COMMONWEALTH GAMES DAY 1: THE first gold medal has been won, but it was an Englishwoman celebrating as Emma Jackson faded in the triathlon.

    GLASGOW’S track and field program has been dealt a massive blow with track superstar Mo Farah withdrawing from the Commonwealth Games.

    AUSSIE squash player Zac Alexander has dramatically departed Glasgow after a successful appeal from fellow player Matthew Karwalski.

    CIARON Maher, the mop-topped kid and an ex-motocross and jumps rider from three generations of dairy farmers, has become a rising star in training ranks.

    THERE he was at a Brisbane hotel, the showman Kurtley Beale, grabbing a hotel vacuum cleaner and producing an incredible didgeridoo sound.

    Special silverware deliverd on a plate

    Nov 20, 2011

    This tea and coffee set was presented by catering firm Spiers & Pond, the promoters of the historic tour of 1861/62 by H.H. Stephenson’s XI, to Richmond Cricket Club secretary George Shoosmith.A letter received out of the blue two years ago has allowed us to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first international match at the MCG with the display of some superb silverware directly related to the occasion.

    An Australian cricket buff now living in the US, David W. Anstice, bought this tea and coffee set at an auction in London in 1995.

    It was presented by catering firm Spiers & Pond, the promoters of that feted tour of 1861/62 by H.H. Stephenson’s XI, to Richmond Cricket Club secretary George Shoosmith.

    We’re not sure why such an elaborate gift went Shoosmith’s way, although George was a selector for the Victorian XVIII opposing Stephenson’s team and he obviously organised practice for the visitors on the Richmond Cricket Club oval (Punt Road) on Christmas Day, 1861.

    The letter from Mr Anstice foreshadowed the upcoming 150th anniversary of Spiers & Pond’s venture and described the treasures in his possession. Would we like to borrow the silverware if the club was planning to mark the anniversary? We sure would! Thanks to Mr Anstice’s generosity, you’ll soon find the tea set on show in the MCC Museum.

    Meantime, the MCC Library is mounting a mini-exhibition of its Spiers & Pond/H.H. Stephenson material for display throughout the cricket season.

    A thought on all this. If George Shoosmith of Richmond received such bounty from the caterers, why wasn’t the MCC similarly favoured?

    Simply, the club took a purely commercial approach to the event, hiring out the ground to the promoters who took the risk and reaped huge benefits.

    So no silverware for us!