WHISPER it, but the finish line is finally coming into sight for Chipping Campden who six years ago decided the time had come to replace their ancient wooden pavilion.
The framework on a state-of-the-art new structure is now in place and various trades are descending on the Station Road club’s headquarters with the aim of completing all remaining work sometime in September or October.
Chairman Richard Postins said: “There have been plenty of ups and downs along the way but it’s very exciting – and slightly nerve-racking! – to now be where we are.”
The new pavilion will be home to two changing rooms, a room for umpires, showers, kitchen, bar and a function room that will be in use 12 months of the year.
Richard added: “As well as providing hugely improved facilities for our growing club, a big hope is that we can make the new building attractive for our community to use midweek in February.”
The project certainly represents a huge step forward on many fronts for a club that was founded in 1867 and moved to Station Road in 1971 when members also purchased a second hand wooden building to serve as a pavilion.
Richard said: “It had done sterling service and we had some great times there but we had reached the point where we had to act.
“The previous generation had done something that lasted 50 years so we had the thought ‘could we do the same for the next generation or possibly two generations?’ and build something we could be really proud of.”
The project has been financed by the club, whose first team joined the Gloucestershire County League three years ago, selling a small corner of their land to a developer to build three houses, while the Gloucestershire Cricket Board provided full backing for a successful application to the ECB for a £50,000 grant.
An already challenging project has been further complicated by the Covid situation with Richard admitting: “It’s been a long hard slog but we’re lucky to have a very good committee who have worked hard behind the scenes.
“We could have handed everything over to someone else to do but we’ve taken a different route, using builders, electricians, carpenters and other trades from within the club and the local community.
“That has been a challenge, particularly with changing timelines thanks to the pandemic, but it’s also meant everything being done with lots of TLC and a real desire to make the pavilion as good as it possibly can be.”
No cricket was played at all at Station Road last summer because of construction work but home matches – pandemic allowing – will be hosted this year thanks to the arrival of two temporary buildings.
Three new strips are also being laid on the square to cope with an increase in the amount of cricket being played by a club that in recent years has relaunched its second XI and a junior section that now accommodates 120 players aged from five through to 15. There are also plans for a women’s team.
Richard, who joined Chipping Campden on moving to the town in 2009, added: “We restarted the juniors five year ago and we’re now starting to see young players pushing to come through into our seconds.
“Friday night is our junior night and it’s wonderful to see the place packed out with parents watching. There’s a real love and passion for the club and it’s great to feel that we are heading in the right direction.”