Keswick Football Club Chairman Ben Challis has told reporters that the future of the Club was ‘safe’ after news broke of Challis’ controversial sale of the Club’s clubhouse and two pitches in Fitz Park to a consortium of property developers who are planning a new 85 home high density housing development in Keswick.
Speaking from his luxury yacht ‘Shafted’, which is based on the Island of Saint Marie in the Caribbean, the only island in the Winward Islands which doesn’t have a extradition treaty with The United Kingdom, Challis said “The Club can look forward to a bright future in RowRah, and the new pitch can be brought up to scratch in no time at all”. It is believed Challis was referring to the disused and long abandoned RowRah rugby league pitch which recently saw the addition of a portacabin and small shed, along with a portaloo, all painted in red and black stripes, and a sign saying ‘New Trafford’. RowRah locals were unable to explain the changes. Challis added “Our two senior teams will no doubt continue to thrive. I have asked the Woman’s team to keep me up to date on their plans, and I’m always happy to buy them a drink if I am passing. They may well relish a move to Penrith AFC, who already have a successful women’s team, meaning we don’t need one. Also, and unfortunately to ensure youth development continues, I have had to re-organise our junior teams by closing them down. I know the lads and lasses might find this hard to take, but it is in their best interests” adding “And frankly, the small ones are annoying. Dab that you brats”.
Challis also revealed outline plans for the new development. This includes thirty eight homes on the club’s pitch in Hospital Fields and another forty seven new homes in Lower Fitz Park. When asked if any of the homes would be low cost affordable housing, Challis responded that they would be affordable provided “buyers can afford the market premium rate”. The designs for homes include the ‘Hilton’, described as the ‘hotel’ of the estate and clad in stone, with advertising materials saying “there’s a Hilton for everyone”. The ‘Robinson’ is described as a small, low centred, cosy home that envelopes the home owner in a warm feeling of well being, with grass front and back, and a herb garden, and the Bland, as an ‘environmentally friendly’ house with the walls packed with compressed sheep’s wool and the roof made of Borrowdale slate. A free herdwick comes with each home. New street names include ‘The Abbbot’s Road’, ‘Bell Close’, ‘Father Riggs Avenue’ and ‘The Brother Riggs Crescent’ – reflecting what Challis said was “a religious theme to help all the sinners, and there are many” – alongside ‘The Stafford Meander’ and ‘Doolins Drive’ – which will run the length of the new development to two new new public houses called ‘The Red Banny’ and ‘The Too Tall Mike”.
There are also plans for a proposed ‘Kippers Way’ that would lead to 47 more homes once the sale of Keswick Cricket Club takes place. KCC will be closed down, to improve sporting facilities in the county.
The plans also revealed that the BMX Pump Track is due to be demolished and replaced with a new ‘youth training development centre’ called The Frampton Institute. The new educational facility would be available to all families with young children in Keswick and would offer “twenty four hour care, seven days a week, 365 days a year” with principal designate Kevin Frampton saying “We can look after your young, training them with firm discipline, and educate them in economically beneficial topics such as weaving, match making, machine maintenance, blade sharpening, first aid, and risk management. We will feed them. We will clothe them. We will educate them. We will work them”. The new Institute will be housed in a building designed to look and function exactly like a Victorian cotton mill to “add to Keswick’s rich cultural heritage” and will offer Keswick tourists the ‘workhouse experience’ and a new line in Keswickian tweed, beginning with the ‘McRobbie’ range of tweed gloves.
The plans also sees the development of the land behind and beside the Mary Hewtson Cottage Hospital with a ‘word class’ bar and restaurant complex on the corner of Crossthwaite Road and Brundholme Road called ‘The Life of Rowleys”, with a twenty four hour pub called “Play It Again Sams”, a shots bar called ‘Gaskells’, a new ‘den’ called ‘Eddie’s Bar’ and a craft beer hall called ‘The Hindmarch Retreat”. A substantial number of locals are supporting plans for a new casino adjacent to the Hospital – to be called ‘The Adrenaline Rush’. Temporary membership will be free to hospital patients. Between The Life of Rowleys and The Frampton Institute will be a small estate of seventeen retirement homes called ‘the Twilight Zone’, and a another new building to house a new funeral directors’ parlour called ‘Death on the Doorstep’, with Mr Little (senior) of developers Little, Little & Little saying “this will complete the circle of life, and provide a holistic life experience with youth schooling and training, work, entertainment, heavy drinking, homes for retirement, a new doctors surgery, handy local hospital, and then a local funeral service. Perfect” with Mr Little (Junior) adding “Our plans for a twenty four hour nightclub (to be called “Bangin”) and speedway circuit in Upper Fitz Park, and a multi outlet ‘kebab alley’ replacing the Bowling Club are out of this world.”
A number of players have been ‘unfortunately’ sold according to managers Eddie Thomson and Dan Fletcher, who said “we have sold them in batches – like cakes” adding “all Framptons are off to East Shields Reserves, anyone called ‘Cam’ is off to Bransty Rangers Development, and Rowleys/Rileys to Egremont Grasshoppers”. Thomson added that he had two prestigious Hiltons on offer at the moment, and was “looking to the East” for hard cash, and Fletcher said that “all Rorys, Jakes, Aflies, Richards and Thomas/Toms come as a job lot – along with a Lewis or two” adding “From the youth squad its BOGOF on all Ollies, Joshs, Charlies, Finns, Wills, Sams and Dylans. You heard me – by one get one – or even two more FREE. And everyone gets a ‘Ste’ for free – we’ve loads of them on offer”