THE scout motto is to ‘be prepared'.

And after working tirelessly to raise funds to build their new home after a very long wait, Peebles Scout Group were more than ready to open the doors to the community last weekend.

Last Saturday will go down in history as a glorious moment for the Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and Explorers who unveiled the new meeting hall in Dean Park.

But building a new hall didn’t come easy.

The Peebles Troop was founded in 1911 and given that Scouting was initially founded by Baden Powell in 1907 - Peebles was early on the Scouting trail.

Meetings were held at various locations until 1956 when the Scout Group, hoping to find a permanent base, viewed a hall on the current site owned by St Peter’s Episcopalian Church.

Scout Leader James Adams told us: “It was a wooden structure covered in corrugated iron and not in great shape.

"As far as I can check they paid around £200. I am not sure but it would appear it did not have electricity.

"It was decorated and made ‘fit for purpose’ and continued thus until 1963 when it was extended and modernized with a new heating system.

"This cost £2800 and was paid for by a Miss Ramsey-Smith."

Like most Scout Halls it suffered normal wear and tear being used not only by Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Venture Scouts but also by sections of the Peebles community.

In 2007 the Peeblesshire News published an article highlighting the Scout Group's campaign for a new hall.

James added: “In this year scouting worldwide was celebrating its centenary and in the article the hall was described as more akin to 1907 than 2007.

"It was, the article said "well past its sell-by date".

"The feeling was that fundraising would increase with collection boxes and coffee mornings but it would take a lot of coffee mornings before sufficient funds could be raised.”

During this time it was feared that a new modern building was a dream that wasn’t going to be reality.

But in 2010 the hall was in terrible condition and yet another article appeared in the Peeblesshire News.

Thousands of pounds had been raised and individuals, groups and organisations within Peebles had begun to contribute, but funds were still a long way short of what was likely to be required.

Fundraising continued apace but committees continued to change as children passed through the group.

In June 2015 the then committee took the courageous decision to knock down the old hall and to begin rebuilding a new one.

James explained: “Around £100,000 was in funds and considering that the final cost around four years later was almost £250,000-a vast amount of money had to raised in those 4 years, even allowing for the fact that we took out a loan from the Scout Association of £50,000 payable over 10 years to help finish it.

"There were a lot of very generous donations and a lot of very hard work by Susan Brown our treasurer. And here we are today.”

Following the successful opening ceremony, James added: “There was an excellent turnout. There were a number of townsfolk and old Scouts of the town who came along to reminisce. Of course there were some who came just to witness a project completed at long last.”

The future looks bright for the Peebles Scout Group.