The first element of the project has already begun – a focus on Martinstown Cricket Club. The other MCC (as they are known) must surely have one of the most beautiful spots for a cricket pitch. It is in the shadow of Maiden Castle with the Winterbourne running along two sides of it. The combined sounds of birdsong, sheep, a gurgling stream and the thunk of leather on willow, together with the players shouting to each other in “cricket code” are irresistible to a sound recordist.
Two of the DIVAcontemporary team, David Rogers and Mandy Rathbone, first interviewed one of the founders of the Cricket Club and the preset fixtures secretary, Jim Godding, to find out how the club started and what is involved in producing the perfect cricket pitch – a lot of very hard work apparently! We then went along to a Youth Practice Night and were amazed to find at least 100 youngsters aged 8 – 16 and a bevy of coaches brimming with enthusiasm for cricket and managing to keep all these young people running, batting, bowling and fielding for hours. We spoke to as many of them as we could.
Finally of course we had to go to a match. Being fair-weather sound recordists it was a while before some proper Summery cricket weather arrived but at last one Saturday in July it was the perfect day.
Runs were made, wickets fell, the crowd clapped, the teas were made, and that was only the first half! This really was the quintessential English village summer afternoon.