April 21st saw the opening of The MLC Experience, a new museum and learning centre, at the Brightside County Ground in Bristol.
The MLC is the brainchild of Rex Body, Wendy Body and Roger Gibbons who wanted to create a record of the rich history associated with Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, whilst offering learning facilities for the Bristol area.
The GCCC Heritage Trust was founded, an independent registered charity set up specifically to fund, establish and maintain the museum and learning centre. The Heritage Trust’s vision is stated as; “To advance education for the public benefit in the subject of Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, its history and heritage. The intention for the MLC is that it should stimulate, inform and engage every single person who visits it.”
Bristol-based Clip Exhibition & Display were appointed to bring the ideas for the MLC to life. Working closely with the GCCC Heritage Trust over a number of months, the Clip team took time to understand the vision of the Trust and worked on a series of design concepts to best meet the brief. Once the final design was approved, the Clip team moved the project into the manufacture stage, involving interactive life-size models of famous Gloucestershire cricketers, presentation cabinets for signed memorabilia and even an honours board for the Gloucestershire cricketers who lost their lives during World War 1. The project was installed at Gloucestershire County Cricket Ground in time for a series of opening ceremonies at the end of April.
Wendy Body, Secretary and Trustee of the GCCC Heritage Trust commented; “I cannot praise Clip too highly. I’m constantly telling them they’re wonderful. What they’ve done is to take our fledgling ideas and early concepts and just run with it. We’re enormously grateful for what they’ve done. They’ve made our vision a reality. It simply wouldn’t have happened without the whole team at Clip.”
Former England cricketer and Gloucestershire captain, Mark Alleyne MBE performed the opening ceremony, with other dignitaries including the Lord Mayor of Bristol, the High Sheriff of Bristol and Giles Clarke CBE, ex-Chairman of the English Cricket Board.
The MLC Experience is designed to appeal to a wide audience, ranging from cricket enthusiasts to young children. It is targeting to address learning through local Primary School visits, as well as visits from interested youth & adult groups & individuals, specifically ‘Sporting Memories’ which helps combat the effects of dementia, depression and loneliness.
The MLC is available free of charge on all match days at The Brightside County Ground and also by appointment on other occasions.