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Turnham Green has enjoyed a long and colourful association with the sport of cricket which continues to the present day. Such was the local popularity of cricket that, in 1780, the well-known cricket-bat manufacturer, Aquila Clapshaw, moved his business to Turnham Green. Clapshaw's company continued to prosper for the next hundred years, and in 1870 they merged with another prominent local cricket equipment manufacturer, Louis Salmon.

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Turnham Green Cricket Club
was formed in 1853. It was initially called the Turnham Green Devonshire Cricket Club in honour of its first president, the 8th Duke of Devonshire, who was a very prominent local landowner.

William Hutchins was himself a very keen cricketer . During the late 19th century he was an active member of the Turnham Green Cricket Club and, by all accounts, an enthusiastic and talented batsman.

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Turnham Green Cricket Club c.1895
(courtesy of Jane Trowbridge)

William Hutchins is believed to be the third man from the right in the back row.

In 1848 Mr. Robert Caught, proprietor of the local butcher's shop opposite Turnham Green Common, issued a challenge to the local cricketers: a leg of mutton would be awarded to the first batsman who was able to hit a ball from the common into the forecourt of his premises.

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Caught's the butchers, 396 Chiswick High Road

Family legend has it that William Hutchins himself was the hero of the famous Cricket Challenge, and winner of the leg of mutton. However, history has recorded that the Challenge in fact remained unanswered until October 1929 when local batsman A.R.W. Perks, playing against a team from Hayes, hit a ball which ricocheted off a tree, shot across the busy Chiswick High Road and landed in the very entrance of Caught's the butchers. Mr. Perks was duly awarded his leg of mutton by the, then, proprietor, Frederick Trowbridge.

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A.R.W. Perks presented with his prize by Mr. Frederick Trowbridge (right)

(courtesy of Jane Trowbridge)

Although William Hutchins evidently was not the winner of the Turnham Green Cricket Challenge, his batting prowess was reputedly such that he literally stopped the clock - on two occasions he hit a ball that struck and broke the clock in the tower of Christ Church adjacent to the cricket green!


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