June 28, 2001

Nottinghamshire cricket grounds - a comprehensive survey

CricInfo
'Nottinghamshire Cricket Grounds' by Peter Wynne-Thomas

The cricket writer and historian, Peter Wynne-Thomas, has completed a remarkable tour de force with his latest work, Nottinghamshire Cricket Grounds.

Wynne-Thomas details every existing or former cricket ground in the county and has personally visited every location.

Published by Nottinghamshire County Council, the work is studded with plans of grounds and photographs - not all necessarily picture postcard - of the places where cricket has been and is still being played throughout Nottinghamshire.

But it's much more than a geographical trawl through the county; it is a social and historical work too, showing, for example, how the once popular company sports grounds are now a dying breed.

Conversely, however, though many of the county's collieries are now no more, a high percentage of colliery grounds still exist, having been retained as the local village grounds.

As Nottinghamshire County Council leader Sir Dennis Pettitt points out in his foreword, the work is a nostalgic journey in search of a lost cricketing heritage.

But he adds: "It is not just a lament to a different, less hectic age, when people seemed to have more time .... it also makes the serious point that when grounds that are lost to supermarket developments or the rival claims of other sports, notably soccer, they are lost to us forever."

One delightfully quirky aspect of the book is Wynne-Thomas's parallel quest for ploughman's lunches. He visits, with his wife, many hostelries adjacent to cricket grounds and samples the local fare, giving the price and a brief description of the lunch offered.

Nottinghamshire Cricket Grounds is published by Nottinghamshire County Council, price £8.50.