Temperatures may be struggling to get above zero outside, but Hyde Cricket and Squash Club has been hard at work to make sure facilities off the field match the high class play they produce on the field.
For the last couple of years, the club has been upgrading its facilities to make it one of the most desirable grounds in the region.
Most recently the bar and function room facilities at the Werneth Low ground have been completely overhauled in a project that will eventually cost in the region of £50,000.
Club secretary John Buckley said: “As you would expect, work has had to stop from time to time, as it has at present, but we have nevertheless worked steadily throughout the summer and winter months.
“I’m sure everyone will agree the clubhouse has been completely transformed.”
The improvements have come at a time when most clubs are looking to tighten the purse strings, however Hyde are determined to show their commitment to the cricket and squash club by continuing the project that began with improving and modernising the club’s nets, including the poly-tunnel nets that allows training to take place in the most severe conditions.
“Like many similar clubs and small businesses we have suffered financially, but we have tried to turn things to our advantage by bringing forward our renovations to coincide with lockdown,” John said.
“That way income that is naturally lost when any business closes for such renovations is at least partly mitigated. We have also had the time to get a great deal of the work done ourselves.”
John was keen to extend his thanks to a number of volunteers who have given up many hundreds of hours of their own time.
“Ian White, Eddie Griffin and Dave Butterworth have worked particularly hard throughout the last year,” revealed John.
He also singled out a local tradesman, by adding: “We are also grateful for the work carried out by Tom Parrott, of The HeatSave Company, who worked on his own for most of last summer, constructing a new orangery and carrying out extensive remedial work, including replacement windows and doors.”
The season may seem some way off, particularly with snow covering much of the borough recently, but there are less than 100 days before the first ball is due to be bowled and, restrictions permitting, club officials will be keen to welcome all-comers to view and sample the new facilities for themselves.