The new ground is located on Church Street, Bowerchalke, Wiltshire, SP5 5BB. If you are coming from Salisbury, the entrance to the ground is located on the left hand side of the road about 50m after the church as you go through the village. Enter through the small car park and please park on the ground in front of the hedge
‘Getting more kids playing and loving cricket is the key to the game’s future. I wish Chalke Valley Cricket Club all the best luck in fulfilling their dream of building a new ground.’ KEVIN PIETERSEN, ENGLAND CAPTAIN
CHALKE VALLEY CRICKET CLUB
24th November 2008
We have had a vision of the future. It is 27th June 2010, and Chalke Valley Cricket Club are playing their first match at their stunning new cricket ground. It nestles between the open fields that lie between the silver-stone church in Bowerchalke and the rolling chalk downs of Marleycombe Hill in South-West Wiltshire. Not a road can be seen; barely a house either.
In one corner of the ground lies the new pavilion. It’s a traditional wooden structure and were it not for the gleaming white paint, it looks as though it has been there for seventy years already. Sixty-five yards away, two sets of stumps mark the freshly cut strip where the match is about to be played out. The far side of the ground, magnificent twin practice nets ruffle gently in the summer breeze, where a number of children are practising, hoping one day they might emulate their heroes and play for England.
It is 11 o’clock in the morning, the sun is high and from Marleycombe, the skylarks are singing. Out onto the wooden veranda stride the captain and his team. Down the front steps they trot, and then they walk purposely out to the middle. In a few minutes time, the first ball of the first match at Chalke Valley CC’s new ground will be bowled…
We very much hope this dream, to create a new ground for the Chalke Valley Cricket Club in Bowerchalke, will become a reality. Why June 2010? Because on that date, the Bunbury All Stars Cricket Club are coming to Bowerchalke to play Chalke Valley CC at the new ground. It should be a wonderful day – a chance to meet and watch cricketing stars past and present, such as Sir Vivian Richards, David Gower, Graham Gooch, Graham Thorpe, Barry Richards, Allan Lamb and Wasim Akram. There will be food and drink, stalls, an auction, and a display by a Spitfire, to name but a few of the attractions. We hope it will be a very memorable day and think it the perfect way to mark what will become a long history of cricket played at the Butt’s Field Ground.
That we are able to move to this stunning new site at all is due to the enormous generosity and community mindedness of Carole Rawle, who owns the land, and of her daughter, Liz, who farms it. The Bunbury game gives us a focus and incentive to raise the required funds. Our target to make the new ground and pavilion a reality is £150,000 –but we know that we will achieve with your support.
This is our chance to create the most stunning environment in which to play cricket, and a new focus for the community in Bowerchalke. It will be a place in which children can learn to develop their skills and a love of the game that will last all their lives, and an opportunity to ensure that cricket is enjoyed in the Valley by all ages for many generations to come.
Please help us to provide this for the future of the Chalke Valley and to fulfil our dream.
With all our thanks,
Peter Walker, Chairman
CHALKE VALLEY CRICKET CLUB TODAY
Chalke Valley Cricket Club is a thriving, buoyant club. We pride ourselves on our camaraderie, and on maintaining an extremely friendly atmosphere where new players of any age, ability and background are welcome. We believe cricket is first and foremost, to be enjoyed; we play to win, but not at all costs.
We now have a number of ECB qualified coaches and last summer we began coaching for Under 11s and Under 9s. In 2009, we will be offering coaching for Under 14s and Under 17s as well. We firmly believe that nurturing a love of the game at an early age is the key to the Club’s future.
We also recognize that to survive and to maintain a long-term future, the Club needs to grow. We need more playing members and particularly more junior members. Sadly, that will be difficult to achieve at the Chalke Valley Sports Centre site. Cricket has been played at Broad Chalke for over fifty years now, but competition for the use of the space, especially as other clubs grow and become more successful, is limiting that ability to develop. There are also health and safety issues arising from the close proximity of the wicket (and hence cricket balls) to the Newtown Road, MUGA, and the children’s Skate Park and play areas, that also threaten to undermine and jeopardize the Club’s future.
WHY IS A NEW CRICKET GROUND NEEDED?
Butt’s Field in Bowerchalke is seven acres, giving us the chance to create a proper-sized playing area and with enough room to develop practice areas too. More people – especially junior groups – will be able to play and practise at any one time.
Butt’s Field will be a cricket ground first and foremost and there will no longer be any competition for space with other sports clubs.
The Club will be able to play cricket in complete safety both to themselves and, importantly, to others.
The new ground gives us the opportunity to build a properly laid square with the correct loam, which will provide a very good, safe and true-playing surface. The outfield will also provide for a better playing surface.
It also means we can lay the square north-south, rather than east-west, thus preventing the setting sun getting in the eyes of batsmen and bowlers.
The artificial wicket at Broad Chalke is almost due for renewal. Yet new developments in non-turf wickets mean we can build an artificial wicket at the new ground that will last for many years to come.
The new pavilion promises to be a stunning, traditional wooden structure – the quintessential village cricket pavilion, which will provide the focus for the Club and an asset to the Chalke Valley Sports Centre.
WHAT ABOUT THE CHALKE VALLEY SPORTS CENTRE?
We will remain a part of the Chalke Valley Sports Centre. Butt’s Field will be a satellite of CVSC.
By moving to Bowerchalke, the Cricket Club is proving that CVSC is not Broad Chalke-centric and underlining the point that CVSC and the Clubs within it were always intended to represent and be available for the entire Valley, not just Broad Chalke
WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE FUTURE OF THE CLUB AND FOR CRICKET IN THE CHALKE VALLEY
The new ground will provide a public playing space for the children and wider community in Bowerchalke. Since the 1970s, Bowerchalke has lost its (original) cricket ground, school, pub, shop and Post Office. The new ground will provide a new focus that we hope will reinvigorate the Village.
In a recent progress report on the Four Rivers Community Plan (which includes the Chalke Valley), the provision of leisure and sporting facilities, and activities for teenagers were seen as priorities for future development.
The new ground will fulfil both those aims. Sport plays an important role in the happy and healthy upbringing of children. It provides exercise, companionship, an opportunity to make friends, and helps develop an understanding of team spirit and discipline.
The setting and environment in which the game is played is possibly of greater importance for cricketers than it is for any other sport. Quite simply, cricketers like playing on beautiful grounds and in a stunning setting.
And with a beautiful ground, we will increase our membership and offer more opportunities for youth cricket. We will attract visiting sides. And we will be able to rent the ground to other sides, which will help us fund-raise in the future and enable us to provide even better facilities and opportunities, particularly for the young. This in turn will bring new interest and business to the Valley.
In the current era, the simple pavilion structures of the past are no longer permissible. There are numerous government and Sport England guidelines with which we have to comply, including the numbers of toilets, issues of disabled access, health & safety requirements and so on.
As a result, building a new ground costs a considerable amount of money. However, when it is completed, it will be a great asset to the Village and Chalke Valley as a whole, and will provide the perfect cricket ground where cricketers will play and love the game for many generations to come.
The Chalke Valley Cricket Club has begun the process of raising money through events and activities. We are also fortunate that so many of the Members are willing to give considerable time in labour. This gift in kind will help reduce the amount we are trying to raise.
THE FUNDS WE NEED
PHASE I – BY MAY 2009
£21,000 Preparation and laying new square and outfield
PHASE II – BY SEPTEMBER 2009
£10,000 Non-turf wicket installation
PHASE III – BY MAY 2010
£80,000 Pavilion construction
PHASE IV – in the future
£20,000 Practice area construction
HOW TO DONATE
There are three ways:
1. By writing a cheque made payable to ‘Chalke Valley Cricket Club New Ground.’
2. By completing a standing order.
3. By direct bank transfer.
Chalke Valley Cricket Club New Ground bank account:
Sort code: 40-40-14
Account Number: 42020998
Please complete the enclosed form indicating your method of payment and whether you want your donation to remain anonymous to:
Chalke Valley Cricket Club New Ground Appeal
Wiltshire SP5 5HT
ANY HELP, LARGE OR SMALL, IS HUGELY APPRECIATED