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 current building is now 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 needs replacing,
- Kitchen needs replacing,
- Toilets need modernisation and the toilet block foundation needs replacing.
- The hall does not meet current Equalities Act 2010.
- The current building has no suitable insulation and does not meet energy requirements.
- Wiring is outdated and botched together.
- Underpinning the existing foundations
- Repair the walls and existing guttering / soakaways,
- And the list keeps going on
The above works to bring the current building up to a minimum requirement needed to meet current regulations would be more than £300,000 which we currently do not have or can find at this time. The fields are still available to all our groups /units in the District for free.
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.
Current Status & Photos
The District is engaging with contractors and local planners to demolish the exisiting brick build building and replace with a lower cost woodern hall which would give us a solution for the next 10-15 years.
A plan and artists impression can be found below download.