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Shoreham Fire Station Crew Rescue Croquet Club Marquee

When Sussex County Croquet Club Chairman, Clive Hayton, awoke on Thursday morning to the news that the club’s marquee was on the roof of the club, he and a neighbour rushed to secure it before it could travel further. Clive said: “We hoped to tie it down until we could arrange to retrieve it but with the high winds continuing into the afternoon, we were concerned that the marquee could get blown into the neighbouring gardens or worse, into Victoria Road I decided to call the Fire & Rescue Service to see if they could assist and within minutes the crew from Shoreham Fire Station arrived.”

Chris Witten, the station’s Crew Manager said: “When members of the Croquet Club saw that the marquee had blown up onto the roof of the pavilion, they quite rightly rang for emergency assistance. With the high winds we have been experiencing over the last couple of days, it would have been extremely dangerous for them to try and climb onto the roof to try and retrieve the marquee themselves. We were able to safely scale the building using a short extension ladder, and working as a team the crew were able to dismantle the marquee safely and pass it down to ground level where it was stowed away.”

Clive said: “Under normal circumstances the marquee would have been dismantled and stored in the Autumn but with the club house out of bounds due to Covid-precautions, it had been left up as temporary shelter for members who usually play all year round and we were unable to take it down before the latest lockdown. We’re extremely grateful to the Shoreham Fire Station crew for their speedy assistance. Chris and his team would be most welcome to come back when the weather improves and try their hands at Croquet!

With more bad weather forecast over the weekend, Chris Witten urged anyone with similar structures in their gardens to double check that they are assembled securely, and to consider taking them down until the bad weather has passed.

Sussex County Croquet Club is located in Kingston Lane, Southwick and expects to re-open on 29th March www.sussexcountycroquetclub.org.uk t. 07771 752719

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