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The Old Time Match, 1953

On 30 May 1953, a special match was played at Broadfhalfpenny Down, the cradle of cricket, featuring a team from Commercial Union, dressed in specially made replica uniforms from the company’s earliest fire brigades, playing against a team from Hambledon.

The Hambledon team arrived by horse and cart while the ‘ancient firemen’ from Commercial Union arrived on a fire pump.

The match, which ended in a draw, was played according to rules from 1744 with under arm bowling, curved bats, no boundaries and a notched stick for scoring.

The match featured Geoff Smith who, according to contemporary newspaper articles, had even grown his own side whiskers for the event.

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