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You’ll never defeat us: Defiant villagers clean up play park trashed by vandals

PUBLISHED: 08:40 15 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:25 15 August 2018

Villagers in Great Blakenham clean up a vandalised play park. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Villagers in Great Blakenham clean up a vandalised play park. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Archant

If they thought they could break the community spirit of this close-knit village community, they were sorely mistaken.

For vandals who trashed a play park and village hall were sent a powerful message by residents who cleared up their mess, namely that: “There’s only ever going to be one winner - and that’s Great Blakenham.”

Villagers were left “devastated” and “disgusted” when climbing frames, swings and other play park equipment at Great Blakenham Village Hall had white spray paint daubed all over them in a night-time attack.

Vandals also pulled down guttering and pipes at the village hall during the incident on Tuesday, July 31.

But after hearing of the crime, an “army” of players at Great Blakenham Chequers Football Club - which plays at the pitch by the village hall - put themselves forward to clean the graffiti.

Villagers in Great Blakenham clean up a vandalised play park. Picture: RACHEL EDGEVillagers in Great Blakenham clean up a vandalised play park. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

“We feel this will be good for the community and shows a team spirit but utmost puts the park back to its former glory,” said Kieran Doggett, chairman of the club, ahead of the clean-up.

And the response from the community was overwhelming, with 12 players and members of their families - children included - pitching in to help.

During their two hours of hard graft on Monday, August 13, they even repainted some non-vandalised equipment to make sure the whole park was up to scratch.

Mr Doggett said: “It was just a really enjoyable thing to do.”

Villagers in Great Blakenham clean up a vandalised play park. Picture: RACHEL EDGEVillagers in Great Blakenham clean up a vandalised play park. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Of the vandalism, Mr Doggett said: “I can’t see it happening again to be honest.

“This has sent a powerful message of the community coming together.

“There’s only ever going to be one winner - and that’s Great Blakenham.”

The club is now keen to organise a fun day to further support the village hall, which in turn has helped sustain the club by offering use of is pitch at a reduced price.

Villagers in Great Blakenham clean up a vandalised play park. Picture: RACHEL EDGEVillagers in Great Blakenham clean up a vandalised play park. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

“The park is a very integral part to our football team,” Mr Doggett said.

Village hall organisers have encouraged members of the public to be vigilant about any suspicious activity at the site in Mill Lane following the vandalism.

Police have also asked any members of the public who think they might know who is responsible to call officers on 101.

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