Four Days of Perfection
Some say that County Cricket is dying or not worth watching. They should have been at Southport over four days of perfect weather in June. The sun was beating down from a cloudless sky and when we did get torrential rain, it was conveniently during the night.
Lancashire were playing Hampshire and the Southport & Birkdale Cricket Club need to be congratulated for making it such a memorable occasion.
Sitting under the trees, members enjoyed watching the cricket as others slumbered in the sun or topped up their sun tan. Older Lancashire members were arrayed in a variety of shorts, there seemed to be a new trend of holding them up with braces!! The gentle ripple of applause sounded around the ground as batsmen scored freely or wickets tumbled, the trains rushing past on their way to Liverpool.
A birthday party was celebrated, with Jack Simmons and Farokh Engineer regaling the listeners with tales of their exploits. Did Farokh really hit Brian Statham over the railway line, the first time Brian bowled to him?
The ice cream van was a 'must visit venue' and even the Lancashire twelfth man could be seen carrying back ice-creams to the dressing room.
For the Southport club it was a team effort with everyone pulling together to make sure the match went smoothly. The Southport cricketers of all ages were on hand to deal with any problem that occurred. (The wind blowing the sun umbrellas over). Wives and girl-friends served in the bars and on what other ground would you find the Chairman's wife manning the car-park?
Or the member whose house backed onto the ground allowing the club to use his electricity for the scoreboard? A very nice touch was the club inviting members of the local Care Home to the match and they had a table in the hospitality tent, greatly enjoying their day.
What was created was a very friendly, welcoming atmosphere and one which celebrated the joys of watching cricket with friends at this wonderful little out ground.
Some say that county cricket is dead, but they should have been at Trafalgar Road Southport in June, they would have enjoyed a very special occasion. One that would last in the memory a long time.
Oh! And by the way! Lancashire won, for the first time this season in the county championship!
Rev Malcolm Lorimer.
Photo: George Franks