20 travelling families park illegally at rugby club

The caravans arrived at the Downham Road rugby ground on Tuesday and show no signs of leaving anytime soon.

The caravans arrived at the Downham Road rugby ground on Tuesday and show no signs of leaving anytime soon. - Credit: Terry Harris

More than 20 caravans from travelling families have made Ely Rugby Club a ‘no go’ area. 

A summer camp for children was switched at short notice to King’s School, Ely, after the travellers forced their way onto the pitch and surrounding area.  

The caravans arrived at the Downham Road rugby ground on Tuesday and show no signs of leaving anytime soon.

The caravans arrived at the Downham Road rugby ground on Tuesday and show no signs of leaving anytime soon. - Credit: Terry Harris

A club spokesperson said: “We reiterate that NO ONE should head to the club until we have our current situation sorted and our guests have left.” 

The caravans arrived at the Downham Road rugby ground on Tuesday and show no signs of leaving anytime soon.

The caravans arrived at the Downham Road rugby ground on Tuesday and show no signs of leaving anytime soon. - Credit: Terry Harris

The travellers have been removed from other illegal encampments across East Cambridgeshire in recent days before turning up at Ely.  

Waterbeach and Stretham were among villagers where the travellers had previously set up and been moved on.  

The caravans arrived at the Downham Road rugby ground on Tuesday and show no signs of leaving anytime soon.

The caravans arrived at the Downham Road rugby ground on Tuesday and show no signs of leaving anytime soon. - Credit: Terry Harris


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The caravans arrived at the Downham Road rugby ground on Tuesday and show no signs of leaving anytime soon.  

Ely Tigers are working with Cambridgeshire police and East Cambridgeshire District Council, but have been forced to cancel all sessions at the ground until further notice.  

The caravans arrived at the Downham Road rugby ground on Tuesday and show no signs of leaving anytime soon.

The caravans arrived at the Downham Road rugby ground on Tuesday and show no signs of leaving anytime soon. - Credit: Terry Harris

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Chris Day, chairman of Ely Tigers, said: “I would like to add a huge thanks to Emma Gunbie, Julia Gilbert and Richard Ord from the rugby club and Ely Outdoor Sports Association.  

“They have been working hard to talk to the relevant organisations and facilitate the eventual moving on of the encampment.”  

Bailiffs have been contacted but it is unclear when action can be taken.

The caravans arrived at the Downham Road rugby ground on Tuesday and show no signs of leaving anytime soon.

The caravans arrived at the Downham Road rugby ground on Tuesday and show no signs of leaving anytime soon. - Credit: Terry Harris

Last week, an encampment was moved on from Waterbeach Recreation Ground before caravans were later found in nearby Stretham.  

It is thought the caravans at Ely Tigers are the same group that were previously in Waterbeach and Stretham.  

One reader told us: “They have left Waterbeach and Stretham a right mess with human poop and dog poop and broken children play parks. 

“I'm all for them being about but respect where they are staying.” 

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