NEW HEADQUARTERS PREPARATIONS
Following a successful parents’ meeting a Supporters Association was formed in January 1964. It was reported that the Group was the largest in the District with 108 Cubs, Scouts, Seniors and Scouters. During the year the Group won the Sports Trophy for the first time.
This year saw the beginning of lengthy negotiations and discussions on a new Headquarters. Mr. Mills (a parent) volunteered to handle the planning and building side. The site under discussion at this time was behind Aldines (now the Liquor Locker) in Addington Road and belonged to a Mr. Moss. The main problem – apart from money! – was drainage. A change took place on the Committee when Mrs. Fuke moved from the District and her place as Secretary was taken by Mrs. Needham. The Group ended the year with £484.18.3d. in the Building Fund, of which £430 was invested in Defence Bonds. The 30th Birthday celebrations in October – attended by over 200 people – had included static demonstrations, a Supper and a Thanksgiving Service. A booklet entitled “The First Thirty Years” was produced, thus recording the Group’s history since 1934
The beginning of 1965 saw the approval of the building plans by the local Council and the Group set itself a target of £1,000 in the following 18 months. During its first year, the Supporters Association had raised over £100. The Group decided to buy £400 of Premium Bonds (over the ensuing years five prizes of £25 each were to be won). A total of £185 was raised on ten year Interest Free Loans. A Balloon Race was held instead of a Bob-a-Job and the balloon travelling the furthest reached Norway. The proposed site was fenced to prevent “dumping” following the general clearance of the area. The Scout Group won the Group Trophy at the District Sports. The Rover Crew was re-started with a nucleus of three members. Five Scouts and two Rovers transferred from the Air Scout Group following its closure due to lack of Leaders. A special meeting was called to discuss the high cost of the new building and tentative suggestions were made to have a wooden building instead of pre-cast concrete. This was eventually squashed. The year ended with over £1,000 in the Building Fund.
At the first Group Committee in 1966 it was announced that the Boy Scout Association had agreed to act as Trustees for the new Headquarters. It was also noted that a Cub, Peter Luff, gained all 15 Proficiency Badges. New Trustees for Group Property (as opposed to building) were named as Mr. C. Merry, Mr. J. Murray, Mr. C. Beale and Mr. K. Gaved. Following the resignation of Mr. Mills, Mr Westerman was appointed as the new architect. The Patrol Leaders made Group history by winning the District Nicholson Shield for the first time. It was reported that negotiations for the land had completely broken down because the Council were to compulsory purchase it. Mr. Beale who had been appointed Chairman of the Building Committee stated his intention to continue looking for a site. Mr Gaved resigned as Scoutmaster (but still continuing as Group Scoutmaster) to become Assistant District Commissioner (Scouts) and his position was taken over by Mr D. Sullivan. Mrs. Needham also resigned as Secretary and Mrs. Luff was appointed in her place.