The end but a new beginning.

Just when you thought it was safe to start reading your emails again along comes another blog. Well this should really be the final chapter with the pavilion now compete, opened and fully used, culminating with this the official opening.

Following are some pictures of the day starting with the main event.  The ribbon cutting by John & Marjorie Hawkins with Phil & Mary Herbert. Watched over by Simon Jones MBE, making sure Herb doesn’t cut himself. He was warned about holding anything sharp, which is probably why he struggling to cut through.

Soon after Simon unveiled a plaque commemorating the event.

Another unique and special moment came in the form of another unveiling, this time of our three friends who sadly are no longer with us. Margaret & Simon, Carolynne and Will perform the honour of revealing a lasting memento of three hugely influential people. Namely David, Billy and Bob.

Now lets go back to the start of the day. Early morning sunshine looked promising as volunteers and the women’s softball contestants arrived at Pounds Close. However we should all know by now not to become complacent with such things. True to form it started drizzling, which became more consistent rain as the morning progressed. This did not deter a band of ladies intent on performing and enjoying themselves. Starting off with the Zumba warm up. They had waited for the arrival of Don Pearce who was to lead the group but unfortunately he struggled to get into his leotard in time so they began without him.

Undaunted by the rain the ladies dispersed in their groups to play their games. 5 wickets were in play dotted around the outfield where the games took place.  Watched on by their supporters old and young alike. The whole area was ringing out with laughter and you could clearly hear and sense the fun they were having in what had now become quite persistent rain. Yours truly braved the elements to capture the moments, well if the girls are willing to play in the rain then who am I to deny taking their pictures.

above: Our very own Frocester girls who took part in the festival

To the sounds of ‘Rain drops keep falling on my head’, Singing in the rain’ and ‘Umbrella’ playing through the music system the girls carried on regardless. Oh how the people in the warm, dry pavilion chuckled.

Dripping wet and exhausted the ladies gathered in front of the clubhouse to hear a brief well done speech from GCCB’s Scott Tremain and a presentation followed. Each team receiving a bottle of procescco to do with as they wish. 

This really was a great family day and so it was the youth element of the club had their end of season presentations and awards. With the little ones from The All Stars programme each receiving praise and a little something.

Simon Jones joined in by bowling a few deliveries down to some of the lads.

Meanwhile burgers, hot dogs and later a hog roast was selling like they were going out of fashion. The T20 game fell victim to the weather. Although play was started a sudden downpour of biblical proportions wreaked havoc and any thoughts of returning after that was dismissed in an instant.

Speaking of divine intervention so it came to pass that as soon as the game was cancelled and the opening ceremony brought forward so it stopped raining and yes the sun came out just as the ceremony was taking place. I think Billy, Bob and David had had enough and sorted it out on our behalf.

The pictures of the ceremonies you have seen earlier in this blog. One you haven’t seen though is our new barman, he was a little shy to start with and didn’t know what to expect but he did well and nobody argued with him anyway. I know they say that dogs tend to look like their owners but flipping heck Birdy that’s going too far. 

Nice to see a few ex Gloucestershire players in attendance, Alex Gidman, Andy Stovold and David Partridge and equally important a few old stalwarts of the club from days past. Due to the game finishing early the bar was hit big time and regrettably people started to drift away earlier than planned and were not there to hear Stephen the Busker serenade us with his lovely gentle music into the night. The regulars were though and entertained we all were.

I hope that offers a glimpse of our very special day and on a personal note thank you for reading this tripe all through the winter and you will be pleased to know I probably won’t be around for the next opening so no more blogs!

Oops, I should also mention that the day also marked a special occasion for two stalwarts of the club, Dave & Sarah Poultney who celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary; congratulations guys.

 

 

 

 

Back in business – here endeth the blog.

Here we go then the final blog following the construction of the new pavilion. Friday 7th April 2017 will be etched in the club’s history as the keys are handed over to the club as we open for business a full two weeks ahead of schedule.

Mark from Fromebridge Construction hands over the key of the door to Chairman John Evans.  Well there appears to be more than one key actually. A key for the door, one for the alarm system, cellar door, window locks, store rooms and other systems control rooms. In fact Evo has given up cycling as he claims it will keep him fit just carrying all those keys around.

The low key ceremony; did you see what I did there, not like me to come up with a play on words. Anyway the hand over followed a couple of hours of going through the workings and mechanics of the systems in place to keep the building safe and secure. The brief exchange was followed by more work as some of the furniture arrived.  Maggie, Jane and Pistol carried on sanding down and re-varnishing the old benches. The final paint touching up was going on around us and the ‘invisible’ skittle alley was still being finished off.

Some of the attendees for today’s lectures in how to lock up and set the fire alarm.

 

I make no apologies for the length of this blog, which is mainly taken up with more pictures. So that means less waffle from the yours truly you will be pleased to read.

Here we see the astro turf effect matting in position on the stairs up to the balcony/changing rooms. Talking of the changing rooms below are pictures of the finished rooms fully carpeted and clean. Let’s hope the boys can keep them this clean and tidy. 

The entrance has a FCC welcome for all, a nice touch also are the stairs, decked out in the club colours. The top of the stairs lead to the passage along which can be found the Home and Away changing rooms (as shown above), a separate room with shower for the umpires and one also for ladies.

To the left as you enter past the stairs and lift are the disabled, ladies and gentlemen washrooms or more commonly known as loos, bogs, and other more Anglo Saxon names I could not possibly type here.

To the right one walks towards the bar area. A place where one can find local vagabonds, story tellers and jesters alike. More importantly some of the nicest friendliest people you would wish to meet. All with a common love for cricket and sport in general. 

    

The bar itself is ready and waiting for your business. Incidentally the bar is open from 12.30pm on Saturday 8th April. There are a couple of rugby matches on TV but it is also an opportunity for you all to view and marvel at what has been achieved following numerous years of fundraising and a lot of hard work.

Note also that on Sunday the 1st XI are playing a friendly against a Wiltshire XI at Pounds Close, so another chance to come and take a look.

The ground itself is looking wonderful, as usual, we just need the trees to grow this years foliage and it will be complete.

This is the view from the balcony, not a pretty sight I admit but he works well and is cheap!

We are still waiting for the bar stools to arrive but in the meantime Pistol has provided a couple of unique additions.

These pictures show some hardy souls who unselfishly gave up their time to try out the surroundings, test the seats and to check the bar is working properly before you all venture forth and sample the goods on offer. It was a dirty job but someone had to do it.

 

A lovely addition to the building came from Keith and Jane Wand who kindly provided some tubs and greenery adding a softening touch to the building by adding a little colour. Wandy, (or was really Monty Don?), was seen on his hands and knees with a trowel planting the shrubs like a true expert. Rumour has it that Keith lost his glasses whilst performing this arduous task so that makes two pairs he has lost now.

 

Well there you have it good people, that’s the last you will hear from me…alright, alright there’s no need to be like that!

There is still a little work to do but only minor things, there is more furniture to arrive but instead of me showing you pictures why don’t you come down and see for yourself. Pictures do not do it justice so you need to view in person. Without question you will be made most welcome as most of you know anyway. 

All these blogs can be found on the supporters club website: http://www.frocestercc.com (aka The Red Picket Fence). Here you can also go to the pavilion update page where a complete record throughout the build can be found. Any picture on there can be shown in a much larger format if you wish.

So as the sun sets over Poulter’s house I bid you all farewell.

The end.

Are we there yet?

Well avid readers of this blog it is nearly time to call it a day. The final week of work before the keys are handed over and the club opens for business this coming weekend. It has been a relatively short journey in the scheme of things. It has taken us from the demolition of the old pavilion, through a pleasant Autumn and indeed a very kind winter. We have watched with interest the rise of the new ‘Shack’ and marvel at the final construction.

We have lost some good friends along the way and the memories of Bob, David and Chris, a trio who worked tirelessly to get the project to where it is now will not be forgotten.  On a positive note we have also made some new friends and hopefully will continue to make even more with the club open to new members.

It has been fantastic the way everyone has pulled together to achieve this end result and are still doing so with kind and generous donations still being made to help furnish the new pavilion. Thanks to the club’s Project team for ensuring we have a building to be proud of for a very long time to come.

On a personal note I have taken pleasure from providing you all with regular updates. My PC is full of hundreds and hundreds of photographs so my next task will be to store them properly and clear up some space and memory. Although it has been a struggle at times especially falling ill at Christmas and losing the best part of 3 months as a result I have been grateful to Ali for helping by taking pictures for me whilst I have been unable to get out.

There will be one final blog and that will be Friday or Saturday, time permitting, once the keys to the club has been handed back over from the construction company Fromebridge Construction. It must be said what  a fine job they have done. From start to finish they have been fantastically professional with special praise to Mark who has been there throughout overseeing and coordinating everything and everyone.

Anyway I cannot finish without a few more pictures. Recent developments has seen the car park resurfaced on Monday. The dark tarmac compliments the building and it looks a very big area, but that is without any vehicles parked there of course. My understanding is parking bay white lines will be painted with disabled parking spots either side of the entrance. 

 

 

The scorers box has an uninterrupted view of proceedings during play.

 

Back inside the club the final touches are being made. The bar is coming together nicely and the shutter doors to separate the bar and the lounge works well. There are some mirrors to be positioned above the optics, which arrived yesterday. All this will be shown in the next and final blog at the weekend.

 

 

The carpet in the lounge is being fitted on Wednesday/Thursday. A professional clean of the bamboo floor will be carried out prior to the handover. A ramp is being ordered for easy access to the pavilion and a baby changing unit to be fitted are the only outstanding works to complete.

The building was ‘Air tested’ for efficiency yesterday by an independent company, who closed the building during this said test to check for any leakage of air which in turn would have affected the heating and I am happy to say it passed.

The council are due to in today (Tuesday) to hopefully give the final sign off and approve the construction.

Meanwhile work goes on outside in preparation of the season ahead and with a proposed friendly on Sunday the first track is currently being prepared.

There you have it, the last but one blog. keep watching for the final one at the weekend.

All hail the ale!

Just a few pictures today good people, but what pictures they are. Whilst on a routine visit to keep you all posted on any new changes so it was that St Austell turned up to off load some barrels of beer. Well who are we to refuse such a kind gesture.

Okay it says Bath Ales but they are now indeed owned by St Austell. It matters not as long as the beer is taken off the back and placed in our cellar.

The new cellar, which has been recently kitted out with all manner of pipes and tubes was ready and waiting. The new floor is very good as the barrels did not mark it in any way and with a drain in the middle it can be easily rinsed to keep it clean.

 

Here they all sit in just waiting to be tested. From left to right we have: Fosters, Heineken, Amstell, Thatchers Gold, Thatchers Haze, John Smiths and Guinness. Over to the right is one of 3 real ales.

Alas all is not what it seems, although actual kegs, they are there for testing purposes only at the moment just to check there is the right pressure throughout and it all flows as they should. Sorry the bar is not open for business just yet, bugger I hear you all shout!  A few more weeks and it well be however. 

Birdy has even found the till and is giving the old girl a good clean, whilst also checking for any iou’s.

The club has CCTV fitted throughout and a high level of security alarms all operational.  Much of the inside you have already seen in pictures previously although there is work going on all the time with the finer points of the construction industry. Don’t expect me to inform you what they are however as I haven’t got a clue. All I know is there are people fiddling with doors, plumbing, electrics, paint brushes, oh and yes, erecting a new fence outside.

Well that’s all I can offer today peeps. You should be happy in the knowledge that there will not be much more of this drivel as the building nears completion.

On a serious note I hope you have all found this interesting, watching the development of the new pavilion over the autumn, winter and now spring. I have quite enjoyed doing it I have to admit,  in fact I would be happy to do more. Perhaps I could start a business creating blogs, copy writing and other general nonsense. If any one reading this is interested please let me know. Seriously I would love to do this for a living, doing something I enjoy for a change.

I am very cheap to run, much like an old Morris Minor, so old I don’t need taxing, easily repaired when broken down, low emissions except after pickled onions, comes with a starting handle (easily wound up) and fuel efficient, a glass of gin and tonic and I am away. Just ask anyone who went on the trip to Twickenham a couple of seasons ago! 

 

Romeo, Romeo.

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Well the glass is in position with just the final fixings to add to the balcony. You will note also the scorers room has been glazed and is now secure. Just hope it is a sliding window for Andrew to be able to sell his ice creams. 

Very little words to add to this blog as the pictures say it all really, which is a poor excuse I know, but it is late plus I’m tired and emotional. I haven’t eaten yet and I could do with a drink. But please don’t worry about me, I’ll be alright.

The pictures below see the huge amount of work that has gone on downstairs with the bamboo floor laid in the bar area, skittle alley and the business end (toilets). Deano has been very active fitting the new bar top and very nice it is too. The bar area now is huge in comparison to the old one and the bar staff will need roller skates to get from one end to the other. We know what an impatient lot you can be when needing refreshments.

   

The concertina doors, which can be used to divide the lounge from the bar for a separate room if required are also up. 

The kitchen units are being constructed with the ‘hardware’ ready to be installed.

It appears the showers are all complete and that includes the umpires and ladies changing area. As shown in the pictures below; the big shower area is the away team changing area.

 

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Sorry that’s it for today, enjoy and be proud of what all your hard work and fundraising has achieved. Roll on spring and summer so we can all enjoy these excellent facilities.

 

 

A step in the right direction

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When I was told that the sides to the stairs and balcony work has commenced I thought it was a joke , I saw through that straight away. Indeed one can see right through because the sides and balcony front are glass, 25 mm thick, unbreakable glass and not just your ordinary window glass, which would have been a bit of a pane to fit.

The Bamboo floor panels have arrived and the floor will be completed in the next few days. Unless a wandering ’embarrassment’ of Panda’s happen to smell the bamboo and decide to help themselves to a feast.

Reference: Pandas are solitary animals and are rarely seen in groups, which is why it was hard to find the collective name, ’embarrassment’ seems to be the most popular through my research.  Other names found include a ‘Cupboard’ or ‘Sleuth’ (as in bears). 

There you go, just to confirm that this blog is just not thrown together in a blind panic without thought……well it is really I suppose, most of the time. 

Anyway a few more pictures for you, especially for our illustrious Chairman, Evo and bar manager, Birdy who happen to be the other side of the world enjoying the delights of New Zealand. 

Whilst mentioning the bar it worth noticing that the drinks will be well chilled this year with the installation of new cooling unit and extractor fans in the cellar. The bar top has yet to be fitted but will be by the end of this month I have been informed. 

Externally we see the patio area nearing completion, the balcony floor laid and wiring being installed into the scorers box.

The kitchen has been cleared ready to fit the work units, Range and dishwasher etc. Note the new kitchen door with glass panels. Everywhere will have so much more natural light than before.

The ‘comms’ box is up along with a nest of wires leading to some 50 USB ports dotted around the building, ceiling mounted loudspeakers throughout and a couple of TV’s to cater for. The USB ports allowing easy access to recharge your batteries on phones and laptops. This box will also be home to the SKY & BT boxes and Amplifier, when sourced. 

Finally, for today anyway, we see  work being carried out on the car park to the side of the new pavilion, tidying up the area, which below sits the huge capacity water tanks, collecting the rain water from around the building for use on the square. Next week promises to see to major changes with the bar top, the floor and balcony all completed. The whole project is only just over a month away from completion now.

 

 

Smoothing out a rough bottom.

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A brief interruption to the normal blog today viewers as we travel down the road a short distance from Pounds Close. I followed my nose and ended up in the land of pigs, Bridge Farm. Here a gallant band of Frocester stalwarts have for the past two weekends been working away renovating the old pews. Sanding down, scraping and general rubbing of wood with vibrating hand held machinery. 

A brave and noble effort as the accompanying aroma of the many nearby pigs was certainly not a joy to behold. Feet covered in muck and straw, grunting and snorting, eating anything they could find the nearby pigs must have wondered who these people were.

Seriously these guys are certainly worthy of a name check as they have worked very hard indeed: Paul & Maggie Mukasa, Pete & Jane Davis, Wendy Hawkins, Andrew Marston and Ali Bray.

Here we see a wood stripping expert and an expert on just stripping, reloading his vibrator.

By the end of this second weekend the guys have become very attached and fond of these benches they have been stripping and rubbing so lovingly and diligently. So much so they have affectionately given each seat a name:
Pew, Pew, Barney, McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble & Grubb. Sorry just had to get that one in!

As I mentioned a brief interlude from the work up at the pavilion but these old pews will take on a new lease of life once they have finally been stripped and waxed. They will be placed back up at the ‘New Shack’ adding a touch of character combined with some nostalgia for many more years to come. All down to these kind and hardworking good people. 

Cut out the middle man!

Well I must report on an interesting development in the new kitchen my loyal readers. The photographs clearly show a series of toilet units lined up along two walls. This raises two questions: One is this an attempt to cut out the middle man and flush the food away immediately thus saving on the need for a dishwasher. Well we do need to save some money.

Question two could be that the kitchen, when not in use will become a communal bathroom. Well the extractor fan is in place you will note and I did make mention in my last blog that on a busy day the normal facilities may not cope with the demand. This could lead to numerous more toilet humour style jokes so I will stop right there!

Next up we will note that the bar and cellar floors are in the process of having several layers of a special coating painted on. This substance is waterproof and more importantly beer proof so will not stain or mark and can be washed. The cellar floor has additional layers to stop any ‘chips’ if anything is dropped etc. The smell of the ‘paint’ was horrendous and I am sure that will go when it dries.

The Cellar

The bar floor shown above shows the penultimate layer just having been painted. Unfortunately I cannot report on the new counter being started yet but I am sure it will in due course.

It looks like tea and cake on the patio this summer or for the more adventurous maybe a Pimms or two sat underneath some fancy umbrellas? The slabs are being laid and it increases in size on a daily basis it seems. The only thing to spoil the summer party will be the cricket going in front of you. All that shouting and swearing, running around and falling over but I am sure the players will get used to our little indiscretions in time.

Finally Andrew or Adrian as I sometimes call him for no other reason than I get my mucking words fuddled up at times. A Pandora’s box of delights await him. Hmm, perhaps I may call him Pandora from now on? Anyway it is coming along nicely  and the pictures show that hopefully. The inside shot is a little worrying however as I can see no electric cables etc in readiness for all the equipment to be plugged in. That is a later addition probably though as the electronic scoreboard is still to be moved around the corner a little yet.

When Pandora is not scoring in his room it does offers a good spot to sell ice cream from I fancy. A nice freezer along the back wall and away we go. Hope they get the electrics sorted in that case otherwise they will melt quite quickly with the hot sunny summer ahead that we all wish for.  Another idea maybe is a walk by fast food outlet. What are you like cooking burgers and chips, I have heard you can whip up a wicked kebab Andrew?

Not many exciting pictures today my friends as there is a lot of things like painting and decorating going on. I will attempt to capture more next week when hopefully the bar top fitting may have started, more patio slabs have been laid and so on.