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A glorious day at Arundel

I prefer Arundel week to anything else in the sporting calendar. Nothing surpasses the sheer beauty of the cricket ground bordered by old trees with one gap in them to see the river Arun and downs. You can see the Duke of Norfolk’s castle and the cathedral.

It’s short of stands with one wooden pavilion and mostly hired seating.

It is so popular though that there are several marquees and a sponsor Rathbone Financial Services.

Above all it’s an occasion to meet old friends convivially, chat, enjoy ales and wine and good company and yesterday in glorious sunshine .

You do not judge the sporting fare or strategy too severely.

If you did, with rain predicted for today and tomorrow, a result is unlikely and you would have thought that Sussex playing Gloucestershire in a four day county match would go for more runs quickly and think of a teatime declaration.

As it was at stumps Sussex were 257-5 with Will Beer promoted up the order – after a good knock of 66 at Lords against Middlesex – not out 76. A draw seems the likeliest result.

I always walk the perimeter of the ground shopping for a chat with Jon Filby, curator of the museum and good egg, who sets out his book stand next door to the covered tent where Jack Russell is to be found, his paintings of Arundel beautifully depict its atmosphere .

Amongst our admittedly male group there was talk of the ICC World Cup, golf and Nadal’s French open victory.

None was watching the women’s World Cup, though one admired Sarah Taylor and the retired woman’s rugby player Maggie Alphonsi.

When we spoke of the forthcoming Tory leadership contest the universal reaction was it would make no difference given the parliamentary arithmetic.

Yet the division in the country seemed a long way off from the peaceful idyll that is Arundel.

About Ivan Conway

Ivan Conway will be reporting on Sussex sport. He is a member of the 1901 club at Brighton HAFC, Sussex County Cricket Club and an enthusiastic horse race goer. After selling his freight forwarding and conference business he settled in Hove. His other interests are bird watching, brass rubbing and bridge. More Posts