Town leaders launch fighting fund to restore arson-hit cricket club

The fire-damaged Seaham Park Cricket Club, in Seaham Town Park

The fire-damaged Seaham Park Cricket Club, in Seaham Town Park

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A FIGHTING fund has been launched with the aim of rebuilding a club house burned down by arsonists.

Seaham Park Cricket Club’s building was destroyed in a blaze after waste collected at the rear was set on fire.

DONATION: From left Coun, Jenny Bell, Coun Eddie Bell are presented with �1,000 from Mandy Savage and Kevin Savage Mitchells Bar after club house was damaged in fire.

DONATION: From left Coun, Jenny Bell, Coun Eddie Bell are presented with �1,000 from Mandy Savage and Kevin Savage Mitchells Bar after club house was damaged in fire.

Flames then spread to the team’s base, parts of which date back 80 years.

Seaham Town Council, which owns the site, is now looking at the future of the clubhouse.

As part of a campaign to save the building, Mitchells bar in Westlea held an evening of entertainment.

The £500 raised has been matched by Councillors Eddie and Jenny Bell through a Durham County Council fund to support neighbourhood projects.

The couple, who also sit on the town council, hope the cash will be used to buy gear to replace items lost in the fire.

Coun Eddie Bell said: “The club is homeless and lost quite a few of its possessions, so Jenny and I wanted to fund-raise and then there was the event held by Mitchells.

“It does a lot of training for the younger ones, so we hope this will be used to buy equipment for them.

“There are discussions with the town council to make sure that Seaham Park continues to hold cricket.

“There are temporary buildings on the site and we are looking at how we are going to progress with a new clubhouse.”

The event at Mitchells included games of bingo, domino cards and auctions, which featured a signed Sunderland AFC shirt among the prizes, with more than 100 people enjoying the night.

The bar’s Jerry McCarthy said: “We wanted to do something to help and a lot of the parents, and their kids, use the facilities and come in here, so we wanted to do something to help it.”

The clubhouse had been undergoing improvements when the fire attack happened at 5am on Saturday, March 24.

A team of 15 firefighters spend five hours bringing the blaze under control and had to return the next afternoon after a small break-out of flames.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham