Olicanian Cricket Club finally played at their home pavilion for the first time in two years when they faced off against Harden on Saturday.
The first-team game was a landmark moment for the eye-catching structure, which cost upwards of £500,000 and took over a year to build.
The club’s old home was ruined in an arson attack at the pavilion in August 2019, which plunged the club into the toughest times in its history, which goes back more than 100 years.
Alongside Linley & Simpson, we have gladly donated a British-made two-sided clock, which sits inside the roof arch and measures nearly a metre across.
Our Area Sales Manager, Bill Dale, has contributed to Olicanian Cricket Club for most of his life, and has a rich affinity with the club.
Bill said: “I’ve been involved with Olicanians for 35 years and the clock sits perfectly under the roof. Everyone at the club is excited that the pavilion is done and Dale Eddison and Linley & Simpson are pleased to have been able to contribute.”
Linley & Simpson CEO, Nick Simpson, is equally glad to give back to the local community.
“We’re always looking for things we can do locally that will give something back to the area. This was the perfect opportunity – it’s certainly a magnificent building.”
The brand new clubhouse will be named after late chairman, David House, who died after a long illness having dedicated his life to the club for more than 30 years.
The club will honour him at an official ceremony in May.
The pavilion was designed by Ilkley architect Bill Horsley who has worked on the project for free. The structure sits on a concrete platform raised off the ground to protect it from flood risk and has a spectacular view of the Cow and Calf rocks.
Club President, Mick Christopher said: “We’re absolutely thrilled with the appearance of the building and the facilities it offers us.
“We are confident that not only is this a place where the cricket club can thrive, but that it brings a new venue to Ilkley for people and organisations looking to host their own events.”
Mr Horsley is proud of the project: “The building takes full advantage of its position with views to Ilkley Moor. The expanding pitched roof that slices through the function room terminating at a point emphasises the view and gives the external appearance an individual character.
“It was always important that the new clubhouse could be hired out for functions to deliver sustainable finances to the club in the future. It can seat up to 80 people and also boasts a commercial kitchen and a functional bar.
“The chosen materials require minimal maintenance ensuring it will look as good in 50 years as it does today.”
Olicanians have had so much support since the fire from people within the club, across Wharfedale and beyond, from other league cricket clubs and from numerous organisations. Mick Christopher also said: “This is the club’s centenary year and we are keen to put a traumatic period behind us and look forward to a brighter future.
“We would like to place on record our sincere appreciation to everyone involved. They know who they are, in particular, Bill Horsley and trustees James Turner and Steve Bailey, without whom we wouldn’t have this magnificent building.”
A formal opening of the pavilion is due to take place next month when the public will be invited to look around the building.