The deep roots linking the Jesmond ground and the community were made very clear during the campaign to save the ground.
Stories poured in of why the ground was special to individuals and organizations.
One lady in her 90s remembered that the wicket roller used to be pulled by large horses wearing rubber boots over their hooves. Others spoke of their memories of christenings, weddings and wakes – ashes are often scattered at the ground.
Many community organizations meet at the club, for annual meetings or for socials. All parts of the community criss cross from Tumble Tots to young musicians to wine tasters and the Hockey Club. Different cultural occasions are marked with song, dance, poetry and performance.
Ray Eden, who sadly passed in January 2014 remained a member of the committee aged in his 90s, first visited the ground aged 14. In those days it had tennis courts which had to be taken down for the cricket. He saw some of the tall trees first planted. The club brings him together with five generations – the youngest member was brought in less than a week after birth. It is these shared experiences which help create a powerful community spirit. Ray’s lasting legacy is testament to the spirit honed in tandem with the club.
The dozens of memorial benches around the ground are a fascinating link to the people who have dedicated their skills and time over more than a century to support the Jesmond ground and its activities.