Two brave but doomed sporting efforts this week, as Building’s cricketers are outrun Reid Architecture and Sir Robert McAlpine tackles Arsenal

Watch and learn, Mr Flintoff

It’s official: Building now has a cricket team. Inspired by the heroics of Flintoff, Vaughan and the rest, the bumbling, ill-coordinated beer monkies who cobble together the magazine every week decided to accept an invitation from Reid Architecture for an 18-over game.

Disaster almost struck when our budding Bothams turned up at the wrong ground and had to leg it through Highgate Woods to the correct venue. Things looked set to get worse as Reid unveiled a suspiciously Antipodean line-up who proceeded to smack us all around the ground. But production editor David Rogers was soon pegging our opponents back with McGrath-like accuracy, and webmeister Ijaz “Wasim” Akram’s whippy seamers had several architects tiptoeing fearfully in the corridor of uncertainty.

Chasing 132 in the encroaching gloom was always going to be a big ask though, and despite some dogged resistance, Building finished a good 30 runs adrift at 100 for 7. Our thanks go to Reid for their hospitality and for whetting our appetite for future battles. Anyone interested in a game, or just in bowling throat-high bouncers at journalists, should contact

Crazy Arsène

Speaking of mismatched sporting events, contractor Sir Robert McAlpine rather unwisely agreed to take on the might of Arsenal at the topping out of the club’s £220m, 60,000-seater Ashburton Grove stadium last week. The score,

1-0 to the Arsenal, had a familiar ring to it, and is probably best explained by the fact that it was a team of the club’s managers, rather than Thierry Henry & Co, that took to the field. Speaking after the five-a-side game, Arsène Wenger revealed that working so closely with construction folk had had an unusual effect on him. The Arsenal manager, famed for his rational thinking, claimed that to be a construction client on a project of this size you have to be “optimistic, brave and a little bit crazy”.

The 10 m stroll

With the Olympic programme up and running, the rumour mill is churning out all manner of gossip about the 2012 Games. Currently doing the rounds is news that the 1 million ft2 media centre could be moved from the southern tip of the masterplan to a site closer to the Olympic Village. It has also been suggested that the centre should be more high-rise than envisaged, thus making it better legacy material. Suspicions that it’s for the benefit of lazy journalists who can’t be bothered to walk from the Channel Tunnel Rail Link station are, sadly, probably true.

Lies, damn lies, press releases

I have just received a press release from the British Association of Reinforcement sniping at lightweight construction. Nothing unusual in that you might think – organisations with a vested interest in promoting a particular construction methods are duty-bound to use every opportunity to take a shot at rival systems.

This opportunity is afforded by the campaign being waged by some residents of the Greenwich Millennium Village, who say their lives have been blighted by noise transmission. If all this sounds familiar, it may be because you read about it in this very organ back on 6 May. The residents in question live in a block called Kilby Court, which was built out of lightweight steel frame. Unfortunately the press release also highlights another block called Maurer Court, which is built of concrete and “stuffed full of steel reinforcement”, according to a spokesperson for GMV. Well, never let the truth get in the way of a good PR opportunity.

Sign writing illustration
Sign writing illustration

ODA? Oh dear …

Returning to the Olympics, an apology from the editorial team. Over the past few weeks, you might have noticed some variation in the name of the body that is to deliver the construction programme. The fun started when we called it the Olympic Development Agency. Not true, it turned out. The body was actually called the Olympic Development Authority, according to the London Development Agency. Then it was pointed out that the Financial Times had called it the Olympic Delivery Agency. A last-gasp call to the LDA press office established, finally, that the name was Olympic Delivery Authority. Definitely …