This week we spoke to Chiswick CC, a club where the facilities have improved significantly in recent years, allowing the club the best possible chance to thrive.
What ground improvements have taken place at Chiswick?
Since obtaining agreement on a long-term lease from London Borough of Hounslow, Chiswick CC has completely transformed its home, the former Fullers Brewery ground, over the past six years. An extension to the pavilion has been built, incorporating five new changing rooms; a new, fully-enclosed three-lane net facility has been installed; as well as a new non-turf pitch; plus, major refurbishment works have also been undertaken to the pavilion’s social space and bar. In addition, the club’s most recent major project was the construction of 15m high, ball-stop netting, to mitigate against balls leaving the ground. This was an existential threat to the club’s future, with an increasing number of balls being hit into neighbours’ gardens, square of the wicket.
As a result, the club commissioned a ball-strike risk assessment from Labosport, a leading authority on the subject nationwide. The report highlighted the scale of the risk presented on the club’s western boundary, located just 45m from the square’s end wicket. Given the potential for criminal liability (existing public liability insurance would have been invalidated), the club took immediate steps to take out of use the end wickets whilst a solution was developed.
Post the granting of planning permission, active and generous help was provided by London Borough of Hounslow and ECB, enabling the club to commission the netting’s construction, securing the club’s future – whilst not being the eyesore that some had feared. The project is an excellent example of a club working with local stakeholders to achieve outcomes which worked for all.
What else happens at Chiswick?
The facilities are some of the best in the area and the club has a playing aspiration to match: members and visitors have access to great playing, practice, and social facilities. The club host five Saturday men’s sides in the MCCL, plus MDL, Cup and friendly XIs on Sundays. A new women’s section started last summer and they had their first intra-club match this July, whilst competitive girls teams are also planned for 2022. There are currently around 200 boys and girls in the junior section – from All Stars and Dynamos at the younger end, right the way through to Middlesex Youth Cup and Under 19 T20 teams. Chiswick are also proud to be the home of Middlesex Disability Cricket.
Chiswick is a club on an upward trajectory in every aspect, and there has never been such a rapid change in the club’s circumstances than over this period. All this has happened without losing the club’s key attributes of friendliness, diversity, and a commitment to playing cricket in the right spirit whilst being an important part of the local community. If you are in the area, be sure to go and check out the ground’s facilities!