THE 1st Atherton Scout Troop celebrated the official re-opening of their renovated HQ with VIP guests.

Chief Scout George Purdy joined Mayor, Cllr Wilf Brogan, and former members and helpers for an evening to remember at Car Bank Street.

The 60 strong troop, formed in 1912 by Atherton colliery owner Kenneth Burrows, base has been transformed by £130,000 worth of regeneration scheme grants.

New flooring, a fire escape and protective windows have been fitted plus disabled access and toilets adaptations and a mobile climbing tower for the Scouts, Cubs and Beavers.

The troop, whose first base in 1915 was at The Coffee Pot in Bolton Road, Atherton moved to Eckersley and Hope solicitors and then into Car Bank Street in 1975.

A martial arts group is also based there and gave a demonstration at the reopening at which local band, Laeka, played for guests. A mother and toddler group also meet there.

Assistant Beaver Leader Susan Ralph said: "We were honoured to have the Chief Scout and so many guests at the reopening."