“How’s That, Umpire?”
To the Editor of the Isle of Wight Observer.
Sir,- Cricket is universally acknowledged to be the best and most invigorating of all out-of door pastimes. But it is not so with us: there is no place to practise in. At Newport, Cowes, Southampton, Southsea, and other places, splendid practice grounds are provided: but here, love or money both fail to obtain what the town itself ought to have provided long ago – a cricket field. Visitors, many of whom are cricketers, and wish to practise whilst staying here, are unable to. This must, of course, injure the chances of Ryde as a watering-place in a measure. A cricket, or what is better, a public recreation ground, would be beneficial to the town in innumerable ways, and if any or either of the great landowners or benevolent gentlemen resident in the locality desire to immortalize their name, and confer a lasting benefit upon the townspeople and visitors, the very best way to do so would be to present the town with a public recreation ground.
Sources: Isle of Wight Observer 4 July 1863
Picture source Victorian Cricketer, victorianera website