DEM Sports were approached to design and install a totally bespoke sight screen system for the Essex County Ground at the Hayes Close end to replace the old wooden screen which was at the end of its life span.
Our engineer John Loveday worked closely with Essex’s Facilities/Safety Manager, Graham Childs, to ensure we delivered exactly what the ground required. The screen had to be 55m long, 5m high, easy to operate and change from white to black quickly and effortlessly. Quite a challenge.
The resulting screen system is completely unique, incorporating a track system on which runs nine frames. The frames are able to run the full length of the 55m structure allowing any part of the playing surface to be utilised, giving a total of 15m coverage.
The board panels have locking bolts at the bottom and a pivoting track runner at the top which allows the panel to be spun easily and quickly, thus allowing a swift change from white to black or vice versa. A very innovative solution.
Dem Sports have recently sourced new boards that are much stronger than the normal board and incorporate the black coating as part of the board. The boards will take significant strikes from the cricket ball, important at any level but especially important where professional cricket is played.
The main supports for the screen are 305mm x 164mm H section and track is supported by 120mm x 120mm 6mm box section. All the frame structure is fully hot dip galvanised to ensure longevity of life, as normal with DEM Sports product ranges. A total of 8 tonnes of steel was required to complete the frame.
The surrounding floor area of the structure was also improved, levelling out stepped and uneven surfaces, which has improved the access for wheelchairs and added to the seating capacity of the ground. 150 tonnes of concrete was consumed to complete the project.
This new installation completes the grounds sight screens, DEM having designed and installed the River End in 2008.
We are pleased with the result of the new sight screen system as are all at the County Ground. It has been a pleasure to work with Mr Childs and his team and we would like to thank them for their support and hospitality throughout the project.
A special thank you to Alastair Cook and James Foster, who we were very pleased to hand the completed project over to.
“FOR CRICKETERS BY CRICKETERS”