A visit to Lord's

I was at Lord's on Tuesday 17th March.

The ground had a peculiar air and a sense, not of anticipation of a cricket season shortly to begin, but rather the shutting down of an institution.

I was visiting the MCC Library and that too was closing its doors. The guide was locking up the museum not knowing when it was to re-open. As I drove out through the Grace Gates and they closed behind me, I was reminded of the words of Neville Cardus.

Neville at Lord's in the summer of 1939.

"On the Friday morning when Hitler invaded Poland, I chanced to be in the Long Room at Lord's watching through windows for the last time for years. Though no spectators were present, a match was being continued; there was no legal way of stopping it. Balloon barrages hung over Lord's.

As I watched the ghostly movements of the players outside, a beautifully preserved member of Lord's, spats and rolled umbrella, stood near me inspecting the game. We did not speak of course; we had not been introduced. Suddenly two workmen entered the Long Room in green aprons and carrying a bag. They took down the bust of W.G. Grace, put it in to the bag, and departed with it. The noble lord at my side watched their every movement; then he turned to me. "Did you see, sir?" he asked. I told him I had seen. "That means war," he said.

Rev. Malcolm Lorimer.

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