Arson attack destroys Elsenham cricket pavilion
A devastating arson attack which destroyed Stansted Hall and Elsenham's cricket pavilion has been described as a "very sad day for the club" by the chairman.
David Brown said he was shocked by the deliberate blaze that completely gutted the building, but has vowed that the club will continue to play next season.
Firefighters from Stansted, Newport and Thaxted were called at 10.25pm on Sunday (October 23) and, on arrival, found the wooden-framed building at Henham Road, Elsenham, engulfed in flames.
Crews tackled the fire for more than two and a half hours but were unable to save the building, which housed the club’s changing rooms and kitchen facilities.
The flames were eventually extinguished by 1am and Essex Police are treating the incident as arson after discovering a broken entrance gate to the cricket field.
Mr Brown said: “It’s shocking and a very sad day for the club. This is an historic cricket club and there was a fair bit of memorabilia inside.
“But we will endeavour to get through this. We’re very fortunate to have another ground in Stansted where we are able to play and the club will play as normal next season.
“The plan is to rebuild the pavilion but we have six months until the start of the season to make some decisions and think how to progress forward, so nothing will be rushed.
“We have received a lot of support from people and other cricket clubs on social media who have heard about the incident.
“That has been fantastic and I’d like to say thank you to those people, the support is very much appreciated.”
A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We are investigating following a fire at Stansted Hall and Elsenham Cricket Club in Henham Road, Elsenham.
“Officers were called by the fire service just after 11pm on Sunday, October 23, to a fire in the cricket pavilion.
“Suspects had broken the entrance gate to the cricket field and set light to the pavilion. The incident is being treated as arson.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Pc David Lloyd at Great Dunmow Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.