April 15, 2014

Outside the Grace Gate

You think MCC members have it easy when it comes to watching a Test at Lord's? Think again

Two MCC members, a tablet, a newspaper, and a chunk of pineapple © Philip Brown

Photographing cricket matches at Lord's in London means an early start. Parking around the ground is difficult to find and also stupidly expensive if you do manage to find it. With the amount of equipment that I use, I don't have the option of travelling by bus or train.

I arrive near Lord's at about half past seven to be sure of a parking spot nearby (up to £35), so this obviously means I'm there well ahead of an 11am start.

I will usually wander up the queue of the waiting Lord's members to get a couple of shots before they're all allowed into the ground at nine o'clock. It's quite amazing that so many of the MCC members are willing to line up so very early in the morning to obtain their favourite seat for the day.

I'll be a little surreptitious when shooting the photos, as quite a lot of them don't like to be photographed for one reason or another. If I'd risen at four in the morning and was sitting on a footpath waiting to go into "my club" I might tell a scruffy looking oik with a Nikon and a 24-70mm lens to desist from capturing my likeness too.

Anyway, I'm used to scathing looks and fruity language and I'll walk up and down St Johns Wood Road looking for likely subjects. I'll normally wear earphones and listen to Midnight Oil songs so that I don't hear the insults (if any come my way, that is).

I took this photograph last May as two members waited for the Grace Gate entrance to be opened before the Test match between England and New Zealand. One is wearing the MCC blazer while the other sports an MCC tie with a matching pineapple chunk. Neither of these men insulted or assaulted me, by the way.

An Australian freelance cricket photographer based in England, Philip Brown has photographed over 150 Test matches around the world