Thursday, 30 October 2014

Official opening of Pavilion and cafe plus community cricket

Here is another post that should have been written many weeks ago.

The Pavilion building, as people may recall, had an extensive renovation to bring it back into use. The efforts of Lewisham Greenscene have to be applauded. First, the dry rot within the building was far more widespread than had originally been expected, going right into the rafters. Then, just as things appeared to be improving, it was discovered that the foul water drainage ( sewage pipework to you and me) had collapsed a long time before and this would be a hugely expensive job to put right.
Thames Water contractors dug a very deep vertical shaft right in the middle of the front garden to Grow Mayow, the community garden behind the Pavilion . The deep shaft then continued horizontally under Mayow Road to link with the mains sewage system. For a while, the entrance gate by the Pavilion was closed to all park users due to this major work.Without this work there would be no chance of public toilets in the park and using a Portaloo is not the most exciting experience.
Iris and Erika run the community garden so  their garden and their activities were overturned for many months in order for the deep excavations and essential repairs to take place.
With the sewage system back in working order and the work on the Pavilion nearly complete, Lewisham shortlisted for potential businesses to run a cafe on the ground floor of the Pavilion. Twin sisters Jess and Laura of Brown and Green Cafe were chosen and they opened their cafe in early August.
The sports changing facilities on the top floor of the pavilion were kitted out and ready for our cricket home teams.

Finally, on 31st August, came the official opening of the Pavilion, together with the start of  a one-week cricket festival. Here are photos of the official opening with  Councillor Rachel Onikosi delivering a speech, Susan Wise cutting the ribbon, Councillor Alan Hall,  plus the cafe owners Jess and Laura with their children.

 It was good to see a large, supportive crowd of people. Among the gathering was Peter Ranken, without whom the long process would not have started. His interest in cricket, meetings with Mike Gatting and the English Cricket Board, applying for grants to create a cricket square and plans for the Pavilion, paved the way to what is now a valued building, two home cricket teams and a wonderful cafe.
Many thanks to Martin Hyde for these photos.

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