Thoughts from a newbie
Posted by: Stephen1973 (IP Logged)
Date: 06 May, 2019 18:27

Hi everyone,
I’ve been lurking here for ages and the forum is actually responsible for me getting a season membership before I’d ever been to see a live match (aside from one day of an England test).

I’ve loved cricket since a boy though for me that largely meant watching England get whitewashed every summer by the Windies. It didn’t matter, I’d spend all summer long watching Test Matches and county games on the Beeb.

Originally from Newcastle and no matter how rubbish our owners are, I could never support anyone else but from the age of 8 TIL 30 lived in and around Bushey Heath so I can legitimately claim Middlesex as my cricket team.

I’ve not gone to any games before, partly as I now live in Leavesden so it is a real slog to get to Lords by 3 sets of public transport and plenty of waiting around... at m6 end at least. And also I started my own business 5 years ago and never get an6 time off so by getting a season ticket I thought I’d force myself to get away.

So far I’ve been to the freezing cold county match against Lancashire, the slightly warmer game at Radlett last week and a bit of yesterday’s match.

It will be nice to join in the banter here, even if I’m not up in all the club intricacies. Maybe even meet a few of you later in the season.

I’ve loved watching the matches live, and hope to carry on for the next few decades.

My only slight disappointments is there isn’t much in the way of food at Lords for the county games (less still if you have gluten issues like me!).

Also maybe naively, I was looking forward to a summer of 4 day games and a sprinkling of one dayers. Twenty20 isn’t for me at all so having paid all the money, it’s a bit sad that just when the weather gets nicer there will be a bit of a drought or 4 day games until coincidentally the weather gets colder again in September.

I’m a huge baseball fan and going to see the series in June between The a Red Sox and Yankees, but that sport is designed for a 3 or 4 hour smash, not so sure cricket is.

Apart from the food, Lords is great and I really enjoyed Radlett.

I haven’t been in the Pavilion yet, in my part of town, dressing up on public transport usually means you’re going to court!

Out of interest is there anywhere I can find out match attendances. I’ve always been into attendance figures for some reason and whilst I’m sure in the 80s they were listed in papers, I can’t find any for Middlesex.

Re: Thoughts from a newbie
Posted by: BarmierKev (IP Logged)
Date: 06 May, 2019 19:06

Welcome Stephen1973.

I'm glad thisforum has had such a positive impact on you. Don't be shy feel free to post your opinions on here.

I agree food on offer at Lord's is abysmal. I don't see why attendances can't be announced as everyone is scanned in. I agree with most of your views , but on visit to Canada found the Blue Jays ( let's go Blue Jays let's go) Baseball game tedious and rules confusing.

Let me know next game you are attending and will be happy to meet up. Many friendships have been made through MTWD.

Barmy Kev
I'm only here for the tele

Re: Thoughts from a newbie
Posted by: Fozzie (IP Logged)
Date: 07 May, 2019 07:29

Welcome, Stephen.

Just to comment on one point - my wife has to follow a gluten-free diet, and I'm afraid that Lord's doesn't really offer anything. She always brings all her own food (as generally so do I, though that's just for reasons of cost). Let's hope for a change in the not too distant future.

Glad you're mostly enjoying the experience otherwise, and hope to meet you some time.

Re: Thoughts from a newbie
Posted by: Primrose Hillbilly (IP Logged)
Date: 07 May, 2019 12:44

Hi Stephen,

great to hear from you. Your remark about wearing smart clothing on public transport reminded me of when I worked on Camden Lock Market at weekends. For a time, I went for a heartstopper breakfast before starting to put the stall up, then tried to live more healthily for a while. Then, I gave in, yielded to temptation and went back to the caff.

"Oh, hullo," the manageress said, "haven't seen you for a while..?"

"Yeah,"I said, "I've been away."

The look she gave me told me my secret was safe with her and I had inadvertently earned greater kudos........

We are a reasonably benign bunch, and tend to gather either in the Upper Compo or Ed0 behind the bowler's arm at the Nursery End, while some shelter from the prevailing wind in the Allen.

After play, Kev takes his wallet moths for a spin to the Tavern, and we come along to spare them the daylight. On days 2 and 3 of a CC game we get quite a few of the players come in, and the Lawman tends to be there as well. As long as we don't get too anorak'ish with them, they tend to be happy to chat.

Please keep Kev away from the water jugs on the bar, as Simmo's shoes are still drying out.

Re: Thoughts from a newbie
Posted by: Stephen1973 (IP Logged)
Date: 08 May, 2019 17:38

Thanks Barmy Kev,

Yes I couldn’t believe the food. I ended up going to the Tavern but then missed a few overs after lunch despite eating in a hurry. There was a much better effort at Radlett.

It does take a bit of getting use to with Baseball and I think it would be a lot more skilful if all the fielders removed their glove to catch in what is already a small field. I’m surprised the powers that be haven’t thought cricket couldn’t be spiced up up with everyone wearing keepers gloves!

I’ll be sure to let you know, hopefully in June but if not then with the county games in September,


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/05/2019 17:58 by Stephen1973.

Re: Thoughts from a newbie
Posted by: Stephen1973 (IP Logged)
Date: 08 May, 2019 17:45

Thanks Fozzie,

I can see I got my expectations raised after the England game. I think I will bring my own food too. In the modern day though it’s a fair chance that 10-15% of people won’t be able to eat normal snacks, they are really missing a trick, it cans be that hard for them to pop over to a Costa and bring back some goodies.

It’s little things like that which make a difference, especially if they want to attract more families or younger people in particular.

Still, aside from that it’s great.

Re: Thoughts from a newbie
Posted by: Stephen1973 (IP Logged)
Date: 08 May, 2019 17:57

Hi Primrose Hillbilly,

That’s a great name btw.

That’s a great story, I wonder what she thought you’d been inside for!

As I’ve only been on cold and windy days so far, I too sheltered as close to the pitch in the lower Allen stand, until whatever sun there was went behind the stand. I’ll try the other stands next time, hopefully summer or even spring might arrive one of these days.

Does everyone in the forum tend to sit together?

I’ll probably meet you in the Tavern. Sounds like between moths and water jugs, it will be hard to miss Kev!

Thanks to everyone for their warm welcome. I’m glad that your banter got me to start coming to the games.

Re: Thoughts from a newbie
Posted by: BeefyRoberts (IP Logged)
Date: 08 May, 2019 18:58

Welcome to our website and fantastic club Stephen.
Food...yea most of us take our own,or purchase at Tesco in St John's Wood,and,take the occasional drink in a well.
After most games,we usually meet in The Tavern to discuss the game over a half of bitter shandy.
Hope you have a spare note pad and pen ready for your first match report!

A friendly website,this has produced many long friendships that still go along now.
Enjoy the season,and the ups n downs.
I'm sure pathes will cross during season

Re: Thoughts from a newbie
Posted by: MiddleToWest (IP Logged)
Date: 09 May, 2019 08:49

I'm sure pathes will cross during season
I'm more of a Gaumont British News man.

Re: Thoughts from a newbie
Posted by: Mark Drukker (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2019 20:55

On Stephen's question about attendances, in 60 years of watching and following cricket, the only published attendances I have ever seen have been the T20 Blast attendances given in Wisden in the reports for each game.

Other competitions may not include members in attendances.

Newspapers occasionally give totals for a season, or list old record total attendances for 3 or more days.

The current capacity of Lord's (the largest in England) is 28,500. I am sure the crowds used to be 40,000, when we could sit on the grass, sit on the long benches, rather than individual seats, or stand in front of the old Tavern. I think people used to stand behind the terracing at the Oval.

Re: Thoughts from a newbie
Posted by: BeefyRoberts (IP Logged)
Date: 13 May, 2019 14:10

Regarding attendances..In Wisden yellow bible,each county introduction page has the county championship total attendance figures,some are worrying,to say the least.
As away from home,I cant access the figures at moment.

Re: Thoughts from a newbie
Posted by: Lifer (IP Logged)
Date: 16 May, 2019 10:36

Welcome Stephen. I joined the Middle in 1973.

For cheaper food and drink try the members enclosures. I use the pavilion but take my own food.

Gluten free sandwiches always available in the Long Room Bar.

30p discount on hot drinks if you provide a reusable cup. Beer cheaper in members enclosures.

Enjoy your membership

Re: Thoughts from a newbie
Posted by: Stephen1973 (IP Logged)
Date: 24 May, 2019 18:05

I wondered if the lack of attendance figures is because they are worryingly low :-(

Re: Thoughts from a newbie
Posted by: Stephen1973 (IP Logged)
Date: 24 May, 2019 18:10

Thanks Lifer,

I bet you’ve seen some cracking innings in that time.

That’s great about the tips for sandwiches and re-useable cups. I was disappointed really considering there were more options at Radlett.

I’ve all ready been to a few days and enjoying it. Also feeling more a part of it even when I’m not attending knowing I have an official ‘stake’ in the club.

I probably won’t come to any T20 games but if I make it to a few county days later in the summer then I’ll have recouped my membership payment.

Re: Thoughts from a newbie
Posted by: Sussex Seaxe (IP Logged)
Date: 28 May, 2019 09:39

Let me add my welcome Stephen. I've been a member since 1973 too, but as far as I know, don't know anyone else on this forum, although I do read it most days and contribute occasionally.

Re food, I usually take my own too, but unlike some others, I love going in the pavilion at Lord's. The history, comfort and view make it, for me, by far the best place to watch the game from and you can shelter inside if it's cold or damp! I often travel incognito and put a tie on just before going in the pavilion; you do need a jacket as well, though.

The Long Room bar always seems to have a good range of food; apart from the occasional bacon sandwich in the morning, the only time I've actually bought food there was the occasion when I accidentally took a work colleague to a T20 match (never again). It was actually very good (the food, rather than the match), but I'm afraid I can't comment on the gluten free aspect.

Enjoy your membership!

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