Mytholmroyd Net

Cricket club hit by blaze

Halifax Courier 27th September, 2004

Debris: the after-math of the blaze

A TROUBLED cricket club has vowed to bounce back after its pavilion burnt to the ground.

It is another blow for Mytholmroyd Meths, whose future has been up in the air this year after the church decided to sell off the land used by the players.

But first team captain Chris Jones is confident they can rebuild in time for next season.

"It's disastrous but we will sort it because we are that sort of club. We are used to difficulties," he said.

Retained crews from Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge spent three hours tackling the fire in the early hours of Saturday. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

The community has been battling to save the club and the playground along with cricket committee since Mytholmroyd Methodist Church decided to put the land up for sale to fund a community project at the church.

Local residents and the club are desperately trying to raise the money to buy the area but only have until next month to come up with the cash before it is put up for auction.

Mr Jones said the fire was the last thing they needed.

"I received a phone call when I woke up on Saturday morning about the fire but to be honest I wasn't surprised.

"There are always kids hanging round down there because they are bored and have nothing to do.

"I'm not saying they are responsible but it came as no surprise to us. The building has been broken into twice this year.

"Any fire there would have totally destroyed the building because it is made of wood. Firms stopped insuring the building a few years ago because it is timber.

"But by hook or by crook we will get back on our feet again. I think the community will still be happy to buy it and we will just start from scratch. We will still be here next season."

Chairman of the club Nigel Sladdin said he was absolutely gutted about the fire.

"It's not just the club that has lost the facility - it's the whole community. It's a major loss for us. The pavilion was going to be the focal point of the land if we managed to buy it.

"It's going to cost a huge amount of money to replace but we are determined we will be back there next year."

Mytholmroyd Meths have played at the ground for more than 100 years.

27 September 2004