MCC members given chance to own piece of Lord’s history
PUBLISHED: 14:30 14 June 2020
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is giving members a unique chance to own a coveted piece of Lord’s history, with the club in the process of replacing a number of the famous white benches from its pavilion.
The lower tier of benches from the Grade II* listed pavilion at the Home of Cricket are being replaced following consultation with MCC members, who are now able to enter an exclusive ballot to receive one of the 128 existing benches.
The strength of feeling from members on the subject of benches in recent years prompted the club to investigate options for more comfortable alternatives.
Members were given the chance to test three different prototypes of new bench during last year’s England v Australia Test, with one version the clear preference both in terms of comfort and appearance.
The new benches are currently being installed on the pavilion concourse at Lord’s and have been manufactured in Spain by BdB Barcelona, who have produced a bespoke version of their ‘Type B’ bench for Lord’s.
The first usage was originally planned for the Test match between England v West Indies later this month, however the match has now been moved as the series is taking place at venues that offer a bio-secure environment.
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Those members successful in the ballot for an existing bench will receive their seating free of charge, fully delivered by the club’s trusted suppliers.
However, lucky recipients are encouraged to make a donation to the MCC Foundation whose mission is to provide transformative opportunities through cricket to young people across the UK and overseas. The Foundation’s most recent appeal in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis raised over £78,000 to help feed 23,000 vulnerable people in Westminster.
The pavilion benches were re-made with new timber slats in 2005, however the design and style of the benches has remained the same since 1889, when the pavilion first opened.
They come in in two, three, four and five-seater options and are made out of softwood timber slats and supported from iron legs in a ‘serpentine’ shape. While they have been well used over the years by many cricket fans, each has its own character, and loveable faults, indicative of the life it has lived at Lord’s.
Jamie Clifford, assistant secretary (Membership & Operations), said: “We are very pleased to be able to offer all members of the club the chance to own a piece of Lord’s history.
“These benches have experienced many years of cricket and have their own unique character. We expect them to be extremely sought-after despite the fact that they offered little comfort over a long Test match day.
“For some time the pavilion benches have been a cause of much comment from members and we are very happy to respond to that need by installing new, more comfortable benches, which are, importantly, in keeping with such an iconic building.
“The members are at the heart of the club and it is excellent to be able give this opportunity for them to own a pavilion bench, whilst also raising funds to support the very important work of the MCC Foundation.”
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