Theft and damage blow to Thornton Cleveleys Gala after intruder rampage

Organisers of Thornton Cleveleys Gala Committee are reeling after intruders smashed into their storage hut and launched a costly theft and vandalism spree.

By Richard Hunt
Monday, 4th July 2022, 5:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th July 2022, 4:01 pm

The thieves stole a huge quantity of fold-up tables and chairs, several precious trophies and silver cups, gazebos and a giant marquee.

In addition to the thefts, many items were damaged during the rampage, including the hut itself, which is on King George’s Playing Fields in Thornton, with broken glass strewn across the hut.

It is thought the damage and thefts will amount to thousands of pounds.

Devastated - Thornton Cleveleys Gala committee members at their storage hut after the damage - from left: Helen Moorhouse (secretary), Chrissie O'Connor, Linda Sheldon and Holly Moorhouse (chairman).

The committee was planning for next year’s 125th gala, which was hoped to be the most spectacular event in years, but now those plans have taken a serious hit.

However, members of the Thornton and Cleveleys communities have rallied round since the break-in, which occurred during the middle of last week, and have so raised a magnificent £1,800 via a JustGiving page to help replace some of the items stolen or destroyed.

Holly Moorhouse, chairman of Thornton Cleveleys Gala, said: “To say we are devastated at this would be an understatement.

"We can confirm that the majority of our equipment has been taken.

Trophy bases left behind after intruders ripped off the metal cups during the break-in

"Some of these items are irreplaceable and were a part of the Gala’s 124 year history.

"The committee worked tirelessly to be able to put this event back on after our two year absence due to Covid but at this moment in time I don't know if we will be able to move forward with this event in future given how much we have lost.”

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Helen Moorhouse, secretary of the gala, said: “We would just like to thank everyone who has supported us in different ways, we are overwhelmed by the generosity from people.

“A gentleman called Rob Harrison answered our plea for a joiner and helped repair the door and part of the wall of the hut, free of charge.

"We’ve also had great support and advice from Farrar Shaw, who runs the traveling fair which operates on Carnival Day.

"We are currently working with the police and our insurance company to see where things stand.”

Police confirmed they were looking into the incident.

Meanwhile, a group of travellers who occupied the playing fields last week have been moved off, with complaints about a mess left on the site.

To help with the gala campaign, visit HERE