Replacing Casuals’ pavilion

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I am sure that anyone who has either visited or driven past the Recreation Ground at Icklesham recently will have noticed the sorry state of the sports pavilion. The present pavilion was built in 1959 and donated to the village by the Merricks family in memory of Walter Merricks. At the time it was one of the finest buildings of its kind in the area. However, the changing facilities are now in urgent need of modernisation.

The changing rooms have been vandalised a number of times in the last year or so but the most recent occasion was the worst. I haven’t actually been inside the building myself but I understand it was broken into and trashed with the windows covered in whitewash and some of the cricket equipment also sprayed, obscenities were left on the walls. The taps were left on so the building was flooded and a couple of chairs were also broken.

Initial plans have been drawn up and discussions are taking place with Icklesham Parish Council to agree a size and location for any new building and to move the project forward when funding grants can be applied for. The current facilities are used by Icklesham Casuals Football Club, Icklesham Stoolball Club and Rye Cricket Club and a major aim of the new pavilion is to increase participation in sport locally especially among young people.

The project has a great deal of support in the village with much fund-raising already having taken place. Fund-raising events to date include sponsored walks, quiz nights, themed nights held in Icklesham Memorial Hall and Golf Challenges.

One fund-raiser we would like to bring to your attention is the monthly lottery run by the local sports clubs. This costs just £1 per month which can be paid either monthly or half-yearly by standing order or in cash with a minimum payment of £6 to cover six draws. The lottery at present has five monthly prizes totalling £105 with a top prize of £50. Prizes increase as membership of the lottery rises. To date the lottery has raised over £3000 towards the new sports pavilion with a similar amount being paid out in prizes.

The July lottery draw was held at the Icklesham fete when the winners were – 1st prize £50 Janet Pegg, 2nd prize £25 Mags Baker, 3rd prize £15 Tony Barber, 4th prize £10 Alf Mayne, 5th prize £5 Ann Rachlin.

New members of the lottery are always welcome so if anyone would like to join and help make the proposed new sports facility become a reality application forms can be obtained by emailing Icklesham Casuals Football Club.

For more information about the Icklesham New Pavilion Project including other fund-raising events please visit the Facebook page .

[Editorial note : “The Blakeys” band feature in a fundraising evening for the new pavilion in Icklesham Memorial Hall from 7:30pm-11:45pm on September 5. Tickets £5]

Photo: David Mayne

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