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In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: Hillingdon Seaxe Man (IP Logged)
Date: 01 October, 2017 20:40

I have only just joined this forum although I lurk on here occasionally but I feel I must add my tuppence worth about Uxbridge, particularly the recent match v Hampshire. Although I live locally I am not a member of the Uxbridge Club but do visit there for our matches and socially for a drink and sometimes chat to the Head Groundsman who comes across as very approachable & knowledgeable. A consensus of opinion is that he has carried on the good work of his predecessor Vic and the pitches are improving year on year. He explained to me that in the lead up to the game pitch preparation was hampered by the dismal weather which meant that the pitch was drying out more slowly than he would have liked so he obtained some heat lamps which were attached inside the mobile covers as an aid to firm up the pitch which more or less did the trick. Historically the Uxbridge outfield which lies over gravel drains very quickly and is usually a parched brown colour during the cricket season, but as the second half of the summer has been quite wet it was very green and softer than usual, however even up to the day before the game there was never a suggestion that the outfield wouldn't be fit for play.But on the Monday there were several extremely heavy isolated showers into the evening , despite using the blotter well into the evening to mop up all the excess water there was more rain overnight. The entire square and bowlers run ups were covered in line with ECB requirements but what Dave and his grounds team discovered on arrival at the ground at 4.30 am on Tuesday morning was that the overnight rain had run off the sheets on the square and waterlogged the outfield immediately below the square, some of which ran under the bowlers run up covers due to the sheer volume of water. Normally this excess water would soak straight through outfield but due to the unusually high water table did not soak in.I am reliably informed contrary to some reports that no water got on to the business areas of the pitch, but some leaked on to the end of the pitch behind the bowlers take off area, this I think was caused by the overnight winds ( the remnants of storm Irma) moving an overlap of the side sheet covers.This area was dried out relatively quickly due to the heat lamps being used but the reason play was called of for the day (possibly prematurely) was that the Umpires decided that the outfield areas below the square were too soft and potentially dangerous.I can vouch that quite a lot of the rain that fell prior to and during the game was very localised and simply then just topped up the waterlogged areas. Of course it was very frustrating for all to learn that Tuesdays play was abandoned when the sun was shining brightly. The groundstaff worked tirelessly from before 5am each morning blotting up excess water and spiking the soft areas. The reason more sheet covering was brought in during the game was to protect more areas of the outfield. It can't have gone unnoticed that around the country there have been other outgrounds and headquarter grounds that have lost large passages of play due to wet outfields during this unusually wet September. It is even more frustrating that the pitch (which I'm told was marked above average) was helping the seam bowlers with the ball nibbling around a bit would have likely produced a result had more play been possible. I was very disappointed to read various comments citing 'incompetent groundsman', 'non existent groundstaff', 'dodgy pitch', 'lack of covers', 'cover fiasco' & it wouldn't have happened at Southgate' (it did !!)
I think a lot of the negative comments aimed at Uxbridge were from some who were not present at the game and I also know for reasons best known to themselves that Uxbridge is not their favourite venue , possibly due to a lack of recent Middx wins there in 4 day cricket which is a bit unfair. Uxbridge has been a loyal supporter of Middlesex since 1980 and comparing their facilities to our other outgrounds in my opinion comes out favourably. As quaint as the players pavilion is at MT's its not a great place to be on a cold , wet day when you discover there is very little shelter and it can be a bit soulless .
Winding up , yes it was a disappointing campaign but some of the calls for peoples heads is well over the top . Lets hope for a positive 2018 and an immediate return to division 1 .

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
Date: 02 October, 2017 08:22

HSM-

That does sound like the definitive explanation, and ties up with what Kevin Hand said on commentary.

In other words, lost time on day one was avoidable, but everything after that was not.

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: Darren Gosling (IP Logged)
Date: 02 October, 2017 19:12

You are right HSM - there are plenty on this site - affectionately known as ABU's (anywhere but Uxbridge) who just hate Uxbridge. They wouldn't have been interested in your insightful explanation, they are just glad that the events gave them yet another opportunity to whinge (and boy do they fuck1ng whinge) about Uxbridge.

I was born in Hillingdon and my school playing fields backed on to Uxbridge CC, if it wasn't for the fact Middlesex played at Uxbridge when I was at school there is a good chance I would never have become a life member....

As for Southgate, the reason given at the time for moving there was that the Uxbridge wickets just produced high scoring bore draws and what happened first match at Southgate...
Middx put on 372 for the first wicket and declared on 488-2 as the match was drawn...

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: Seaxe_Man (IP Logged)
Date: 03 October, 2017 10:11

Well put HSM. and spot on Darren. The ABU's were not going to miss the chance to vent their spleen that the Uxbridge monsoon provided.

Two ABU's appeared at the forum last night. The first Neil, parroted out the same guff that appeared earlier on the Uxb thread by messrs Trellis, hdo, Phillie and the not to be forgotten 'Slash outside the off stump'. Three of those individuals were not at the game.

Neil then went onto to quote. ' Is it a fit ground to stage county cricket'?. Neil was obviously ignorant of the fact, that when constructed in the late sixties, staging county cricket was an option. And since then has been supported by the ECB.

The second bloke Tim. Kicked off with the usual rant you could expect. Ie don't let the facts get in the way of a good story.

He appeared confused by last year's fixture list, stating that the Hampshire game staged in 2016 was played on an awful wicket at Gatting Way.

From my memory, the only fixture versus Hampshire at Gatting Way, was a T20 which we won in style, with 93 from Dawid Malan.

Merchant Taylors would be surprised by his news, as the Hampshire CC match was staged at their ground. Also our first win of the season.

They are in the same Borough, Hillingdon. But do not let five or six miles get in the way.

There is a lot of Middlesex support in the Western Boroughs as the T20 turnouts at UXB and Richmond underlined.

The hierarchy need to be mindful of not making a kneejerk reaction.

Richard Goatley doubtless with the Graves Big Bash looming closer, wants to expand the outground portfolio and is talking to Southgate next week.

One hopes that he strikes a better financial deal than the one they offered to Vinny Codringtom in his time.

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: hdo (IP Logged)
Date: 03 October, 2017 11:51

I assume my name has been included in the previous post by error, as I don't recall posting a personal opinion of Uxbridge on the Hampshire match thread, bar one tongue-in-cheek comment which was quite clearly a joke about the then-current state of the wicket. While I'll freely admit I'm a big fan of Southgate and would love to see it return to our fixture list, I'm not an ABU and don't believe I've identified myself as such.

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: adelaide (IP Logged)
Date: 03 October, 2017 14:23

Quote:
Seaxe_Man
Merchant Taylors would be surprised by his news, as the Hampshire CC match was staged at their ground. Also our first win of the season.
They are in the same Borough, Hillingdon. But do not let five or six miles get in the way.

Nope, it's in Hertfordshire (Moor Park always has been). By getting on for a mile. But do not let a mile get in the way!

The postal address is Middlesex, HA6... but that is to do with the convenience of the Royal Mail. Nothing to do with where the county boundary is (or was).


Adelaide

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: The Diamond ruled ok (IP Logged)
Date: 03 October, 2017 19:57

^ still a bloody sight easier to get to than Southgate winking smiley

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: adelaide (IP Logged)
Date: 03 October, 2017 20:32

Quote:
The Diamond ruled ok
^ still a bloody sight easier to get to than Southgate winking smiley

Not from Southgate it isn't!

I would also point out, m'lud, that Southgate is in Zone 4 so a lot cheaper to get to. And you can inspect the famous Minchenden oak at lunchtime. Or Ye Olde Cherry Tree if you prefer.


Adelaide

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: PaulR_enfield (IP Logged)
Date: 03 October, 2017 22:06

Cherry Tree for me!

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: Seaxe_Man (IP Logged)
Date: 04 October, 2017 10:23

Quote:
hdo
I assume my name has been included in the previous post by error, as I don't recall posting a personal opinion of Uxbridge on the Hampshire match thread, bar one tongue-in-cheek comment which was quite clearly a joke about the then-current state of the wicket. While I'll freely admit I'm a big fan of Southgate and would love to see it return to our fixture list, I'm not an ABU and don't believe I've identified myself as such.

A welcome post. Middlesex given their unique situation ground and financewise have been using outgrounds since 1980. In chronological order Uxbridge 1980, Southgate 1991, Richmond 2000, Shenley 2003, Radlett 2013, Merchant Taylors 2014. There was a one off in 1959 at Hornsey.

In Telegraph Sport today pages 2 and 3. Guy Lavender spells out his Lords vision during his stewardship.

Importantly he sees the three drop in pitches on the Nursery Ground being utilised on the main square which is small for a Test Ground and overused as the Lancashire game indicated.

Also, some American company has approached MCC with a scheme to cover the ground with waterproof netting suspended by a barrage balloon and cables from the floodlights.

Both of these measures are for the Norf London Big Bash and Tests where rain stoppages are undesirable.

If one looks at this years fixture list three RLC matches were designated for Lords.

The first v Sussex ended in a farce due to floodlights not being allowed and over officious umpiring when they disappeared after four overs of the Sussex innings into the Pavilion for alleged rain, which did'nt occur until about 5.45. Abandoned.

The second v Glaws was played and after having them about 66 for 5 were unable to shift their middle order.Lost.

The third amusingly v Somerset was a day nighter. By the time I arrived about midday the whole area was under water. Abandoned.

AS I said previously, with the Big Bash taking centre stage soon, we are gonna need our hand of outgrounds to stage RLC matches whilst the BB is going on.

This should be done on a rotation basis. Four Grounds if I include Southgate can do this. The others Uxbridge, MTS and Radlett. Personally I reckon now only two RLC need to be at Lords.

Crowds are not huge and floodlights for day matches are persona non grata. And would save one strip on the square.

So I guess the ABU agenda by demonising one ground is to get it removed from the circuit.

Shortsighted and leaves a nasty taste in the mouth....

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: Seaxe_Man (IP Logged)
Date: 04 October, 2017 10:34

Quote:
adelaide
Quote:
Seaxe_Man
Merchant Taylors would be surprised by his news, as the Hampshire CC match was staged at their ground. Also our first win of the season.
They are in the same Borough, Hillingdon. But do not let five or six miles get in the way.

Nope, it's in Hertfordshire (Moor Park always has been). By getting on for a mile. But do not let a mile get in the way!

The postal address is Middlesex, HA6... but that is to do with the convenience of the Royal Mail. Nothing to do with where the county boundary is (or was).


Adelaide

Nope. In Northwood which has always been in Middlesex and Hillingdon. Googled up their official address which is MTS Sandy Lodge, Northwood, Middlesex HA6 2HT.

It might be like Kashmir around Staines but I don't think so.

Mind you it is close, as Mount Vernon Hospital is just short of the Herts boundary. And Moor Park Station and shops are listed as Herts.

MTS does have a Watford telephone number 019. But then Ruislip and Uxbridge allegedly part of the Greater London fiefdom have a non London number 01895.

Lets carry the discussion to your area Adelaide. Potters Bar allegedly in Herts has a EN postcode. Convenient for the Post Office I assume.

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: Haringey Racer (IP Logged)
Date: 04 October, 2017 14:34

Quote:
Seaxe_Man
A welcome post. Middlesex given their unique situation ground and financewise have been using outgrounds since 1980. In chronological order Uxbridge 1980, Southgate 1991, Richmond 2000, Shenley 2003, Radlett 2013, Merchant Taylors 2014. There was a one off in 1959 at Hornsey.


You missed out the Oval.

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
Date: 04 October, 2017 14:43

I'm sure there was a match at Hornsey circa 1975.

It may only have been a one day game (maybe even first round Gillette Cup when the oppo was usually a minor county) I remembered it because it was a 'one off' at a time when all home games were always at Lord's.

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: Haringey Racer (IP Logged)
Date: 04 October, 2017 14:48

Don't know about 1975 but the first round Gillette Cup game in 1982 was played at Enfield - while I was at Southampton for my graduation ceremony.

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: adelaide (IP Logged)
Date: 04 October, 2017 15:44

As you say, Moor Park Station is in Hertfordshire. The school is to the north of the station and is even more in Hertfordshire. Any A to Z shows the boundary between London/Middlesex and Hertfordshire at Batchworth Lane, which is closer to Northwood Station than Moor Park Station.

The EN code is quite interesting. It includes Barnet town centre and actually extends to Stirling Corner, on the edge of Borehamwood. Barnet was in Hertfordshire pre-1965 and as far as I know has never been in Middlesex. Go a bit north and it includes Great Cuffley Wood (or would do if anyone lived there), Broxbourne and Nazeing (almost reaching the edge of Harlow), Waltham Abbey and Upshire, the last three being on the wrong side of the Lea to have anything to do with Middlesex. The one thing that the EN code does not do is cover most of the borough of Enfield as most of it has the N codes associated with the London Postal Area and never had "Middlesex" as part of its official address, even pre-1965.

Fact is, the whole postal address thing was set up to fit in with how the Royal Mail organised its deliveries. It is no more relevant to geography than the phone numbers. I really don't see what is so hard to grasp about this!

By the way, counties have been dropped altogether from official addresses, though people do still use them.


Adelaide

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: The Diamond ruled ok (IP Logged)
Date: 04 October, 2017 18:20

FFS lads,give it a rest will you (both of you),in a very few years time when the Grocers @#$%& starts we are going to need every outground we have be it school,in county,out of county on board to make sure we can complete a fixture list.

God forbid I even include Southgate on this list (state of pitch and greed of committee permitting).

In,out,shaking it all about I don't care!! I'll even go watch a "home" game at the Hovel if I have to (I have in he past) so long as the money grabbing grocer doesn't get to kill County cricket.

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: Beeamazed (IP Logged)
Date: 04 October, 2017 19:34

There was a 3 day match at Hornsey in late 50's early 60''s I'm certain
I was,there as a young chap remember seeing Derek Shackleton both up the
steep hill..

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: PaulR_enfield (IP Logged)
Date: 04 October, 2017 22:42

Am I correct in thinking we played a home game at Chelmsford around 1977? If the memory serves me rightly it was due to a Gillette Cup Semi Final being rearranged after being rained off or it may even have been the semi itself?

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: The Diamond ruled ok (IP Logged)
Date: 05 October, 2017 03:50

Also played there when the square/drainage was being relayed at Lord's one year,the club even laying on mini buses for the "home"support to get there.Can't remember the year,the result or much else, just thinking when we got to Chelmsford "glad this isn't my home ground".

Re: In support of Uxbridge
Posted by: Darren Gosling (IP Logged)
Date: 08 October, 2017 09:30

We've also played a 'home' game at Chelmsford I recall...a B & H game- I remember getting a coach there that Middx laid on....

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