Leeds & West Yorkshire

Ilkley cricket club pavilion destroyed in fire

Remains of Olicanian Cricket Club Image copyright Robert Brear
Image caption The pavilion has been razed to the ground

A cricket club pavilion has been burned to the ground in a fire in West Yorkshire.

The fire at Olicanian Cricket Club in Ilkley was attended by about 20 firefighters.

A pre-school nursery for 35 children attached to the pavilion was also destroyed.

The children are due to return from summer holidays a week on Tuesday and now have nowhere to go, said club trustee Mark Dexter.

He said: "To see the ashes this morning is heartbreaking.

"The pavilion is no more and it contained all sorts of memorabilia and pictures of its opening by [ex-Yorkshire and England cricketer] Ray Illingworth."

Vicky Wood, from All Saints pre-school, said it was "determined to open" for the children due to start in September with help from the community.

"We are currently looking at bringing in temporary accommodation on the site as an option," she said.

Image copyright Robert Brear
Image caption The fire has devastated followers of the club

The cricket club is in the Airedale and Wharfedale league and has three senior teams and juniors playing from under-nines.

The club has risen from a "humble lower league club" to its present position on "decades of effort that have gone into the club".

Yorkshire batsman Harry Brook and England under-19 player George Hill both played at the club.

Mr Dexter said: "We will get back to where we want to be."

An online fundraising page has been set up to raise £50,000 to rebuild the pavilion.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown.

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