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Bury St Edmunds hockey club repays game-changing loan 20 years later

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The chair of a hockey club recently presented a cheque repaying a ground-breaking loan from two decades ago.

Adele Newberry - who heads Bury St Edmunds Hockey Club - met with donor Diana Bloomfield, who made a significant contribution towards a land purchase by the club in the early-2000s.

It was initially hoped that a hockey pitch could be built on the land acquired with the loan, which comprised donations from Mrs Bloomfield and eight other lenders.

Adele Newberry (left) with Diana Bloomfield.
Adele Newberry (left) with Diana Bloomfield.

While this never came to pass, the club retained the plot in question, and it eventually became a valuable asset.

The asset was ultimately used to raise large sums of money for the club, which, in turn, financed the construction of the Walled Garden pitch at Culford School.

Mrs Bloomfield had strong personal reasons for loaning to Bury St Edmunds Hockey Club.

Since the late-1940s, she has been an avid follower of hockey, having originally played on a team with her mother and father.

Typically, Mrs Bloomfield would play outfield, while her mother kept goal and her father umpired.

Decades on from her hockey-playing days, she still reads hockey match reports in the Bury Free Press every week.

During her meeting with the chair of the local club, Mrs Bloomfield received a cheque repaying the loan in full.

In subsequent conversations, she told Mrs Newberry that her decision to make the donation came from her life-long passion for the sport of hockey.

Mrs Newberry said: “It was a pleasure to meet Diana.

"Our shared enthusiasm for the sport of hockey gave us an instant bond and we had fun discussing how ladies hockey has changed over the years.

"It really is the perfect example of how the far-sighted generosity of a few individuals can result in a wonderful facility that benefits the local community.

"The Club is now embarking upon a new phase of development.

"We hope that this story will inspire people so that we can ensure the town of Bury St Edmunds has high quality hockey for many years to come."