AMBITIOUS PLANS: Groundsman and secretary for Middleton-in-Teesdale Cricket Club Dave Garth says plans are in place to replace the club's ageing pavilion
AMBITIOUS PLANS: Groundsman and secretary for Middleton-in-Teesdale Cricket Club Dave Garth says plans are in place to replace the club's ageing pavilion

PLANS are afoot to replace a dale cricket pavilion that was set up as a temporary structure more than 40 years ago.

Middleton-in-Teesdale's cricket pavilion was put up in 1978, using an old site office from Newton Aycliffe but time has taken its toll.

Now a meeting has been called by the village's cricket club to kickstart a project to build a new one.

Club secretary and groundsman Dave Garth said: “It has been a long term aim but it is getting to the point where it is a necessity. Every year it needs repairs and it is a substantial amount. The prevailing wind is from the west so this side of the building gets it.

“It is quite remarkable to have lasted as long as it has.

“It was put up in the bad winter of 1978 so the founding members did a damn good job.”

Initially the plan was to make the cricket pavilion part of a new village hall that residents were considering building nearby, but that idea was abandoned.

Mr Garth said: “The cost of doing that could not be justified, so we decided to go about getting a new pavilion for ourselves. It will be a project which will need fundraising that will include practical tasks as well as putting in bids for fundraising.

“Practical help will be needed in planning out what we want and, of course, the building of it.”

The groundsman added that the hope is for the new building to be as carbon-neutral as possible and may include solar panels for power.

Mr Garth said: “It has got to be a timber design, that is traditional in local league cricket.”

Plans are also to build the new building on the footprint of the existing one and hopes are to replace the ageing scoreboard as well.

The secretary said: “It [the scoreboard] is the same number system you would see years ago on the county and league grounds. We got it as a used gift and once it was stripped down and reassembled it worked fine.

“But we would very much like to get a new scoreboard – a digital one – but that would depend on the cost.”

The club is hoping its newly established women's section will help it in receiving funding. The section started with just three women last year, but has grown to about 15 members this year.

Also strong is the club's juniors section, which has earned ECB Club Mark accreditation.

Mr Garth said: “We were the first club in the Darlington and District League to get the club mark. It helps when you are looking for funding.

“Our juniors are 13 to 14 [players] but in the All Stars we have about 20, so hopefully they will progress onwards and upwards.

“A fair percentage of the past juniors now make up the senior side”

If successful the new pavilion will also be used by the newly established Sunday League football team which has a field adjacent to the cricket pitch.

Mr Garth said it had been more than a decade since a football team had been active in the village.

He added: “Saturday football ended in the year of foot and mouth in 2001. Sunday football ended in 2005.”

The cricket club will host a meeting to discuss plans for the new pavilion on Wednesday, July 7, at 8pm at the existing pavilion.

Anyone linked to the club or has the skills and ideas to help out is welcome to attend.