Saturday, 16 May 2015

Sometimes it's just not cricket

Friday 15th May 2015

On today's agenda - a tour of Lord's cricket ground.

I consider myself a very lucky man - not only do I have a lovely wife but she has passion for all sports and to say let's go have a tour of a place like Lord's is just as likely to be her suggestion as mine.

So of we went - it was a day of walking - no public transport at all.

First up we wanted to see where the nearest cinema was, as that might be in play later in the day - turns out the nearest was at Marble Arch, but from Paddington Basin it wasn't really that far.

Movie times were found and might fit in with the afternoon.

So straight up Seymour Place towards St.John's Wood.

Came across this place which seemed very much to me just like a hardware shop version of Arkwright's place from "Open All Hours".

A bit further along we unsurprisingly found a little pub in a side street, but what was surprising was that it had Swedish food and Swedish sports --

I, of course, was ready to stop off for a quick half and see the final of the all-Swedish Women's Nude Mud-Wrestling Final - Diane in a sports first said a firm "NO!!!" - I guess there are some sports she is just not into yet.

During one of her solo trips into London a couple of weeks, Diane came across the first Lord's cricket ground site - today we came across the second site.

And how it looks today --

Naturally enough there was always going to be a bridge over the canal and looking down below we found this-

Eventually we came upon the ground - outside the main gates was this memorial to the giant of English cricket and someone who set the tone for the sportmanship in English cricket - something certainly followed by Jardine and Vaughan

The main entrance (to the third and final site - so far)

Queuing for tour tickets - another in the discount book of 2-for-1

The Ashes - since I can remember, the English and Australian cricket teams, the English and Australian press and the English and Australian cricket boards have always referred to The Ashes as the trophy - none have ever said that this was not what the tests have been about.
I am afraid that the tour seems to have found a way of saying that this trophy was presented to the MCC as a gift by the originator of the small urn, so it is theirs to permanently keep.

My oh my, they have a way of rewriting history to suit themselves - lucky that the Greeks don't play cricket for anything of value - they wouldn't be able to take their marbles home.

It's bloody-well ours !!

Loved this stained-glass panel

Our guide had told us that there would be places where photographs could not be taken - such as The Long Room (see picture below)...

...and the Committee Room (see below)...

...but we could take photographs from the players change rooms - this one from the England (or Middlesex) rooms

A list of centuries scored by opposition players is displayed proudly in the visitors rooms (along with bowling performances)

Preparations were well under way for the test against New Zealand starting Thursday next week - the way the each team is playing at present it will be an interesting result - my money is on the Kiwis

The iconic members pavilion without the sanctimonious members in front

When I first saw this "press-box" years ago on TV it looked hideous in terms of it's lack of fitting in with the surrounding structures of the ground - having seen it "live" I haven't changed my mind...

...but what it does do is provide great views for all of the sports journalists - probably good for them that they only see the inside and not the outside

From under the press-box looking towards the members

We found the urn to take home - always at a price - in the gift shop

An example of a Grade-II listed Victorian public convenience - the gents at the conclusion of the tour - first person in to view this was Diane - she did comment that the Ladies did not have as many cubicles as this had urinals.

Lunch at the MCC Lord's Tavern next door

After all of this it was a long walk back down to Odeon theatre at Marble Arch - that we had investigated earlier in the day.
We arrived in time for the 4 pm showing of Spooks which we thought was OK.

After that a short walk back to the boat and with plenty of daylight still left we opted for the chairs out on the pontoon and a couple of glasses of red - only problem was that the sun had gone and a bit of a breeze came up.
We had to go inside - didn't want the red getting too cold.

A long walking day - just on 15000 steps - but a very enjoyable day again.

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