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Rebuilding after the floods

Posted in NatWest CricketForce 2011

Each year cricket clubs around the UK participate in NatWest Cricket Force - a chance to engage local businesses, players, parents, volunteers in a variety of tasks or projects to spruce up or develop the club and ground prior to the start of the season.

Workington CC is no different in this respect. However, after the floods which hit West Cumbria in November 2009, the following 18 months has, to coin a phrase, been one big NatWest CricketForce weekend.

The club essentially lost everything in the floods and whilst the major task of rebuilding the function room and changing rooms was undertaken by local building contractors Stobbarts Ltd, there has been a myriad of tasks and supporting projects for the club's membership in order to get the club up and running and keep rebuild costs to a minimum.

Initially, in the aftermath of the floods, while insurance claims were still being processed, the focus was clearing the ground of debris so that the club could run its usual quota of teams in 2010.

After that, the painful task of emptying out the club and changing rooms in order to see what, if anything, could be salvaged.

By the start of the 2010 season, temporary accommodation had been provided via insurance. However, there was much still to do with the ground.

Perimeter walls needed to be repainted having been six feet under water. The ownership of one wall, which had collapsed onto the nets and outfield, was the subject of much debate. The club's neighbours ultimately accepted responsibility but not before the club had to clear some of it in order to reinstate the outfield and make the area safe for the club's many juniors.

By the end of 2010, the building contractors had done the club proud and delivered a first class sports and social facility. However, to turn a new building into a fully functioning cricket club still requires a lot of voluntary effort in order to fit it out.

By now, the final few furlongs were at least in sight.

Six months later, there were few signs of the devastation left by the floods. One final area of ground needed to be re-turfed and perimeter seating re-sited.

Eighteen months of toil, with many hundreds of volunteer hours, has seen the club re-emerge from the floods in a far stronger position than many might have hoped for.

Ultimately, the teamwork and team-spirit that a typical NatWest CricketForce weekend engenders has helped to carry Workington CC through a far longer period, but as with any volunteer program - the result was well worth waiting for.