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Travellers set up camp on Bridgnorth cricket pitch

By Deborah Hardiman | Bridgnorth | News | Published:

Travellers have pitched up on a cricket club’s field, putting the rest of its season in jeopardy.

Travellers at Bridgnorth Cricket Club

The cohort with six caravans arrived at Bridgnorth Cricket Club on Sunday and set up camp in the grounds off Victoria Road.

The group moved a heavy iron gate to gain access, probably with large machinery, and made themselves at home in the outfield.

More caravans have also been seen in Innage Lane near Innage Grange retirement home.

Travellers at Bridgnorth Cricket Club

Cricket club secretary Mike Mooney said the club’s groundsman will be heartbroken to see what has happened to his carefully curated pitch.

He said: “Our groundsman is Matt Bowler-Jones and he will be heartbroken by this.

"He’s a wonderful groundsman and works hard to get the pitch as good as it is.

“I think our ground is one of the best in the county. The Shropshire county team plays about four home games in a season.

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"We always get one, Shrewsbury get one, and normally Wellington and Shifnal get one as well.

“We are a volunteer-run club. We don’t make huge amounts of money, so we really hope they don’t do too much damage to the playing surface.”

Legal advice

He added: “Most of them are on the outfield but one of them is near to the square, which we really cannot have being damaged.

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“We had quite expensive ground work done last year which involved levelling out the ground near the square. That’s the bit that is really important to us. It would be very expensive to repair.

“We are taking legal advice in terms of looking at the way forward. That is ongoing.”

The ground is part of Bridgnorth Cricket & Hockey Club, which is surrounded by Sainsbury’s, St John’s Catholic Primary School and the town’s football, tennis and bowling clubs in High Town.

The first team beat Wolverhampton Cricket Club’s first XI at the ground on Saturday afternoon in the Birmingham & District Premier Division Two.

Both the first and second teams still have several fixtures to play.

Mike said: “There are about five homes games left. There will be a game on there every week because the first team and the second team play home games every other week.

“The second team will be playing right up until September 21. The first team’s last home game is the week before on the 14th.”

Because the land is owned by the club, they must apply for an injunction to move the travellers, unless they move of their own volition.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman
@Deborahh_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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