Kent village cricket club, Elham Valley, is looking forward to a sustained rise in the condition and presentation of its ground following the purchase of a new Allett Regal 42 outfield mower complete with trailing seat. The mower is identical to Allett machines employed at many first-class and minor county cricket grounds throughout the United Kingdom.
Selected by volunteer club groundsman, Des Lewis, following extensive research and comparative demonstrations, the Regal 42 will be used from the start of the 2013 season.
"We are always looking for ways to improve our ground," explained Des. "Ideally, I wanted a purpose-designed sportsfield mower and spent a lot of time studying the various options before arranging demonstrations of the final two short-listed machines."
Des commented that the Regal 42 ticked all of his "must-have" boxes, adding that he had been very impressed also with the support provided by Allett sales engineer, Graham Probyn. "He set up the machine to my preferences and did not leave until he knew I was happy with everything."
Key points on the Regal 42 that helped secure the order included ease of movement, enhanced by hydrostatic drive with reverse gear; simplicity of cutting height and cylinder to bottom blade adjustments; infinitely-variable clip rates; and the combination of electric start with pull cord back-up in the event of battery or electrical failure.
The purchase of the new mower was achieved with the help of support funding from Kent County Council's Capital Grant Scheme for Sport, the balance coming from the club's own fund-raising activities.
Described by Des as a small community cricket club, Elham Valley is located about 12 miles south of Canterbury set in a picturesque valley nestling in the North Downs. The club has been playing local league and friendly games on Saturdays, Sundays and occasionally mid week for more than a century.
In 2008, the club secured ECB Clubmark accreditation in recognition of the work carried out by its coaches and volunteers, particularly in the development of young cricketers who play regularly in weekend fixtures supported by Saturday morning and midweek practice sessions throughout the season.
With a thriving junior section boasting teams at under eight, under 11, under 13 and under 15 levels, Elham Valley Cricket Club is hoping to join the Kent Feeder League, established to provide county-wide cricket for teams below the main Kent League structure to help further develop the county's younger cricketers.
"We strongly believe in developing not only the playing side but also our playing conditions as much as we can using our available resources," commented Des. "We purchased the Regal 42 with the principal aim of upping the standard of our ground and are confident of achieving that goal within a very short time, helped by a mower that is used at many of the country's leading cricket grounds."
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