The sun shone and Great Melton’s volunteer army turned out in force on Saturday as NatWest Cricketforce 2014 swung into action. A record number of 70 volunteers that included the ECB’s National Volunteer & Recruitment Manager, Jane Hannah, were down at Melton Park undertaking a variety of pre-season jobs. In the shadow of the impressive future home of club Patron Sir Edward Evans-Lombe, Great Melton Hall, which is under construction, the main task was to prepare and seed an area at the bottom of the ground where the crumbling flint wall has been rebuilt. This was duly accomplished as was the re-painting of the fence around the ground and part of the pavilion. Tidying the area around the nets and putting them up as well as other pre-season ground-work tasks were all tackled by an enthusiastic workforce. Whole families turned out and the ages ranged from 6 to 76 as workforce coordinator Mally Howard did a fine job organising the team.
Jewson’s generous Privilege Account Scheme provided £450-worth of materials including timber, paint and paintbrushes. Although much was accomplished a few jobs still remain, including the construction of some seats near the new bowling green fence so anyone who can lend a hand on the next two Saturday mornings would be most welcome.
A plentiful supply of tea, coffee, beer and bacon butties kept the workers happy and there was even a Grand National Sweepstake. The first three horses were picked by Ezra Leverett (£20), Olly Phoenix (£12) and Craig Woolrich (£8).
“Another good turnout”, said Chairman, Steve Phoenix. “70 people is a really excellent effort and enabled us to complete lots of jobs that, otherwise, would be left to a regular few and probably wouldn’t get done. It was also great having Jane, from the ECB, joining us for a few hours. A big thank-you to all who helped.”