In commenting on Fantasy Bob's posting on Lesley Riddoch's Scotsman article earlier this week, a reader referred to Richard Young's study of lost cricket grounds in the West of Scotland. FB recommends a scan of this document. It is a true tragedy to think of so many clubs and grounds lost, probably for ever. And disappointing to see how local government seemed ineffective in developing any strategic approach on this issue.
This study led FB to think about the situation in the East of Scotland. FB doesn't have comprehensive knowledge, and the tale doesn't seem quite as tragic as in the West, but there have been some notable changes in facilities.
|Where MSPs are now at the crease.|
Kirkcaldy/Bennochy - once home to a thriving East League Division 1 club. A hilltop ground - you could see the haar rolling in up the Forth. Home once to Ray Joseph the meanest most aggressive bowler in the league. Also in the area Dunnikier Park - not so far from Kirkcaldy a scenic place to play cricket. Is cricket still possible in either of these locations?
Changes have affected Raeburn Place, once home of Edin Accies, although cricket may return once the pavilion has sorted itself out; at Newfield where Accies are currently playing the second field along East Fettes Avenue was recently converted to 2 all-eather hocky pitches with the loss of a fine cricket square; Union Park Corstorphine - not everyone's favourite but a valuable public park none the less; Bangholm - a fine dry field if a bit tight. Malleny Park at Currie used to have an adequate plastic track - now vandalised beyond redemption.
|Cricket at Campbell Park|
FB would be pleased if any of his readers with longer or better memories could add to this list or report on the situation elsewhere.
This is of course part of a much wider issue of concern as rapacious developers eye open space and all playing fields are vulnerable. Cricket facilities need more tender loving care than many other facilities and the years of austerity that are heavily forecast may put pressure on local authorities and clubs that makes them vulnerable.
FB commends the work of Fields in Trust to protect the balance.