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This article was reproduced with the kind permission
of the British Broadcasting Corporation



Saturday, 24 November 2007, 11:59 GMT
Scouts bounce back after hut fire

A scout group in danger of folding after a fire wrecked its base has doubled its numbers since the blaze.

The youngsters in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire were left homeless after the fire damaged equipment.

The repaired building was officially reopened on Friday night and publicity after the fire in March has seen many new recruits join.

Scout leader Ian Marquis said many people had helped to get the group back on its feet.

The store room at the town's scout hall was gutted and camping equipment including tents, uniforms, badges and arts and craft materials were destroyed in the fire.

Although insurance covered the repairs to the hall and camping equipment donations and fundraising replaced every thing else.

Mr Marquis said: "The town really got behind us."

He said one silver lining was that numbers had almost doubled and now there were around 20 scouts, 20 cubs plus a thriving rainbows, brownies and guides sections.

"The fire did us a lot of good because the publicity has doubled the numbers," he said.

"When it happened there was a lot of confusion and we did not know if we could continue.

"We missed a few meetings but we are back in the hall now."

Firefighters who helped control the blaze attended Friday's reopening.

Scout Ewan Marshalsay was also awarded the Chief Scout's Commendation for Meritorious Conduct for his "calm actions" in calling the emergency services when his mother collapsed, hit her head and lost consciousness.

Ewan was ten years old at the time, and was selected for this award by the Chief Scout Peter Duncan and the award committee at the Scout Association UK headquarters.