The preferred venue still seems to be Great Berry Open Space. On Saturday mornings it's used by an unofficial kids football club and when we've practiced there before early 10.00am they arrived at about 10.30 and situated themselves quite some distance away from us and we were both able to use the space side by side. They appeared to practice till about 12.00 - 12.30 so if we get over there at 13.00hrs we should have the space to ourselves? If that's the case we'll situate ourselves in the centre of the field and I may even mow the grass and start to create a designated wicket (As I do with my local football field). I've already been over there and had a look to see how flat it is and it's impressively flat, locals say that several years ago it did have a cricket square but was never used. I'm contemplating contacting the council to see what it would take for that to be reinstated?
Other places that have been metioned recently include the school field where Thomas and my kids go. Thomas didn't follow that up so I did and having had a look myself and talking to the caretaker it's not really usable as it's far too small.
Another option I will look into is the fields behind the school where we have the net practice. This is a good field in that it's got high security fencing all around it and it is massive. How level it is I don't know but I've never seen people playing football on it so it may be really flat? If the caretaker will allow us to use and not charge us for it again I'll ask him if we can maintain it e.g. get a mower over there and keep it short and designate a wicket area? The only downside is that it's in an ugly/chavvy part of basildon whereas Great Berry Open Space is in a posh bit and it's quite picturesque.