The sculpture is described in the Eastleigh BC planning application for three uplighters as ‘an important piece of public art in a prominent and prestigious location’. It was financed by Holiday Inns for the Rose Bowl cricket ground at Botley in Southampton, project managed by Gerry Wall at Eastleigh BC, and fabricated by Roscoes Engineering, now A&F in Farnham.
I had already started making large scale objects out of sheet steel; a practice I had first developed for the roundabout at Telford; so was asked to think along the same lines for an entrance piece for the Rose Bowl.
After seeing my drawings that incorporated, stumps, flying bales and a cricket bat the committee asked me to establish what the biggest set of bowled stumps I could make within budget would be! Luckily I already had two 750mm diameter mild steel hemispheres that could become a cricket ball so I scaled up from there. The diameter of the tube for the stumps came out at around 400mm and was 6meters tall. This was going to be too big for me to handle at my workshop so I asked Roscoes if they could fabricate the sculpture while I made details such as the top of the stumps at my own workshop and asked local engineers to turn the bales by lathe out of a 250mm diameter aluminium billet. The work went through a series of stages, documented here, from fabrication and transport to specialist paint finishes at Hitech in Eastleigh where the finishing touches were painted by Alan Rooney who also did the Drummond M7 in Alton for me.
The final positioning on site on massive foundations took place early in 2004 and when I realised that there was some packing material left on the bales the local fire brigade kindly lent a hand removing it as an exercise!