Landing lights on at Seaton for Devon Air Ambulance
SEATON Cricket Club hosted a celebration cricket tea to officially open the new Devon Air Ambulance community landing site on their Court Lane ground.
Representatives of the town council and Devon Air Ambulance attended, along with club members and some of the people who donated time and energy to raise funds for the project.
The site forms part of a network of nearly 100 operational community landing sites across the county - with many more in development.
The funding for the lighting was provided through the efforts of local people alongside a grant from the Bank LIBOR Fines, awarded through Devon Air Ambulance (DAA).
The site in Seaton will enable ambulance crews to reach the community until midnight every day and later to 2am when the service is extended in 2019.
Chris Gamwell, a former Seaton chairman, was instrumental in bringing the landing site to the club.
He said: “Seaton Cricket Club has seen the air ambulance land on the outfield many times over the years during daylight hours, so it seemed a logical next step to enable night landings to take place here too”.
Toby Russell, DAA community landing sites officer for DAA, said: “Devon Air Ambulance would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who helped establish the Seaton community landing site.
“We are very grateful to Seaton CC, who have readily supported the project and enabled part of their ground to be used for operations during the hours of darkness.
“Many thanks to former councillor Martin Pigott and Seaton Town Council and all the local people who helped raise the funds for the lighting at the cricket club – a great community effort.”
Peter Burrows, the mayor of Seaton, officially opened the night landing site. Former town councillor and Seaton CC member Martin Pigott thanked those who had raised the funds to enable the installation of the floodlighting to allow night landings to take place.
“We would like to thank Guy Sweetman from East Devon Sports Therapy and the Seaton Freemasons for their significant donations,” said Pigott.
“Thanks also go to the team of runners who braved the Grizzly in last year’s snow to raise much-needed funds.”
Stephen Pritchard, Seaton’s current chairman, added his thanks to all the project helpers.
He joked: “With the Cricket World Cup coming to England and Wales next year, we were secretly hoping the floodlighting would illuminate the whole ground so we could offer to host day-night fixtures.”