Meeting old friends and making new ones was one of the joys of the 2014 Nottingham festival. More than 160 Rotarian cricketers plus spouses were housed at the Orchard Hotel and the Halls of Residence at the delightful Nottingham University campus for the six day event.
The opening ceremony on the Sunday night featured addresses by the Mayor of Nottingham, RI director Michael Webb, festival organiser Norman Brown and special guest, retired former India and Lancashire cricketer Farokh Engineer, who gave a witty and well-received speech to the audience.
A novel feature was the Blidworth Brass Band playing the national anthem of each of the seven competing countries as an accompaniment to the introduction of its national flag.
The fourteen teams in the festival included seven from India, three from Australia, one each from Sri Lanka and GB&I with two composite teams from New Zealand, South Africa and Pakistan. Games were played on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday on six grounds so that five grounds were scheduled to host 35 over games each day with the sixth hosting two 20 over games.
Fine and warm weather (up to 29 degrees on one day) was provided by the weather Gods for all playing days, the only variation being a sharp shower on the final day which delayed the start of play for an hour.
Cricket games were played on four separate fields, two of them with two ovals. The Elvaston Cricket Club ground was especially picturesque. Results were close in some instances and not so close in others.
Associated activities included a Ladies Day Out at Bakewell and Chatsworth House on Tuesday and such things as a walking tour of Nottingham city, a tour of the Gunn and Moore bat-making factory and a tour of Trent Bridge cricket ground.
Wednesday evening was the time for an excellent gymnastic display by 13 local young men. Following that was a dinner in the Rutland Hall refectory and an auction of items contributed by the teams with proceeds going to local charities.
Team national dinners on Thursday evening preceded the final dinner on Friday evening in the East Midlands Conference Centre where everyone enjoyed the closing speeches and mingled for the last time for this festival.
No festival succeeds without good organisation and attention to detail. Norman Brown and his team including Eric Hill (treasurer), Ganesh Ganesan (registration), Rupert Cox (MC) and others are entitled to feel proud of the festival which they hosted for their many guests.
There is a selection of Nottingham photos here.