As the new cricket season fast approaches, the famous weather vane above the Lord’s Mound Stand clock has encountered some unexpectedly fierce turbulence – and found himself flat on his back.
Weekend gales in St John’s Wood have knocked the deathly steel figure parallel to the ground, but mercifully still in his elevated roof-top position with scythe and bail on stumps intact.
It is hoped that Father Time, known to millions in the cricket world and beyond, will be helped to recover his equilibrium and get back in his age-old stance in time for start of play on 12 April – when Middlesex begin their LV= County Championship season at home to Nottinghamshire.
Staff from Marylebone Cricket Club, which owns Lord’s, were naturally taken aback when they spotted him in disarray as they arrived at work – and will soon ensure he regains full pride of place.
Father Time, who has stood at Lord’s since being donated by architect Sir Herbert Baker in 1926, has previously fallen foul of bad weather more than once.
He was struck by lightning in 1992 and, worse, knocked completely off his perch when hit by a barrage balloon during the Blitz – before spending the rest of the Second World War in a cellar.
But he has, as his name indicates, moved with the times – and tweets these days on behalf of Lord’s Cricket Ground, including an update on his latest mishap.
The two posts read: “NEWS: I’ve was felled by high winds last night! Ouch!
“Apologies for my poor grammar in the previous tweet – but I’m not feeling my best after being damaged last night!”