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The site was purchased by the District in 1961, previously it had been the Group HQ for 1st Coalpit Heath from 1945 when the land was given by Mr William Blackmore to the Group , the First Mafeking Hall was opened on 4th May 1946 by Mr F Haydon Dimmock, Editor of “The Scout”. This wooden hall was once the R.C. Chapel used by the Army at Corsham.
That existing building was becoming unsuitable for the District use, plans we submitted for the current building with work starting in September 1971 this was completed in January 1972 and officially opened by the then County President Lt. Col. The Lord Wigram M.C D.L J.P on 19th July 1972.
In 1999 the District was given the opportunity to purchase the Tullett Field and lane to ensure we had more space for our young people to use and enjoy. The Tullett Field was opened by the the County President George Pesynski on 18th June 2003.
The previous building was past its suitable use and has been patched up and repaired over its 40-year life to a point it is no longer viable to keep up with repairs.
The list of works that need to be done include but not limited to:-
- The roof needed replacing,
- Kitchen needed replacing,
- Toilets needed modernisation and the toilet block foundation needed replacing.
- The hall did not meet current Equalities Act 2010.
- The hall had no suitable insulation and does not meet energy requirements.
- Wiring was outdated and botched together.
- Underpinning the foundations had failed
- External walls and existing guttering / soakaways had failed,
- And the list keeps going on
The above works to bring that building up to a minimum requirement needed to meet current regulations would be more than £500,000 which we currently do not have or can find at this time.
Projects on the site
We have started some works on improving the conditions on site which have included:-
- Lawn Mower, which enables us to be self-sufficient with grounds maintenance.
- New roller shutter door to replace the old wooden doors to the outside stores.
- Removal of rubbish which has accumulated around site.
- Clearing the overgrown sections of the Tullett field by Zeus Explorers, exposing the original firepit and pond areas.
- Installation of an external sink with hot water.
- Building up a District store of equipment for groups/units to use.
Mafeking Hall Future Plans
In 2019 we undertook a survey asking them what they would like us to do with the site and over 90% of those who responded asked for better facilities and not to sell the site. As part of this the Executive have looked at long term plans which would need to be consulted with the wider District and its members as this project would cost over One Million pounds.
During the current times we feel that going forward with such a large expensive project would not be in the interests of our young people and volunteers. In the short to medium term plan is to work on a solution to replace the current brick build hall with a new wooden building. This lower cost solution which will help us enable our young people to have a facility they can be proud in.
The new hall layout will consist of a new meeting room (Which can also double up as a leader’s room for sleepovers), large hall and new toilets. At this time, we will not be putting in showers to the site due to the low water pressure on our shared supply with a new supply will cost more than £30,000.
We have to thank our young people & adult volunteers who have helped raise funds to help replace the hall. They have climbed the equivalent of Mount Everest, Actually climbed Mount Kilimanjaro
Current Status & Photos
Work started on the strip out of the building by volunteers from October 2020 with the building demolished in June 2021
Foundations & Shell Build (September 2021 to May 2022)
The buildings foundations & main structure have been completed by May 2022
Our builders have completed the external works as requested. and a small band of volunteers are working hard to ensure the building is ready, this is not going as fast as we would like but we are getting their with each work party day.
Internal Fitout May 2022 to date
We have had some challenges with the fit out with the major one being the one/two of the supporting columns under the building had failed. Which resulted in a delay to the project of 3-4 months while this was rectified. Work on the interior is getting closer to completion, by July 2023 all the fire doors, Kitchen, Architrave/Skirting boards, have been installed. We are getting very close to opening just the Electrics & Ramps left to undertake and a general tidy up on site.
Mafeking isn’t just the District Headquarters it is also home to over 70 young members of Zeus Explorers who have been instrumental in the redevelopment and works in the grounds. It is so proud to see so many young people getting involved. They have not been able to meet at the site for nearly a year and a half but just after Easter we welcomed them back to site to enjoy the grounds.
The Projects sustainable building ethos we are trying to maintain in the following areas by engaging local businesses/professionals within 100 miles of the site:-
- Using Local Contractors
- Bens Demolition, Who supported with the demo works, Heras Fencing & Erection of new entrance fence/Gates. (Frampton Cottrell – 4 Miles)
- Stop digging, who have created the foundations for the new Building (Crediton – 90 Miles)
- Benfield, Timber Building Manufacturer (Caldicot – 21 Miles)
- Aspire Construction Bristol ltd, Designated Building Contractor (Bristol – 10 Miles)
- Simply Gardens, Tree Surgeon (Yate – 6 Miles)
- D&R Building and Waste Removal Services, Building works to External Stores (Bristol – 5 Miles)
- Honeys Rubbish Clearance, Clearing the construction waste from the site. (Bristol – 4 Miles)
- Environmental Heating Solutions Ltd – Air Heating System. (Charlbury – 60 Miles)
- Western Power, Electric Main (Chipping Sodbury – 5 miles)
- Optimum Drywall Systems Ltd, Plastering (Fishponds – 5 miles)
- Able Carpentry, Joinery, Kitchen & Doors (Yate – 6 Miles)
- Using Local Suppliers
- Alide Hire, Portable Toiler Supplier (Keynsham – 12 miles)
- Murray Hire, Scaffolding, Generator, Lifting Equipment (Yate – 4 miles)
- Insulation Superstore, Celotex (Plymouth – 130 miles)
- Roofing Superstore, Roofing supplies (excluding tiles) (Plymouth – 130 miles)
- Kellaway Supplies, Roof tiles, gravel, drainage pipes, and more (Yate – 4 miles)
- Screwfix, General supplies (Yate – 4 miles)
- Travis Perkins, General supplies (Stoke Gifford – 6 miles)
- Mon Timber, Cladding Timber (Newport – 30 miles)
- Western Power, Electric Main (Chipping Sodbury – 5 miles)
- Encon, Plasterboard (Avonmouth – 16 miles)
- Howdens, Fire Doors & Kitchen (Yate – 4 miles)
- School Toilets, Trough Sink (Portishead – 18 miles)
- Access Panel Direct, Loft Access Hatch (Walsall – 95 miles)
- Using Professional Services
- Wotton Tree Consultancy Ltd, Tree Surveys for the site/planning Application (Wotton under Edge – 13 miles)
- Quantock Ecology ltd, Ecology Surveys (Taunton – 55 Miles)
- Cohere Associates, Chartered Building Surveyor (Frampton Cottrell – 2 Miles)
- Connected Light, Specialist lighting services provider (Bristol – 10 Miles) Also an ex-Cub & Scout from the local area.
- FSC Sport Consultancy Ltd, Professional Fundraiser (Yate – 6 Miles)
- Northen Surveying Services Ltd, Professional Advice & Support (Iron Acton – 8 Miles)
- Environmental Impact
- By using Local companies and Professionals we are reducing our environmental impact and becoming more sustainable. To help offset the Carbon used in the transport and visits to site we will also be planting more trees on the edge of the site to strengthen up the hedgerows and to also give back.
- With the new building being more airtight and insulated we will also reduce our energy use and improve our BREEAM score. And move us from an G EPC Rating to fingers crossed an B.
- We also look to keep waste down to a minimum by recycling and reusing materials where possible.