Ford club a haven for vandals and thieves

Ford Sport and Social Club
Ford Sport and Social Club

Fords’ sport and social club in Daventry has been left to fall into ruin says one heartbroken former member.

Chris Dawes, who lives in South Place, Daventry, regularly goes up to the site off Royal Oak Way North next to the Ford unit to walk his dog.

He said: “It’s been closed now for 18 months to two years. I know why Ford decided it had to be closed, and I’m not complaining about that.

“What has really upset me is seeing what’s happened to the site.”

Visitors to the site are now greeted by dumped rubbish and safety gear. Paving has been torn up and stolen, as have most of the external fixtures.

Inside the club has been devastated. Holes have been kicked through the walls, and the front doors left unlocked.

Mr Dawes said: “I was here from the start. My father worked at Ford but was facing redundancy or moving to Daventry. He moved here and so did I.

“At the start the sport and social club was nothing more than a shed in among fruit trees on the site.

“But over the years the club worked and developed the site and facilities.

“I was walking my dogs and noticed the door was open. Everything had been smashed and ruined. All the glasses, the TV, the trophies were all on the floor, someone had even started a fire in there.

“To see it end up like this is heartbreaking. When they closed it down they must have literally just locked the doors and walked away.

“The least that should have happened is for them to offer it to other clubs, not to leave it like this. It’s heartbreaking for anyone who used to use the club.”

A spokesman for Ford said the site was included in its security rounds, and they were aware of some incidents which required police to be called.

Fords Sports FC, more recently known as Daventry United, started playing at the site in 1972.

The Sport and Social Club moved onto the site in 1973.

Over the years several groups made use of he site and its facilities, including a photographic club and 4x4 drivers’ group. The club house itself was also used by many residents for their family events down the years.

In January 2010 Ford gave users of the site 12 months’ notice of its plan to close it down.

The company has plans to use the land for a warehouse or industrial unit which it would either rent out or sell off.