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LODGE CLEARING REVEALS 220 LOST BALLS

Ongoing work by the Irwell Rivers Authority in and around Tottington's Island Lodge brought an unexpected reward for the club with the recovery of some 220 lost cricket balls from the water. Club members will be aware that in the winter, the Rivers Authority was carrying out work towards the football-field end of the lodge and pathways to allow trout migration, and work has recently been extended down towards the pavilion.

On Sunday morning, dredging of a 700 square foot area brought up an astonishing array of items; amidst the usual rubbish, trolleys and waste were the cricket balls and also a bat, believed to have been thrown there by an irate member of High View in the early 1990s. As the club has since folded, the bat will be dried out and hung above the bar in the new extension area.

Club Treasurer Clive Brooks commented: "Obviously it's quite an exciting find, there's a lot of history attached here, and in our 125th anniversary year it's great to see lost items coming back. Obviously we don't have a big budget this year with all the extra funds needed for the new pavilion, so we'll be drying out all the balls and using them for the less important events such as 2nd XI games and practice." Secretary Doc P was unavailable for a formal call, but sent a message through: "Sounds like a complete load of balls to me".

In late 2012 the Island Lodge will be drained entirely, as the area is to become one of only 5 sites chosen throughout the Uk for a resalination exercise; in a bid to increase the diminished North Sea fishing stocks, a series of inland waterways will be cleared and replaced with salt water tributaries, which will eventually feed into the sea near Morecambe; among the marine life to be returned to the reclaimed habitat will be sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens), haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) and a basking shark (Totalus bollocus).

I Will if You Will Biffaward

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