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Havering-atte-Bower Cricket club left fearing the worst after travellers set up camp on wicket

PUBLISHED: 12:30 22 June 2017 | UPDATED: 12:52 22 June 2017

Travellers set up camp on a field in Chatteris Avenue earlier this week before being moved on to Havering-Atte-Bower Cricket Club . Photo: @KieranKempson16

Travellers set up camp on a field in Chatteris Avenue earlier this week before being moved on to Havering-Atte-Bower Cricket Club . Photo: @KieranKempson16

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A community oriented cricket club is facing having to cancel its annual summer fun day after travellers set up camp on its pitch.

Havering-atte-Bower Cricket Club hasalready had to cancel two of this weekend’s matches and is desperately trying to find a venue for a third after 10 caravans pitched up on its field on Wednesday morning.

Club chairman Barry Dent told the Recorder that concerns were now being raised that the club’s annual fun day, scheduled to be held next Saturday, might also have to be cancelled if the travellers could not be moved on.

He said: “It’s our annual fundraiser and we try to get a lot of the community out, it really helps us keep the club afloat and it would be a huge shame if we had to cancel.

“It’s bad enough as it is that we’ve had to cancel the kids’ training on Saturday, that’s 40 to 50 kids who were all looking forward to playing cricket this weekend and now they can’t.”

And the lack of the authorities to do anything was another source of anger for everyone involved at the club, particularly because the travellers had been moved off Bosworth Field in Harold Hill by the council that morning.

He said: “I got there at about 12pm, there were already 15 or 20 police there because some of the neighbours had reported it but they were powerless because it’s private land.

“We’re speaking to the council’s legal team about going to county court for eviction notices but they can cost thousands and that’s an awful lot of money for a small club like us.

“It’s even more frustrating because we asked them if they could just move one caravan they had parked on the cricket square but when I drove past last night it was still parked there.”

And club captain Jack Hurley told the Recorder: “The fear is that they are going to cause a lot of damage, particularly to the cricket square, and then it will be ruled as dangerous and unplayable and we’ll have to spend even more money.”

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