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Cricket ground heritage

December 8 2017 at 9:09 PM
sid  (Login sid-don)
Assistant Moderator
from IP address

During one of the breaks in the recent test, Jonathon Agnew spoke to the CEO of the South Australia Cricket Association who talked about the redevelopment of the Adelaide Oval. A little like Headingley its a multi sport venue and the development required the local Aussie Rules people to work closely with their cricket counterparts. A little like Headingley, arguably the non cricket side were the more powerful.

However I didn't realise certain cricket aspects of the old ground were protected by law during the developments. These being

Name: Can only be called the Adelaide Oval
Scoreboard: The old 'bodyline' board cannot be replaced or re-sighted.
Grass: The grassed hill area must be retained with no reduction in size or cannot be built upon.

I think the fourth one was to do with some fig trees but I cant remember exactly what was said.

Now back to Headingley, I first went in 1976 and we've now reached the situation 40 years on where virtually nothing remains except the Leeds Football pavilion / Loiners bar. If we'd been able to apply the same to our ground is there anything we'd have held onto? How about:

The coconut shy stand - genuinely innovative.
The cycle track allowing spectators to lap the ground and continue to watch the play.
The Popular trees at the Kirkstall Lane end
The Lille Marsh betting tent
The 1980s scoreboard (500-1 and all that)
The county offices / 70s pavilion
Mr Yummy Yummys ice cream van

On a serious note, our development could have been better. Its functional at best.

This message has been edited by sid-don from IP address on Dec 8, 2017 9:25 PM

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Geoff B
(Login Coastalview)


December 8 2017, 10:54 PM 

I often bring up this 'throwback Thursday' article to remind myself of the Popular poplars. My favourite memory. https://yorkshireccc.com/news/view/4285/throwback-thursday-headingley-through-the-ages

Anthony Rowe
(Login tonyinsiam)


December 9 2017, 9:17 AM 

Yes, Sid, the fig trees that you mentioned were the ones immediately behind and on both sides of the old scoreboard, which itself has been preserved. As far as I was aware nothing else was said about them other than they provided a picturesque backdrop to the old scoreboard and, thus, were themselves to be preserved.If there is any other significance then it was not mentioned.

Tyke 1950
(Login Tyke1950)

Re: Cricket ground heritage

December 9 2017, 11:02 AM 

It’s too late now to do much about Headingley. We are where we are.
To be honest, it was never a particularly characterful ground. The new developments are uniformly functional and, in my view, unattractive. I suppose the club might have been more thoughtful about aesthetics but the developments have been piecemeal; usually a hurried response to anxieties concerning minimum facility requirements for International matches. I don’t want to blame YCCC for much in relation to recent develo0ments, other than, perhaps, the misconceived ‘iconic’ Kirkstall Lane development.
At least the ground is reasonably comfortable; there are a few covered areas and the viewing is good from a number of vantage points. The new Football Stand will further enhance basic levels of comfort.

As long as the Headingley wicket continues to provide scope for good cricket I can live with what we’ve got.

There are a number of other grounds in the country where ‘heritage’ is much more of an issue: Worcester, Canterbury and Taunton strike me as good examples. The County Clubs concerned have had mixed success in preserving the unique qualities of these grounds but they have at least tried to balance modern facility requirements with aesthetics.

One County which has done a splendid job of turning an ugly, unappealing ground into an attractive, even characterful venue, is Northants. Thirty years ago it was my least favourite ground; Wantage Road now, is a credit to an impoverished club.

One ground which strikes me as beyond hope of salvation is Chelmsford. Surrounded, as it is, by flats, there is no sensible scope for the improvement of such a ramshackle, squat, cramped facility. Congratulations to Essex for its Championship success but I hope the Club is investigating options for an alternative future venue.

(Login ThirdUmpire)

Re: Cricket ground heritage

December 9 2017, 1:09 PM 

The confectionery stall?
The bowling green behind what is now the Long Room but effectively a car park.
Arthur's newspaper stand where there is a plaque on the wall.


(Login matthefish2002)

Re: Cricket ground heritage

December 11 2017, 10:55 AM 

I don't think Headingley is that bad, would not call it a soulless bowl I have seen it described as but not very picturesque either.

I would say Old Trafford out of the traditional test grounds is the most soulless after redevelopment which is a real shame with the history the ground has.
'The Corporate Hospitality Stadium' a Lancs supporter told me he know called it.
Also not helped by being on some bland industrial estate which is outside the clubs control.
Would say Trent Bridge is my favourite venue of traditional Test Grounds, modern but can feel the history.

Out of the County grounds I have visited I would Derby is the least appealing although has an interesting history. Derbyshire cricket venues is saved by Queens Park.

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