Coronation Field is so named because it was bought from the public subscription of villagers to commemorate the Coronation Year of 1953. It is a registered charity (no 305514) and is managed by a small group of volunteer trustees for residents in and near the village. The playing field is owned and managed by the Farley Coronation Field Trust Committee and is set aside for the use by and enjoyment of the general public for the purposes of sport, organised games and children’s play. It is also the home of Farley Cricket Club.
Emma Lewy is Chairman of the Farley Coronation Playing Field Turst Committee. Emma may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Full Regulations for usage of the playing field may be found here.
The field, roughly 4 acres in size, is maintained by the Cricket Club and Trustees of the field. It is set in a beautiful location surrounded by a hawthorn hedge and complemented with oak, ash and beech trees. The field slopes gently down towards the Farley Almhouses and the Church.
The cricket facilities, at the top of the field, consist of the Cricket pavilion, tractor hut and cricket net. At the bottom of the field are located the basketball and kids’ play area.
- No BBQ or fires.
- Litter to be collected or incur a fine of £50.
- Parking in the field itself to be at the discretion of Farley Cricket Club. Please contact their Chair for information.
- Use of the pavilion by permission of FCC (may incur a further charge).
- All dog mess to be picked up. Prosecution and a £1,000 fine if you fail to do so.
The full Rules and Regulations of the
Please note that during the summer, the Cricket Club run a very busy schedule and availability of the field can be limited.
Any items brought onto the field are the responsibility of the owner/organiser and they alone are responsible for their use and overall safety.
The History of the Farley Playing Field : 1944 to 2009
In October 1944 Mr and Mrs Weston, living at Houndwood, gave £100 to the Parish Council towards the purchase of a playing field, in memory of Mrs Catherine Mary Weston (nee McVitie) who died in 1943. In October 1952 at a public meeting villagers agreed to try to buy land for a playing field to commemorate the Coronation Year of 1953. In April 1953 the current field of 3.99 acres (actually 3 acres, 3 roods and 33 perches) was identified and subscriptions were invited from villagers. Purchase price was to be £430.
By Coronation Day donations had reached £383. At a further public meeting the purchase was agreed. Donations had risen to £497 and a further £230 had been given by the National Playing Fields Association. The first trustees were to be George Fanshawe, Henry Knapman, Walter Reeve and Eustace Parsons, and the purchase was finalised on 16th February 1954.
Farley Coronation Playing Field has been a registered charity (no 305514) since then. It was opened by George Fanshawe, Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, who was also the first chairman of the Fete committee. John Morrison MP, later Lord Margadale, attended the opening ceremony.
Around this time the cricket club were playing on make-shift pitches around Farley – they had to move from field to field according to the various farmers needs – and were looking for a permanent venue. The playing field, which had been ploughed for corn by the War Agriculture Committee during the war, was reinstated by teams of villagers removing flints (by hand) and filling in a large trench across the middle of the field (and cricket square).
The children’s play area was set up as one of the first acts of the new trustees. They had a swing, sandpit, see-saw and slide according to one resident of the time.
In the 1950s the fetes organised by George Fanshawe from Farley Farm had an athletic element and one (about 1956) was opened by Peter Twiss, then ‘fastest man on earth’ as a result of his test flights in the P111 jet. There are memories of the Shrewton Band playing at the fetes, which attracted many visitors from Salisbury.
By 1960 Bill Goldfinch (the man who secretly built a glider in Colditz in World War 2) had prepared plans for a pavilion that was to be built voluntarily by members of the football and cricket clubs. Building materials cost £682 and were funded from a grant and by the trustees. On 24th June 1961 George Fanshawe opened the pavilion. Farley Cricket club is an active group in 2009 and contribute much to the upkeep of the field by mowing the grass, looking after the hedges and maintaining the pavilion.
Freddy Glass (from East Grimstead) did much to help the field become established – he obtained the huge roller (still there – it was ex-RAF desert airstrip equipment) which was pulled by hand by teams of men. He bought the tractor (still going) and did much else. He died while playing cricket in the field in 1969, aged 41. The pavilion was extended around this time. Football and cricket clubs both played on the field for many years. Football stopped around the mid 1980s.
In 1994 the play area was extended into the next-door field onto land donated by David Parsons, and enclosed in an animal-proof fence donated by Stephen Cox. Railway sleepers were introduced to hold play surface in place. The play area now had four swings, a climbing frame with slide and a junior rocking horse. In 1999 new seats for the swings were installed, paid for by the Parish Council, and a recycled kissing gate from a village footpath was installed soon after.
In 2000 the trustees decided to set up an endowment fund to safeguard future maintenance of the field. Their target was initially £5000. They also bought a sports wall with £3,000 of R2 funds (the levy on builders of new accommodation in Farley). Farley had a millennium ball, with a huge marquee at the top of the field with some 200 plus villagers wining, dining and dancing on a summer’s evening, and another ball in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s golden jubilee.
Two oak benches were added in 2003 (again with R2 funds) to provide seating for supervision of the children’s play area. The field was ‘dog proofed’ with net fencing to keep stray dogs out and the play surface free of dog faeces.
In 2004 a village event (It’s a Farley Knockout’) was held to commemorate the first fifty years of the field. The original handbill for ‘Knockout’ is here. The endowment fund passed £9000, with low interest rates raising the target ever higher.
In 2009 a group of concerned villagers got together to raise funds to update recreation facilities in the field. There is now talk of a multi-use games area, a skate park and a rejuvenated kiddies’ corner, with perhaps an enlargement of the field further into the one next door. Disabled facilities are planned, and perhaps a new car park. The endowment fund reached £13,000 in 2009.
Farley Fete continues in the field on the last Saturday in June each year. It is organised by a Fete committee and usually raises around £1,500 for village activities.