Oscar-style Awards Night at Lord's Cricket Ground

We're voted UK's best-loved playing field

Yes, we pulled it off!  Our 186 on-line votes supporting our Bishop Monkton Queen Elizabeth ll Field were enough to confirm us as Britain's most loved playing field

In a dazzling Oscar-style Awards Night at Lord's Cricket Ground on Thursday Mervyn Beecroft and Richard Field were there to receive the award from England and Chelsea football legend Graeme Le Saux - and win Bishop Monkton's first national award!

More than 100 finalists representing playing fields from all over Britain attended the ceremony which followed a private tour of Lord's Cricket Ground, a drinks reception and a sumptuous dinner.

The event opened with a specially videoed message from the Duke of Cambridge, the organisation's new President who this year replaced the Duke of Edinburgh who had fulfilled this role for the previous 63 years. The Queen has been Patron for over 60 years.

Prince William congratulated the winners and praised Fields in Trust for the highly important role it plays in protecting the nation's open spaces and playing fields which now number over 2,000.

Later, after the presentation of the awards by Graeme Le Saux  in the eight different categories, it was announced that six world-class sportsmen had accepted the new role of Fields in Trust Ambassadors to further promote the work of the organisation.

They are Sir Clive Woodward, Roger Federer, Tim Henman, Sir Matthew Pinsent, Geoff Boycott and Graeme Le Saux, who is also a trustee. 

After the event Mervyn Beecroft, who played such a huge role in securing the land for Bishop Monkton Playing Fields and Village Hall and their subsequent development, commented: 'We are really delighted that our Village Hall  and playing fields have received this recognition, and are grateful to Fields in Trust for all they do to help and encourage us to continue to improve our outdoor areas for sport and play for future generations.'

Mervyn was accompanied by Pauline, and Richard by Pat for what was a memorable occasion of them all.

They, in turn, would like to thank everyone who voted for Bishop Monkton QEll Field in the on-line voting, making it very much a communal triumph.


ALL SMILES: Mervyn, Pauline, Richard and Pat pictured after the awards ceremony.

Yorkshire-born Mervyn and Pauline were made to feel very much at home at Lord's. They were reminded it was Thomas Lord from Thirsk, Yorkshire who owned the ground which became 'The Home of Cricket' They also did not miss noticing that the name of Joe Root, the young Yorkshire batsman, was the latest addition on the Honours Board in the England team dressing room for having scored 180 in the match against Australia in 2013.

Mervyn was also interested to hear that Geoff Boycott was named a new Fields in Trust Ambassador.  Mervyn remembers playing in a match at Beckwithshaw with Geoff Boycott, and sharing the distinction of both being wicket takers!

Richard and Pat, however, achieved less distinction!  They went to visit the Princess Diana Children's Play Area in Kensington Gardens before the evening event.  After going inside, and hearing a heavy metal gate clang shut behind them, they spotted a notice saying 'No adults allowed unless accompanied by a child under 12'.  There appeared to be no escape from the iron fenced area, so they had to skulk in the bushes until, some time later, they spotted a couple of toddlers coming through the gate with their parents, at which point Richard and Pat made a hasty escape - and got to Lord's just in time for the start of the evening event!

Highlights there for both couples were seeing the tiny urn containing The Ashes, seeing the Honours Boards in both Home and Visitor team dressing rooms, standing on the balcony and looking down on the magnificent ground, and going inside the truly magnificent Long Room with its elegant chandeliers and portraits of the cricketing greats.

ALL TOGETHER:  All 100 finalists join the eight category winners.
                                                                                    Photo: Rich Merritt of Coussins Associates

Congratulations for putting Bishop Monkton on the map!

From Gerald Shervington, Chairman of Bishop Monkton Village Hall and Playing Fields:


Well done guys, just got Mervyn's message, tried to call back, but I guess you are enjoying the evening. I am so pleased and just a little proud, we're on the map!

Richard, you deserve a 'reet' good slap on the back, you made the running and without you we wouldn't have known about this great opportunity and Mervyn, without your wise guidance over the years, we wouldn't have the fantastic facility we all currently enjoy.

I am so, so pleased.

Have a super evening guys, you deserve it.




From Martion Minett, member of Village Hall & QE ll Field Committee:

Wow, huge congratulations, to you both in particular, for such a prestigious award and for all of the hard work you have both put in over so many ways and across many years.  You (and our supporters) have certainly put Bishop Monkton and North Yorkshire on the map.
It also appears that you've had quite a memorable time in London and at Lord's.
Very well done
ps - does it mean that we do need a trophy cabinet in the hall !!