COMMUNITY SPIRIT in north Somerset is forging the way for the restoration of an old ground that will be used by a collection of rival clubs and bring cricket back to a village that had almost forgotten about the game.
With no ECB funding, the North Somerset Cricket League has taken on the restoration of the Farmborough Miners Recreation Ground near Keynsham. Three clubs – Whitchurch, Avonside and Bath-based Star CC – are all expected to use the renovated ground. The first game is scheduled for April 2011.
“We’re looking to be proactive,” says the league administrator, Malcolm Buck. “If you look for money from the ECB or the Somerset Cricket Board there are strict requirements based on your club having coaches, constitutions, youth set-ups, girls teams, etc.
“But we’re not a premier league. We’re talking about village cricket – about typical village green club sides. We do use school pitches and council pitches but the price goes up and up and up and the standard of the pitches isn’t fantastic either.”
More than £2,000 to buy a mower, loam and seed was raised on a 76-mile sponsored walk between 30 of the league’s grounds and sponsors have also chipped in.
Then, with money raised and the project started, Farmborough villagers began to take an interest and it is now hoped that the
newly formed village cricket
club – Farmborough CC officially
came into being in September – will take on the maintenance
of the facility.
According to Buck, the cost of hiring the pitch could be less than £90 a game. “I’m sure it will be low and slow to start with,” he says, “but a village will get a club
side back and three sides get a
new home.” JB