Emotional end for pavilion as Bury get ready for a new era

BIDDING FAREWELL: Players past and present, guests and dignitaries mark the closure
BIDDING FAREWELL: Players past and present, guests and dignitaries mark the closure
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Bury St Edmunds chairman Paul Whittaker believes the club is now ideally placed to become the leading cricket club in East Anglia.

Whittaker’s comments came on an emotional day at the Victory Ground, which saw the old pavilion in use for the final time.

Around 250 past and present players plus officials and supporters of the club turned out on Sunday to mark the end of an era.

A ceremonial closing of the pavilion, which has stood on the ground since its opening in 1921, took place during the afternoon, using a large ‘closed’ sign.

A series of matches involving past and present players were held to celebrate the closure of one of the town’s most iconic landmarks.

Former players returned to the club from all over the country to take part in the celebrations, with Andy Kizis travelling all the way from Holland.

Bury, who have been one of the leading clubs in Suffolk for many years, on Saturday finally secured their status in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League for next season.

Whittaker, who along with club president David Barker has been the driving force behind the building of the new facilities, said: “The closure of the old pavilion and opening of the new one heralds the start of a new era for Bury St Edmunds CC.

“The club is ideally placed to become East Anglia’s leading club and setting new standards for men’s, ladies’, girls’ and boys’ cricket facilities.

“It’s fitting that Suffolk’s finest cricket ground also has a pavilion to match so, sad as it is to say goodbye to the old pavilion, let’s celebrate the fantastic facilities now available.

“The old pavilion will be demolished during the close season and replaced with additional parking needed for the new pavilion and sports hall that opens this autumn.”

Visitors were allowed a sneak preview of the facilities inside the new pavilion and adjoining sports hall, which is scheduled to be completed in November at a cost of £2.1m.