A HUGE clear-up took place at the East Lancs Paper Mill Cricket Club following a spate of break-ins.

The clubhouse has been completely stripped out as volunteers gave their time and energy to remove the kitchen and bar, haul out debris, sweep the floors, and rip out electrics — after it was damaged by fire and vandalism.

Committee members said their next aim was to clean the building's interior, replace the electrical wiring and carry out plastering, among other jobs, prior to decorating.

It follows the latest of three break-ins on Friday, December 28, whereby vandals broke through the roof, ransacked the clubhouse and caused significant smoke damage in the main room after attempting to start a fire.

Cricket team captain Paul Hewart said: "Our main focus is trying our best to prevent this happening again.

"We need to make the roof as strong as possible. We are also looking at ways to impede access to the roof area.

"At our emergency committee meeting last Wednesday night, we discussed how we might install CCTV to increase security. Since our meeting, Bury-based company N.W CCTV and Electrical have kindly offered to supply and fit a system for us.

"Our next focus is cleaning the smoke damage from the club and replacing the interior ceiling and completely rewiring and replastering the site, ready for decoration.

"Several local contractors have been in touch, as well as our local B&Q in Bury, who are looking to see if they can help with some of our requirements.

"Lakeland Carpets in Bury, who are a club sponsor, are also coming to look at the flooring for us."

A committee meeting was held on Wednesday, with St Mary’s Social Club in Pine Street, Radcliffe, offering up their back room as a venue.

Further support has been given by CEF Bury who have donated materials, and Lion Skips who made their services available to the club at the weekend. Cllrs Catherine Preston and Karen Leach also lent a hand.

Radcliffe-based cafe Brunch & munch provided much-needed sustenance for the workers.

As the club recovers, a huge game of rounders —supported by some 90 players from across Bury and Radcliffe — has been organised by Mr Hewart's wife Kerry, who runs the East Lancs Paper Mill rounders team, and Graham Jebb, Referees Secretary for Bury & District Rounders' League.

Visitors are welcome to attend the fundraising gala day at the Croft Lane ground in Radcliffe from 1pm this Saturday.

More than £2,350 has been donated via a Go Fund Me page.

To donate visit www.gofundme.com/fix-up-elpmcc.