Trouble bubbling away underneath cricket club pitch

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TUESDAY’S torrential downpour turned a Borders cricket pitch into a water bed, writes Kenny Paterson.

Members of Gala Cricket Club were astonished to see four huge bubbles of water form underneath their Meigle Park ground during localised flooding which hit the region – and the club believes the underground water pools are due to the installation of a multi-use games area (MUGA) three years ago at the adjacent Victoria Park.

Gala Cricket Club flooding. Huge water bubbles created at Gala Cricket Club by Tuesday's torrential rainfall

Gala Cricket Club flooding. Huge water bubbles created at Gala Cricket Club by Tuesday's torrential rainfall

Cricketer David Hancock said: “There are four massive water beds and when you put your foot on them they wobbled.

“All the water beds are right in line with the MUGA. I can’t see it being anything else. I cannot remember rain like that, it was constant for six hours.”

Junior coach Keith Irvine added: “I have never seen anything like it. The largest of the bubbles was one foot high and seven foot wide. I couldn’t believe what I saw.

“There were problems last year at the bottom of the pitch where water was building up and I can only imagine that when the MUGA was built, the field drains were damaged. Now they cannot cope and the water is forced up during heavy rainfall, lifting the turf.

“If the bubbles had formed on our wicket area it would have cost the club thousands of pounds to repair.”

A Scottish Borders Council spokesman said: “We experienced intense, localised flooding in the area on Tuesday which can cause drainage failures.

“We do not know, however, if the issues experienced at Gala Cricket Club have any link to the MUGA in Victoria Park. This is something we will look into.”

Meanwhile, Clovenfords was also affected by flooding on Tuesday when a manhole cover was blown off in the middle of the A72 through the village.

Clovenfords Community Council secretary Stuart Bell said: “This problem was resolved this afternoon (Tuesday) when Scottish Water cleared a blockage. The good news for us is that the problem (photographed in TheSouthern last week) with sewage flowing above the roundabout seems to have been cleared after action by Scottish Water.

“There are long-standing concerns in Clovenfords about the capacity of the drainage system and its inability to cope. These are issues which we insist need to be addressed by Scottish Water.”

Councillor Gavin Logan added: “After several weeks’ delay, Scottish Water seems to have solved the current (sewage) problem in Clovenfords.

“This does not, however, address the long-standing concerns over the capacity of the sewage pipe from the village to the treatment plant at Caddonfoot.”

A SBC scrutiny committee meeting later this month is due to discuss the issue of waste-water systems in Tweeddale.