by Lynn Pearson

Published by:
Amberley Publishing,
The Hill, Stroud,
Gloucestershire GL5 4EP


Pages: 96

MRP: £15.99

Amberley Publishing's titles are wide ranging and always interesting. Their cricket books are always a delight and encompass a wide array of subjects too. I doubt that I am alone amongst club cricketers in loving pavilions and many of my happiest memories revolve around the pavilions and grounds of picturesque and, on occasion, famous grounds. It is therefore a pleasure to read Lynn Pearson's book on Cricket Pavilions.

This is not my first book on the subject but, from memory, this is the first amongst my collection which traces the history of the cricket pavilion. Lavishly illustrated, Cricket Pavilions goes back to the earliest days of the game and from there informs readers of the various structures used at cricket matches ranging from tents, Swiss chalets, prefabs and to the most modern edifices today. From backwaters to Sydney's famous grounds, Lynn's book covers any number of interesting grounds and their pavilions. Marquees are still an essential ingredient for cricket matches today and there is a mention along with tents on how they started.

Some are marvellous whilst other, to my likely less-than-discerning eye, corrugated-iron structures may appeal less but are part of cricket's rich tapestry. I was pleased to stumble upon the Swindon Cricket Club where I spent twelve happy years playing as well as other grounds including Purton a ground I can almost see as I write this), Trowbridge and Box where I enjoyed many a game.

A brief history on how the game started in England also includes a mention of the famous ground of Broadhalfpenny Down and the general betting scene around grounds at the time as well as a social overview. It is interesting to read of the different types of pavilions used: ancient and modern; thatched buildings (including the late Sir Paul Getty's wonderful venue at Wormsley, featured on the front cover); single and double storey - do I remember scoring upstairs at a couple of grounds?; big and small; small club grounds to the most famous international grounds including, naturally, Lord's and its background. In short, all types.

Cricket Pavilions is a wonderful and essential guide to the history of the cricket pavilion and its various types of architecture. Photographs and postcards used are both new and old yet capture the very essence of this very important aspect of the game. Neither is the book solely about pavilions, scoreboards and their evolution also making an appearance and we also learn about the exporting of pavilions from building specialists as well as the background to pavilion seating styles. I wish Lynn and Amberley Publishing every success with this fascinating book.