Counties - Media Guide to the Grounds (Updated 2013)
Derbyshire by Nigel Gardner
The good news for journalists and photographers at Derby is that the press box has again moved and this time it is back behind the arm.
After the old grandstand was demolished, the media were moved to a portacabin perched over a tea bar on one side of the County Ground. In terms of comfort, this was a vast improvement but it was a long way from the play and not ideal.
But following the club's decision to install a new electronic scoreboard, they decided to move the press to the old scorebox which has been renovated and is positioned directly behind the arm at the opposite end of the ground from the pavilion.
There is plenty of car parking available near the box which has seating for eight journalists on the front row and room at the back for another four which photographers normally use for wiring. It could become cramped for a tourist game but the club have provided overspill facilities in the past and this is unlikely to be a problem.
Wi-fi was installed in the pavilion this winter and the club say it is possible to get a connection from the press box. There has been a problem with phone lines in the past so it might be advisable to have the option of bluetooth just in case.
The scorers are now situated in the same box, in a separate room, and there are heaters and a fridge which the club keep well stocked with milk and bottled water. Tea and coffee are also available but, so far, lunch is not provided for the media although local journalists have pointed out that Derbyshire is now one of the only counties that does not offer this service.
The box is well ventilated and there are also blinds on the windows in case anyone fancies a nap.
The ground is signposted from most approaches to the city and is situated off a large island called the Pentagon. Car parking is available on grass at the scoreboard end and behind the press box side of the ground. From the train station, a number 40, 44 and 45 bus run every 5 minutes to the bus station where a number 4 or 5 Trent bus leave every 10 minutes from bay 18 and 19 and stop near the ground in Nottingham Road.
For those without an invite to Chatsworth House, the Days Hotel (01332 363600) has the advantage of being on the doorstep and the top rooms at the back offer a view over the ground. There are 100 rooms, the rate is £67.50 Sunday to Thursday, £55 for Friday and Saturday, with breakfast
£7.50. The rooms are en suite, have Broadband and the hotel also takes dogs providing they are with their owners. Because it is only yards from the ground, visiting teams often use the hotel and booking in advance is advisable. The European (01332 292000) in Midland Road, Derby, is close
to the station and has 85 en suite rooms. The rate is £57.75, breakfast is £8.25 and the rooms also have Broadband. There are 80 car parking spaces at the rear and the on site restaurant Antibo serves Italian dishes.
Outside of Derby, there is the Makeney Hall Hotel (01332 842999) which is at Milford, near Belper, a 20 minute drive out of the city on the A6.
It is recommended by several members although whether this has anything to do with its previous function as a mental home or the proximity of the nearby Hollybush pub is hard to say. There are 46 rooms, the B & B rate is £99, £114 with dinner. The hotel has plenty of car parking space
and the views are excellent, if a little hazy for those returning from the Hollybush. The Lathkil Hotel (01629 812501) at Over Haddon near Bakewell is a favourite haunt of Tim Wellock's. It only has four bedrooms and is about 28 miles out of Derby but the advantages are superb views of the Peak District, good food, good beer, and all this for £40 a night.
Finally, on the subject of good food and ale, the following pubs and restaurants are worth a visit, starting with the above mentioned Smithfield which has a beer garden close to the River Derwent. The Brunswick and the Alexandra are good watering holes, both close to each other near the
station, while the Flowerpot, near Derby's Cathedral, also puts on live music. In the same area of the city is the Dolphin, an old coaching inn which dates back to 1530 and was recently voted CAMRA's Derby pub of the year. Like all old pubs, it is said to be haunted. The Caribbean (01332 385324) in Normanton Road, Derby, is highly recommended by Mark Eklid who rates it among his top restaurants.
It has an excellent reputation but is not the biggest so advance booking is advisable. Mark also speaks highly of the Kan Hon Cantonese (01332 344828) in Friargate, while another Cantonese, the Excelsior (01332 291520) in Becket St, also gets a good ticket.
Without wishing to give the impression that the Derby Evening Telegraph's cricket correspondent spends all his spare time eating out, he also recommends the Jewel of India (01332 370701) at Mickleover which is a couple of miles out of the city centre. It is worth noting that one of the Jewel's owners used to drive to work in a 20 tonne tank (yes, really) so it may not be wise to voice any complaints. The Pierre Victoire (01332 370470) in Friargate serves French cuisine while the Masa, a recently opened wine bar in a converted chapel in Brook St, is also said to be worth a visit.
For the energetic, there is a Virgin Active health club next to the ground but it operates a members only policy although residents at the Days Inn Hotel can use it through a voucher system. It should be noted that sightings of local journalists entering the club or being helped
out are unconfirmed.
Derbyshire have now taken first-class cricket back to Queen's Park, Chesterfield and those fortunate to cover games at this splendid ground will find media facilities to the left of the pavilion in a two storey portacabin.
The written press are at the top and there are plenty of power sockets in the box. Last season, there were a couple of phone lines as well and the hospitality provided by Chesterfield Cricket Club is superb.
Queen's Park, Chesterfield is probably one of the most picturesque grounds in the country and is owned and maintained by Chesterfield Borough Council. The ground is circular and was once surrounded by a banked cycle track. The pavilion, which is half timbered, was built in 1897 and with the scoreboard and press box are the only permanent buildings on the ground. There is a marked slope from south, the pavilion end to the north, lake end, as it is known to locals. The famous twisted spire of All Saints' Church, some 238 feet high, looks down upon Queen's Park where so much cricket history has been made. For a public park there are ample facilities and crowds have been known to be large for popular matches.
Rail: Chesterfield Railway Station (B.R.) 0.75 mile. 25 minute walk or 5 minutes in a taxi.
Bus: Chesterfield Transport 1 from B.R. Chesterfield Station to within 0.25 mile of ground also Trent Buses and South Yorkshire Traction services from surrounding areas to Chesterfield Bus Station thence 200m from ground (Telephone: 01246 76666).
Car: From east: A632 or A617 signposted Chesterfield , then at roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A619 (signposted Bakewell, Buxton) north for Queen's Park. At West Bars Roundabout take the 1st exit on to Boythorpe Road (signposted Matlock A632). From south: M1 junction 29, then A617 to Chesterfield , then as above for Queen's Park or A61 signposted Chesterfield then as above for Queen's Park.
From west: A619 or A632 signposted Chesterfield , then as above for Queen's Park.
Chesterfield Hotel (01246 71141) or Portland Hotel (01246 34504).