How, how, howzat! You messed about, I caught you out, Howzat!
The last two things on my “London List” when I had to consider what I was to do today were St Paul’s Cathedral and Lord’s – having made the decision to wait until hopefully better weather in July to do the London Eye. In the end I decided to go on the truly religious pilgrimage to….Lord’s Cricket Ground 😉 The fact that I discussed last night with Riza whether the, somewhat, cricket-related song “Howzat” was originally Australian or English sealed the deal that I had made the right choice.
When I arrived at Lord’s I was once again surprised at how small the ground was. I made my way around to the Museum wondering if it was an optical illusion, but it wasn’t. The ground, stands, etc are tiny by comparison to most Australian Grounds…yet they hold a lot of history. After buying my ticket I quickly made my way off to look at “the ashes” to fill in the 10 minutes until the tour started. Again, it was so tiny but it was amazing the amount of different memorabilia that the MCC has collected. In the Ashes corner alone there are, besides the urn itself, the scorebook and team sheets from the match that started the tradition, an original copy of the newspaper obituary, etc, etc. One item that I considered a little out of place among the cricketing artifacts was “Denis Compton’s Knee Cap”. I don’t care how good a cricketer you were, I see no reason for you Patella to be on a pedestal!
When our tour started there was a little bit of contrast to my tour of Stamford Bridge – a good tour but rather lacking in substance. Firstly, Colin – our guide, was a much older gentlemen who quickly showed to have a VAST knowledge of the game, the ground and its history. It was very similar to the MCG tour in a lot of respects. I also chuckled when we realised that 60% of our small tour group was Australian..70% if we adopt the kiwi as we have with Russell Crowe and Kylie.
We then preceeded to see all the main rooms – the long room, the members bar, the MCC committee meeting room (although we were thrown out earlier than expected as a meeting was about to start), the away players dressing room, the media centre, the real tennis courts, etc, etc. In every room Colin would give us not just information about the room, but also many tidbits about the history of the game. He particularly tailored it to an Australian audience given the make up of our touring party.
The tour in all lasted almost 2 hours and was definitely worth the 8 pounds that it cost me. Lord’s just seemed to be a place that reinforced that old saying about “big things coming in their small packages.”
Oh, another thing that caused me some laughter was that around the Grace Gate there were posters up of all the test cricket captains saying something great about Lords. As you can see below – Lord’s is not above the use of white out 😉
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