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A great weekend - despite the snow!

Posted in NatWest CricketForce 2008

What a weekend we had at St James's Montefiore CC. Everything started well on Friday, the pavilion was cleared, the marquee was erected and work began with a flourish.

Painting started in earnest, rubbish began to be cleared, patios were dug out and materials were moved and prepared to be used. All was looking good and we knew it would be a fantastic weekend.

On Saturday volunteers arrived early and everyone got stuck into the jobs they were assigned, only stopping for a quick cuppa and a bacon roll. By mid-morning the ground was a hive of activity and we really couldn’t have predicted the amount of people who turned up to help turn St James's into the club it deserved to be.

Apart from the electrics tripping occasionally everything was running like clockwork and it appeared that all our goals would be achieved by Sunday evening.

The children played plenty of cricket in between painting sightscreens, boundary boards and picket fence. The paint work on the exterior of the pavilion was completed – a big thank you to John Taylor who spent many hours prior to last weekend getting the bulk of the exterior painting completed - and decorating the inside was well under way.

We were joined by players and staff from Sussex CCC throughout the day, who were more than willing to participate in the day’s activities. And a special mention must go to Sid the Shark, who spent the best part of an hour on the ground being jumped on by very boisterous children.

Then it was back on Sunday. It was a lovely sunny morning when we arrived at the ground, but within an hour the skies had darkened and winter had come back to haunt us.

Within an hour five inches of snow had fallen and work outside had ground to a halt.

NatWest CricketForce 2008 - St James's Montefiore

Admittedly it was very pretty, but unfortunately it meant that no outdoor work could be done, hardly anybody could get to the ground and that the NatWest roadshow could not be used.

Chris Adams, the Sussex CCC captain, and Luke Wright, Sussex CCC and England, did manage to get to the ground along with members of the England women’s team. They helped out with work inside and enjoyed our hospitality, and even participated in a snowball fight with the children.

Finally we asked Chris Adams to officially open our new field, a memorable sight when surrounded by inches of snow.

For us it will be back to the ground this weekend, to finish as much work as possible and get the ground ready for what will hopefully be a very successful season.

A big thank you to every volunteer who assisted us last weekend and to those who will be working again this Saturday & Sunday. Of course, a very big thank you to all the suppliers and organisations without whom NatWest CricketForce at St James's Montefiore would not have been possible.