We are very sad to announce the passing of life member Bill Watts on Friday 29th April. Bill had been a member at the Hill for over 60 years, a committee member for over 50 years, and secretary of the Squash club for over 35 years. The funeral is at the West Road Crematorium on Thursday 19th May @ 10:30, then back at the Hill.
Even though he didn't play cricket for the Hill, Bill's lasting legacy was on the pitch at Denton Bank, as he was the architect of the first levelling of the pitch which took place in 1973. Our condolences to his wife Julia, children Diane and Michael, brother in law Tom Williamson and all the wider Watts and Williamson family.
The following is an extract from the Benwell Hill Cricket Club 1883-1983 Centenary book referencing the pitch levelling project:
Alan Evans as Ground Secretary together with Bill Watts produced drawings and took surveys to get the project under way. The whole project was highly successful and within a couple of seasons the width of the cricket square was doubled to 50 yards giving scope for more home games. The work was commenced on 17th September 1973 and took 29 days. The scope of the operation is illustrated by the following extracts from the terms of the Contract:
1. Stripping over 5000 square yards of 2" turf and stack for re-use.
2. Stripping over 5000 square yards of top soil 10" thick and mound in position for respreading.
3. Excavate 3000 tons of clay and sub-soil and cart away to tipping site and create finished levels to approved drawings.
4. Spreading 5000 square yards of top soil to depth of 10"over new level area.
5. Relaying of stripped turf 2" thick on 5000 square yards on new level and embankment.