The Bridge Trust Society owns a rather unusual 7½ acre triangular sports ground bound by live railway lines on each of the three sides! The Society was created in 1878 for former pupils of the now Handsworth Grammar School and Honorary Secretary, and former pupil, Philip Swann (70) is responsible for the maintenance. He is assisted by a team of 7 mostly retired volunteers who require a lot of mechanical help. The Multi-Sport from Charterhouse Turf Machinery, is their latest investment.
As founder members of the Birmingham AFA, the Handsworth Grammar School Old Boys Football Club play in the AFA premier division whilst the Bridge Trust Old Boys Cricket Club also play on the ground in the Warwickshire Cricket League. Not only do the Society’s own teams use the ground, facilities are also available to hire to local community clubs. As an organisation, the BTS have virtually no money so rely on grants to fund changes, purchases or improvements. Philip picks up the story, “We discovered the SITA Trust who support community and environmental improvement projects through the Landfill Communities Fund. We made an application for funds to improve our range of machinery and were kindly awarded £30,000!”
To ensure the money was well spent, Philip organised for an IOG Pitch Advisor to conduct a survey before attending a County FA Pitch Improvement Programme (PIP) seminar. Here he met Curtis Allen of Charterhouse and witnessed a demonstration of the Redexim Multi-Sport. It was later purchased as one of 5 pieces of kit to improve the quality of both their football and cricket surfaces.
“The Multi-Sport was the obvious choice to keep our pitches in excellent condition,” says Philip “It’s used after every game. As the name suggests it came with a slitter, tines, roller and brush mounted on the machine meaning in one pass we are using multiple tools to help ensure our pitches are level and in the best condition they can be. It’s exceptionally easy to use, the 3 point linkage means it’s simple and quick to hook up to the tractor and off you go. It offers us the versatility and efficiency we need for our team of volunteers.”