Plea for help to ensure survival of Wensleydale sports facilities

Residents of a Wensleydale community have been urged to help to ensure the survival of local sports facilities.

Volunteers from Spennithorne and Harmby Sports Association have warned that unless more money is generated, the organisation will not be able to keep running the facilities in the future.

The association is responsible for a full-sized football pitch, pavilion, cricket nets and a tennis court at Ferrand Park in Harmby.

Barry Harker is secretary of the association.

In a message to the local community, he said: “The sports association has worked brilliantly in the past in providing a facility which hundreds of children and adults from the dales have used, and still continue to do so.

“When I was growing up, I remember the likes of Trevor Schofield, Brian Fowler, Mike Broadhead and George Tunstall all working relentlessly to run the site.

“However, sadly those named have gradually passed away, the latest being George on March 13.

“I know how proud he was of the site and I feel we have a responsibility to honour these men by laying new foundations to ensure that the site continues for new generations.”

Barry said that as committee members passed away, the running of the sports association had got harder.

He added: “I feel obliged as the current secretary to explain about the difficulties myself, Sue and Jackie are facing by being the only members remaining.

“The sports association worked on the basis of memberships and substantial fundraising, which allowed junior and senior teams to play without the costs incurred in running a site of this size.

“The problem we now face is that as there is only three of us, we are unable to generate the revenue needed to run the site through fund raising, so although extremely grateful for what we have received through membership, these do not cover the increasing costs.”

Barry said the cost of insurance, council tax, electricity and water had increase substantially.

He added: “I fully appreciate it is the same for you all, that is why I am not just asking for your support in membership renewal, but we need new bodies to join the committee to help forge a new model which protects the facility for everyone.

“I would suggest that looking at the accounts as of today, the sports association has around two years before we are in a position when we cannot meet our liabilities on the site, this would be a travesty not only for the area but for all those great people who paved the way from its opening in 1995.”

“You do not need to be linked to the village, many individuals from neighbouring towns and villages have used the site over the years, so if you feel you have the time and can help, please contact me directly.”

The committee is planning to hold meeting in July to see if a long-term solution can be found for the funding of the site and its facilities.

Membership of the association is £25 per household, including use of the tennis facility.

Payments can be made to: Mr B Harker, Fells House, Harmby, Leyburn, DL8 5NT with cheques payable to “SHSA” Membership fees.

If you would prefer to pay the membership fee via BACS, please use the following details and make sure your name is attached to the payment:

Account name: Spennithorne & Harmby Sports Association, bank account number: 30422509 and sort code: 20-25-29.

To get involved with the running of the sports association or for more information, email


1 Comment

  1. So this is the first I’ve heard about this & I live in Harmby!!!! Everyone leads busy lives so why not put a circular through doors? I don’t pass the village hall notice board where I gather notices are posted. I was advised about the coronation event 1.5 days in advance of it occurring by which time I had made other arrangements. It’s no wonder we don’t support local events.

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