Back to Snowy Cardiff

I made it back to Cardiff yesterday. The train I was on was about half an hour late, but that was understandable. The strange bit was that most of the delay resulted from us running very slowly through the Severn Tunnel. There certainly wasn’t any snow down there!

Cardiff city centre was virtually deserted and none of the roads had been cleared of snow. I’m guessing no buses were running, as I didn’t see any on the way, and there were few cars. Many shops were closed. The M&S in the station was open but had received no deliveries that day, and was just selling what it had from the day before. I bought some groceries, mostly at a reduced price.

It was snowing quite heavily and was very cold when I walked back to my house from the station, so I didn’t take many pictures, but I couldn’t resist this one of the River Taff, frozen over by the Principality Stadium:

This was the view towards Pontcanna Fields from near the cricket ground.

Fortunately I was wearing heavy walking boots, but I’d forgotten what hard work it is to walk through snow!

This morning there’s still a lot of snow around and no sign of any attempt to clear the roads.

I wonder if there’ll be anywhere open to buy a paper?

18 Responses to “Back to Snowy Cardiff”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    Only four weekends to the start of the cricket season…

    (Cambridge Universities vs Notts at Fenners from April 1st – no joking – although the county championship doesn’t begin for a further 12 days, and you won’t see Glamorgan play First Class cricket in Cardiff before May; hopefully they will also play first class cricket.)

    • telescoper Says:

      Playing conditions would have been difficult yesterday.

    • telescoper Says:

      I’m still waiting for the fixture list from Glamorgan. I hope to be able to catch some cricket before I move.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        You can find the whole of the English/Welsh 2018 domestic fixture list on the BBC website, competition by competition:

        Obviously, hit the “More” option. It will be a bit of a slog to sieve out Glamorgan’s fixtures, but if you want to settle your diary for the summer then you need wait no longer. These fixtures are generally published in earlyish December.

      • telescoper Says:

        Yeah I saw it earlier and pencilled in a few dates. But last year they sent a little booklet which was very handy. I hope they’ll supply the same thing for this season.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        I’d be surprised if there isn’t something economically printable on the club website.

    • telescoper Says:

      Having located my diary and deciphered the sprawls therein, I see that Glamorgan’s first fixture is a three-day match against Cardiff MCCU, starting on 13th April.

  2. Ireland are playing a test against Pakistan in May, and a couple of T20s against India in June, at Malahide which I think is not far from Maynooth.

    • telescoper Says:

      Yes, I am planning to attend the first day of test cricket in Ireland.

      Malahide is a rather posh coastal resort just North of Dublin, easily reachable from Maynooth..

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        I wonder if cricket flourished in late-19th century Ireland but died out as an expression of nationalism after the 1920s?

      • telescoper Says:

        I don’t know. Possibly. There are plenty of cricket clubs around Ireland though. There’s North Kildare Cricket Club which is based in Kilcock, just a few miles from Maynooth. They have four senior teams and a junior side.

  3. Malahide cricket club was formed in 1861 according to Wikipedia and its website. But I suspect that cricket never grew beyond club competition, as it didn’t in Scotland. Up until the 1840s cricket was really confined to the South East of England, and it was the formation of an all England XI by William Clarke of Nottingham, and the fact that they could get around England by railway which spread it to the rest of England and the more accessible parts of Wales. Then the county championship was formed which became a bit of a closed shop, and Scotland and Ireland never got a look in. But after independence I suspect that there was no appetite to join the county championship, and they chose the road which has now brought them to the test arena.

    However Ireland did tour abroad in the 19th century, because they played in Philadelphia in the 1890s. Philadelphia were really strong. In the 1890s England as well as Ireland toured there, and they beat an overconfident full strength Australian side stopping over on the way home from a tour of England. For around 15 years around the turn of the century, one of the best fast bowlers in the world was an American, Bart King (probably equal with England’s Tom Richardson).

    I am sure that Ireland must have toured elsewhere in the late 19th and early 20th century, but I can’t find out more. Cricket Archive now asks for a subscription, and Wikipedia thinks that Irish cricket began in 1999.

    John Major’s book on the history of cricket is good, I will try to find my copy and see if it says much about Ireland.

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      There are errors in John Major’s book. On p104 of the paperback edition (at least), the 5th Lord Byron was great-uncle of the poet (who was the 6th), not his grandfather; on p254, Land of hope and glory is referred to as “Britain’s alternative national anthem” when it is clearly England’s alone (the Scots surely have Scotland The Brave as theirs); and on p296 the poem “No Lords this year” about World War 1 is by Hornung, not Kipling. I got a nice letter back from John Major when discussing his book with him by post. There is only one fleeting reference to Irish cricket in it, in which a tour is spoken of by the All-England XI which you mention.

      There is also “Start of Play” by David Underdown, and Derek Birley’s Social History of English Cricket (which put me right about Hornung). The latter contains several references to Ireland in the index ,although all are about politics, not cricket. Best, though, is the 25-page history of the game’s early era in John Eddowes’ book The Language of Cricket. I’m pruning my bookshelves at present and am willing to give my copy away to anybody known personally to Peter who sends me a decently sized SAE (feel free to ask Peter for my address); the book weighs 322 g. The earliest definite reference to cricket is from a court case in Guildford in the late 16th century, in relation to whether a plot of land was public or private; a witness testified that he had played cricket on it while at the grammar school and, given his age, this testimony takes the game back to the middle of that century.

      In the 18th century aristocrats raised teams and bet on them, not failing to bribe the opposition to play badly. Judged from the perspective of the game’s deep history, we invented match-fixing too, and the entire Corinthian golden era was merely an aberration.

      Yours cynically…

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Oops, the italics should have ended after the title of Eddowes’ book!

      • Another good book which I have, though it focuses mostly on the early Victorian era, is Patrick Morrah’s “Alfred Mynn and the cricketers of his time”.

        Yes, gambling and match fixing were indeed rife in the early 19th century, and one of the worst culprits (mentioned by both Major and Morrah) was the Revd. Lord Frederick Beauclerk.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Yes, Beauclerk playing for the Gentlemen vs the Players must have made a few people smile wryly.

      • And “Players” of those days were often gentlemen such as Silver Billy Beldham.

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