By Simon Bailey – Marketing Manager
The Jackson-Stops sponsored Wilmslow Cricket Club started the long road to returning our beautiful home, Rectory Field @ Everybody Leisure Wilmslow, back to its former glory, after our ground was devastated by vandalism caused by a group of travellers who had set up an illegal encampment on the adjacent Broadway Meadow car park.
One of the many forms of damage done to the ground by the Travellers and their children was pushing one of our covers – which protects the wickets and pitches from foul weather, into the old blacksmiths’ pond at the entrance to the ground. The cover has remained in the pond for over 8 weeks, with a joint decision between the club, Cheshire Police and the local authorities agreeing that it would more than likely end back up in the pond if removed, before the travellers had moved on.
With the Travellers now on their way, the club received permission from Cheshire East and Chesire Police to remove the cover from the pond. A group of club members were assembled to lift the cover out of the pond. Thanks to the generosity of Alan Bethell Ltd, the club was provided with a winch in which to lift the cover from the pond, and within half an hour, the cover was removed. The task now falls to the head groundsman and his team, to assess if the cover is salvageable or if we will be required to purchase a new one for the 2021 season.
Now that the cover has been removed, the focus of the club is to repair the damage caused to the playing surface, and also to the advertising boards that the club had bespoke made for the ground. With lockdown restrictions expected to be eased in the coming weeks, and the return of cricket looking closer than ever, be sure to keep an eye out on the clubs’ social media channels for details of a community work party day, to help us in “Operation Cleanup”.
Photos Taken & Provided By Carole Harding