Fire of 31st March 1983
A second fire occurred at the building during the night of Tuesday 31st March 1982. On this occasion the cause was arson and there was a forced entry at the rear of the building, with a seat of the fire being within the building. This was investigated by the local police, it was believed that it was the work of juveniles but the culprits were not traced. The damage to the premises on this occasion was substantial and a rebuild was the only option.
The Group rose to the challenge under the direction of the Group Chairman Jeffrey Ellwood and Group Scout Leader Tony Wilkins.. The Group continued to function during this period meeting at various sites, Hackenden, the home of the ex Group Scouts leader, Edgar Cooper, the District Headquarters, The Alfred Wagg Centre, Portland Road, (now the Barbers Shop) and the 1st Felbridge Scouts Headquarters at Stream Park.
Transcript of E G Courier 08 Apr 1982
Transcript of Fires
POLICE are investigating the cause of the second fire in under a week at the headquarters of the 1st East Grinstead Scout Group's headquarters in Moat Road, East Grinstead.
Only the kitchen and shell of the timber and brick building remained undamaged by the second blaze last Thursday which destroyed scouting gear and training equipment. More than £2,000 worth of damage is estimated to have been caused.
A large part of the building was severely damaged in a fire the previous Friday believed to have been caused by an electrical fault in a scout van parked outside. Group Scout Leader Tony Wilkins described the second fire as "a bit below the belt", but said members would "battle on" to raise between £10-£20,000 needed to rebuild the headquarters. "We are hoping to open an appeal headquarters in the former W. H. Smith shop, in London Road, where people will be able to hand in their donations," he said. "Hopefully, we will be able to get a celebrity along to give the appeal a boost."