21 April 2022

Linley & Simpson were happy to help ahead of the first-team game that christened the eye-catching structure, which cost more than £500,000 and took more than a year to build. The club’s old pavilion was ruined in an arson attack back in August 2019.

Olicanian Cricket Club played at their home pavilion for the first time in two years when they faced Harden on Saturday.

The first-team game against Harden christened the eye-catching structure, which cost more than £500,000 and took more than a year to build.

The club’s old pavilion was ruined in an arson attack back in August 2019, which plunged the club into the darkest period in its revered 100-year history.

Sat inside the roof arch is a British-made two-sided clock measuring almost a metre across, which has been donated by ourselves and sister company, Dale Eddison.

“We’re always looking for things we can do locally that will give something back to the area,” said our Chief Executive, Nick Simpson. “This was the perfect opportunity.”

Bill Dale from Dale Eddison has been involved at Olicanian Cricket Club for much of his life and Nick feels “it was a perfect tie-up for us. It’s certainly a magnificent building.”

Bill Dale said: “I’ve been involved with Olicanians for 35 years and the clock sits perfectly under the roof. I think everyone at the club is excited that the pavilion is finally done and Dale Eddison and Linley & Simpson are pleased to have been able to contribute in a small way.”

The new clubhouse will be named after long-serving chairman, David House, who died after a long illness. Mr House, who had dedicated his life to the club for more than three decades, had hoped to see the building opened after completion.

Sadly, this could not happen, but 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.

“We’re absolutely thrilled with the appearance of the building and the facilities it offers us,” said club president Mick Christopher.

“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 said: “The building is light, uplifting and contemporary but very recognisable as a cricket pavilion. It takes full advantage of its enviable 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.

“The chosen materials require minimal maintenance ensuring it will look as good in 50 years as it does today.”

He added: “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 for a dinner and it also boasts a commercial kitchen and a functional bar.”

A formal opening of the pavilion is due to take place next month when the public will be invited to look around the building.

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.”

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