“No hope” as Scrattons Farm Social Club, Barking, burns - AGAIN

Large parts of a former social club, which community members had hoped to open again, were destroyed in a suspected arson attack.

The blaze took hold of Scrattons Farm Social Club in Morrison Road, Barking, at about 10.30pm on Thursday just four days after another, much smaller, fire was started inside the building.

Firefighters from Barking, who spent two hours battling Thursday’s incident, said the interior was left gutted.

It is believed both fires were started deliberately and police are investigating.

Residents said the club has also been vandalised on at least two occasions since it closed about a month ago.

Maggie Lincoln, from Scrattons Farm Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, had previously told the Post she hoped a community group would take on the club.

Speaking of the fire on web forum Streetlife.com, she said: “This now means that there will be no community centre, no youth club and no more events for the estate.

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“To say we are angry is an understatement. You try to do something for the estate, and some parents complain that there is nothing for the kids to do. Well now they will have nothing.”

In a letter to the Post, Mrs S. Hatchman, from Dagenham, said: “It is a family club for all who live on Scrattons Estate. We will all miss it. So many memories. The end of an era.”

Police superintendent Gary Buttercase said: “Thankfully no-one was injured as a result of this incident but that is not always the case.

“Arson is a crime that endangers life and threatens community confidence. Those who commit arson will be sought, caught, placed before the courts and can expect a considerable sentence.”

n Anyone with information about Thursday’s fire should call the police’s non-urgent reporting line on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting reference number 5113000.