Blues hit as fire wrecks equipment

Russell Ward (Chairman of Bury Town Football Club) stands amongst ruins where a fire had happened at the weekend
Russell Ward (Chairman of Bury Town Football Club) stands amongst ruins where a fire had happened at the weekend
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QUICK action by neighbours and the fire service helped to save Bury Town Football Cub’s main stand after a groundsman’s hut caught fire.

Club chairman Russell Ward said the fire service had numerous calls from local people after the hut caught fire last Thursday afternoo,n enabling firefighters to get to the scene quickly.

“It had started to affect the stand but the fire crews stopped it spreading,” he said. “It has melted all the plastic cladding on the stand and dugout, which will have to be replaced, but it could have been much worse.

“We’re lucky it didn’t happen at night.”

Though the stand and dugout, which are 10-12ft from the hut were only heat-damaged, the fire, the cause of which is being investigated, has wrecked the contents of the groundsman’s hut, which houses all the pitch and building maintenance tools, including mowers, line markers and pitch irrigators.

Mr Ward said it amounted to thousands of pounds worth of tools and equipment gathered over the past 20 years or more.

As he waited for loss adjusters to arrive on Wednesday, he said: “Everything we need to function was in there. It wasn’t just a groundsman’s hut, it was storage for everything, all the maintenance tools.

“But we’ve had offers of help from AFC Sudbury, the council and Suffolk Football Association.

“Bob Flack at Bury St Edmunds Cricket Club has lent us a pitch marker so, at the moment, we can get by for the start of the season.”

Bury Town kick-off their Ryman League Premier Division campaign at home to Carshalton Athletic on Saturday August 18 at 3pm.

The Blues finished fifth in the Ryman Premier last season, their second year at that level, but lost 3-1 at AFC Hornchurch in the play-off semi finals.

They also won the Alan Boon Ryman League Cup by beating East Thurrock United 1-0 thanks to Mark Coulson’s goal.