I have visited the Cotswold Cricket Museum (a privately run business, not attached to any county cricket club) twice in the last week. The first occasion, on Wednesday, was to listen to the world reknowned cricket writer and historian, David Frith, and the second time was to visit the museum itself.
David Frith gave a commentary to a DVD of the 1928/1929 Ashes series in Australia. We saw footage of Don Bradman (thought to be the first), Bill Woodfull, Archie Jackson, Clarrie Grimmett and Bertie Oldfield of Australia and Wally Hammond, Jack Hobbs, Herbert Sutcliffe,Douglas Jardine, Harold Larwood, Maurice Tate and George Geary of England (amongst others). Frith described the scenes and explained how the Aussie Test grounds have changed since then.
Frith then talked about the long process whereby he made good his vow, as a teenager (having briefly met Alec Bedser), to become a cricket writer. His passion for the game remains undimmed.
I went round the museum yesterday after having sampled some lovely coffee and a piece of cake in the cosy Grace cafe.
If, like me, you love cricket then this museum is like Aladdin's cave!! There is a treasure around every corner. For example, there is a Don Bradman section with various souvenirs of his career. There is some commemorative chinaware celebrating the deeds of famous cricketers such as SF Barnes. There is a display of cricket bats from the earliest days of cricket up to more modern times.
There is a large cabinet with a selection of tour blazers including, amazingly, Eddie Paynter's blazer from the Bodyline tour in 1932/1933. Jack Hobbs' bat from the 1928/1929 tour is also there (his last England tour to Australia).
You can see Dickie Bird's umpire's coat from the first World Cup final in 1975.
There are pictures of some of the ships which took England cricketers away on overseas tours.
There are some letters including one from Alec Bedser to Lancashire CCC commenting on a youthful James Anderson's bowling action!! There are also mementos from Alec Bedser's career including medals and cups etc.
There are various caps, sweaters,bats and balls to be viewed as well as a whole variety of prints and pictures.
There is a section devoted to Gloucestershire CCC plus there are some Worcestershire CCC artefacts..
There is a framed item with correspondence related to the Bodyline tour. There are plenty of books on cricket too.
The owner also has a selection of DVD's which you can watch plus some cricket commentaries to listen to.
The main advice I can give you is to allow enough time to do this wonderful museum justice ... all the above and more for £3.50!!