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Les Alfrey 1932 - 2009
Broadwater started its life near to the lake and was later moved to make way for a Golf Course it was at this time around 1968/69 when Les became involved.
It was along with the Atherstone Venture Scout Unit and David Meins'Nuneaton Venture Scouts who along with others from the County re-built and knocked into shape the buildings. His first job to dig out the cesspit and re-build same then with venture scouts cut back some of the growth.
We got Venture Scouts over on weekends to work and play and work and play they did cutting back the growth far beyond what we had on lease until we took up some 7.5 acre, we laid paths did up the kitchen block, toilets and built a crew room with bunks out of pallets and laid staging space for sleeping out of pallets (Les was known as the Pallet King) Window frames, door frames, beds you name it, pallets provided the means, the tools brought on site provided by the lads and lassies. Money well there was none so beg, borrow, whatever it took, the first money He spent was £900 of money he had put to one side for baby pram and such for our (Les and Iza) forth coming event.
We then offered the site out for camping slow but sure we had a few bookings and then used the money to build on. What we had done to the site still needed money being spent so we introduced events like Escape, Tramp Meets, Discos etc. We held the Venture Scout 21st Birthday party on site and built a desert island bringing on sand some 40 ton which was given to us made palm trees built a bar brought in a disco and Bermuda dress and had a whale of a time.
Les could see the potential for Broadwater if only Les could raise capital, County was reluctant, that was until David Brain became CC and he could see what we had done on nothing. What would happen if Les had money where upon County gave the site £10,000 on the understanding the site would then become self financing. A working party was set up and grants applied for by the time we had raised £100,000 we had refurbished the troop room started putting on new roof structures over the crew block toilets showers and so we moved on raising well over £300,000. This funded the projects below.
In 1997 saw the first development from grant money, this was to the Troop Room and since that time monies we have raised have been spent on the Roofing on the remaining four buildings. Refurbishment of the Crew block - to house 12 Crew, Ladies and Gents Toilets – Showers, Providore, Office, Workshop Stores for equipment at a cost of some £82,000
In 2003 saw our biggest project to date the refurbishment of the Alfrey Lodge. This contains 26 beds divided into small and comfortable rooms Toilet & Shower are suitable for Special Needs. Kitchen & dining area Fully central heated throughout Double glazed – Fire & Security Doors at a cost £39,000
In 2005 we completed the refurbishment of the Aylesford Pack Holiday centre costing nearly £40,000, providing us with a high level of indoor accomodation suitable of all uses throughout the year.
At the end of 2006 we finally got the roof onto the Climbing and Absieling building after several delays.
By the start of 2008 we completed the development of the climbing and absieling facility. Both of these activities are now indooor and the climbing Wall has been extended to provide a top quality activity.
This is the legacy Les has left for Scouts, Guides and Youth Groups for all to use and enjoy.