The Horror ..............the horror ..................
Posted by: Primrose Hillbilly (IP Logged)
Date: 29 July, 2020 15:08

I first visited Lord’s when I was about 8, and sometimes spent entire weeks there in the ‘70’s when we played a county championship match, then John Player League game on Sunday, finish off the county game then another county game straight afterwards. It was a scruffy place then, with the old Grandstand like a large stable block, with the scorebox in the middle. It was homely. I sat on the grass when Kent beat Lancashire in about 1973 in the Gillette.

I fell in love with Phil Edmonds' beautiful flowing action there in 1974, against Yorkshire, and became a devotee and through him a Middlesex supporter.

I liked the new Mound Stand, could live with the new non standing Tavern, and loved the new Grand Stand, from where I had a brilliant side on view as Simon Jones on debut beat Sehwag purely for pace, and sent his stump joyously cartwheeling end over end over end, one sweltering Summer evening after Vaughan had completed a beautiful century in the morning. I saw the media centre as a triumph of design and technology. The old Compton and Edrich stands were good if you were in the upper tiers, where a gang could assemble, each sitting slightly at an angle so that you could participate in the general chit chat but also keep an eye on the cricket, while Posh Margaret remonstrated with Kev, and Beefy and Seaxe Man kept us in order, but the lower deck on a hot day at the Test was an inner circle of hell.

I saw KP’s defiant second innings half century on debut, and him drop a sitter at point, I saw the day of “that” no ball, and Stuart Broad’s century knock, and then there were four epic still September days in 2016, ending with that joyous outpouring of unadulterated joy.

Sometime during all this, Lord’s became the “Home of Cricket”. I had grown fond of it.

My walk to Church Street yesterday took me through the St Johns Wood roundabout and then down past Lord’s.

This gave me my first hand sight of the new Compton and Edrich stands, albeit not from the ground up.

I was not best pleased when I heard that the trees at the back were to go, and this had been hustled through as soon as possible, once all possible objections in memory of Gubby Allen had been dissolved. How long had they been there? Did they not make Lord’s that little more a cricket ground, and less part of the metropolis?

These new stands murderously dominate the skyline from the far side of the roundabout. They stand as ghastly, charmless, unyielding slabs, towering over the “Play Up, play up” mural on the corner. They lower, menace and intimidate, as uncompromising blocks. They block the view of the western skies.

As I continued, the full horror sank in. In profile, these horrible, orc-like structures that squat over the Nursery End, showing their behinds to St Johns Wood. Whoever gave planning permission for these atrocities, I hope they got a good bung.

And with these nasty , brutal additions to the ground, and fast tracking however many new members to access the debenture seats and help pay for them, M.C.C. has revealed itself. It has changed from crusty establishment custodian of the Laws of Cricket, with the preservation of the game at its heart. Did they really need the money? Will it stop them putting the price of tickets for the paying punter up? What do you think? They have joined all the other corporate greedheads, no further interested in the legacy of the game than it can be marketed and leveraged.
Will the secretary turn out to an earnest, book’ish guy, blinking from behind his spectacles, who cares about cricket, or a vulgar hustler, as trashy and money driven as a newly minted ‘70’s Texas oil millionaire? “Hey, Rube, wanna see some cricket?” – “Gonna cost ya.” “How much can we bleed ya dry for?” “Mmmmmm, yeah, feel that sweaty cash, brother. Yeah, feel the legacy, you paid enough for it. We don’t care about it. Stack a few more in at the top, there, y’ hear? Make sure y'all exit through the gift shop”.

Lord's has become just another sports ground. And whatever I felt for the old place has just died.

I walked back along the canal to spare myself.

Re: The Horror ..............the horror ..................
Posted by: BeefyRoberts (IP Logged)
Date: 29 July, 2020 16:57

As we haven't been able to see this new structure as yet, I wait to see.
But, your description does not bode well for the view.
Ticket prices? Sky high for international games for some time, and although going to the Ireland/Murts test last year, I wont cross the threshold again for international games.
I suppose it's called updated progress, but, with the iconic toilets being demolished along with other parts, just another ground to me!
As many know, I dont really enjoy going along, and only go as Middlesex play there.
Things wont change for me, but, as I say, the ground needed upgrading for progress and get more bums on seats...but at what price??

Re: The Horror ..............the horror ..................
Posted by: freddie tittlemouse (IP Logged)
Date: 29 July, 2020 17:56

At least you will still get a view of the wonderful pavilion from the new stands. I can remember the old Warner stand when it was first erected and although it was very modish at the time it simply did not fit in alongside the pavilion, there appeared to be no effort to blend in with the surroundings and it soon looked dated. Fortunately it is now history. Whatever they do to Lords it can never be as bad as the Oval.

Re: The Horror ..............the horror ..................
Posted by: Primrose Hillbilly (IP Logged)
Date: 29 July, 2020 19:37

FT, I am, by now, reasonably familiar with the view of the Pavillion from the other end of the ground.

It's been unchanged at least since I first sat at the Nursery End in, if memory serves, about 1976, when Middlesex played Notts and Tim Lamb scored his highest ever, going in as night watchman.

However, yes, as a first essay into modernisation, the old Warner looked very incongruous, resembling an oversize motorway filling station, placed there by accident, but without the attractive green BP paint and signs.

The Oval, ....... despite - for a long, long time it being the ground where I seemed to see more memorable events than those at Lord's - Radley's dab down to third man in 1976, Malcolm's 9 - 67, my hero taking no wickets against Australia following his triumphant Headingley debut, Hussain's England reaching rock bottom against New Zealand, with Ed Giddins in the side, and being roundly boo'ed by the home crowd, from which the only way had to be up - I really could not care less what might happen to it. It became a low, base, drab, concrete enshrouded sports ground in South London, with creeper draped over one end, a long time ago. - Good fast wicket, though.

Re: The Horror ..............the horror ..................
Posted by: adelaide (IP Logged)
Date: 29 July, 2020 22:09

From the topic heading I feared that PH had been checking my English again...

The only mock up I saw was from inside the ground and that seemed OK, also making more sense of the media centre.

The view from outside, or from the Nursery ground area, seems to have been not so well publicised. Perhaps it was inevitable that it would be as PH describes it, given the height. It reminds me of a recent big planning application round our way where the developers placed great stress (because they had to) on the visual aspect from the flats and pooh-poohed the impact on the visual aspect from hundreds of other houses. Fortunately the Planning Committee voted unanimously against the officers' recommendation and rejected it. Unfortunately that is only a battle, not the war! Both the Mayor London and the Environment Secretary have a say and we know what allegedly happened at Westferry.


Re: The Horror ..............the horror ..................
Posted by: Seaxe_man1 (IP Logged)
Date: 01 August, 2020 09:03

As you say PH. Spaniards are now saying we want people who can afford what we demand. Hence 85 grand to jump the queue. The 600 quid 30 years queue of little interest. Test and county tickets are bound to rise further. Mx members now third class citizens will notice the changes not for the better. The NZ game in 83 led to the Tavern Bar closing after Spaniards in the boxes were heckled from below. Personally, I thought that ruined atmosphere.

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