Bad weather puts rugby club's multi-million pound move to new ground several weeks behind schedule
A rugby club faces a race against time to get its new ground ready for the start of the 2018/19 season after bad weather put it several weeks behind schedule.
Wymondham Rugby Club is hoping to be able to kick off its 2018/19 campaign at Barnard Fields after blowing the final whistle on its time at Tuttles Lane earlier this year.
But poor winter weather meant the project could not progress as quickly as hoped, as the ground was too soft for machinery – putting it several weeks behind schedule.
The recent warmer weather has enabled builders to get on with the work – but club chairman said: “It’s going to be touch and go all the way to the start of the season.”
It may even mean the club has to make a return to Tuttles Lane and run the two venues in parallel for a few weeks.
“We’re going at full tilt. We should top-out the construction work on the new club-house this month and the pitches are finally growing well.
“Everyone’s doing their bit - we’ve even got gangs of our youngest players working away stone picking to make sure the pitches really will be the best in Norfolk.”
“There’s a huge amount of work still to do. Everything has to be commissioned and tested and because time is so tight we need to have the fall back of our old home in case of problems.”
The club’s main sponsors, Norwich and London law firm Isadore Goldman, has renewed its support deal.
The ground off Norwich Common – which is three times the size of Tuttles Lane – has been named Barnard Fields in honour of father and son farmers Alan and Robert Barnard, who donated the land.
Robert Barnard, a former chairman and president of the club, said: “It’s great to see the new facilities take shape.
“It’s what the club needs to secure our future - and my dad and I are proud to have our family’s name associated with it.”
Once they are completed, Wymondham Athletics Club and Archery Club will also use the new facilities at Barnard Fields.