500 guests see official opening of Melton’s new district Scout building

Hundreds of people turned out for a special event for the official opening of the impressive new £340,000 Melton Scouts campsite building.

Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 4:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 6:27 pm
Derek Fraser (Melton Scouts district treasurer), Ian Cliffe (District Commissioner), Sam Morris (Deputy Chief Commissioner of England) and Chris Dolby (Melton District chairman) pictured at the open day for the redeveloped campsite EMN-190904-105236001

It started with an idea seven years ago to build somewhere warm and comfortable where young people and community groups could stay all year round.

That dream is now reality at Holwell Pastures, a rural site two miles from Melton, with a centrally-heated structure where 36 people can stay overnight.

Scouts began using it earlier this year but around 500 people gathered on Sunday to see it officially opened by Mayor of Melton, Councillor Pru Chandler.

The exterior of the new Melton Scouts building at Holwell Pastures EMN-190904-105146001

It was also named at the ceremony as Ironstone Lodge, with a plaque being unveiled by Sam Morris, the deputy chief commissioner of Scouts in England.

The other building on the Holwell Pastures site - an older traditional wooden Scout hut - is called The Martyn Turner Hut, after a former local group scout leader who passed away.

Derek Fraser, who is treasurer of Melton and District Scouts, told the Melton Times: “We had a wonderful turnout for the event with around 500 people there and we were so pleased to see so many youngsters there on Sunday.

“Everyone who came was extremely impressed by the new building - they loved it.”

Year 10 John Ferneley College Duke of Edinbugh Award students at Melton new Scout campsite EMN-190904-105135001

The new timber-framed Ironstone Lodge is over 33 metres in length and has two large, carpeted meeting rooms, one with a projector and screen, a fully fitted kitchen, a large bedroom with bunk beds and deluxe mattresses for 32 young people, as well as two separate twin bedrooms for leaders.

The sleeping area has its own night toilets but there is also a large toilet and shower suite including accessible facilities and wet room.

The youngsters who stay there will also be able to use a climbing wall, a zip line and play sports such as archery.

Scouts, Guides and Cub groups will stay there at weekends and during weekdays it will be available for local community groups, companies and organisations to hire, with parking for up to 25 cars.

Oliver Ewens, from the Old Dalby Scouts troop takes aim with a carrot catapult at the open day for the new Melton campsite EMN-190904-105156001

Mr Fraser added: “Last year we had around 1,800 people on site but this year I would hope it will be nearer 3,000 because it is such a good facility.

“The great thing now is the site can be used all year round by young people and adults.”

The impressive climbing wall at the redeveloped Melton Scouts campsite at Holwell Pastures EMN-190904-105206001
Mayor of Melton, Councillor Pru Chandler, and Sam Morris, Deputy Chief Commissioner of England Scouts, unveil the new name of the campsite EMN-190904-105216001
A plaque shows the new name for Melton's Holwell Pastures Scouts campsite, Ironstone Lodge EMN-190904-105226001