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Taking Stock

Posted in Recreational

Being woken up at 7am on a Sunday morning by a phone call telling you your cricket club pavilion is on fire isn’t the best way to start the day.

But that’s how Sunday February 5 began for Stock Cricket Club’s esteemed president, Peter Woodward.

Thankfully, a villager who was on their way to work had discovered the fire 20 minutes earlier and called the fire brigade, who managed to arrive in time to battle the snowy weather conditions, and the blaze, to ensure it was extinguished before the whole pavilion was destroyed.

Had that not been the case then it may well have signalled the end for a club that has been at the heart of the Essex village’s community since 1769.

Despite the extensive destruction, the real damage was made when it was discovered that the club’s insurance policy had not been updated for several years.

Stock CC

The fire ripped through the pavilion and threatened to destroy a club that has been big part of the community since 1769

Insurance investigators estimated the cost of the damage to be around £45,000 with large sections of the pavilion walls having to be removed and rebuilt.

With the overall assessed value of the building being £90,000 unfortunately the club’s out-dated insurance policy undervalued its main asset by £40,000, insuring the building for £50,000.

This meant the club had a £20,000 shortfall to pay for the repairs.

All of a sudden there are huge obstacles for a village club to overcome. But club members and the committee have been extremely proactive in clearing up and moving on from the fire.

Work days, inspired by valuable schemes such as NatWest CricketForce and initiatives such as the ECB’s Build Center programme have brought the club together to clear the debris caused by the blaze.

The club have also been thankful for the support shown by Essex County Cricket Board who got in touch just a few days after the fire and have also been able to suggest and assist in contingency planning and generating fundraising ideas.

Extra fundraising events are also being planned to raise some much-needed cash.

These events will run throughout the summer, encouraging third-party sponsorship, and the annual President’s Day, which will feature an appearance from Essex all-rounder Graham Napier as part of his benefit year celebrations on July 1.

Stock CC

We learnt a valuable lesson and it is one other clubs should bear in mind too - check your insurance before its too late

All will be vital elements in sustaining the success of our unique village club, which boasts four Saturday league teams, two Sunday teams, a midweek veterans side, a Twenty20 team, and a thriving colts section, all of which are remarkable achievements for such a small club.

It is also important that the club continues to plan for the future, and it is hoped that the pavilion repairs will be finished by the middle of the season. As a club that has seen much accelerated growth in recent years, the adversity that Stock has faced in recent months acts as a timely reminder for cricket committees and community amateur sports clubs across the country.

Ensure your assets are insured for the correct amount or risk jeopardising your future.

Ultimately though, it is the passion and enthusiasm of the members and players which has helped the club to move on from what has happened that allows them to look forward to a successful future. After the insurance policy has been updated, that is.