IMG 3881-e17th Reigate (St. Joseph’s) Scout Group narrowly failed in its bid to lay down a mile of one-penny coins collected as part of its fund-raising towards a new Scout Hall.

On Saturday 21st September, Beavers as young as six years old, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers, Leaders, mums, dads, and grandparents took part in an attempt on the Guinness World Record for laying the fastest mile of coins, which currently stands at 2 hours 16 minutes. A mile of masking tape donated by Brewers of Redhill served as a coin-laying guide in St. Bede’s School main hall, and 250Kg of pennies were weighed on banking scales loaned by HSBC Reigate to ensure the correct amount was used. Under the watchful eye of Tony Tobin as an independent witness, teams of 8 laid coins as fast as fingers would allow - sadly not quite fast enough for the record was missed by a mere 17 minutes.

Tony Brown, Explorer Leader and fund-raising lead commented “our young people have been collecting pennies for six months; we needed £800-worth for the record attempt and have collected over £1,000 which is fantastic. Getting the world record would have nice but this was primarily a fund-raising event which was a bit different, and the whole group was involved in it. Even Councillor Jonathan Essex was on his knees laying coins! The atmosphere and team-work last Saturday was fantastic, and everyone supported and encouraged each other in true Scouting spirit”.

Mike Phillipson, Group Scout Leader, said that this event has taken the total raised towards 17th Reigate’s “Building For The Future” project to build a new Scout Hall to over £70,000, and invites any local businesses or other groups interested in supporting this project to get in touch through the group’s website (www.17threigate.org). “This is a great opportunity to provide a lasting legacy for young people in the local community. We have over 120 young people in the Group and over 100 on our waiting lists. We are currently without a permanent home following re-development of our previous meeting place for housing, so we really need our own facility as soon as possible”

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17th Reigate (St. Joseph’s) Scout Group was established in 1915 and is the second-largest Scout Group in Reigate District Scouts. There are currently 120 young people aged between 6 and 18 years old who meet each week during term-time. Last year, we ran over 230 meetings, organized 19 camps and sleepovers, and awarded over 1,300 activity badges. The Group is run by a team of 25 adult volunteer Leaders and helpers, and supported by an Executive Committee of 12 adult volunteers. More information about out Group and its “Building For The Future” project is available through our website www.17threigate.org.