Following a fundraising campaign, Coniston Cricket Club’s brand-new pavilion was officially opened this weekend by Rawdon Smith Trust Trustee Vera Grant.
For the past four years, Coniston Cricket Club have been raising the £35,000 needed to repair a rotten and falling down pavilion.
The club’s former base was a small wooden structure with very limited facilities, with parts dating back over 100 years, to when the club began in 1910. In contrast, the new pavilion, built by Cumbrian firm Hesket Timber Buildings and Joinery, is complete with a kitchen and bar in the centre with an indoor seating area, two changing rooms, two toilets and an outdoor decking. The interior work and final additions were done voluntarily by players from the cricket team.
Donations came in from local businesses, charities, trusts, and the public. The Rawdon Smith Trust were one of the charities who contributed significantly towards the new pavilion. Before cutting the ribbon in front of the crowds of people that had gathered at the ground to witness the opening, Vera Grant said: “The Trust has great pleasure in opening this pavilion. We’re very keen on community activity and Coniston is remarkably fortunate in having wonderful facilities and lots of community groups who are prepared to make things work.”
Sitting below Coniston Old Man, the ground could be described as one of the most picturesque places to play cricket in the country. “We now have a pavilion to be proud of, one that fits in with our stunning surroundings.” says Nathan Atkinson, the club’s Secretary and Club Captain.
“The new pavilion was finally completed in April this year and has given the club a new lease of life. From what we had here before, which was a dilapidated, derelict building to what we have now is unbelievable. It’s been a difficult couple of years, but the final result has been worth the wait.
“It’s brought more people up here to watch our games this season and has given us a great space to run activities in the village. The turnout on Sunday for our official opening was great. People enjoyed a BBQ, homemade cakes, a bar and a raffle, all of which were organised by people in the community. The club also ran an additional All Stars session, which is an England & Wales Cricket Board initiative for 5-8-year-olds. We had almost 30 children, both girls and boys, taking part in cricket-based games. This gives us great hope for the future.”
The club hosts league games every Saturday from the end of April through until September. The All Stars cricket sessions are run by club volunteers and take place every Friday evening from 5.30pm. For more information visit the Facebook page ‘Coniston Cricket Club’.