Straw bales up in smoke, cyclist knocked over by Land Rover and arson suspected at Manea

MARCH: Straw bales go up in smoke at motocross track MOTOCROSS track owner John Welcher insists its business as usual despite seeing 300 straw bales – used as noise barriers – go up in smoke. Police are currently treating the fire, at Washbrook Far

MARCH: Straw bales go up in smoke at motocross track

MOTOCROSS track owner John Welcher insists its business as usual despite seeing 300 straw bales - used as noise barriers - go up in smoke.

Police are currently treating the fire, at Washbrook Farm in Benwick Road, as arson and have bailed a 15-year-old boy in connection with the incident.

Fire crews from March and Chatteris tackled Saturday afternoon's blaze which, on the request of the Doddington Parish Council chairman, was left to burn itself out. Crews spent two hours on the scene.

The straw bales are used as noise barriers for the motocross track. He agreed with Fenland District Council to build the 'wall' five years ago, after complaints from villagers.

Cllr Welcher said: "They are an essential part to our business and we cannot run it without them.

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"Thankfully we keep some bales in stock in case there ever is a problem like this. But I have lost £3,000 worth of straw and I am going to have to buy some more bales in to replace them."

Four youths were arrested on suspicion of arson in nearby Hospital Road. A 15-year-old boy from the March area has been bailed to return to Wisbech Police Station on June 18.

The three others - a 15-year-old girl from the March area, a 14-year-old girl from the March area and a 14-year-old boy from Chatteris - were released without charge.

WISBECH: Boy knocked off bike by Land Rover

A BOY was knocked off his bicycle by a Land Rover in Wisbech.

Officers are appealing for people to come forward if they saw the incident take place.

The 12-year-old from Elm was cycling along Harecroft Road on Saturday (May 10) when he was knocked over at around 1pm by a red Land Rover.

He was taken to hospital suffering from minor injuries and later discharged.

The driver of the red Land Rover failed to stop after the collision and police are appealing for them to get in touch.

PC Dave Newnes said: "If anyone saw this happen, or can tell me any more details about the vehicle involved, please get in touch."

Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Newnes at Wisbech Police Station on 0845 456 456 4 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

MARCH: Extra blood donor session planned because of shortage

To help combat a predicted fall in blood stocks over the bank holiday weekend an extra blood donor session in March has been added by the National Blood Service (NBS).

A target of 85 donations has been set which could potentially save up to three times as many patients in need of a transfusion.

Gareth Bell, Spokesman for the NBS in Cambridgeshire, said, "All our blood donor sessions in the lead up to bank holidays are absolutely vital to ensure we have adequate cover for patients.

"We have had great support in recent weeks but it is really important this continues all the way through and beyond the bank holiday to boost stocks.

"As well as asking regular donors to give three times-a-year new donors are always needed. If you have never rolled up your sleeves to donate this could be the time to take the plunge. It is a very simple thing to do and only takes around an hour.

Session details:

Friday 16 May

March Youth & Community Centre, 34 Station Road.

4pm to 7pm.

Anyone planning to attend this session is also being advised of the revised session times.

In most cases anyone aged 17-59, who weighs over 7st 12lb (50kg), in general good health can start giving blood.

For further information, and to book an appointment to give blood, please contact the NBS on 0845 7 711 711, or log on to

MANEA: Police probe suspected arson at Manea Post Office

A POST Office was set on fire and police are appealing for witnesses.

The incident took place between 10pm on Monday, May 5 and 6am the following day. The offenders climbed onto the roof of the building, lifted tiles and started a fire in the roof, causing substantial damage.

The combined Post Office and shop is on Park Road in Manea.

PC Andrew Harcup-Rudd, who is investigating, said: "I am appealing for witnesses who may have been in the area at the time to come forward with any information.

"Did you see anyone in the area, or any vehicles parked outside the Post Office overnight?

"There is also a pub very close by so customers may well have seen something suspicious when leaving for the evening."

Anyone with any information is asked to contact PC Harcup-Rudd at March Police Station on 0845 456 456 4 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111

MARCH: Water at local church contaminated by sewage

INVESTIGATIONS by Fenland District Council have showed the water pouring into the cellar of a March church is contaminated by sewage.

Property steward of the Trinity Church Reg Kemp had hoped the water was some kind of holy miracle.

He said: "We will do all we can to ensure no one is foolish enough to drink any of it , but the fact remains that all we are able to do currently is pump the water out at the rate of 200 gallons a day."

Mr Kemp is afraid that some of the contaminated water is finding its way into the water system.

The church is going to look into the feasibility of blocking off the old drainage system as recommended by the council.

MARCH: Businessman gets his licence to run pubs and clubs

BUSINESSMAN Kevin McCourt of March has been granted a personal licence by Fenland District Council's Licensing Committee.

Police had objected to Mr McCourt's application because of a previous offence which is not spent until March 2009.

But after taking into consideration all the evidence and the objection from the police, the committee decided to grant the licence.

A spokesman said: "The committee have taken into account the rehabilitation and the remorse shown by the applicant and his working very closely with the police, the committee have decided that granting the application will not undermine the crime prevention objective.

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