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Makeover for Ross-on-Wye

Volunteers both young and old turned up to Ross-on-Wye's Natwest CricketForce event and their invaluable hard work, good humour and generosity of spirit made for a fab weekend for the club.

And despite gloomy weather forecasts, the weather was kind with a good drying wind to aid the team of painters who were giving their 1887 pavilion a repaint. The sun even shone on Sunday.

The focus for this year’s project was enlarging the ancient and fairly dilapidated machinery shed and giving the pavilion a good paint job. Over the coming weekends the club is also going to be constructing a scorebox on Tennis Meadow for the junior teams and Third XI - so if anyone missed out this weekend, they can still get involved and make a difference.

Ross CC was joined this weekend by 15 fellow volunteers from the Probation Service who were working with them through the Community Payback Scheme.

The team had already done a magnificent job helping the cricket club in previous weeks, tidying up the entrance to the Sports Centre and general ground maintenance work. This weekend they surpassed themselves, throwing themselves into tackling the run-down football pitches and their densely overgrown surroundings. Hopefully they have seen how much their hard work will benefit the local sporting community that use Ross Sports Centre.

Cricketforce volunteers ranged from four years old to 70. Margaret Regan, grandmother to two junior players, was busy cooking bacon, burgers and sausages for the hungry workers before coming down to spend the afternoon weeding the patio garden. Ali Tregaskes' mouth-watering soup and Jackie Earl's superb cakes were also popular.

Joseph Tyler, aged four and the youngest volunteer on the project, Joseph was a key member of the gardening team and proved an excellent weeder. Joseph was working under the auspices of his parents, Matt and Jo, and his younger baby brother - Michael, aged 5 months.

Edward Price, Lead Coach for Herefordshire Cricket, also paid the club a visit on Saturday. He was impressed with the turnout and the scale of the projects being undertaken over the weekend.

Nick Tregaskes, club chairman and veteran CricketForce project co-ordinator, said he was delighted with the commitment shown by club members to helping the club maintain and constantly improve cricket facilities.

“Our volunteers are so important to us," he said. "Their input and goodwill every year help us to start the season looking ship-shape and pristine. It was a very successful weekend and we’d like to thank everyone involved for their sheer hard work. We achieved a great deal and we got to have some fun at the same time. “