Cricket washout’s silver lining

December 01 2014

THE One-Day International cricket match between England and India at the Bristol County Ground may have been a wash-out, but for local traders, it was a completely different story.

THE One-Day International cricket match between England and India at the Bristol County Ground may have been a wash-out, but for local traders, it was a completely different story.

Shops and pubs on Gloucester Road reported brisk business throughout the day on August 25, with staff painting their faces and wearing t-shirts corresponding to the England and India flags.

Specially themed food and drink were also served up at local bars and restaurants.

Around 20 businesses were involved in the scheme - "East meets ... the West Country" - set up by the club to strengthen relationships with local traders.

Martin Hunt, owner of Joe’s Bakery and chairman of the Gloucester Road Traders' Association said: “From speaking to people it seems that the pubs and cafes had a fantastic day so cricket’s loss was their gain. 

"The whole initiative just shows how working together can be beneficial and we hope to do similar things at other Gloucestershire Cricket events.”

A number of traders also offered special discounts for supporters attending the match.

The winner of the ‘Most Fun Trader’ award went to Abi Smith from Cake Bristol.

In addition to putting up posters and wearing t-shirts supplied by the club, Abi also offered half price cupcakes to fans who flashed their tickets.

She said: “It was a lovely surprise to win and I hope we can link in with more events at the ground in the future.

"Even though the weather was bad we still had people coming in and it was really busy all the way down Gloucester Road."

Abi’s connection with the ground extends much further back than the One-Day International. She was born on Nevil Road and was a regular visitor to the ground – even learning to ride her bike on the outfield.

Roz Hutchings, head of community engagement at GCCC, said: “Despite the match being abandoned the reports of how busy traders on Gloucester Road were show the power of working together.

"It demonstrated that by linking in with events at the Bristol County Ground, there is a real economic benefit for traders and it is also great for the fans. I hope this is just the start of things to come.”