GROUND MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
Located at the heart of the village, the RRG is RCC’s principal ground. It was first used in the historic summer of 1914. Prior to that over the years from its founding in 1887, the club played on various grounds in the neighbourhood including the famous old Holt Pound Oval at the village’s western end by the A325.
Today, during the April-September season, ‘The Rec’ hosts the club’s 1st (Southern Premier) and 2nd XIs (Hampshire League) on Saturdays. Sundays are shared by the ‘Casuals’ Sunday side, the Ladies XI and, not least, by the Village Cup XI. Over the years since RCC’s 1985 Lords appearance, The Rec has witnessed many large Village Cup crowds – most recently during the club’s 2010 run to the semi-final.
Weekday evenings, meanwhile, are given over to youth and junior cricket, coaching and nets. Not least, the very special Junior Friday sessions play a major role in village social life.
In late 2011, following extensive discussions with the landlord, Waverley Borough Council (WBC), the club secured a long-term 41-year lease on the main part of The Rec. This excludes car park, children’s playground and bowls and tennis clubs.
While protecting all principal community rights, this key move has three major benefits:
- First, by obtaining ‘security of tenure’ the Club is now able to apply for major investment grants from which it would otherwise be debarred.
- Second, it enables the club to undertake any long-term investment – such as the 2011-12 Winter upgrade of the Pavilion – on a secure basis to the benefit of both club and community.
- Third, and far from least, it helps protect ‘The Rec’ for the future.
Indicatively in summer 2012, the Club is working on a major grant submission to Sport England. One key target is to relay the Recreation Road end of the ground. This will improve surface quality, safety and – a major bugbear – drainage.
Appended to the new lease, the club has also entered into a management agreement in regard to the Rec. This envisages, for example, progressive transfer of various services over the next five years.
It also provides for a consultative committee. This has already met twice in 2012. It brings together representatives of the club and community to discuss issues and opportunities. Current community representatives are Ken Bone (Rowledge Village Hall – on behalf of non-sports groups); Ian Carter (last chairman of the former Recreation Ground Committee); and Gordon Clements (bowls for sport). Club representatives include hon. secretary David Metcalfe; chairman and vice-chairman Bill Nichols and Chris Yates Sr; and club trustee, Paul Brook.
Early topics included improving signage and a proposal to consult with the village on reducing hedge heights to open up the Rec to view from all sides. If you’d like to put forward a topic please contact any member or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.