Thursday, 13 September 2012


The dancing in the streets of Glenrothes just goes on and on.

Hot on the heels of the victory of Glenrothes CC at the weekend in the play-off for a place in the Cricket Scotland League next season, comes news that Glenrothes has been named the cleanest, most beautiful community in Scotland by the environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful.

This is a big turn around for Glenrothes was named the most dismal place in Scotland in the 2009 Carbuncles Awards. But impressive efforts by the Council and community together have turned that image around. There have been anti-litter campaigns and flowers planted here there and everywhere. Last year the town won gold in the RHS Britain in Bloom competition.

Britain in Bloom carries a special meaning to Fantasy Bob. For when he was growing up in Aberdeen the city annually won its class in the competition. Its displays of roses along its ring road were the stuff of dreams and its parks a source of great pride. So predictable was its annual victory that the city was eventually banned from entering.

The step up to the national cricket leagues will also be a big fillip to the town. Fantasy Bob recalls with great affection playing in Glenrothes many times, although not recently.

His trips to the Fife town preceded sat-nav and other aids to navigation. In those days drivers were on their own, and finding the cricket ground presented an annual challenge equivalent to tracing the source of the Nile. There was something in common. A river is involved in each venture.

The Glenrothes cricket ground was variably named Town Park or Hippo Park (due to the equipment in the play park, although at several points in a season such as this the aquatic animals would have felt well at home) or Riverside Park.

As a new town Glenrothes was, like all its peers, designed by a roundabout fetishist. Fantasy Bob and his team mates knew that the ground was near a roundabout - but which one? After a half hour circulating identical roundabouts, Fantasy Bob would pluck up courage to ask a local for directions.

'Excuse me, can you tell me how to get to the cricket ground?'

'The what?'

'The cricket ground.'

Blank Look

'Town Park.'

Blanker look.

'Riverside Park.'

Even blanker look.

'Hippo Park.'

'Oh, Hippo Park, where the cricket is. Why didn't you say so. It''s. ..............'

FB's interlocutor was clearly struggling. He would face one way, then the other. He would orient to the sun. He was troubled. There was nothing for it, assistance was required. At this point in the dialogue there would invariably pass a young mother labouring behind a push chair inhabited by a screaming infant. It was often with ill grace that she would stop, and a firm instruction to the infant to calm himself would be necessary. The infant would simply scream louder on receiving this trenchant encouragement from his mother.

FB's acquaintance of some time would explain the quandary.

'He wints the Hippo Park.'

A loud scream from the infant.

'Ken - Riverside Park.

A louder scream.

'Town Park.'

Adjacent windows are shattered by the infant's scream.


'Where the cricket is.'

The infant is pacified.

'Oh, where the cricket is why didn't you say so. It''s..........'

Once it is located, Riverside Park nestles in a pretty location. Its proximity to the river presents a challenge to the doughty groundsman in preparing a hard fast wicket. In a season such as this year, the challenge was immense. FB remembers a string of close matches - never high scoring but close and competitive.

Good luck to Glenrothes in the SCL East next year and good luck and well done to all the flower planters.
Riverside Park Glenrothes

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