It was the annual Ladies day at Lords and the Royal London One Day Cup between Middlesex and Kent. I was going to see the home of cricket and the Marylebone Cricket Club formed in 1787. Dress code for admittance is strictly adhered to. Men must wear a jacket and tie and Ladies neat casual. Accompanied by friends who are members of the Middlesex Cricket Club we took the train to West Hampstead and then a bus ride to the hollowed ground in St Johns Wood. On the way we traveled over the Abbey Road pedestrian crossing made famous by The Beatles and their 1969 album Abbey Road. Shown below.
The view I got wasn’t quiet so exciting. There were people everywhere taking photos.
It was then a quick entry via the Grace Gate.
Once inside the ground I was surprised by the size. Being a regular at the MCG in Melbourne I’ve been accustomed to a much bigger stadium.
As we walked around the ground I noticed some rather funny advertisements.
(Sorry about the reflection.)
Hardys wine is very widely sold here for about the same price that it is in Melbourne.
We climbed the stairs to the top level of the Mound Stand and the view was spectacular, made even better by the fact that upon arrival all ladies received a free glass of Champagne :-). The ground was in beautiful condition and it was such a pleasure to sit and gaze upon it.
We then walked to the Pavilion and the Long Room for lunch in the Carvery.
No photos were allowed but needless to say the Long Room was amazing. Completed in 1889-90 this listed building is one of the most famous land marks in world sport. The high ceilings have beautiful plaster molds painted a soft cream and elegant hanging candelabras. On the left hand side of the room runs huge windows perfect for viewing with the double doors in the center giving access for the players and officials to enter the ground. In front of the windows there are two rows of wooden chairs. The first row of chairs are table height and the second row are bar height so your view is not obstructed. There are no couches or lounge chairs. Behind these chairs are two long wooden tables – for resting your pint I guess ! . The opposite wall painted a soft olive from the floor to the dado at hip height and then a soft pale green to the plaster dado above. These walls are lined with beautiful paintings of past players and games giving the room a feeling of awe. While I was in there a Kent player was caught out and when he came off the ground he walked into the Long Room straight past me to the players rooms upstairs. I then saw the next player come down and walk through the room out onto the ground. I was told that when the player has a good innings you are allowed to pat them on the back and applaud and he will shake your hand. This player wasn’t quiet as happy and so everyone just stood quietly as he walked through shoving his gloves into his helmet.
We walked to the end of the room and turned right into the Carvery for lunch. Again it is another long, reasonably narrow room with tables and chairs to sit at and a wooden bench with bar stools along the wall on the right where you can also sit and eat.
Dad, if you are reading this you will know what I mean when I say that when we walked into the Carvery and I saw all this and knowing we needed four seats I immediately went into ‘get a table now !’ mode. MP had gone straight to the bar and within three minutes I had secured a table and two chairs for our friends and two chairs on the bar for MP and myself. Within a few minutes more the doorman was turning people away. It was a particularly hot day and while we where having lunch MP took off his jacket. Well no sooner had he neatly arranged it on the back of his chair than a doorman came and instructed him that he must put it back on. With a quiet grumble he did just that as I sniggered and felt quiet comfortable in my sleeveless dress and and high heels.
The Carvery was delicious. A tradition roast with all the trimmings including Yorkshire Pudding.
After lunch we moved into a smaller bar built directly beside the pavilion to watch some more of the cricket and it was here that I got a good photo of the media center. It is quiet a contrast from the traditional buildings. If you look closely at the photo below you will see written on the fence on the right is ‘smoking’ on one side of the isle and ‘no smoking’ on the other. Too bad for you if the wind happens to be blowing to the right. That’s something you don’t see much anymore.
The game was soon completed. I got to see the home team Middlesex win the Royal London One Day Cup.. fabulous. It was then upstairs to a small dark paneled lounge room where we enjoyed an afternoon tea. It was a great day.
Stay posted Love L