Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Cheltenham Cricket Festival 2016 Super Fixture List and very Happy Memories

Cheltenham Cricket Festival
Cheltenham Cricket Festival
Its the eve of the Cheltenham Cricket Festival and if you have never been, it is definitely one to put on your list.  

For me, this a great time for sporting memories, it is 50 years ago this month since England won the World Cup in 1966 I remembering watching those games in black and white aged just 8 years old living in Cheltenham. My first memory of Cricket was a little later. I was just 12 when I went to my first festival game in 1970 I loved it and then went to every single day for the next 4 years until I joined the RAF after the festival in August 1974 aged just 16! 

At just 12 years old, I would be up in the morning at 6.30 and in my Dad's shop by 7, I would work stacking shelves until 9.30 and get paid £1.50 more than enough for a great day at the Cricket. A lot of money in those days, but of course I had already bought a season ticket, I had to get an adults season ticket, because you weren't allowed in with a child's ticket without an adult. I paid about £10 an absolute bargain for me. Anyway by 9.45 my bike was locked to the railings at the college grounds and as soon as the gates opened, whoosh I was in, and sat in my favorite seat in two minutes flat. Ground completely empty of course. I was soon tucking into my packed lunch, and nearly always eaten it all before play had even started. Just as well I had £1.50. 

By the age of 14 I was also an expert at getting into the racing to watch the Cheltenham Gold Cup, so the challenge of sitting in the Members Pavilion at the College was of course far too much to resist. The easy way was to wait until lunch and just slowly edge across the ground. It was quite busy on the pitch kids playing cricket and adults looking at the square. So it wasn't difficult to slink quietly into the members area. Sitting right by the gate I could touch the players as they walked on and off. Mike Proctor of course everyone's hero. I wouldn't move a muscle once I got across the ground, fear of getting caught. However at the end of the play and the call of stumps, I would run around and help pick up rubbish. I had worked out by then if you did a job for someone you could get something in return. So it was no surprise that the Gloucestershire Officials would let me in the hallowed area for the return of a few odd jobs, I was soon selling scorecards in the mornings. 

So more than often I was first in, and almost last out, unlocking my bike and cycling home I was exhausted, but jumped out of bed next morning to do it all again.  

Fabulous memories of the College ground I would be sun burnt to bits some days sitting in the sunshine all day. So lets hope the weather picks up for this year and they have another very successful festival as they have a fabulous line up of fixtures this year, so do try and go. 


Wed 13th - 16th July Glos v Essex Specsavers County Championship

Sun 17th July Glos v Essex Natwest T20 Blast

Mon 18th July Pakistan A v Sri Lanka A 

Tue 19th July England Lions v Pakistan A

Wed 20th - 23rd July Glos v Leicestershire Specsaver County Championship

Sun 24th July Glos v Sussex Royal London One Day Cup

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