Adelaide Oval Pictures 1920-39

Published: 2019
Pages: 46
Author: Whimpress, Bernard
Publisher: WHIM Press
Rating: 3 stars

Last year I reviewed the first in this series of booklets here. By the end of the year the second had appeared and now, towards the end of 2019, Bernard Whimpress has concluded his journey on the eve of World War Two. By definition he has scope to carry on for another 80 years, but he indicates very firmly on the rear cover that there will be no more.

The 1900-1919 booklet did differ somewhat from its predecessor in that it moved further away from the cricketing use of the Adelaide Oval towards other events, and that is a trend which carries on apace in this final volume, in which less than a third of the images are conventional cricket ones.

The non-cricketing images were, almost by definition, unfamiliar to me. By the same token those that were of cricket and cricketers were, in the main, instantly recognisable. Naturally there is a shot of Bradman, but perhaps surprisingly only one. The Don at the end of his follow through after drive is a familiar sight, but I’m not certain that I have seen the particular photograph that is featured by Whimpress before.

There are a couple of classic Ashes shots included. The first, from the 1928/29 series is of the tragic figure of Archie Jackson walking out to bat with Jack Ryder, looking every inch a regal presence on his way to that 164 on debut. Four years later Adelaide’s Ashes Test saw the Bodyline furore reach fever pitch. The image of Bill Woodfull clutching his chest after being struck over the heart by a delivery from Harold Larwood is a familiar and enduring one, although I am not convinced I have seen the particular photograph that Whimpress uses before.

Elsewhere there are photographs of a variety of men’s and women’s sport as well as the ground being used for other purposes, not least the impressive front cover illustration of the pageant that took place at the ground in 1936 to celebrate South Australia’s centenary.

The 22 photographs in Adelaide Oval Pictures 1920-39 are an eclectic selection that are skillfully held together by Whimpress’ always impressive commentary. He has the knack of saying just enough, without overstaying his welcome. This one is a little pricier than Turnarounds at AUS$20, and there are a few more copies to go round, 100 in all. Once again it is recommended.

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