Mementoes spin memories

Bryan Corker with the cherished pieces of cricketing history given to him by his father.
Bryan Corker with the cherished pieces of cricketing history given to him by his father.

Calista resident Bryan Corker possesses three pieces of memorabilia handed down to him by his late father Roy, items that cricket historians and museums across the country would love to get their hands on.

A tour itinerary outlining the 1936/37 touring English team’s schedule would be a special piece in itself; however Mr Corker’s was signed by every member of the touring party and includes the personal scrawls of legendary figures of English cricket Walter Hammond, tour skipper Sir George ‘Gubby’ Allen and Hedley Verity.

‘My father was 16 at the time and was a volunteer steward at the welcoming ball in Perth [for the England team],’ Mr Corker said.

‘The booklet outlined the England’s tour and has a bust of each player on a separate page, and he went around to each player and got each picture signed in a different pen.’

Perhaps even more rare is a set of 10 postcards carrying photos of Australian players of the era, including the legendary Sir Donald Bradman, and a 32-page souvenir booklet from the 1937 Melbourne Test, The Ashes? Cricketures of the Australian and English Teams illustrated by Frank Lee.

To the best of Mr Corker’s knowledge, this set is scarce and they have attracted expressions of interest from the International Cricket Hall of Fame (formerly the Bradman Museum) in Bowral and the WACA Museum.

‘They were given to each team player to present as a gift to an opposing player, with a photo of a selection of players and some info on them, while the back was blank and they were designed for the English players to use and write home on,’ Mr Corker said.

‘I believe they’re one-off items and I haven’t heard of or seen any other sets come up so my understanding is they are extremely rare, and they are special to me as they were my late father’s.’