Our first Cambridge Society trip of the year was to the Marylebone Cricket Club. We were counted in at the Grace Gate and congregated in the Tavern stand. We were split into groups of 25 for the tour.
First stop was the pavilion, where we entered into the Long Room. When matches are playing, the long room would have over 200 people standing and seated. In the centre of the long room are the doors out to the wicket. The players would have to come down the stairs from the changing rooms, walk through the crowded long room to the doors in the centre, and out onto the ground. The trip back would either be elating or embarrassing depending on the outcome of the players innings.
Next we moved on to the committee room, where we sat and listened to the history of the MCC. Rosemary was not overly impressed by the quality of the committee tables. There was a lovely gavel, looking like a small cricket ball and bat.
Next on to the home changing rooms, where all the centuries scored in test matches by England are posted. One century from Bill Edrich, and two from John Edrich.
Back down the stairs and up again to the museum. The shutters on the entrance were jammed, so we had to take the back entrance through various small narrow corridors. Here we saw the ashes and lots of memorabilia from test matches and the history of cricket. There were odd exhibits, like the stuffed sparrow, which had been killed by a cricket ball. There were many photographs of players, and numerous signed cricket bats.
Now we walked around the ground to the nursery end, where there is a small field for practice and for playing lesser matches, along with the indoor cricket ground and ECB offices. At this end, there are the Edrich and Compton stands, these are not tall and must not be increased in size. Making them bigger would hide the tress in the background. To this aim the National Westminster Media Centre is tall, but build on two towers so that the trees can be seen under it. We took the lift up to the Media Centre where we can an excellent view of the ground. The Media Centre was a large monocoque aluminium structure, which was build, be a shipbuilder in Torquay.
Final visit was the Lords Tavern for a beer and lunch.
While in London we paid a visit to Alfies antique fair. Here we saw lots of gorgeous goodies. There seemed to be a lot of fantastic lighting from the 60s. I was quite taken by it, until I spied the price on one rather small light fitting of £450.