Construction Update

This page contains a summary of our efforts to build the new hut. The work has been planned in three phases.

A Scout meeting in the old hut
Inside the old hut

The old hut was put up in the 1960’s. It served the Group well and was home to many happy memories. It was not designed to be accessible and was no longer really large enough to meet the needs of the Group and other potential users.

A close inspection revealed problems, including a leaking, weak roof. We were advised that it was not economic to repair.

An old wooden hut with trees behind. The roof is covered in polythene sheeting.
The roof had begun to leak – polythene sheeting provided a temporary fix.

The Scout Group Executive began drawing up plans for a new hut, engaging the services of a local architect. The Scouts were keen to offer their suggestions too.

Scout's plans for the hut
One patrol’s suggestions for the design of the new hut

Northumberland Council approved the new plans in 2013. Work on the new hut was being co-ordinated with the local community – including our neighbours Stocksfield Tennis Club, Stocksfield Community Association (SICA), Broomley and Stocksfield Parish Council and Northumberland County Council.

A tractor and trailer filled with tents and other equipment.
Moving our equipment into storage

We emptied the hut, moving our equipment into temporary storage in a local farmer’s barn. After disconnecting the utilities, we were in a position to demolish the old building.

Phase 1: Demolition and new foundations

After clearing it, the site was marked out and the new foundations dug.

A series of shallow rectilinear trenches marking the position of the new hut
First impressions of the new building’s footprint

To complete this phase, block work walls were constructed. These keep the new hut well above potential flood waters.

Grey clockwork walls rising out of the ground.
Later concrete beams were added, to provide a floor.

Phase 2: Walls and a roof

The rest of the hut is wooden. Timber walls and the joists were added, giving us a better feel for what the new building would be like.

Timber walls going up.
Triangular roof trusses

The roof was tiled, external doors and windows fitted and the outside of the building clad in larch, giving us a watertight building.

Larch panelling on the gable end of the new hut.
The timber will fade to grey as it ages.

This allowed us to begin work on the inside. Much of this required the skills of specialist contractors.

Plastering the new walls
First-fix of the wiring

but there were some jobs that could be completed by parents, Cubs and Scouts (under the builder’s watchful eye).

A parent standing on a platform. She is insulating the new water pipe.
Insulating the water pipes
An (ex-)Scout measuring plasterboard
Cutting plaster-board to size
One of the meetings rooms, with walls covered in sheets of plasterboard.
Boarding out the walls
A female scout painting the newly plastered walls
Painting the new walls – a chance to work towards your DIY badge!

Phase 3: Extending the footprint

A large unexpected donation allowed us to begin work on Phase 3 earlier than planned. This means we can now add the kitchen, external store and disabled access ramp.

New insulated panels mark the location of the kitchen
Work beginning on the new kitchen
A builder laying the floor of the store, next to a pile of wall panels waiting to be fitted.
Laying the floor of the store
A mini-digger loads earth from an excavated area into a dumper-truck.
Digging out the area for the ramp

Inside, the central heating was installed. lights and sockets fitted and the final floor surface laid down.

The main hall - now with electric lights and wall-mounted radiators.
The addition of lights and heating made it a much more pleasant space to work in.
Rolls of lino stand like columns on top of a prepared floor.
Rolls of lino ready to be laid. An induction loop has been fitted under the floor.
A parent (who happens to be a carpenter by trade) fitting the door locks.
Fitting the doors and ironmongery
Long lengths of skirting board and architrave sitting on trestles in the main hall.
Newly painted skirting and architrave waiting to be fitted.
Outside the work continued – digging drains
Tracking down a blockage in the pipes
Fencing off the site
and completing the block and beam foundations for the access ramp
Adding the railings, complete with a Fleur de Lis emblem
Doors and steps to the store.
The inside is coming on too – we have a flagpole now!
The accessible toilet has been plumbed in
We have water running in the kitchen sink for the first time!

We are getting tantalisingly close. It is great to finally be at the finishing stage – doing things such as adding a sign to the outside of the building:

The hut now sporting a purple sign, declaring it to be a Scout Hut
There’s now no mistaking the fact that it is a Scout Hut!

This work has only been possible because of our fundraising activity.

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