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Keeping busy over the winter

Posted in NatWest CricketForce 2011

What do old cricketers do in the winter when the family is away?

With son leaving home and playing cricket in the sun Down Under, Denby Dale Cricket Club groundsman Stuart, assisted by Terry, had to keep busy this winter.

As the snow fell the two of them slaved away, cutting and welding, keeping their design under wraps.

Then, as the sun came out, so too did the results of their handiwork - a new gate with a magnificent centrepiece of wickets, and a bat and ball and the letters DDCC.

Truly a stunning work of art, all crafted in secret in the pavilion.

With the Dulux offer for the NatWest CricketForce initiative, I ordered some paint. On arrival to pick up the paint at the Dulux Decorator Centre in Huddersfield, with a plentiful supply of brushers, it was assumed I was Yorkshire Cricket Board Cricket Development Manager Steve Archer. The bill was produced, made out to the Cricket Board, County Cricket Ground, Old Trafford, Manchester. If only they paid.

The old gate, which had rotted so badly that it could no longer be opened, was quickly removed and chopped up, and then the new creation was lowered into place. A coat of undercoat was applied and we waited for NatWest CricketForce on Sunday 10th April.

What a fantastic day we had.

The sun shone and young and old turned up to spruce up the field. Paintbrushes were handed out to junior players and Steve Archer, showed his skills as a top quality painter, putting on the gold finish to the new gate whilst discussing the hopes and aspirations for the coming season with the young volunteers.

At the club we are proud of the achievements of the volunteers and hope that the youngsters who slaved away will gain a sense of ownership of the club. So far the comments of villagers and passers-by are very complimentary on this unique design. Thanks to everyone for turning up and special thanks to Steve for coaching the youngsters with his high quality brush strokes.

This year is already a success even before a ball has been bowled.