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County to return to Wagon Works

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: August 20, 2009

The Wagon Works ground could host county cricket again

The Wagon Works ground could host county cricket again

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COUNTY cricket could be on its way back to the Wagon Works Ground in Gloucester.

The beloved Tuffley Park venue has not hosted a first-class match since 1992, but Gloucestershire chairman John Light has revealed the club are keen to return to the scene of legendary heroics from the likes of Hammond, Wells and Procter.

Light said: "We have had discussions with Gloucester City Council and submitted a report in relation to a possible return to the Wagon Works.

"Our head groundsman Sean Williams has visited the site to report on the state of the wicket and he believes it could be brought up to the required standard for first-class cricket.

"The bad news for cricket-lovers in Gloucester is that this process would probably take three years, but I can assure them that this is a realistic option and not some far-fetched romantic idea.

"Although there are minimum facilities for players and spectators, the time-frame is such that this could be addressed."

Gloucestershire played their first county match at the Wagon Works in 1923 but ended their association when the city's annual cricket festival moved to The King's School.

There was no festival in Gloucester this season after the club struggled to attract sponsors for the traditional four-day game, and Light has cast doubt on whether the school grounds at Archdeacon Meadow will remain a viable option.

"The King's School is a wonderful venue and we value their loyalty enormously, so I personally would love to see Gloucestershire play there again," said Light.

"However, the way domestic season is going to be structured will mean more one-day and Twenty20 matches being played in August and September. This would obviously rule out the school as they would be in term time."

Cricket was first played at Tuffley in 1878 with the formation of the Wagon Works club, who later became Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company.

During the early 1960s the club changed their name from Gloucester Engineering to Winget, and they played at the ground until the merger with Gloucester City CC in 2004.

Two of the county's most famous feats were achieved at the ground, namely Wally Hammond's 317 against Nottinghamshire in 1936 and Charlie Parker's record match figures of 17 for 56 against Essex in 1925.

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    Tom, Glos  |  August 23 2009, 9:01PM

    i play for gcw and play on the wagon works most weeks. it is a fine ground and its only because the wicket and grounds are done by the council that it has become so poor, if it had the attention the spa had, there wouldnt be a better ground in all of gloucestershire... a very feasable idea, could be done!!

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    The Bear, Gloucester  |  August 20 2009, 8:46PM

    Just to bring any GCCC fans back to earth the chances of The Wagon Works staging County Cricket again I feel are remote..A: The Winget Club is run down in urgent need of a Anneka Rice makeover B:Some Female Councillor turned it into a Park C:Drugs and Teenage mobs rule the Roost D:And finally we all like Miracles but Im afraid this is One Miracle to far.....

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    CF, Gloucester  |  August 20 2009, 1:53PM

    I remember watching a County match there back in the 1970s. This would be good news if it happens.

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    John, Glos  |  August 20 2009, 10:50AM

    It would require a hell of a lot of work to get the Wagon Works ground and facililites upto scratch for a first class game or T20 fixture. Personally I would have thought The Spa would have been a better choice if they wanted to bring back cricket to Glos.

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    Lydney Bob, South Glos.  |  August 20 2009, 7:35AM

    Talk of a ten million ground development at Bristol and then further development of the Wagon Works ground. A wonderful thought, but really it's a further invitation for red herrings to swim through pipe dreams under the River Severn.

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