This Sunday (April 29th) will mark the 70th anniversary of Australian legend Don Bradman scoring his last century at Worcester.
Amongst those who witnessed this special day was long-standing journalist Alec Mackie who has been a Worcestershire member for an incredible 71 years.
He has recalled to the Worcestershire CCC website his memories of that Bradman innings.
Bradman made 107 and on his previous three visits to New Road “The Don” scored 236 in 1930; 206 in 1934 & 258 in 1938.
The three-day match – played from a Wednesday to Friday – got underway on April 28 and Ray Lindwall trapped Don Kenyon lbw with the second ball of his opening over.
Eddie Cooper (51) and Charles Palmer (85) put on 137 for the second wicket, but afterwards only Dick Howorth (37 not out), Bob Wyatt (18) and Hugo Yarnold (15) reached double figures as Worcestershire were dismissed for 233.
Alec Mackie takes up the story from this juncture and writes: “Day two (April 29) dawned and spectators began to queue over the Severn Bridge (no roadworks or floods then ! ) as far back into Broad Street, anxious to get into the ground to see the legendary Bradman.
“Schoolboys, and I was one ( aged nine ) had been given a half-day to see the great man. And we were not disappointed!
“Together with hundreds of other small boys we were seated on the grass inside the boundary at the New Rd end when Bradman joined Arthur Morris at the fall of the first wicket ( Sid Barnes lbw b Howorth 44 )
“We watched entranced as Bradman gave a fluent display of superb driving to reach 107 in 135 minutes in a partnership of 186 with Morris for the second wicket.
“I remember vividly watching as Peter Jackson ran into bowl his right-arm medium-pace off cutters from the Diglis end. “The Don” went to off drive, missed and was cleaned bowled.
“Applauded all the way back to the pavilion, Bradman stopped momentarily to speak to Roly Jenkins,who years later told me what he said to Bradman.
He said: ‘You lifted your head to that one didn’t you Don ? ‘ to which he replied: ‘Well Roly, there’s one or two in this side I want to have a look at’ ”
“When he reached the Australian dressing room he asked Norman Whiting, the Worcestershire 12th man to get him a small whiskey from the players serving hatch to the members bar. And like Roly, Norman dined out on this story for years to come ! ”
Australia reached 462-8 declared with the left-handed Morris scoring 138 on his first appearance in England and Keith Miller hit three sixes and five fours in his undefeated 50. Peter Jackson’s figures were 39-4-135-6.
Worcestershire were dismissed for 212 in their second innings with Laddie Outschoorn top scoring with 54, Palmer 34, Cooper 22, Reg Perks 27, Jenkins 21, and Kenyon 17.
Australia won by an innings and 17 runs and leg spinner Colin McCool took 4-29.
Remarkably, the attendance over the three days was 32,000 and receipts were over £4,000
During their stay in the City the tourists visited the Royal Worcester Porcelain factory where they autographed a gold plate featuring the Cathedral.
This plate along with others commemorating previous visits, is displayed in the Museum of Australian Sport at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Also, the tourists were given batting gloves and and a pair Jack Hobbs patented buckskin leg guards when they visited Frank Bryan’s Leather and Sports Goods factory in Bromyard Road.