Thomas Lord may have smiled to see cricket return on Sunday June 2 to Barnard Park in Barnsbury, where the game emerged in the 18th century. The cricket matches enjoyed last Sunday were community games with children, not matches between local gentlemen as played here in Lord’s day before the sport moved to his famous ground. In Sunday’s more urban game, batting took place on a 22-foot stretch of coconut matting, a long green strip which looked striking on the gravel of big park pitch. Imran, Mohammed and Omar, three coaches from Access for Sport, provided instruction to young players. Girls and boys enjoyed cricket batting and fielding, some for the first time.
Last Sunday two lectures were also given in the park. James Dunnett explored the origins of cricket in Barnsbury and John Scholes looked at the evolution of park birds. Both talks were accompanied by displays of photos and text on show in the Adventure Playground building. The presentations were excellent and the audience included local historian Mary Cosh.
The weather was again sunny – quite a contrast from last year’s pop-up Sundays when it seemed the rain would never stop. Homemade cakes were on sale under a gabezo near the cricket allowing park-goers to have a treat while they watched play. Another pleasant Sunday in the park.