Redevelopment update – part two

Tuesday 9th November 2010

At the end of September, the club began its extensive redevelopment programme at the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury and it“s been all go ever since.

New retractable floodlights, a two-storey dressing room block, pristine members“ facilities in a refurbished pavilion and a smartened Cowdrey stand are the initial stages of this winter“s refurbishment scheme.

Work is continuing at a fast pace. Below, read all of the things that have happened since last month“s first update.

The floodlights have started to be manufactured. The plan is to have them up for the start of the season. In terms of light quality, they are as good as anything in world cricket. They perform to a standard that allows high definition broadcasting and are retractable. It means that we can host Sky Sports matches in HD and there will also be limited impact on the skyline. The manufacturers, Abacus, are a first rate partner. They have already installed lights at Lord“s, Trent Bridge and the Brit Insurance Oval. There will be five masts; three on the hospital side and two on the Old Dover Road side of the ground.

War memorials
The war memorials have been moved. They were removed last week by a local stonemason and are now in safe storage. They will be a central feature on the new entrance square, on the Old Dover Road side of the ground, and will be reinstated in due course. Intriguingly a water feature was found underneath where the Blythe memorial was built. The club is interested to know if anyone has any recollection of this feature.

Dressing rooms
All of the asbestos has now been removed and work will begin next week on the dressing rooms. A second storey is being added, which will double the space, in each dressing room, and greatly improve the flat roof that currently fills the gap between the pavilion and the annex. Again, these will be ready for the start of next season.

The Chiesman Pavilion
The pavilion has been cleared of asbestos and the internal areas have been gutted. Work is about to commence and we see it as the centrepiece of the redeveloped ground. Another intriguing element is the finding of a horseshoe. It was located above the doors in the centre of the pavilion, above the Invicta horse crest, and someone obviously placed it there to bring the club good luck. Again, we are after the story behind that – if anyone can help.

The Colin Cowdrey Stand
Plans are progressing nicely for refurbishment of the Harris and the Cornwallis Rooms. Work is expected to start early in the new year.

Nackington Road entrance
The Nackington Road entrance is being improved. The new redeveloped entrance will provide better site lines, more space, a hard standing parking area inside the ground and a proper roadway, which will link up with the main drive. The main entrance, on Old Dover Road, will be closed for a period of time in the new year so that the drive can be reinstated to a public highway standard.

A number of trees have been removed. As part of the overall landscaping of the ground, there will be considerable replanting.

On the Bellway sites, work continues at pace with the footings now in place on the net site. We are looking for members and supporters to give their thoughts on the names of the new sites. You can read more on this story by clicking here.

Overall, the club has made a positive start and it is nice to see things visually underway. We are now hoping for some kind, sympathetic weather over the next few months. At this early stage, Cardy Construction are proving to be a good local partner.

Picture:Sarah Ansell