Photo gallery: Erpingham’s muga-nificent new sports facility and 5k rural run

PUBLISHED: 20:15 22 September 2013 | UPDATED: 20:15 22 September 2013

Opening of Erpingham muga.  EDP columnist and BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Chris Goreham with local children.

Opening of Erpingham muga. EDP columnist and BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Chris Goreham with local children. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2013

A small and remote north Norfolk village now boasts a state-of-the-art sports facility which it plans to share with its neighbours.

Erpingham 5K rural run results

First male and overall winner: Cromer Academy deputy head Carmine De Grandis, 18 mins, 29 secs; first female and first under-16 female: Elizabeth Cooper 21:36; first adult female: Dianne Bird 24:24; first under-16 male: Joe Fieldsend-Danks 26:41.

Crowds gathered outside Erpingham Village Hall this morning to see BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Chris Goreham cut the ribbon on a £100,000 multi-use games area (muga).

The floodlit muga, which has an all-weather surface, means children and adults will be able to play football, basketball, cricket and tennis all year round - without having to travel to towns such as Aylsham and Cromer.

Among guests at the celebration was Linda, widow of Peter Sandy, a former Erpingham Parish Councillor who first suggested the idea. Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council, which gave £10,000 from its Big Society Fund, and Hilary Cox, chairman of Norfolk County Council which donated the lion’s share of £88,500, also attended.

A surprise visit during the opening ceremony was made by Radio Norfolk’s Treasure Quest team who retrieved a clue from the site before heading off in search of their next one.

Peter Willcox, chairman of the muga committee, said a £250 grant from the Aylsham Show had started the ball rolling and other donors had begun to take the bid seriously when Erpingham held a fundraising 5K rural run last year.

The muga opening was followed by the second rural run which saw 38 competitors take part.

“At one stage we firmly believed the muga would never happen but it goes to show that from small acorns, mighty oak trees grow,” said Mr Willcox whose grandfather, Robert Ives, left the muga land to the village.

Parish council chairman Norman Smith said the committee’s “tireless efforts” had provided the area with a “tremendous asset.”

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