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Grand Opening of Haywards Heath Cricket Pavilion

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 18 September 1900



As stated in our last issue Haywards Heath Recreation is now in the possession of the pavilion which it has much needed since its opening in 1897. The architectural appearance of the new building was described In our last. Though finished too late for use this cricket season, the formal opening ceremony on Wednesday was associated with the wind-up match of the Haywards Heath Club for 1900, and as the weather was of the most pleasant character play was watched by hundreds of spectators, the scene on the Recreatlon Ground being unusually animated. The Town Band was in attendance throughout the afternoon.

The opening ceremony look place at four o'clock, at which time Councillors T. Bannlster, J.P. (Chairman the Urban District Council), Longley and Plummer, ex- Councillor Higgs, Mr. E. Waugh (Clerk to the Council), the Rev T.G.Wyatt, The Rev. C.G. Hodgson, Mr. L. Backshall (surveyor to the Council) and Deputy Chief Constable Smith were among those assembled in the vicinity of the pavilion. Addressing the company, Mr BANNISTER said it was the wish of the Council that not only cricketers but all frequenting the ground should use the pavilion. The idea of the building had been some time about, and there had been many difficulties, but they had been all overcome; and they might congratulate themselves on having a really handsome and substantial building. Thanks were largely due to the vicar, who had energetically collected such a considerable sum (applause)– towards the cost. They also to thank Mr Pannett for giving his services as architect; Mr Kent, the builder who had carried out his works so well; and the owner and tenant of St. Clair for assenting to the erection of the pavilion on that site. Without that consent the council would have had considerable difficulty. That the building was complete, it stood in need of some articles of furniture, and if anyone would like to give a subscription the vicar would be pleased to receive it. (Applause).

Mr Bannister then said he had pleasure in declaring the building open, and having unlocked the door and entered, the little ceremony came to a close. Cheers were given for Mr Bannister and the urban council on the call of Mr Thring, Captain of the club and after this the match was resumed but for some time there was a constant stream of visitors making an inspection of the pavilion.


The cricket match was the first 11 of the Haywards Heath v the next 22, in which the 11 proved victorious by four wickets. Score:-


In the evening a dinner was provided at the Corn Exchange, about 100 sitting down. Mr BANNISTER occupied the chair, being supported by the Rev. T.G. Wyatt, the Rev. C.G. Hodgson, DR. P.G. Griffith, Mr C.Higgs, Mr L.C.W.Thring, Mr C.H.Waugh, Mr E. Waigh and Mr E. Whinney. Mr. A.R. Pannett was in the vice-chair, and others present were Messrs, G.W. Austen (Hon.. Secretary), H. Attree, R.S. Burstow, H.W.Beach, G.Balchin, E.Bolton, R.Beesley, F.H. Beeny, F.Bailey, G.Clarke, F.Cheall, W.Chrisp, A.H.Chart, W.Comber, G.W. Cramp, W.Cooper, Cope, Cook, D.Davies, H.E.Davies, H.Finch, A.Finch, G. F. Favorke, H. E. Fisher, W. Floate, G. Field, R. J. Gates, W. Goaring, A. Gisoon, W. G. Hart, Holdsworth, A. Hole, O. Holman (Ardingly), G. Hilton. R. Humphrey. J. Howe (Cuckfleld), S. Jenner, W. G. Jeffery. A. B. Jeffery, E. Jupp. W. Jolly, W. Jennings. E. J. Kent, H. Jerred, W. R Kimber, R, Longley, W. C. Lloyd, H. Long, E. J. Markwick, J. Markwick, E. Manison, H, Packham, H. Plummer, S. Pelrce. F. Perl, S. Pitcher. J. Pilkington, W. Packham, F. Roberts (Burgess Hill), B.Secker, E. Stevens, H. Stevenson, F. Towler, C.Warner, C. W. Wood, F. M. Warriner and H.S Woollard,

After dinner the loyal toast was at the invitation of the Chairman, who then called upon Mr. A. R. Pannett to submit “The Army, Navy and Auxiliary Forces”, which was briefly disposed of. The Army, said Mr. Pannett, had by the war shown itself to be composed of the same stuff as of old—* Englishmen—(Loud applause)—and could go anywhere and do anything. (Applause). He hoped peace would be restored in South Africa and China. (Hear, hear).

Mr. ATTREE acknowledged the toast. He agreed with the last speaker as to what British soldiers had shown themselves made of during the last twelve months, and evoked loud applause by mentioning the names of Roberts, White, Baden-Powell and Buller. “There's pluck for you,” said the speaker. (Applause). Instead of the British, Kruger and his party had been driven into the sea. They were all proud that evening of what had been done in South Africa. He hoped that when their men returned those who had been disabled would be properly provided for, and not in their old age have go into the workhouse to die. He trusted also that merit among the rank and file would be recognised, and that men who had served well throughout several campaigns would not be put under inexperienced officers. (Hear, hear). Was there any workshop where that would be done? (“No,” and applause)

Mr. E. WAUGH submitted the toast “Success to the Haywards Heath Cricket Club”. (Applause). Having spoken of the excellent effect which cricket had on the youth of the country, he said it was a great thing in any neighbourhood to have a good Cricket Club, as they had in Haywards Heath—(Applause)—and he hoped that in the future the Club would do better. Some of their members were fighting a hard game of cricket in South Africa—(Applause)—and he hoped they would come back with good score. (Applause). They had a good ground, and that day they had been celebrating the opening of very nice pavilion. (Applause). There was no reason why the Club should not rise to the top, and invite the County team to come and fight them in Haywards Heath. (Loud applause).

Mr. HIGGS, who acknowledged the toast, said fortune had rather frowned on the Club this year, but that splendid gathering and the enjoyable match that day would be an incentive to all of them to “buck up.” (Loud applause). Haywards Heath had a lot good cricketers, but unfortunately they could not get them together. That was the trouble the Club had to deal with. (Hear, hear). hoped during the winter they would look round and find some way to help the Club next season. (Applause) They had a valuable recruit Dudney, who he hoped would identify himself with the Club. (Applause). The fielding during the year had been disappointing, but he hoped that slackness would disappear and a great improvement take place. He trusted that by working harmoniously together they would have better season next year. (Load applause).

The Rev. T. G. WYATT proposed “The Urban District Council” at some length. He commended the Council for the way they had met the cricketers in their requirements. They had done their duty thoroughly, and there was now a good cricket ground and very nice pavilion. In October, 1892, the cricketers set to work to get a ground, and they raised £250 and handed it over to the Council , who added, at least an equivalent. (Applause). Two years ago, in 1898, they started getting money for the pavilion, and they banded £160 to the Council, and they found the rest of the money. That was what he called a public body doing its duty. (Applause). Three years ago he mentioned that two things were desirable. One of these was the improvement of the banks of the Cricket Ground, and the other was a pavilion. The banks were now a nice green, and the pavilion was completed and opened. He had one other suggestion to make, and that was that the Council should pay great attention to the wickets and pitch. It had been said that they had not been so good this summer as they ought to have been. Football would not hurt the ground if it was properly looked after. (Applause). The Vicar went to suggest—frequently evoking laughter—that future candidates for Council honours should undergo examinations in their knowledge - practical and theoretical- in cricket, and frame their election addresses on cricket lines. (Laughter). He thought it would be interesting if candidates went to the ground and invited the ratepayers to come also. (Renewed laughter). All sorts of things were promised in election addresses, but cricket would appeal to the heart in a minute, and the cricket candidate would romp in first. (Laughter).

Mr. PANNETT responded. He said noticed that the opening of the pavilion had had educational effect, for it had brought Mr. Hilton out of his shell to that dinner. (Laughter). Although that gentleman was not then present, he hoped that another year he would stay all the time. (Laughter and applause). He did not think many would find fault with the ground and the pavilion, the latter being the only thing needed to complete the ground. He would not speak of what the Council were going to do: like Kruger, they would stagger humanity. (Loud laughter and applause). He went on to suggest that there were two things for the Council to do in the future—possibly they might have ratepayers going his friend Mr. Chandler about it - (Loud laughter)—one was to provide a jolly good football ground in Victoria Park—(Loud applause)—and the other to provide a bandstand for the Band. He hoped all gave credit to the Council for doing their best. They were always doing it, though all the ratepayers might not know it, because their mental calibre was not large enough to grasp the fact. (Laughter). Mr. Pannett then sat down, but rost again immediateiy end remarked that if in his election address he were to say he knew all about Fry’s catches. Kanjr’s batting and Tate’s bowling he should be trifling with the truth way the Vicar would not like to see. (Loud laughter).

Mr GRIFFITH toasted “The Town and Trade of Haywards Heath” and speaking of the able body that ruled, directed or legislated for the town, said the criticism of the Council that evening had not been very stringent. He looked forward very hopefully to the future. (Applause).

Mr BRENT, who replied, said there bad been a nice social gathering on the ground that day and a nice opening of the pavilion, the very thing needed to make the ground a success. He was afraid that if cricket was to be made an election cry, some of the candidates would be left in the cold. (Laughter). If they were to gauge the feeling of Haywards Heath they would not, he thought, find all the people were for cricket. He was proud of the ground and glad they had raised such a pavilion as that, and thought that in a year or two they would be second to none in respect of the latter. In the matter of trade conveniences he considered Haywards Heath held comparison with any town of its size between itself and London, and as time went on he hoped they would not only maintain that position but improve it. (Applause).

Mr. PLUMMER toasted “The Subscribers.” They had at Haywards Heath, he remarked, an excellent ground, and he would go further and say they had one of the prettiest and most useful grounds in the South of England. Where would they be, however, without the sinews of war? The want of success this season was an instance of the glorious uncertainty of cricket, but after the “digging” by Mr. Biggs he had no doubt they would pull together and be as successful as in the past. None would be so pleased to see that as the residents who subscribed to the Club. (Applause).

The Rev. C. G. HODGSON briefly responded.

‘‘The Visitors” was given Mr. SCOTT PITCHER, who mentioned the way in which they had contributed towards the conviviality of the evening.

Mr HOWE, whose name was coupled with the toast, disclaimed being a visitor to those gatherings, but said if he was to be considered one he was always pleased to be present.

Mr. LONGLEY proposed the health of Mr. G. W. Austen, who, he remarked, discharged his duties of Hon. Secretary as a sort of labour of love. (The toast was most cordially pledged, musical honours being accorded).

Mr. AUSTEN, who received an ovation on rising, was not able to give a very satisfactory account of the season's doings. He reported that twenty-three matches had been played, four being won, sixteen lost, and three drawn. He hoped these figures would be reversed next season. (Hear, hear). The Secretary concluded by expressing his thanks to those who had assisted him that day and to those who had helped to make the evening a success.

The remaining toasts were those of “The Press,“ proposed by Mr. BAILEY. “The Chairman”, submitted by Mr. THRING ; and “The Hostess and Hosts,” given by the CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bannister also acknowledged the services of the vocalists, Mr. ATTEWELL replying.

The harmony of the evening was contributed to by Messrs. Beach, Roberts, Perl, Attewell, A. Finch. Warriner, Bailey, and others (Mr. Gearing being at the pianoforte).

Photographs courtesy of Charles Tucker, Dave Tucker and Haywards Heath Cricket Club


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