New Scout hall can still hold memories

MacKinnon Hall renovation
MacKinnon Hall renovation

An enterprising Scout Leader has devoted the past two years to a £200,000 project to renovate the group’s hall.

Members of the 4th West Lothian Scouts in Linlithgow Bridge will celebrate their 90th anniversary in style, with the grand re-opening of MacKinnon Hall.

Scout Leader Paul Charlton hopes the community will come out to share its treasured memories of the hall and help to create new ones in it.

He said: “It’ll be a true community facility and the renovation has been more Grand Designs than Changing Rooms, it’s cost us £200,000.

“We’re planning a big community bash.

“I’m sure ex-scouts would be very interested to see the new hall so we hope they’ll come along and bring any memorabilia they have from their days in the 4th West Lothian Scouts.

“There are stories of people who used the hall for their wedding reception or remember the hall being built so we think they’d love to see it now.”

Although parts of the original hall have remained, such as the old wooden floor, there have been a number of improvements such as cladding, insulation and new PVC windows.

Paul said: “The main hall itself is still quite rustic but it now has all the mod cons.”

He hopes this will lead to more people in the community using the hall for occasions, such as children’s birthday parties, charity fundraising events and weekly fitness classes or groups.

He said: “The hall is used to the rough and tumble of the Scouts so it’s a great facility for kids parties.”

The 4th West Lothian Scout Group has been based at the hall in Linlithgow Bridge for over 40 years but, with the premises starting to show its age, the group embarked on an ambitious fund-raising drive, including bag packing, litter picking at Party at the Palace, a Just Giving page and a Buy a Brick appeal.

The Scouts worked with Transition Linlithgow to ensure the new hall was as energy efficient as it possibly could be and linked up with local architects EKJN to make their vision a reality.

Fiona Hyslop MSP is set to do the grand unveiling of MacKinnon Hall at 2.05pm at the special drop in event on Sunday, November 15 from 2-4pm.

The 90th birthday celebration and grand re-opening event is open to everyone, there is no charge to attend and ex-Scouts are encouraged to bring along memorabilia to share their old stories.