Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Head Groundsman Packwood Celebrates 25 Years At New Road

Head Groundsman Packwood Celebrates 25 Years At New Road

Worcestershire head groundsman Tim Packwood is today celebrating the 25th anniversary of joining the staff at New Road.

Packwood had been undergoing a hospital YTS scheme when he opted for a change of direction career-wise.

He joined the county staff in 1989 as an assistant to the then head groundsman, Roy McLaren, and replaced him in his current role in 1999.

Tim was carrying out his usual duties today in preparing the wicket for the third day of the LV County Championship clash with Kent.

Packwood said: "I was doing a YTS scheme at Ronkswood Hospital in the planning and maintenance department. They were impressed with me but, after 14-15 months of the two year course, told me there wouldn't be a job available.

"I thought I had better start looking for something else. I used to be a very keen club cricketer. I saw the job advertised and Roy (McLaren) was the chairman of Worcester City where I was playing.

"I had a little word and said was it worth applying. He said if you want to carry on playing cricket, then no, but if I wanted to learn a trade, he would recommend it. I applied and the rest is history.

"I learnt everything off Roy up until I took over. It was all on the job, hands-on experience. Roy retired in July 2000. I took on the head groundsman role as a three month trial to start with and it went on from there."

Packwood has enjoyed his quarter of a century at New Road and there is an immense sense of pride at this season starting at the county's headquarters after the winter floods.

He said: "I really enjoy it and, when the sun is shining, you can't beat working outdoors.

"But from a personal point of view, what more of a feather in your cap can you have than play starting here on time this season after the floods.

"The ground was under several feet of water six or seven weeks before the start of the season and then you see the lads are out there playing. It's a great feeling for all the staff.

"With the new facilities we've got now, we want to showcase the place and get as many people as possible to come to the ground and see what Worceser has to offer."

So how does a typical day unfold for Tim and his staff during a four-day match.

He said: "We normally start at 7am. If there is a rain forecast the night before, we might make it a bit earlier.

"As soon as you come in, you've got to uncover all the square, brush the wicket, roll it, prepare it for the game, there are nets to uncover, cut, prepare those, put two nets up on the outfield, mark the wickets either end of the square for bowling wickets.

"In between innings, people think 'I'd love that job, sat by the covers' but there is always something that needs doing, maybe in the net areas, or a piece of machinery you've used that needs cleaning.

"That was one thing Roy installed into me, if you look after your tools, they will look after you."