Friday, 18 September 2015

Looking after the cricket square in Mayow Park

Cricket has made a come-back in Lewisham. Two of its parks, Mayow Park and Hilly Fields, have cricket squares.  Special care is necessary to maintain the squares to a high standard for the cricketers. One man who knows a lot about taking care of these sites is Luke Rayment and I had the good fortune to interview him about his work in mid-September 2015. 

Luke has worked for Glendale Lewisham Grounds Management since 2010 as their cricket groundsman and you may spot him working on site during the cricket season.

Luke maintains the cricket squares in both parks in readiness for weekly matches. His role includes cutting the grass to a specified height, rolling the wickets with a roller machine and marking out the lines in white paint.  He also carries out repairs to the wicket which involves spreading loam and levelling out the site each week. 

Prior to working for Glendale, Luke worked for 11 years to maintain the greens at a golf course. During that time he studied part-time at Hadlow College near Tunbridge Wells for his NVQ2 with training in sports turf management. He enjoyed his work but wanted to move on for his personal professional development.  

When he first started with Glendale he worked alongside two very experienced groundsmen and learned a lot from them. He has attended a number of other courses including Level 1 and Level 2 Foundation training through the English Cricket Board (ECB) where he improved his skills to maintain a cricket square. 

He finds this work very satisfying particularly when he can see the impact he makes on the cricket square. He appreciates the positive feedback he receives from Glendale Lewisham managers, one of whom is a cricket fan.  Park users also show their interest with comments about cricket in Mayow Park and compliments about Luke’s work.

Occasionally he is disappointed by thoughtless behaviour from the public, particularly when people walk across the cricket square, play football and other activities which cause damage. They are not aware of the effort and care that goes into maintaining the site. Fortunately in Mayow Park this is rare.

Luke’s work in our park is special and his satisfaction with what he does is wonderful. Now I know why he always looks cheerful. Thank you, Luke. 

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