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Historic scout group to return to 'spiritual' Orpington home after renovation

by Paul Amass News Press Release

Historic scout group to return to 'spiritual' Orpington home after renovation

Plans are in place to renovate an Orpington scout hut, allowing one of the world's oldest groups to return to its "spiritual" home.

The 3rd Orpington Scout Group was forced to leave their Goddington Lane headquarters, after St Olaves School Grammar School, which shares the site, took control of the building.

Six years later, the school has decided to renovate the hut, returning it to its original purpose.

Alex Birks-Agnew, Group Scout Leader, says “It is really good news: St Olave’s has reached out to us to secure a return to “Thirdsden” and whilst at an early stage we are feeling very confident that we will return to our spiritual home over the next few years.

"Working in partnership with the school we will rejuvenate the existing site which will make a significant contribution to the common good of the local community.”

The hut has been underused since 2013, lying vacant for a number of years.

Architect Takero Shimazaki will design the new building, which will be be "economically and sustainably restored using the existing structures and upgrading as much of the building fabric as possible."

Andrew Rees, Headteacher, says ‘We feel we have a responsibility to use our resources for the good of the community, as well as our own students at St Olave’s.

"For this reason, we have asked the 3rd Orpington Scouts to work with us on restoring the Scout Hut on Goddington Lane which they are understandably very keen to return to.

"If all goes well, we should have an excellent, sustainable facility which both St Olave’s and the Scouts can use and we also want to make it available to local residents to use as a village hall."

The scout group was originally formed in 1929, making it one of the few scout groups to have survived through the war.

With more than 100 members, it is recognised as the most successful group in the borough.

The Duchess of Cambridge, a Scout ambassador, sent the group a letter lending her support back in 2012.

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