new scout headquarters in Abertillery
The scouts are proud of their new headquarters
Scouts in Abertillery moved into their new hall on Friday after months of holding meetings at different venues while builders replaced their old hut.

The hall has been erected on the site of a derelict hut which had been used since the 1930s by generations of scouts.

The old scout hall in Abertillery
The new hall replaces a dilapidated building

The old venue was taken away piece by piece and is now being used by a local farmer as a sheep shed.

A grant of 172,000 for the new site was donated to the 1st Abertillery Scout Group from the Silent Valley Environmental Trust.

The waste disposal firm gives money to community projects as part of the governments land fill tax scheme.

Group scout leader, Amanda Giles said: "The children are so proud of their new hall.

"The old hall was in a terrible condition - it was awful.

"It was first used by scouts in Abertillery in July 1938.

"It was bought for about 500 in and a few years ago we decided that something needed to be done.

"We applied for a lottery grant which was refused but we were lucky enough to get a grant from a local business," she said.

The inside of the old scout hall in Abertillery
The inside of the old venue was unsuitable

Silent Valley Environmental Trust approved the funds and work began in April 2002.

Joanne Challenger, the Beaver leader said: "The new hall is fantastic - it is really big and has everything we need.

"There is disabled access, toilets, a shower room and an office.

"It will really make a difference to the children," she said.

Over the last eight months, the weekly meetings for the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts have been held in different venues.

"We have been in all different places and it has been quite hard and we have lost a few members," said Mrs Challenger.

"At the moment we have about 40 boys and girls but we hope that now we have the new hall the members we have lost will come back.

Interior of the new hall
The new hall is fitted with modern equipment

"The children are so excited about this hall and they are so proud of it," she added.

On Friday evening the official opening of the hall will take place and about a hundred scouts from the last 50 years will join present day members.

Mrs Giles said: "This hall will make such a difference to the whole community.

"Although it is primarily the headquarters of the scouts, it can be used by other groups.

"And the old hut is still being used - it was dismantled panel by panel and now a farmer in Cwmtillery is using it to keep sheep in," said Mrs Giles.


More from south east Wales
See also:

27 Apr 02 | Wales
21 Mar 02 | England
28 Nov 98 | UK
13 Aug 98 | UK
22 Apr 02 | Wales
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