In late 2018, London Vision South East were fortunate to receive a parcel of funds from a charity that raises money to provide sport and recreational facilities for the visually impaired. These funds supported London Vision South East to organise a special guided tour of the legendary Lord’s Cricket Ground for a small group of blind and partially sighted people on 29 January 2019.
With snow promised, it was hardly cricketing weather, but nevertheless the London Vision team gathered at St. John’s Wood Station to visit the Mecca of Cricket!
Rikki Jodelko from Lambeth picks up the story of the tour from here:
“Our guide Graham had us introduce ourselves and, unsurprisingly, most of us were cricket fans who had been to Lord’s many times previously.
We started the tour in the museum, and the star exhibit was the tiny urn containing the much prized Ashes. Graham told us the story about how the urn became the trophy which either England or Australia win on beating the other at test cricket, and we were able to pass around a replica. Perhaps apt considering England are hoping to take the ashes this summer on home turf.
For me, the best part of the Lord’s tour was the Pavilion. We walked into the Long Room, normally reserved for MCC members, and it was much more spacious than I had imagined. Then it was upstairs to the Home Dressing Room where our England cricketing heroes get ready for the matches that we’ve been glued to for so many years. It’s a lovely roomy space and has very comfortable upholstered benches for the players. Graham showed us some cricket kit, such as a pair of batters’ gloves and helmet. And some of us, including myself, sat in the seat favoured by England Captain Joe Root. We then viewed the nursery ground from afar, where Metro Blind Sports have played many cup finals.
The tour finishes with a visit to the modern Media Centre, but I was a little disappointed that the room from where the Test Match Special is broadcast was barred to us. TMS is how most visually impaired cricket fans experience the great game with its ball-by-ball commentaries on radio. Some of us present are old enough to remember great cricket broadcasters, such as John Arlott, Brian Johnston and Christopher Martin-Jenkins, and still very much enjoy listening to Jonathan Agnew and his co-commentators’ descriptions of international cricket matches.
Our guide Graham was excellent. He was entertaining and informative. Before we said our goodbyes, Graham received a much-deserved round of applause from the group, and then a small number of us headed off to the Lord’s Taverners pub for lunch, which is always the perfect way of ending a cricketing day”
Written by Rikki Jodelko, Hassan Khan and Ray Calamaan