September 3 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Members of a Norwich archery club have pledged to not let an arson attack defeat them after thousands of pounds worth of equipment was destroyed when their clubhouse went up in flames.
The Broadland Bowmen Field Archery Club has been meeting at the Racecourse Plantation in Thorpe Woods off Plumstead Road for more than three decades.
However, members were left devastated when an arson attack destroyed their clubhouse and their targets and scoreboards inside.
Two fire crews from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were called to the isolated site at about 5pm on Monday. However, firefighters were unable to save any of the equipment and the building was gutted by the blaze.
Tim Hilliam, a member of the archery club for the last four years, said thousands of pounds worth of targets, target pads and scoreboards were destroyed, which meant that the club had to cancel its next competitive shoot on April 20.
“I try to go every night and I saw it on Tuesday evening and it was really upsetting. It is a really special place where you can put your troubles behind you and it has been destroyed by mindless vandals,” he said.
The clubhouse was made with a scaffolding frame, wooden panels and a corrugated tin roof, but was thankfully not where all the club’s equipment was stored.
Mr Hilliam added that there was a meeting planned for April 24 to discuss how to rebuild the clubhouse. “We made it ourselves and it is more upsetting because we constructed it.”
“We are going to rebuild everything and this is the motivation we need to get something bigger and better. Fires are going to happen and we want something better than what was there before,” he said.
The Broadland Bowmen has more than 200 members and organises four open shoots a year.
The club is appealing for anyone with any information about the arson attack to report it to Norfolk Police.
Members are also asking for any help from local businesses and people with donations of timber, kitchen worktops and white paint to help with the rebuild efforts.
For more information about the club, visit www.ambermile.wix.com/broadland-bowmen#!
Anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact Norfolk Police on 101.
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