Friday, 13 May 2011
Jonathan Meades once wrote that I had an eye for 'wonky cricket pavlions' and he's right. Compiling photographs for a Leicester project I learnt in my local that Leicestershire County Cricket Club once played on a ground just off the Aylestone Road before finding their current permanent home at Grace Road. They did, from 1901 to 1939. 399 first class games were played here, including matches against the touring sides of Australia, West Indies, India and New Zealand. Being next to the power station, it was then used by the 'Leccy' (electric) board, and indeed it is still the home of the Leicester Electricity Sports Cricket Club. I was not a little alarmed to see Persimmon Homes' flags fluttering on the boundary fence, but on presenting myself at the 'marketing suite' was told by a delightful girl that the ground was safe. Later I discovered that there is to be some development of the outfield, and although it will be smaller it is planned that this should be one of the finest cricket 'squares' in the country. Persimmon are going to take the wonkiness out of the pavilion, and club members will see to the inside. So that's alright then, and very fitting, considering W.G.Grace once played here.