Celebrations to mark opening of new pitch

Date: Friday 4th October 2019

A DAY of celebration to mark the new artificial pitch and upgraded floodlighting in Kirkby Stephen consisted of two ladies’ hockey matches, men’s football, children’s hockey, and a family hockey festival.

A group has worked hard over the last two-and-a-half years to bring in around £340,000 to replace the old, worn old surface with a new one, installed by SIS Pitches, based in Maryport. Christy Lighting, of Cheltenham, has up-graded the lighting and columns to ensure a more efficient LED system.

The major providers of funds were the Garfield Weston Anniversary Fund, Eden District Council through its Signature Fund, the National Hockey Foundation, and Kirkby Stephen Grammar School. In addition, local charities, sports clubs, businesses and families contributed.

The official cutting of the ribbon was performed by Mark Bromfield, a member of Kirkby Stephen Community Sports Association (KSCSA) for more than 20 years, and assistant headteacher at the town’s grammar school; Janette McWhirter, also a KCSA member for over 20 years and founder of Kirkby Stephen Hockey Club; Joan Johnstone, chairman of Kirkby Stephen Town Council; and Alex Birtles, a town councillor and KSCSA member since its inception.

• Full story and pictures in tomorrow's paper.