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Snow can't halt Tynemouth's £250,000 CricketForce march

Tynemouth Group1

The Tynemouth volunteers in front of the renovated pavilion

April snow and a visiting family from Munich were unexpected guests as Tynemouth CC wound up a project that begun right back at NatWest CricketForce 2005 with another successful group work effort for the 2006 weekend.

The Tyne and Wear club were hit by the snowfall that saw Sunderland’s nearby Premiership game with Fulham abandoned on the Saturday. But buoyed by a terrific gathering of more than 125 hardy volunteers, they all ignored the inclement weather and stuck at the task.

Gary Pratt Tynemouth

Ashes run-out hero Gary Pratt helps fit the free H&R Johnson tiling

Tynemouth kicked off the renovation of their nineteenth-century pavilion last year, and despite failing to secure major grant funding decided to carry on regardless and complete the overhaul of their Preston Avenue ground through participation in NatWest CricketForce 2006.

To join in the celebrations and help out with painting sightscreens, fencing, exterior seating, and some of the pavilion, the club were visited by Durham players Gordon Muchall, Gary Pratt, Dave Barrick and Ben Harmison; all adding to the delight of chairman Russell Perry.

Ian Wardle Will Tynemouth

Northumberland CDM Ian Wardle interviews young Tynemouth volunteer Will, aged five: "Thank you for making my cricket club great," he says!

“We had over 125 people when I last counted. A rough calculation for the volunteer effort that has gone into this project over the last eight months is about £250,000,” he said.

“A family were over here from Munich and saw the article in the local papers so popped in to see what it was all about. And they got stuck in too! It was a fantastic effort all round.”

Former Tynemouth junior turned Newcastle United full-back Peter Ramage had hoped to make it on the day, but was needed at training before Sunday’s derby game against Middlesbrough – but did send the club a significant donation earlier in the week.

Gordon Muchall Tynemouth

Durham's Gordon Muchall, a former Tynemouth player, helps with the painting effort

It all helps to back up a major year-long fundraising effort by dedicated members of the club, backed by some vital support from the local community and businesses.

The club were also the lucky recipients of the free prize offer from Official Supporter of NatWest CricketForce, H&R Johnson Tiling, using £600-worth of tiling products to spruce up their toilets.

The building effort has been a labour of love for all at the club since last summer, with Perry joking: “We’ve got one lad who was quoted as saying that he got married last June and hasn’t been home since as he’s been working on this!”

Tynemouth Autographs

The visiting Durham players get stuck in to the autograph signing