Time and Tide Wait for No Man

Third Man has only just recovered his balance and composure after the short pitched and altogether facetious delivery from that demon bowler, John Halliwell,  viz his comment to Portraits of Impermance   – J.M.W. Turner indeed !  

But of course Turner, or Spin Meister as he was called when turning out for the Squire’s XI as he often did during the Wars,  loved his cricket.

Lobs and blobs were his speciality on and off the field.  

Above, in Cricket on the Goodwin Sands circa 1828-30*, the players seize their moment between tides and endeavour to cheat time – the essence of cricket.  

Did he also see the special effect that lefties have on the eye?

Of course in those days it was impossible to set up an easel anywhere without having blasted cricketers getting in the way as can be seen by these wastrels disturbing the tranquillity of a meditation on Wells Cathedral circa 1795. 

[N.B. The accusation by art historians that Third Man is fielding ’round the corner’ in this work is a base calumny. ]

Or when trying to capture this view of the lake at Petworth as the sun set on another day’s play around 1829.

Capability Brown had naturally insisted, when laying our the grounds, that estate workers should always be at hand to improve the view by playing cricket on what TM remembers as an unnecesarily springy turf where the ball made that ominously hollow sound before bouncing disconcertingly up at his unprotected fingers.

A shameful example of artistic or in this case landscaping requirments taking precedence over the quality of the wicket.  Not a problem often encountered on Goodwin Sands.

* Wikipedia has it that, “In the summer of 1824, Captain K. Martin, then the Harbourmaster at Ramsgate, instituted the proceedings of the first known cricket match on the Goodwin Sands, at low water” but lacks a citation.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Time and Tide Wait for No Man

  1. John Halliwell

    Lovely stuff, TM. Inimitable, unique. Much like Turner himself. I wish I had the original of his ‘The Fighting Openingpair’ (Edrich and Close – Old Trafford, ’76). He must have been knocking on a bit when he painted that……..

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