A little piece of Norfolk’s sporting history finds its way home

The old key to Lakenham Pavilion has found its way back to Norfolk after being given to Yorkshire cr

The old key to Lakenham Pavilion has found its way back to Norfolk after being given to Yorkshire cricket journalist John Fuller as a Christmas present. Mr Fuller decided it should be returned to Norfolk and has given it to Norfolk Cricket Society. Photo: Rob Kelly. - Credit: Rob Kelly

A little piece of Norfolk's sporting history has returned to the county via Yorkshire.

Lakenham cricket ground 1989. Photo: Archant Library.

Lakenham cricket ground 1989. Photo: Archant Library. - Credit: Archant

Lakenham Pavilion - once the proud home of Norfolk cricket - may be no more but the key that may have first opened its door has now found its way back to our county.

Lakenham cricket 1953. Photo: Archant Library.

Lakenham cricket 1953. Photo: Archant Library. - Credit: Archant

The key, kept in a special presentation box with 'Lakenham Pavilion 10 May 1936' written on it, was given as a Christmas present to Yorkshire-based cricket journalist John Fuller who decided to make it his mission to return it to its rightful home. With the help of the clues from the box and a little online research, he got in touch with Rob Kelly, from Norfolk Cricket Society, and the key arrived back in Norfolk this week, more than 80 years after the pavilion, off Carshalton Road in Norwich, first opened.

Demolition begins of the Lakenham Cricket Pavilion.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Demolition begins of the Lakenham Cricket Pavilion. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Mr Fuller, who lives in Bingley and runs the Cricket Yorkshire website, said: 'I looked into its history and then thought it would be better going back to its home county...It's best in Norfolk. It's where it belongs.'

Mr Kelly, who is in charge of Norfolk Cricket Society's social media and website, said he thought it would bring back lots of great memories for many people.


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'It's a nice piece of history,' he said.

'I will be taking it along to the next get together [of the society] so everybody can have a look at it and probably reminisce about the pavilion. It's great that the key has found its way back to Norfolk.'

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Referring to the fact the pavilion was demolished in 2015, he added: 'It's just a shame there's no door or lock to put it into anymore.'

When asked about his own memories of the pavilion and cricket ground, he said: 'Just going along to Lakenham, to be able to walk there and to see a match in the centre of the city was magical back in those days. There are so many people who will have memories from over the years. My experience was going in the 1990s. So many great players have played there - there are probably lots of memories wrapped up in this key.'

And along with the memories he said there was also a little mystery.

'The date on the top of the box is 10 May 1936 but the pavilion was actually opened on 10 June 1936. Was the date when the pavilion was handed over? If anybody can explain the date then please get in touch.'

Anyone who can shed any light on the significance of the date on the box, should contact Mr Kelly via

@NorfolkCrickSoc on Twitter or www.norfolkcricketsociety.com

What are you memories of Lakenham Pavilion? Email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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