Michael Turner has been delving deep into the history of cricket in Tasmania and has unearthed an absolute treasure. On the left, a photo sourced from Libraries Tasmania of the scoreboard at the TCA Ground in Hobart early on the second day’s play between England and Tasmania, 25 January 1908. On the right, a delightful news report from The Hobart Mercury detailing the design and operation and official opening of the brand new scoreboard.
“The Southern Tasmanian Cricket Association has materially improved the equipment of the upper cricket ground by the erection of the scoring board, which was yesterday brought into operation for the first time. It is conspicuous from all parts of the ground and can be operated with rapidity and accuracy….It was officially opened yesterday by Mrs Evans, wife of the Premier, who scored the first run, and expressed the hope that the first century recorded would be to the credit of a Tasmanian batsman.”
Alas, England batted first, with Joe Hardstaff and Wilfred Rhodes making centuries. Tasmanian skipper Kenny Burn made 112 in the home team’s second innings. The three day match was drawn: England 455, Tasmania 113 and 8/317. Full scorecard.
Michael Turner’s previous contributions also focussed on the TCA Ground.
The scoreboard was demolished in the early 1980s. Michael says the current scoreboard is ‘the cookie-cutter electronic type found at many a ground these days’.
It’s unlikely that it was officially opened by the partner of the Premier or that “the scorers on the second floor communicate by means of speaking tubes with the pressmen on the lower floor”.
TCA Ground via Google Satellite
The scoreboard pictured here was torn down in 1984 and was in poor condition by then, it was still in use in the 1982/83 season.
They had an electronic one in use by 1984/85 that seemed to always malfunction, it was later moved to Bellerive Oval and ended up being used as an advertising billboard (still is actually) by the late 80s or early 90s.
Interestingly, football was played at both the TCA Ground and Bellerive Oval in those days and both sports used separate scoreboards. The 1908-1984 TCA Ground board was never used for football, Bellerive Oval had a separate manual one for football that was used up until the end of the 1992 TFL Season when the new one in use today was erected.
Thanks for that info. Good to know there are people out there happy to share their scoreboard knowledge. Cheers.