New Thakeham Ground
We are delighted to announce that we will be celebrating the opening of our new ground at Thakeham with game of cricket and evening party.
2pm - We will be playing a 20/20 match from 2pm onwards vs. a Developers and Agents team (who have been involved in building our new facility).
5.30pm - In the evening we will have a hog roast, BBQ, Bar and Live Band in the new pavilion.
Just for this particular evening junior coaching will be held at Thakeham (NOT West Chilt). Details about timings and format will follow soon. We hope as many members, families and friends of the club will come and celebrate with us during the day and into the evening.
We are extremely fortunate now to have two fantastic pavilions. The 2018 season has flown by in a flash and the disappointment that we couldn't play any games at our second home has subsided. We will forever be indebted to Amberley for letting us play 3rd XI games there and Ockley for allowing the 2nd XI July game to be played there but in 2019, the 3rds will base themselves at our new ground. The pavilion will finally be completed & the square and outfield will be prepared. A new artifical strip at Abingworth was laid in mid September to support the younger colts coaching and it remains to be seen how we use both grounds for colts and adult coaching on Friday nights. The new pavilion will have similar facilities to the Sports Pavilion at Chilt (but has a larger square foot footprint) and we will need to work on more external furniture e.g. benches around the outfield. It remains to be seen if the Women's team will play home games here and the Veterans, U19s, Sunday XI or any colts' teams. We could also play a cricket week game here if the Under 16s continue to play on Wednesday nights next season. Certainly the Abingworth square remains small so we will be concerned about using it too much until we can significantly increase the amount of pitches which could be prepared for games. We are indebted not only to Amberley but to Brian Fletcher for all his advice and hard work that he and his team have put in at the ground over the past year.
The pavilion at our new second ground is progressing well as are many of the other communal buildings on the new site. The football changing rooms, village hall and new shop close to our pavilion are all progressing at last. It remains uncertain whether the pavilion will be in use at the start of the season and we are also nervous about playing too much on a new (small) square. However if we can sort some facilities (temporary or permanent), a few colts and adult games will be played. One fixture which has been scheduled is the 2nd XI home game against Ifield 2s which will take place at Thakeham on Saturday 14th July, the day of the flower festival at West Chilt. However there will be a couple of games prior to this so watch the website to see when the first one will be!
The majority of the houses around the cricket square have now been sold whilst others (Phase 2) have been built and are being sold behind the show home. Work has started on the Village Hall and the timber frame of the Pavilion is targeted to arrive next month. The original plans for the Pavilion have been modified for easier construction. The square has been worked on by our friend Brian Fletcher who is groundsman at Ansty. (He has assisted Jim at West Chilt many times down the years). So as we stand now, we are confident we can start playing a few adult and colts games in 2018. The one proviso is that we have working changing rooms and other facilities needed for sports teams to play cricket at our new facility at Abingworth Meadows. But we're nearly there and more helpers will be needed! Thakeham Village FC suffered a setback as some of their players did not wish to move from Horsham so they are busy recruiting for September 2018. Some TVFC youth training has started and a few Ashington Cougars squads have started playing their home matches at Abingworth too. No changing facilities exist currently for the footballers.
A year has passed and houses around the cricket ground have started to be erected and some are selling. More houses are being erected behind the show home which is on the right of the cricket pitch. Of the communal buildings that Oakwood have committed to providing, the playgroup has come first which will be situated near Abingworth Hall. Then a new Village Hall and shop will be erected between Thakeham Village FC pitch and our cricket pitch before the current wooden hall can be demolished. Thakeham FC will start using their ground next September and so changing rooms will have to be erected on the left of the road up to the new development before our pavilion. Our building will be cited on the left of the playing area and we will need a storage facility for the mower etc. So the pavilion could be in place in a year's time but keep your fingers crossed and try and guess who will be our first opponents when we christen the ground officially!
The ground is now taking shape and the square has been worked on. The playing area is at least the size of West Chilt if not larger. We have two sightscreens in place already and a scoreboard to look at from some of Oakwood Homes new housing.
As a reminder, the Thakeham ground will take pressure off our existing playing facilities which are having to play a huge number of colts and adult matches. This is affecting us at the start and end of the season when we overlap with the football club. We will look to play some Sunday games there on a regular basis as well as making it the 3rd XI home base and play some T20s and Women's games there too in 2018.
For those that live in Abingworth (Central Thakeham), you will have noticed an increase in diggers and fencing on the fields adjacent to the main road. Our man in the know is former Chairman Neil Miller, who gave us the following update:
"It's taken a while to get going on the new houses in the village but the new housing and our new ground are at last moving forward. For those that are unaware of its exact location, the cricket pitch will be in the field beyond the football pitches next to the Storrington Road. You will notice that both the football pitches, and the field where the cricket pitch will be located, have been fenced off. This has happened to secure the area whilst contractors construct a new road from the main road along the side of the football pitches and into the field where the cricket ground will be positioned. A new shop, village hall and other communal buildings will be erected here. The new cricket pavilion will be sited the left hand corner of the ground.
I can report that the new pavilion will not be dissimilar in size to the wonderful creation we have at West Chilt. I've been engaging with the builder for some time now to ensure the cricket club has a voice and to ensure we get the best possible outcome in terms of ground and facilities. Clearly the roof on the new pavilion won't be as smart as West Chilt but the area inside at Thakeham will be similar to what we have today at the Rec."