On Nat West Cricketforce Day, last Saturday, a change in the weather from bitingly cold to pleasantly sunny, brought 56 volunteers of all ages to Melton Park to complete a host of pre-season jobs. The main project was to paint the newly installed junior pavilion as well as prepare and seed the area around it and complete the fencing and this was duly accomplished. The Cricket and Bowls’ Club storage containers were also painted as well as all the normal pre-season jobs – weeding and tidying the artificial pitch areas, putting on the nets and covers and cleaning the sightscreens.
The Nat-West sponsored national day of volunteering has become a regular feature of Great Melton’s pre-season and, although the band of helpers was a few down on 2012 when the Club won the Norfolk Cricket Board’s OSCA (Outstanding Contribution to Cricket Award), it was a resounding success. This year the Club also benefitted from a Cricketforce link with builders merchants Jewson who provided £400-worth of materials, including sand, cement, paving slabs and paint. Chairman and Cricketforce organiser, Steve Phoenix, groundsman Mike Phoenix and workforce coordinator, Mally Howard all felt it was one of the best Cricketforce Days the club has held. So hard did everybody work that all the main tasks were accomplished by the middle of the afternoon.
There were whole families helping out like the Carter family, dad Steve, mum Lorraine and twins Matthew and James. Lorraine said, “We had a great time! The weather was kind to us all, the bacon rolls, tea, coffee and biscuits were delicious and the twins had great fun helping to paint the new pavilion”.
Senior player Chris Elliott, who brought his young son Tommy along, said, “It was great to see so many people helping out.”
Steve Phoenix added, “With the weather being so un-cricketlike and Norwich City at home I thought we might see a much poorer turn-out than in recent years but I was pleasantly surprised. A large number of people had arrived by 9.00 a.m. and everybody worked really hard. It was a fantastic day and we really accomplished more than we thought possible. A big thank you to everybody who gave up their time.”
The Grand National Sweepstake was won by Stuart Wilson (£50), Mally Howard (£20) and Audrey Holland (£10)