Rats black out Stalham sports hall

RICHARD BATSON A sports hall has been blacked out by hungry rats on the eve of a busy half term programme of events.

RICHARD BATSON

A sports hall has been blacked out by hungry rats on the eve of a busy half term programme of events.

Hundreds of people could be affected by the sudden closure of the hall at Stalham, which has meant the cancellation of some sporting and fun sessions.

Birthday parties have been switched to a nearby school hall, and sporting events moved outside providing - weather permitting.

The lighting problems cropped up yesterday, discovered by workmen doing school improvements, and it is not known when they will be mended.

Rat damage to cabling meant it was not possible to light the sports hall properly, said North Norfolk District Council which runs the sports centre, which is shared by the school and community.

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The social club bar remains open, along with the changing rooms, and outdoor pitches.

But centre manager Karen Cook said the closure was a “nightmare” coming on the eve of the school half term holiday, when a programme of events had been booked throughout the coming week.

Two childrens' birthday parties this weekend featuring fun sports had been moved to the school hall, but the amount of activities would be restricted.

A Tuesday badminton day had been cancelled, along with a Friday multi sports session for three to five-year-olds, and the regular roller skating session the following weekend.

It was hoped to move other sporting half term events, including football and basketball, outdoors - but only if the weather allowed, added Ms Cook, who said more than 200 youngsters were booked for the holiday sessions alone.

Nick Baker, a strategic director at the council, said they were disappointed to close the hall, but they could not put the safety of users at risk.

“It is not possible to say at this early stage just how long it will be before we can reopen the sports hall. We will let users know just as soon as we know ourselves.”

People booked for sessions, who have any doubts about their activities, are recommended to contact the centre on 01692 580864.