A TRADITIONAL cricket tea hut known and loved by players across County Durham for its 'old school' atmosphere is in urgent need of repairs.

Etherley Cricket Club hopes to replace the roof on its wooden hut before the rest of the structure is significantly damaged by damp and rain which pours in through the leaky felt top.

The hut, which stands alongside the recently refurbished changing facility, is used to serve refreshments on game days, during youth training sessions and as a tuck-store in the village, which no longer has a shop.

But officials say that at at least 40 years old, the hut roof has been patched up repeatedly over the decades and running repairs will no longer suffice.

Committee member Dave Wallis has launched a Crowdfunding page online to raise money towards the work and a fundraising event is planned at the ground.

The family fun day will be held on Saturday, August 3 from noon.

Mr Wallis said: "The roof has finally given way to the elements. We desperately need funds to help repair the tea hut before further damage internally causes the tea hut to collapse.

"The changing rooms were refurbished not that long ago and the football pitch at the back of the site has been sorted out, the drainage has been sorted and the goals will go up soon so it will be available to play on.

"We're trying to get as much done here as possible with minimum cost.

"Etherley has a long history of cricket and in this day and age, with cutbacks and people calling out for something to do, we have an important facility here with cricket, a basketball court and new football pitch.

"The club is becoming a bigger part of the Toft Hill and Etherley community so anyone who makes a donation is supporting more than just the cricket team."

Peter Caine, who volunteers with the cricketing side of the club, said the hut is important to the first team, which plays in the Darlington and District League, and the Under 13 and 15 teams, which play in the Durham Cricket League and feed players into the main squad.

He added: "We need a tin roof really, the fabric of the building is still recoverable and could have another 50 years left in it but we need to do the work soon."

First team captain Chris Bennett said: "A nice tea hut makes a massive difference, it is integral to the club and important to the teams– home and away.

"We're proud of the place.

"Away teams always like to look at the old pictures we have up, I remember it myself as a visiting player before I moved here."

"It is also used for Sunday morning AllStars sessions, youth net sessions on Thursdays and a tuck shop."

Around £300 has so far been collected towards the estimated cost of renovation of around £2,500.

Donations can be made online at

justgiving.com/crowdfunding/etherleycricketclub

or in a collection bucket on the club bar.