Audio Tour 6
6a) A Sporting Tradition
6b) The Classic Bridge and Orangery
(Scroll down for second part of tour)
6a A Sporting Tradition
‘A Sporting Tradition’ by Chiswick Residents competition winner Nigel Macarthur.
MALE VOICE (in a comic fashion):
Our spying is top secret,
We will not give our names.
Inside the boundary, cricket.
Outside are other games.
We’re here to pass a message,
When we receive our cue.
The scores, appeals and all the rest,
Conceal a thing or two.
The match, we’re told, is choreographed,
Down to the ice creams bought.
We buy our raspberry ripples,
When the score is two for nought.
Our rivals, though, have followed.
They’re very different men.
One’s thickset, scruffy, tie askew.
He does rough stuff, as-and-when.
The other, Trevor Howard-like,
Will get the ladies chatting,
And try to find our movements,
While the openers are batting.
The pitch grows unpredictable,
Thanks to the recent rain.
Those pre-planned cues and signals,
Begin to feel the strain.
The bowler tries to slow the ball,
But it swings off the seam.
The bails are dancing through the air,
Like an aerobatic team.
We’re forced to signal much too soon.
My hands begin to shake.
The cigar falls in my ice cream,
Like a leaf-wrapped chocolate flake.
And that one was my only one!
It’s far too damp to light!
And there goes another wicket!
This surely can’t be right!
Our plans are now in chaos,
As clouds form up above,
And a thick edge bounces merrily,
Into the keeper’s glove.
I quickly drop my ice cream,
And fumble for my pipe.
A dog chews ice cream and cigar,
And then begins to gripe.
The owner’s looking daggers,
Our contact can’t be found.
The time has come to give it up.
And sneak out of the ground.
A waving red ice lolly,
Is the signal we must use,
But the ice cream queue is ten yards long,
When the freezer blows a fuse.
The wickets fall like autumn leaves,
Until the ninth is gone.
The eleventh man is indisposed,
And so the twelfth comes on.
He doesn’t know the signal,
For ‘See you here next match’.
We need an LBW,
And not some easy catch.
But it really seems it’s not our day.
The spy’s life has its blips,
And the vital LBW,
Was just caught in the slips.
Our rivals, though, are mystified.
Was it really us they saw?
But we cannot pass our message now,
So both games end a draw!
6b The Classic Bridge and Orangery
From 1946 until 1992 the Turnham Green Cricket Club played on the pitch at weekends. Celebrity cricket matches were a regular feature in the 1940s and 50s, in which famous cricketers like Denis Compton and Colin Cowdrey took part.
As you continue along the path, you will come to an elegant stone bridge, today known as the Classic Bridge. It was built for the 5th Duke of Devonshire in 1774 and was designed by the architect James Wyatt.
During the Second World War, the gardens were hit by several German bombs. If you take a look closer at the bridge, you can still see shrapnel damage. Today, the artificial lake that the bridge spans is a haven for a wide variety of birds and bats, as well as a group of terrapins and a heron.
As you continue further along the path, you should soon see the Ionic temple again. The towering obelisk in front of it stood at the centre of a circular pool of water, which was once surrounded by orange trees. Lord Burlington liked to grow oranges and created the garden’s orangery around 1726.