Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

How Great to Visit Lords

Most cricket followers, given the opportunity to visit Lords, the world headquarters of this wonderful sport, would accept with alacrity.

I did just that when the excellent Leicestershire Cricket Society arranged such a visit. A quick look at my Diary confirmed that I was actually free on the day, and I booked straight away.

So on the appointed morning I presented myself at Grace Road in Leicester, and joined forty-odd other cricket enthusiasts for the visit.

The coach was hired from the local company Ausden Clark. It was a perfectly nice coach, but I was disappointed that the driver did not feel it necessary to give any safety information or to even mention seat belts. However, I don`t suppose anybody else noticed.

On the way to London we stopped at London Gateway (formerly Scratchwood) Services.

When we arrived at Lords, we were split into two groups, and each group was given a tour by one of the ground`s own guides. Our guide was John, and he was excellent. But of course he would be - he recognised my badge and it turned out that he too is a Blue Badge Guide.

John took us all around the ground - to the famous Long Room, the museum, the players` dressing rooms, committee rooms and eventually to the iconic Media Centre, with fabulous views of the field of play. I did identify one problem though, and this was confirmed to me by Paul Jones, the Leicester Mercury`s cricket writer - because of the soundproofing, you can`t actually hear anything happening.

We also saw the delightful Nursery Ground, where we learned that towards the end of each season some friendly matches are played, for which there is no admission charge.

I told John and the group of an experience I had recently, which should help to remind us all that others do not necessarily see us in the way in which we would like to be seen.

While on a National Express coach one morning and approaching St. John`s Wood Church, I overheard two teenage girls chatting. "What`s that spaceship?" asked one. "Oh", replied her friend, "it`s some sort of sport ground - tennis or summat".

It was a joy to visit Lords, and I thank the Cricket Society`s committee for organising it and John for being such an excellent guide.