Although Great Melton’s New Net Facilities were installed by ‘Exclusive Leisure’ back in December and have been in constant use since the beginning of the season, they were ‘officially opened’ last Friday.  Various invited guests – all supporters of the project – assembled for a short reception which kick-started the Club’s Beer Festival weekend.

Chairman, Steve Phoenix, outlined a brief history of the club which was formed in 1974 and moved to Melton Park in 1993 before thanking all those who had brought the nets project to fruition after 5 years of planning that included several knock-backs and much hard work raising the £30,000 needed to complete the installation.

The persistence of Kieron Tuck of the Norfolk Cricket Board had helped achieve a £15,000 ECB grant towards the project and Jenni Jordan the ECBs Regional Club & Facilities Manager, together with Keir Hounsome, Chairman of the Norfolk Cricket Board, were at the ceremony.

A legacy and various donations in memory of late President, Andy Seeley also contributed to the cost and it was good that Andy’s wife, Pam, was also able to attend.

Other major funding contributors were: The Norfolk Community Foundation (Saracen’s Fund), the Aviva Community Fund, the Norwich Organ Donors’ Committee, Neville & Di Stangroom, Addie & Bev Granville, Barry & Marian Johnson and Roger Symonds.  Other funding came from club members’ donations and the work of the Fundraising team comprising Richard Waddell, Matt Clarke, Nick Mackenzie & Ellie Jakes plus Celia Phoenix whose efforts with the 100 Club have contributed over £4000.

The Chairman also thanked Project Manager, Richard Mawby, whose company ‘REM Project Management’ sponsored a sign acknowledging the major contributors, Groundsmen Mike Phoenix & Grenville Ireland and Treasurer Leo DeSalis.

Sir Edward & Lady Marilyn Evans-Lombe also attended and the Chairman said “without the Evans-Lombe family we would have none of this and we are extremely grateful for the generous support we have received over the last 25-plus years.  We particularly thank our President, Nick Evans-Lombe, for allowing us yet another small piece of land on which to instal the nets.”

The final act was for Sir Edward to cut the ribbon and declare the nets ‘officially open”

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