£8.2 million investment pays dividends April 8, 2005

Lord's unveils refurbished pavilion

Tom Graveney re-opens the pavilion © Martin Williamson
The refurbished Lord's pavilion was today opened by Tom Graveney, the MCC's president, after a seven-month, £8.2 million makeover. In a blend of the old and the new, Graveney was joined by Alastair Cook, the 20 year-old England A batsman who will be playing for MCC in the season's opening match which was due to start this morning.

Outside, the pavilion, which was originally opened in 1890, looks almost unchanged, with the exception of the restored viewing areas in the two turrets and the terrace at the very top of the building. But inside, aside from a complete redecoration, there has been considerable restoration, especially to the Long Room. The installation of new gas fires was particularly appreciated by the few hardy souls who braved cold wind and rain to turn up for the first day of the season. The refit has also been used as a good opportunity to move around the works of art. Adam Chadwick, the Lord's curator, estimated that 70% of the MCC's collection is now on show, a two-fold increase.

"The refurbishment of the pavilion has been a complex, as well as expensive, project," Roger Knight, the MCC's secretary, said. "We wanted to improve every aspect of the building, from top to bottom, but needed to complete all the work in the gap between the 2004 and 2005 cricket seasons. Despite some unforeseen difficulties, I'm delighted that the project has been completed within our budget." It might be churlish to point out that the entire pavilion was built in the same time over the winter of 1889-90 at a total cost of £21,000.

Graveney was also understandably delighted. "I first played here more than half a century ago and, quite simply, I've never seen the pavilion looking better. For decades to come, spectators, officials and players will benefit enormously from the improvements which this great project has brought about. I congratulate everyone concerned in improving the pavilion in such a spectacularly successful way."

Members of the public can see the refurbished pavilion for themselves during a Tour of Lord's. (Details are available from the Tours Office on 020 7616 8595 or via tours@mcc.org.uk)