Hundreds of visitors welcomed a new scout hall on Saturday which will be home to one of the largest scout troops in the country.

After 20 years of fundraising, the new £680,000 building for the 7th Epsom (Methodist) Scouts, located behind Epsom Methodist Church in Ashley Road, was formally opened by Tim Kidd, scout chief commissioner for England.

Mr Kidd unveiled a plaque for in front of guests including the Mayor of Epsom and Ewell, Councillor Sheila Carlson, and Chris Grayling MP.

Founded in 1927 it now has 360 members.

It outgrew the troop's previous hall and had to rent additional halls throughout Epsom for its activities.

The new building is large enough for the entire group to join together for the start of meetings and then split into smaller groups for activities.

It consists of a large hall, two big meeting rooms and smaller meeting room, a climbing wall, a kitchen, toilets and storage facilities.

Scouts past and present, their families and friends enjoyed displays of the group’s biennial Gang Show, expeditions to Uganda, the Epsom firework display, and canoeing and hillwalking activities.

There were opportunities to try archery, short-wave radio, air rifle shooting and climbing using the new climbing wall and other activities included sweet-making, face-painting, pancake-making, duck races and catapults.

Group scout leader, Councillor Neil Dallen, said: "The opening went off without a hitch. We were honoured to have Sheila Carlson, Chris Grayling and Tim Kidd as guests, along with hundreds of past and present members, parents and friends of the group, and Reverend Nick Oborski with many other past and present ministers of Epsom Methodist Church, attend.

"The headquarters were buzzing all day with numerous activities outdoors and inside and it was a fun-packed day for both the young people and the visitors."

Coun Dallen added: "The official opening is the culmination of more than 20 years of planning, fundraising and sheer hard work by many people and congratulations must go particularly to Doug Clasby who has headed the design and fundraising for the project.

"There must be literally hundreds of adults and young people that, working together, have achieved this stupendous result."

For more information about the 7th Epsom (Methodist) Scouts, call Neil Dallen on 01372 728187 or visit