A new chapter in the history of Cuckfield Cricket Club began last month with the official opening of the pavilion extension.
Three spacious new changing rooms have been added to the club pavilion at Cuckfield Park, funded with a grant from the English and Welsh Cricket Board and a generous legacy from Diana Cahill, a long-time club member and resident of the village. Work began last winter and was completed in time for the start of the season.
Club President Geoffrey Longfield said members were delighted with the new improved facilities which are already being well used, with two of the club’s four teams playing at home every Saturday and junior teams hosting matches during the week.
“Before the extension was built, the cricket pavilion had two small changing rooms and a cubby hole which we used as a third one!” he said.
But despite the inadequate changing facilities, the village teams have thrived and Cuckfield has become the only club in Mid Sussex at present playing in the Premier League.
Players now have the pavilion they deserve, as the extension has brought the facilities up to date with two new ground floor changing rooms and a third upstairs.
Plans are also being drawn up to increase the size of the main function room. “It can get rather cramped when 44 players get together after a match!” said Geoffrey.
The extension was officially opened during the club’s annual Cricket Week - a long-standing tradition when visiting clubs are welcomed into the village and games are played all day, every day.
The opening ceremony was attended by Sir Richard Kleinwort, whose family has a long standing connection with the Club. After mentioning that his grandmother had opened the existing pavilion some 20 years ago, he congratulated the Club on the extension and invited Peg Swain to cut the ribbon. Her father, Ernest Stuchbury (known as Stuch), was the landlord of The White Harte till 1962 and, amongst other roles, was for many years the groundsman.
Shortly after the opening ceremony a finishing touch was added when a memorial weathervane was mounted on the pavilion roof. This was in memory of the late
John Mole who died last year after giving tremendous service to the Club and providing three sons who continue to play.