Tuesday 2nd October 2012 – 28th meeting of 2012

Today we planned a very English day – a tour of Lord’s Cricket Ground, the home of cricket. For me it started with a little confusion as to where to meet. I was off to our usual haunt Charing Cross but luckily a phone call while I was on the train told me to meet at Waterloo East by Southwark Jubilee line station. From here we went to Baker Street and there got a bus to Lord’s. We had a tour booked for 12 o’clock but as we were very early we joined the 11 o’clock one. Around thirty people in the group and our guide asked where people were from and it included India, Pakistan, Australia and America.

He started by giving us an outline into the history of the game of cricket, the ground, Test matches and events bringing us up to the present day. He was a very friendly, chatty, amusing and funny person.

 We covered the inside of the Pavilion first.  This included a visit to the Long Room where players wait to be called for batting and also where members congregate. We then went into the dressing rooms of home and visitors which had the name of players who had made good scores 100+ and wickets 5+ during Test matches.  In the Museum were many trophies and memorabilia, the most important and famous of which was ‘The Ashes’.  Our guide gave us the history and significance of this tiny trophy housed in a special room, outside of which is the modern glass trophy in the shape of the original one.

We also had a look at the Real Tennis court at Lord’s and luckily there was a game in process.  We were told that Real Tennis was played here from early days and could well have been used as stadium for the sport but cricket won the vote!

From here we went outside to see the pitch, stands etc.  This is an amazing space.  The view of the Pavilion is stunning and was one of the reason that the Archery for the recent Olympics was held here.  The grass was damaged during this time and now is being replaced piece by piece with special grass grown in Lincolnshire and will be nurtured and cared for ready for the started of the season in 2013.

A visit into the J.P Morgan Media Centre.  This is where all press reporters sit and send reports to all the corners of the world.  I must say that the view is splendid.

Throughout the buildings there are many paintings of all famous and not so famous cricketers.  This was a very good tour.  Our guide gave just enough information and included everyone in the party with questions and conversation.

After this we went to the Lord Tavern’s on site pub and had something to eat and drink and to rest our feet!

Home was next on the agenda with a bus to Victoria and trains home.  A very pleasant day helped by sunny weather.