Allestree's New Pavilion
With the Gala days bringing in the funds for the new pavilion project, a start was made after the cricket season of 1980 with phase 1 of the project which was the new changing rooms, umpires room, toilets and showers. Once the new changing rooms came into use, the old changing pavillion was gutted of it's internal walls and made into a temporary tea room and the old team room became the store for the roller and various other equipment. This in turn was replaced by a pre-fabecated building in around 2000.
Phase 2 of the project was the knocking down of the old changing rooms and building an extension to for the new clubroom which has all the required tea facilities. This started after the 1987 season and was officially opened in 1988.
Before this, improvements were made in the old pavilion and tea hut and within my living memory, was running water and electric put in. Before this all water for the tea pavilion was collected from a tap at the bottom of the ground near to the bowling green and heated up by gas. It was this method and the leaving of the gas on which burnt down the old tea rooms on 7th May 1948, according to the club's minute book "it caused the grevous loss to the club of 25 deck chairs, crockery, cupboard, trestle tables etc".
In the changing rooms a single sink was the only washing facility. At the back of the changing room pavilion there was a black shed which housed the roller. The roller appeared to be an old road motor road roller and was an open affair and quite big. It was more than capable of pulling the heavy roller via a conecting rod made of a scaffolding tube. This was quite handy as we all hated pulling the big roller which was a 2 foot diameter metal tube filled with concrete. In the late 1970's the engine gave out and an engine from a Reliant Robin was fitted along with it's 4 speed gear box. This gave the roller "GT" performance and a top speed unknown to the roller of well over 20MPH! This was capable in forward or reverse as it was fitted with a reversing gearbox. After this finally gave out in the late 1980's the current roller was purchased, this being a far more stately affair with regard to perfomance.
No toilets were provided and the rec facilities by the gates were used, these being opened in 1959, what happened before then was anyones guess. The site of both teams walking across to these after tea now being a long and distant memory. These toilets have now been closed as part of the Council's efforts to save money.
Plans are now being developed with the view of possibly upgrading these facilities in the not too distant future.
A view of the start of the new changing rooms in 1980. The Billy Oates scorebox is in the foreground and the
changing pavilion with the old roller shed at the back are in the middle with the tearoom in the background.
It was in the tearoom sitting in the second set of windows along that I use to man the pop and chocolate stall
in the late 60's and early 70's. From here my intrest in cricket grew. The pop was supplied by Carter's of
Derby and came in wooden crates. The flag poles use to have the Allestree Cricket Club flag flying from
them on match days.
A front view of the old changing room pavilion. I am not sure when this was built but I suspect it was the late
1920's as all pictures before this show the team in front of the old square pavilion which I think was built around
1905 and then used as the tea hut after this one was built. The heavy roller described above can be seen
between the sightscreen and pavilion. The scorers used to sit in the opening to the left hand side of the door,
the scoreboard was on the far side of the pavilion until the new scorebox was opened. It was here that
Mrs Pam Chambers and the later Mrs Hall (then Eileen Rose) taught me to score. Another famous scorer in the
1950's was Gill Hubbard (now Mayer) the wife of the former test umpire Barry. Gill still attends the cricket
club's annual dinner.
Also on the far side of the pavilion was a concrete practice wicket on which a coconut mat was placed.
A snowy picture of the now completed shell of the changing rooms. The light roller can be seen to the left of
the old pavilion.
The old pavilion has now been demolished to make way for phase 2, the shell of which is waiting for the roof
to go on.