Doncaster playing fields pavilion complete and could now expand

Pictured by the new Pavilion are representatives of the Playing Fields Association l-r David Lindley, Past Chairman, Alex Elder, Roy Hattersley, both PFA Lay members, Councillor Steve Cox, Patricia Schofield, Playing Fields Association Chair and Blaxton Parish Council Vice Chair, Bill Zuurbier, Doncaster Town Cricket Club Chairman and PFA member, Councillor Jane Cox, Richard Johnson, PFA Member and Chairman of Finningley Parish Council and Bill Worsfold, PFA member and Finnigley Parish councillor. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Pavilion MC 1
Pictured by the new Pavilion are representatives of the Playing Fields Association l-r David Lindley, Past Chairman, Alex Elder, Roy Hattersley, both PFA Lay members, Councillor Steve Cox, Patricia Schofield, Playing Fields Association Chair and Blaxton Parish Council Vice Chair, Bill Zuurbier, Doncaster Town Cricket Club Chairman and PFA member, Councillor Jane Cox, Richard Johnson, PFA Member and Chairman of Finningley Parish Council and Bill Worsfold, PFA member and Finnigley Parish councillor. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Pavilion MC 1
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They've finally got a new pavilion.

But residents in Finningley are already looking to add new facilities onto their £340,000 playing fields building on Lindley Road, with talks being held over a possible indoor bowls centre.

The Finningley and Blaxton playing fields pavilion was opened for the first time last October, some 25 years after work was first started to raise money for the scheme.

Now they are hoping to bring in an indoor facility on the same site for bowls players, if it can be funded.

Discussions have been held on the issue with outside organisations, but are at a very early stage.

The proposals follow the completion of the new pavilion - a long process which started in the early 1990s when fund raising started for a facility to replace a mobile building which was initially put on the site in 1973.

After a slow start, the efforts were boosted by cash from housing developers, awarded as a condition of planning permission.

Work eventually started in 2016, but stalled due to a dispute with the main contractor, with the building only half built.

It led to the cancellation of the contract, with members of the Finningley and Blaxton Playing Fields Association taking over the project management - and doing some of the work themselves.

Resident Bill Worsfold, a member of the Playing Fields Association, took on a lot of the work, as he had contacts in the industry from a career in building supply.

And despite the issues that were encountered, the scheme was finished on budget.

It means that the site now has a kitchen, changing rooms, plus an all purpose room, in a modern building.

Those involved in the work were not immune to begging to get some of their equipment.

A tactics board in the home changing rooms was donated by Doncaster Knights rugby club after they had put it in a pile of items to be thrown away. And chairs were bought for £1 each from Finningley Village Hall.

Bill, fellow Playing Fields Association member Richard Johnson and others carried out work including putting in places fences and surfacing the car park to make sure they came in within budget.

And the work has not finished yet. They are still looking for a lighting stanchion and are still hoping to find someone who can donate one.

Bill said: "It was a lot of work and I'd not want to repeat it, but I think it means we have a real sense of pride in the building.

"It has really been a great community team effort to get where we are, and both Finningley Parish Council and Blaxton Parish Council have been great throughout, really supportive."

Things are continuing to move forward, with the proposals for a bowling green, and also the possibility of a tennis club being set up on recently refurbished tennis courts.

"We're got planning permission for the bowling, but we've not got the funding as things stand. It would be covered, with a roof, and it would not be real grass. It is all about trying to do things for the benefit of the community," said Bill

The grounds also have a playground, skate park and basketball hoop.

Mr Johnson said it was a major improvement on the previous facility.

He said: "There was an old pavilion put here in the 70s, but it was just a fraction of the size of the new one, with no heating. Now we are looking forward to our first summer."

Blaxton resident Patricia Schofield opened the site along with fellow resident Roy Hattersley.

“It’s something we have been waiting a long time for,” said the retired teacher. “Over the years we have raised money with cake stalls and other things. Some money has also come from 106 Agreements paid by developers building new houses in the area. It is has built up and up to the point we were able to afford to build a pavilion.”