From cricket to cruising – a rather different blog
We could almost recite the safety briefings off by heart
Yet we always attend the Lifeboat Drills even though our next cruise will actually be our 50th.
Over all those cruises to destinations across the globe we have never had to respond to the ship’s alarm once. We have seen and heard the alarm signals on occasions too numerous to mention and seen the crew actively engaged in safety drills, but never once have we had to don our lifebelts other than at the mandatory life boat drill at the start of every cruise. I am sure that on our next cruise everyone will be listening intently.
I suspect the major problem on this horrific sinking of the Costa Concordia is that everything happened so quickly. Ordinarily we would have been instructed to go to our cabins, collect our life jackets, don some warm clothing, take any pills and potions and then proceed to the muster stations which are usually on the deck which has the lifeboats. By the time passengers got to their cabins the ship had begun to list quite alarmingly making this exercise almost impossible. Getting the life boats down became impossible on one side of the ship. All cruise ships possess additional life rafts which must have helped on this occasion.
Ironic that this should happen just a short while before the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of you know what. Sadly there have been lives lost in this accident but thankfully nowhere near as many.
Back to the weekend and the Shakers after matching Sheffield United in the first half were blown away in the second. Their first goal was miles offside but gave them confidence and they could have had more than the three they scored. Thomas was a ball boy on the day with his team mates from Westbury although he only touched the ball once.
Yesterday I took Sophie for her second set of net trials for the Under 15 age group team. I must say she did rather well. She now has to wait to see if she has done enough to progress further, or not progress.
I am expecting further entries to arrive in the post today for the LSCA Inter-Schools Competitions. I posted 320+ letters out from Old Trafford last Tuesday to secondary schools across the county. The first batch of entries arrived on Saturday. We have six age group competitions in total, three of which have progression to national competitions.
The Under 12 David English / Bunbury Competition is one of those. This is a 25 over version initially to identify our county winner but becomes 30 overs the following year. Lancaster Royal Grammar School were our winners in 2011 and they should get to know in the next few weeks who their opponents are in the national rounds. The National Final will be at Oakham School on Tuesday July 10th.
The John Heaton Memorial Trophy is played for at Under 13 level and does not lead to a national competition. This is a 30 Overs Competition and was won in 2011 by Lancaster RGS. The Final is usually played in September. I am sure most of my readers will realise the trophy is not in my memory but reflects the contribution John Heaton (Hyndburn) made to LSCA until his untimely death in 1997. The picture below of the two LSCA Heaton’s was taken at Nelson Cricket Club in 1990.
The first Inter-School Trophy introduced by the Association was the Harold Bailey one. This followed the introduction of a National Competition in 1979 by ESCA. The winners of this 40 overs competition go on in the following year to compete for the prestigious Lords Taverners Trophy. Our Final has been played annually at Blackpool Cricket Club for more years than I can remember. In 2011 Manchester Grammar School were again our winners and they await news of their opponents for this season. The final in 2012 will be at Oakham School on Monday July 9th.
We introduced an Under 15 Competition in 2002. This proved reasonably popular to begin with but after ESCA in 2007, in conjunction with the Daily Telegraph, started a 20/20 cup for this age group our entries went through the roof. We have to complete this competition in one season meaning that we have to have our county finals before the end of June. We have managed this each year to date with our finals involving four schools being staged at Vernon Carus. In 2011 Audenshaw High School emerged as our winners but lost out in the Regional Final to Sedburgh School. The National Finals will again be at Arundel Park in September of this year.
Our final age group is at Under 17. We changed the format to 20/20 three years ago and this has proved to be a welcome move. The Finals for the last two years have been at Manchester Grammar School and they actually won the trophy in 2011.
I will keep you up to date with events in all our competitions as the season progresses. The full draws will be completed by mid-February and will be posted in the “Schools” section of this website. They get updated regularly as results come in.
My next task will be to get Nominations Forms out to all my regular contacts for the newly introduced Under 10 Boys County Age Group. Later this week there will be a piece on the website about this new age group and the plans we have for its development. Watch this space.
On more than one occasion over the weekend we have had people enquire as to whether we could have been on the ill-fated Costa Concordia. We have never travelled with Costa but know a number of people who have. I was speaking this morning to someone who cruised with them just five months ago. He, and his wife, had a marvellous time. This incident off the coast of Italy is horrific but extremely rare. Our thoughts go out to the families who have lost someone in this tragic accident but hope it will not dissuade others from doing what for us, about to go on our 50th, has brought such pleasure and memories in abundance.