Finding the venue was easy. Moving was not ...
When Canine Sports, a flourishing dog agility club, suddenly found itself without a venue, owner Estelle Lankester was shocked - and worried. Instead of giving up, she saw the challenge as an opportunity and found a perfect alternative right under her nose.
In the middle of 2012, the owners of the Sedgeway Equestrian Centre, the premises Estelle had been using for her Canine Sports Agility Club, gave notice that they wanted the space for themselves, in order to bring their equestrian business under cover for the winter.
Though he tried to help us find an alternative site within the equestrian centres grounds, there was nothing else suitable. Estelle wanted somewhere indoors, so that they could use it all year round. She was absolutely determined to find somewhere.
Then, while out walking her dogs, she took another look at a vacant barn near her home village of Stuntney, a mile south of Ely.
was then that the hard work really started
When the venue was cleared, it turned to be a really good size and bigger than previously thought. Not all of the barn had a brick surround so Estelle's husband Terry took care of the shuttering at the bottom to hold in the sand along the exposed end.
Club members then pulled together, helping the pair clean, paint and finish off the dog proofing. They had two evening 'raking parties' to level out the sand that was delivered - something which would have taken weeks to do single-handed. The new surface was laid, levelled and the equipment moved in. It took two vans and a very full trailer load of equipment to move all the gear from the old to the new venue.
Of course, there were teething problems. For instance, they had to wait longer than expected for a water supply and meanwhile the surface became very dusty, but once it had been dampened down it started to firm up nicely.
it was worth it...
If you think you can help, and for further details of the centre and its training facilities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the authors...
Her other passion is making fused glass which she sells in galleries as well as providing many shows with glass trophies'
John Spencer has been a journalist for more than 30 years, 13 of them as Managing Editor of the Press Association, the national news agency for Britain and Ireland. He is now a freelance travel writer and media consultant.
First published 11 March 2013