Perfect day for pavilion opening

GENEROUS villagers, cricketers and supporters raised more than £1,000 for Sleights Cricket Club at the opening of its new pavilion on Sunday.

More than 100 people attended the afternoon of celebrations which began with the official ribbon cutting ceremony performed by Sleights Sports Field Management Committee chairman Ken Halley and groundsman John Hutton.

After the ceremony there was a chance for people to look around the new 63,000 sports pavilion's new facilities which include modern showers, changing facilities and a new kitchen and social area.

This was followed by a charity auction which raised more than 700 with the sale of a host of lots donated by individuals and businesses including a caravan holiday and tickets to local attractions.

Adults and youngsters also tested out their batting and fielding skills on the pitch in a fun cricket match later in the afternoon which broke for a raffle and the 200 club draw.

Grants and donations from a number of bodies, local companies and support from Sleights 200 club ensured the village's dream to build a new pavilion to replace its old 80-year-old one became a reality.

Mr Halley said the day had been fantastic and praised the level of support for the project from businesses, villagers and organisations.

He said: "I'm very pleased. I think everyone had a wonderful day and it was a good turnout," he said.

Peter Gaylor, project co-ordinator said it had been a real privilege to work with such a dedicated group of people.

He said: "It was a real village day and the sun shone on us," he said.

Esk Valley Coun Bill Miller who attended the afternoon and has helped with fund-raising for the new sports pavilion said he was delighted everything had come together.

Coun Miller said he hopes they can now pursue additional funding for drains to be installed on the pitch to make it an all-year-round facility.

He said: "I think it was a brilliant afternoon – just to see something come to fruition that I have believed in from day one even though some of the senior people didn't.

"We've achieved it.

"They have made such a good job of the building and everybody has done something for nothing.

"I hope with the committee's approval to continue and complete the job."