I heard some bad news about Welstead Gardens the other day (See map)
Welstead Gardens is the first real cricket pitch that the original MPA 1st XI played on. We played 2 matches there and were slaughtered both times, but it then led to me breaking away and joining a proper cricket club. The wicket at Welstead it seems is to be de-commissioned and the extra space that's then created will enable the establishment of three soccer pitches instead of the current two that run either side of the wicket. The rumor is that this is econimics at play and that the 3 football pitches will create far more revenue than having a cricket pitch there. That probably also means that the groundsmans job or contract changes as anyone can look after a football pitch. I wonder what'll happen to the field in the summer now?
It's a real shame as it's lovely venue and one that's been used by Westcliff CC for years. How long the pitch has been there I don't know, but the surrounding trees and the location kind of suggest that perhaps since the 1920's or 30's but that is only speculation.