Let's see some new faces at the New Lawn this weekend

MOST of my Gloucestershire life was spent in the Tetbury area and Jim Gilmore, or ‘JRG’ as his readers knew him was an important figure, both respected and loved.

I am sure there will be other tributes in this newspaper.

I simply say it is an honour to write for the newspaper he served so well.

Four goals for Swindon, three for Cirencester and two for Forest Green – this made it a good soccer Saturday. Yeovil and Sholling were beaten by Swindon and Cirencester respectively and FGR gained a draw at bogey team Barrow. All three teams are firmly in the hunt for honours.

My first love, FGR, are third in their league but step back from the Conference on Saturday to embark on what could be a good run in the FA Trophy – they are at home to AFC Totton.

Cirencester are not playing so some Ciren faces could appear at the New Lawn. If anyone sits in the stand, the Carol Embrey Suite is available to them. I recommend the fish pie, plus post- match tea and cake.

Mrs Light and I will not be there as this column comes from Cornwall. Mrs L’s diet is such she is in danger of walking sideways. We have altered our holiday plans to clear next May. I shall not tempt fate by telling you why, but I am sure you can guess.

Plans for the Australian Ed Cowans to captain Gloucestershire next season received a gigantic blow this week. Ed scored a fine century against South Africa, making him a likely selection for the forthcoming Ashes tour.

Living in Bibury last year and playing at Cheltenham were two reasons Ed fell in love with Gloucestershire. He was everyone’s favourite to return and captain the county. His seven-match test career looked over. His batting average was below 30.

Perhaps there was some good advice from Terry Day that Ed took back with him to Australia, but good news for him is bad news for our county.

John Bracewell tells me that the board at Bristol have given him the cash to hire a senior batsman to captain the side.

Last week, Mrs Light and I paid a visit to an evening event at Stow-on-the-Wold cricket museum. It is a delightful venue and many other evenings are planned (speakers Ashley Giles and Micky Stewart are booked).

The museum is striking and the café there is excellent. We loved it. I have suggested to the proprietor he publicize events in this paper. Watch this space.

It was an Alex Gidman benefit occasion and Alex was asked if he would cease being grumpy now he was no longer captain. ‘I did not realise I seemed that way’ was the gist of his reply, but then admitted the nickname given him by bowler Mike Smith was Victor Meldrew.

The Cirencester Gymnastics Club are anxious to find larger premises to train and have approached Kingshill School, without success.

The school, stating they are not a community school, have turned them down.

In my professional life I was acting head of a secondary school in Birmingham and head of schools in Plymouth and Hackney. With the backing of the local authority and governors, our premises were available for hire. Those doing so happily met our high standards.

I can understand the school’s reluctance, but have to ask who is the ultimate owner of the facilities. I would ask the school to think again.

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to the club’s open day on December 9, remembering their stunning contribution to the town’s Jubilee celebrations.

Readers are well aware that much copy for this column is inspired by visits to The Red Lion.

I hope to give you more information about a distinguished gentleman of a certain age who has (a) cycled across the United States and (b) completed a nine-day cycling tour of China.

My fact-finding was hampered by the shock of losing a bet. Relying on the punctuality of a local bellringer, I accepted a challenge from another customer he would arrive at a specific time and I nominated 9.06pm. I lost by five seconds.

The prize was a pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord, splendidly kept by landlord John Barnard.

This is surely the best beer available in Gloucestershire.

Mark, the fortunate winner, is one of the many who stimulate my creative thoughts and correct my grammar.

Mrs Light and I are about to search for a similar watering hole in Cornwall. I do not anticipate success. We have discovered, however, Rick Stein’s fish and chips are as good as those at the New Lawn.

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