The Home of Cricket that is, not the House of. Johnny and his trusty sidekick seem to be establishing a trend, attending the first day of the first summer test match for three years in a row now. They have used the Grandstand’s disabled facilities but their favoured position now is in front of the Warner Stand, on the grass, behind the boundary rope and the advertising hoardings.
There’s room to stretch out; one nearby group enjoyed their picnic sat around a table. Just behind the stand are food and drink concessions and a couple of Radar loos. Overseeing the facility is Steve, a most excellent steward who gets to know the fans and, somehow, remembers their names from year to year. Top man.
Oh, and new for 2017 are 25 new accessible slots in the Warner itself which, if nothing else, increase your chances of getting one in the annual ballot. To be in with a chance you need to register and state your preferences; the draw usually takes place the February before.
There’s not much more to say without talking about the cricket and that, of course, varies from tour to tour. But you feel part of something special at Lords; we arrived this year just as the five-minute bell was ringing, outside the Long Room, mounted metres above our heads. (We hope for invitations for 2018 from former naval colleagues who point out they were in said Room at the time)
And in 2017, we witnessed Yorkshire’s Joe Root score 184 not out, the highest-ever innings by a debutant England skipper (Johnny fielded one of his boundaries with his leg). It’s not called the Home of Cricket for nowt, lad.