Two large groups of travellers with their numerous caravans, vans and cars and dogs settled on Marlborough Town Football Ground at the start of the week and at the Kennet Valley Hall in Lockeridge a day or so before. They left both sites today, Thursday May 21.
During their stay on the football ground police received a number of calls. Residents of Barrow Close and Elcot Lane were reportedly disturbed late into the night by the noise coming from the encampment and from the blue flashing lights of police cars and a police helicopter visiting the site.
Unfortunately, the football ground has been damaged and a considerable amount of rubbish has been left behind.
Francesca Long has set up a Justgiving page to raise at least £500 to help repair the damage caused to the football ground and to install gates and cameras to prevent this from happening again.
Mark Ash, Chairman of Marlborough Town Football Club said, “To the residents of Elcot Lane and Barrow Close – Marlborough Town Football Club would like to thank you sincerely for all your help over the last three days.
Once the restrictions are lifted and the club can reopen you are all invited along to the club for drinks, nibbles and music as a thank you.
Many thanks again also to all those who have very kindly donated to the just giving page. Your kindness is so very much appreciated by us all at the club.”
Following this incident, St John’s Academy have shut their Pewsey Road entrance. Staff and pupils of key workers are using the back entrance through Orchard Road.
Regarding the Kennet Valley Hall departures, Brian Rayment on behalf of the Hall Committee commented: “We are relieved that the playing field is clear again and this is due in no small way to the coordinated efforts of the Hall Trustees, the immediate neighbours and the police, who have cooperated fully to support our efforts, despite the bigger gathering at Elcot Lane. A special thank you to our local Wiltshire Councillor, Jane Davies who has not only been supportive throughout, but volunteered to present the S61 Notices to the traveller family groups in person.”