Local cycle speedway club Wednesfield Aces were today picking up the pieces after their club house wasÂ severelyÂ damaged in an arson attack.
West Midlands Fire service were called to the club’s base on Griffiths Drive, Ashmore Park at around 5am today (Monday 6th August) to a fire in the main club house.
The fire, which is being treated as arson ripped through the club house destroying records, trophies and certificates dating back over the club’s 50 year history and the club’s kitchen which serves refreshments at race events was also badly damaged.
It would appear that intruders broke open the reinforced metal shutters protecting the building before starting two fires inside the club house.
Police appeal for witnesses
West Midlands Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward, neighbourhood Police Sergeant Simon Causer said: “This is a local amenity, run by local people, for local people and the damage is clearly devastating.
“I’d ask anyone who witnessed events to contact me at Wednesfield Police Station on 101, or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Club mustÂ fund raiseÂ to rebuild
Club founders Paul Bodley and Dave Jewkes arrived on the scene early on Monday morning and were clearlyÂ devastatedÂ by the damaged caused to the club they have built up over the last 50 years.
Wednesfield Aces is a charity and does not receive funding from the local council and due to theÂ premisesÂ being on public land (within Ashmore Park) they are unable to insure the buildings so the club must now begin fundraising to pay for repairs.
Only hours before the fire, the club had been celebratingÂ as rider Ricki Johnson, 16, was crowned European Junior Champion at a meeting in Ipswich yesterday.Â It is hoped that scheduled races can go ahead unaffected but this depends on whether the electricity supply to flood lights is intact.