Tag Archives: cataloguing

Nineteen months at Lord’s

Today is my last day working at Lord’s.  I’m off to a new job at Southwark Council.

Working here has been an amazing experience and I thought I’d share a few highlights with you –

1. The Long Room on Match Days

Being in the long room on match days is a real pinch yourself/shivers down the spine moment, probably for everyone, but particularly for someone who is never ever going to be a member of the MCC.  During most matches I find an excuse to pop across, taking some leaflets or making a vital check that the paintings are hanging straight!  My favourite moment by far was seeing Strauss and Cook go out to bat on the first morning of my first test at Lord’s.

It's just a bit busier than this on match days!

It’s just a bit busier than this on match days.

2. The collection

Less obvious perhaps – but I think my very favourite thing about being at Lord’s has been working with the collection.  I’m really proud of the progress I’ve made getting it catalogued and in some kind of order and I’ve loved all the unexpected ‘gems’ I’ve found along the way.

Dedicated librarian at work

Dedicated librarian at work

You can see some of the results of my work, and that of the rest of the cataloguing team, on our on-line catalogue.   (http://mcc.adlibhosting.com/).    New entries are being added all the time.

3. Taking the Field visits.

Running Taking the Field has been fabulous all round, but I especially enjoyed getting out there and visiting some of the clubs.  Particular highlights were the beautiful Wirksworth and Middleton in Derbyshire (www.takingthefield.com/clubs/wirksworth-middleton-cricket-club) and warm, friendly Ovington in York (www.takingthefield.com/clubs/ovington-cricket-club).

Ovington playing on the Knavesmire.  It was hot and sunny everytime I went there - convincing me that it must always be like that in York.

Ovington playing on the Knavesmire. It was hot and sunny every time I went there – convincing me that it must always be like that in York.

Wirksworth & MIddleton.  They had the most virbrant youth section I saw anywhere and are based in such a beautiful part of the country.

Wirksworth & MIddleton. They had the most vibrant youth section I saw anywhere and are based in such a beautiful part of the country.

4. People

My next highlight is all the people I’ve got to meet here.  It was great bumping into past and present stars of the game on a daily basis such as Sir Ian Botham, Stuart Broad, Kevin Pietersen, Nasser Hussain, Mike Brearley – and of course meeting my all time hero Andrew Strauss.  But even better was getting to know my wonderful colleagues who mean more to me than all the cricket celebrities in the world (everyone now, 1…2…3… ‘aahhhh’)

Here's me with Rob our superstar archivist who I'm going to miss loads.

Here’s me with Rob our superstar archivist who I’m going to miss loads.

Rob at work with Alan the other archivist.

Rob at work with Alan the other archivist.

Andrew, my fellow librarian.  We formed a life long bond working together for the first few months crammed into a long narrow windowless corridor full of cardboard boxes of unsorted uncatalgued annuals.

Andrew, my fellow librarian. We formed a life long bond working together for the first few months crammed into a long narrow windowless corridor full of cardboard boxes of unsorted uncatalgued annuals.

Liz, a dedicated and knowledgable cricket fan and fantastic cricket photographer.

Liz, a dedicated and knowledgable cricket fan and fantastic cricket photographer.

Rowan, a former archivist who knew absolutely nothing about cricket.  So little that when we were once taling about where to put the model of Sachin Tendulkar she thought we were refering to the man to her right wearing the hat!

Rowan, a former archivist who knew absolutely nothing about cricket. So little that when we were once talking about where to put the model of Sachin Tendulkar she thought we were referring to the man to her right wearing the hat!

5. Lord’s in winter

There’s nothing quite like watching cricket at Lord’s on a beautiful summers day, but when you see the ground in mid-winter you feel like you’re really part of the place and are getting a proper behind the scenes view.  I am sad I won’t get to experience that again this year.

whole ground in snow

So goodbye to Lord’s and goodbye to everyone following my blog.

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Filed under archive, club cricket, Cricket, cricket grounds, goodbye, Librarianship, Lord's Cricket Ground, MCC, test cricket

Too late?

Last week I had my first go at cricket.  I’m 35 years old and have been a cricket fan for 8 years but until last week had never bowled, caught or hit a ball.  I have never intentionally avoided it, the opportunity just never arose, we didn’t play cricket at school, I never came across any friends playing in the park.  I’ve actually been eager to have a go for sometime, but until now have never known anyone who has the gear.

So how did it go?  Well I wasn’t very good!  The batting was OK, although I think my friend was bowling quite easy ones at me, I did really enjoy the batting I loved the feel and sound of leather striking willow with a nice firm thwack, and didn’t even mind that I ended up with bruises all over my right palm (probably due to poor technique).  The bowling was way harder.  It feels so weird having to keep your arm straight.  I founding attempting a run up too difficult, running while doing a windmill thing with my arms – my limbs wouldn’t stay coordinated.  I tried it without a run up but couldn’t seem to generate enough power to get the ball all the way down the pitch (22 yards is actually a really long way).  My friend eventually gave up trying to teach me a run up and let me bowl my balls from half way down the pitch, which made it easier.  I think I’m more of a batsman.

taking a shot

So what’s next for my cricketing career?  Have a left it too late to realise my obvious potential and take my talent on to the international stage?  I would have thought so…until I came across James Southerton while cataloguing some old photographs.  Our cataloguing team here at the MCC are working our way though a massive collection of old photos, some still currently completely uncatalogued.

J Southerton 2nd from left center row (with a rather sinister looking WG Grace 2nd from right)

J Southerton 2nd from left center row (with a rather sinister looking WG Grace 2nd from right)

I’ve been working on this rather marvelous photo of the United South of England Eleven taken in 1875.  I was entering the details of all the figures onto our persons index and was very interested to read that James Southerton was (and remains) the oldest test debutant.  He made his debut at the age of 49 years and 119 days!  He did OK too, taking 3 wickets in a match against Australia, he also played in the following test before retiring from the international game to run a pub.  The important thing is it means there’s hope for me.  If I spend the next 15 years sorting out my bowling action, get my limbs coordinated and manage to get the ball all the way to the other end maybe I could be the one to break his record.  It’s something to aim for.  Wish me luck!

James Southerton - he made his debut at an age that all international cricketers these days would have retired by!

James Southerton – he made his debut at an age that all international cricketers these days would have retired by!

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Filed under Australia, bowling, cataloguing, Cricket, Cricket records, England, History, MCC, test cricket, WG Grace, women's cricket

Death of a Cricketer

Obviously a big death is in the news at the moment.  How we should remember her? what type of funeral? etc.  It’s got me thinking about death (cheery I know) and reminded me of the week I spent cataloging memorial and funeral service brochures.  Some of them were moving, some sad, some uplifting.  Here are a few of my favourites.

Larwood mem

As you may know if you read my ‘Villains?’ a few weeks ago Harold Larwood was a somewhat controversial figure due to the part he played in bodyline bowling.  Yet many believed his disgrace was ill deserved and the Rector’s words reflect this in the opening address.

“Harold lived as he bowled – honestly, steadfastly and wholeheartedly.  For various reasons, which are now part of the game’s history, he was not always appreciated but despite this he continued his spell with fortitude and preserved his own integrity.”

A very nicely put tribute I think.

Don Bradman mem

I like this one because it’s nice and joyful.  I love the picture on the front, it’s so 1930s and reminds me what incredible times this man saw (as well as being an incredible cricketer).  I think the cartoon on the back with the umpires signal of ‘out’ is touching and funny.

owzat DonMy very favourite though, makes me feel sad.

Hedley Verity mem

Unlike the first two, his life was cut short violently and prematurely   At just 38 he died in Italy as a prisoner of war from wounds received during an attack on a German battalion in Sicily.  Before he went missing in action his last known words were “keep going, keep going” urging his men on in the attack.  At first there was hope he might have survived his wounds and be in a prisoner of war camp but word was received of his death and the Telegraph & Argus paid this moving tribute on 2 September 1943…

Wherever good cricket is appreciated, wherever sportsmanship is accepted as an indication of character, wherever men are honoured not because they are wealthy or gifted, but because they are in the true sense of the word men, there will the name of Hedley Verity be ever respected.

The humble last resting place of Hedley Verity.

(Memorial and funeral service brochures are among the many interesting and quirky items that can be viewed in the Lord’s Museum, Archive and Library.  Catalogue available on-line soon.) As well as a brave and well respected man he was a great bowler with the best first-class average in his day and the only man to take 14 wickets in a single day in a test match.  His death was a terrible waste of talent.

Here’s me hunting for interesting things to show you.

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Filed under Australia, bowling, cataloguing, Cricket, death, England, History, injury, Librarianship, MCC

Recognise this?

ground

Where is this?

MCC needs you!  (Well, your help recognising this picture any way).

My colleagues in the archive are busy sorting and cataloguing Estates Department files from the 1930s to the 60s.  The Estates Department deals with the grounds and properties of Lord’s and Alan was going through a wonderful box of material relating to the care of pitches and the construction of artificial pitches.  Among some photos of grounds staff testing out various rollers on the nursery ground he found the picture above, it’s not Lord’s so where is it?  Can any of you help?  The sanity of the archiving team may depend on it!

 

thoughful

Baffled and confused – they need your help!

If anyone can help us please send me a message.

Thanks!

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Filed under archive, cataloguing, Cricket, cricket grounds, History, Librarianship, Lord's Cricket Ground, MCC

Pretty pictures of Lord’s

Here are some lovely pictures taken by Alan , who braved the cold so I didn’t have to.  Thanks Alan.

media centre in snow

Other than the excitement of the snow it’s been a standard week at Lord’s – done lots of interesting enquiries though – someone wanted to know about the sparrow killed by a cricket ball (which can been seen stuffed in the Lord’s museum along with the killer ball).  Another wanted to know about the balloon flight that took off from the second Lord’s ground in 1802.  There was a query about baseball being played at Lord’s, one on the history of cricket in Japan, one about the American Indian encampment that was set up at Lord’s in the 19th century!  So I’ve had lots to keep me busy.

pavilion square in snow

On top of all my enquiries I’ve been working on a really moving story from Rodley CC on Taking the Field.  I don’t want to tell you too much about it as it will spoil the surprise.  But keep an eye out for in on http://www.takingthefield.com/ it should be ready in a day or so and is my favourite story out of all I’ve worked on so far (although terribly sad).

roller in snow

pavilion in snow

Not much else to report this week as we’ve been mega busy as we’re missing staff due to sickness.  I think the stress began to bite mid-week when there was a serious team bust up relating to cakes – a contentious issue in any work place.  Voices were raised and cruel words uttered, but we were all friends again by the end of the week

grand stand in snow

Hopefully my sick colleague will be well again next week, I’ve enjoyed dealing with enquiries but cataloguing seems to give me more opportunity to find interesting little articles to share on my blog.

close up pavilion in snow

Hope none of you are snowed in anywhere!

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Filed under Cricket, Lord's Cricket Ground, MCC, MCC, oral history

back to cataloguing

Wisdens

Busy week here at Lord’s, although I’ve had to spend most of my time working on the catalogue and have had very little time to give to TTF.  I’m especially grateful, therefore, to Andrew Black at Montgomery Cricket Club (http://www.takingthefield.com/clubs/montgomery-cricket-club) who’s created some fabulous videos for the website without me having to do any work at all!  Please take a look at them, the one about the glacier mints is my favourite.

While Andrew Black is doing all my work for me on the website I’m slaving away with the catalogue.  My manager gave me a friendly reminder this week that all library material needs to be ready to go online by February.  There are 142 boxes of material still to catalogue and I’m currently working at a rate of 2 boxes per week – you don’t need to be a mathematical genius to work out that means I seriously have to speed up!  So for the next few weeks there will be less listening to cricketing memories and less creation of digital stories and more of me tied to my desk trawling through box after box of annuals, periodicals and programmes recording vital information like how many pages each booklet has, how big it is and who printed it and where etc.

Before they can go on the catalogue all objects have to be carefully measured by our Measuring Officer Linda Gordon.

Before they can go on the catalogue all objects have to be carefully measured by our Measuring Officer Linda Gordon.

Cataloguing can be interesting some of the time, but some of the material is pretty routine repetitive stuff.  A nice diversion is looking out for comedy adverts, I found a nice baffling one the other day in a 1950s Indian match programme, I have no comment to make about this, what do you think? So many interesting themes I just don’t know where to begin…

oven advert

Better get back to the coal face, need to catalogue about 500 more match programmes by the end of today if I want to stay on track!

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Filed under advertisements, adverts, archive, cataloguing, Cricket, India, Librarianship, MCC, oral history

The Librarian

Not much progress on Taking the Field these last couple of weeks as I’ve been focused on the other part of my role – Cataloguing Assistant (far more exciting than it sounds).  I started this role back in March, basically what I’ve had to do it sort, box and catalogue thousands and thousands of cricket annuals, yearbooks, match programmes etc.  I’ve found lots of interesting things along the way and have spent many happy weeks crawling around in a narrow windowless storage corridor.

my home for about 6 months.

Physically the library collection is in pretty good order now (thanks to me!) so now I’m on to the more desk based task of cataloguing and indexing etc.

The reason for this project (aside from the pure joy of having a beautifully catalogued collection) is that we hope to have our catalogue on-line early next year.  Until you can search for yourself I intend to start picking out some of my favourite things and telling you about them here.  Look out for my first item next week, but for now I’d better get back to my Rodley CC digital story.

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Filed under Cricket, Librarianship