FAIRLOP OAK CRICKET
OPENING BY THE PRINCE OF WALES
The Fairlop Recreation Ground, a
fine stretch of ground within easy reach of the spreading town of
Ilford was opened by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales on Saturday. A full
description of the site and the story of its acquisition, together
with the prominent part played therein by Mr Edward North Buxton, and
that gentleman's portrait, appeared in last week's Essex County
The Prince and Princess of Wales
journeyed travelled to Fairlop by motor, arriving at the cricket
ground at 3.45. Their Royal Highnesses had a great reception at
Ilford, where every tradesman had entered into the spirit of the day.
On all sides decorations were to be seen, and great crowds lined the
roads along which the motor passed. At Ilford itself there were
thousands gathered to witness the event. On arriving at the
Playing Fields, the Prince and Princess alighted by the verandah in
front of the new pavilion, where a guard of honour,
composed of the
Ilford Church Naval Brigade, was
drawn up . The Brigade in two long lines, with their colours
promin-ently in the centre, were inspected by the Prince who walked
along the lines, accompanied by Mr Edward North Buxton.
Following this ceremony, the Prince drove right round the field, where
eleven cricket pitches were occupied by as many sets of
cricketers, matches being in full swing. The inspection ended in the
ceremonial tent, where Mr E. North Buxton read an address in
which it was stated that this was the eleventh outside cricket ground
provided by the London Playing Fields Society, which has the honour of
being presided over by the Prince of Wales. These cricket grounds are
all on the outskirts of London, but the Society controls in all 200
cricket pitches, accommodating 4,500 players, in addition to a large
number of football grounds and tennis grounds. Particulars as to the
dimensions of the Fairlop ground were were also given.
Among those who were present to
receive the Royal visitors were the Bishops of St. Albans and of
Barking, the Lord Chief Justice, the High Sheriff of Essex (Mr. J. H.
Horton), Mr. E. N. Buxton, Mr. H. M. Thornton, the
chairman and the members of the
Ilford Urban District Council, together with representatives of the
numerous Councils who will have an interest in the new ground. Among
others present were Sir Joseph Dimsdale, Lord and Lady Pentland,
Sir T. F. Buxton, Lady Leucha Warner, Sir John Buckle, M.P., the
Mayors of West Ham and East Ham, Colonel Lockwood, M.P., Sir
J.F.Horner, and Mr. Gerald Buxton.
Miss Rebecca Buxton presented
the Princess with a bunch of red roses.
The Prince having declared the
ground open, having congratulated Mr Buxton and the many other
supporters of the London Playing Fields' Society on having provided
it, planted an oak tree in commemoration of his visit on a spot near
the ground-man's cottage, which is traditionally recorded as the site
of the old Fairlop Oak. Finally H.R.H. inspected the tea pavilion
In accordance with the expressed
desire of the Prince, the ceremony was stripped of all formality.
Favoured by beautiful weather, it was an exceedingly enjoyable
function. The Prince himself wore a grey lounge suit and grey bowler
hat . For the most part the visitors wore straw hats and light
clothes, and the scene at the opening presented an
display of gaiety and pleasure. Hundreds of cyclists made Fairlop
their aim for the afternoon's run and helped to swell the crowd.. At
the conclusion of the ceremony, the Prince and Princess of Wales drove
off, with Col. Lockwood, M.P., being via Lambourne and Abridge. A
short stop for tea was made at Bishops Hall, the residence of Col.
Lockwood. The royal visitors here saw the tree which the King¶ planted
in commemoration of his visit to Col. Lockwood a few years ago.
The Fairlop Cricket Ground has
space for 20 cricket pitches which will be let tp clubs at a rent just
sufficient to pay the bare cost and up-keep. There are in addition a
tea pavilion, dressing rooms, and a ground-man's house. The whole will
be under the management of a local sub-committee of the Playing
When the adjoining ground of 46
acres' acquired by the Ilford Council, is also opened as a recreation
ground, this will become one of the finest playgrounds in the country.
referred to is Edward VII