SIR HALLEY STEWART FIELD: Anyone can hire the playing field

Having followed the continuing saga of the Sir Halley Stewart Field since its outset, I was interested to read Gerry Hutchinson’s account of the situation in the Lincolnshire Free Press of November 5.

While not intending to comment fully on his letter, I would point out one glaring inaccuracy in his column inches. In paragraph B, he states: “Allowing Spalding United Football Club sole rights to occupy the field on a permanent basis, to the exclusion of others”. Totally wrong Mr Hutchinson.

The football club are perhaps the principal users of the field and as a consequence pay a considerable sum of money to the council for ground hire each year.

If Mr Hutchinson should pick up his telephone and contact South Holland Council he would discover that the Sir Halley Stewart Field can be hired by anyone or any organisation.

Indeed, over the years organisations like Spalding Lions Club staged very successful gala days on the hallowed turf; Tulip Time activity has also featured there and not so long ago the council themselves promoted a rock music concert.

I think I am correct in saying that Spalding Crossbow Archery Club (now inactive) also used the field as their headquarters.

Mr Hutchinson also suggests that at least 50 per cent of Spalding’s population have not the slightest interest in the football club. A statement which could easily apply to virtually any town in the country.

I am reliably informed, however, that attendances to Spalding FC’s matches so far this season show an increase of between 80/90 per cent, proving that people will turn out to support a successful team, and Spalding United are certainly that.

Ray Tucker

Pinchbeck