Good news on all fronts from the County Ground
REJOICE! Never before have Mrs Thatcher's words flowed from my pen, but there is no better way of passing on the joy and enthusiasm that abounded at Bristol last week.
Firstly, the cricket. League leaders Derbyshire arrived rightly proud and rightly confident. They were unbeaten this season, well clear at the top of the table and looking to enhance their lead.
Gloucestershire had just lost a tough game against Northampton and were expected to crumble. Derbyshire won the toss on another warm day and the prophets of doom (of whom there are too many) expected the worst.
How wrong they were! Fine fast bowling backed up by electric fielding resulted in Derbyshire being dismissed for 95.
Will Gidman took four wickets and the returning David Payne three. Injured in April, David adds an extra dimension to the bowling unit, all of whom bowled well. Captain Alex, supported by his energetic vice captain Hamish Marshall ensured Derbyshire were always under pressure. There was no escape.
Nor was there when the home side batted. Kiwi Kane Williamson scored a fine 56 but captain Alex was the star. I cannot remember seeing him bat so well. When he reached his deserved century cheers rang round the ground.
Of course, Derbyshire fought back but Will Gidman and Payne were again too good for them. Victory was a formality.
Now for another Light exclusive. England selector Geoff Miller has extended his scouting team and sent one of them to Bristol to watch Chris Dent, who unfortunately broke a finger taking a catch.
Chris still batted, albeit lower down the order. We have to retain our best players and an England selector visiting Bristol can only help us do that. They now know they are being noticed. Mr Miller's representative was none other than Chris Taylor, formerly of this parish. As well as his Somerset duties, Chris is working for the ECB as well. New windows in cricket are opening for him.
All this happened while planning permission was finally given for ground development. Now this evolving cricket club can move forward.
Speaking at the planning meeting, Rex Body, club chairman, and Steve Silk, development officer for the county board, gave their joint vision of how the new plans will benefit cricket in the county at all levels. At last, they were listened to, and the vote was won 7-3.
Chairman Rex entertained us all to champagne next morning and president David Allen said some warm and wise words. David's speeches are like his bowling run-up. Just long enough.
David Carpenter was a guest on Thursday. I first saw David playing football for Tetbury Town, but remember his father's distinguished, flat tweed cap better than David's football.
Whereas all the cricket news from Bristol was good, from Cirencester it was not. The town club cancelled their county cup-tie with Cheltenham at the last minute, being unable to raise a team.
For a club with three senior XIs and a strong youth section to be unable to fulfil a prestigious fixture sends out all the wrong messages.
There are good people at Cirencester CC anxious to take the club forward but they will have to do better than this. Surely there were enough players available to make up a team? To lose heavily may be embarrassing, but to cancel the evening before the game is much worse. Word of this cancellation was a subject for conversation at the County Ground. Rest assured, it is not a local matter.
Writing like this, just before I go on holiday is something I cannot shirk and I am in no way avoiding the flak these comments may incur. I hope the town club replies and the debate can be taken forward. I am anxious to hear the 'mitigating circumstances'.
I am delighted to hear the traditional cheese rolling is going ahead. Cotswold spirit has triumphed, but not at Painswick.
English Nature has said no to a beacon being lit. It is a good job they were not around at the time of the Armada.
What next? Will divot-digging golfers be banned from the Painswick Beacon Golf Club? If Mrs Light had any high heels, could she walk on the course? Yes, it is that ridiculous.