Tunstall Cricket Club
When Fred Thatcher called the first meeting of the Tunstall Cricket Club, Tunstall was a very small community. The 1933 census population was 728, a third of the size of neighbouring Blackburn and Mitcham.
Tunstall’s first secretary was Mr M Hayes, who was one of three brothers who helped form the Club, and delegate Mr. T. Sharp, it fielded B and C grade teams. The C grade team won the premiership in 1928-29 defeating Balwyn in the Grand Final. Tunstall continued with two teams, including B grade Runners Up in 1931-32 until the end of the 1931-32 season.
Tunstall struggled in 1930-31 and hardly won a game, finishing second bottom. The following players represented the club in season 30-31. Fred Thatcher (snr), Clarrie Bird, R McRobert, G Smith, W Vail, J Pepperall, G Sullivan, W Kennett, W Phillips, D McRobert, G Bell and B Lathlaen. Clarrie Bird ran the bus service from East Burwood to Tunstall station. It is thought that Clarrie donated £25 to help start the Club. This was a sizeable amount in those days. The Association must have had some major sponsorship with the Box Hill Reporter newspaper as the competition was named after the paper as were other local comps including tennis. It is interesting to note that front page news in ‘The Reporter’ were results from the Eastern District Egg Laying competitons which were held weekly.
In season 1931-32, Tunstall won games outright with what are by today’s standards very low scores. On 2 or 3 occasions Tunstall scored 150 or less which was enough for outright points. In those days the competition was for the Box Hill Reporter Shield and two points were given for a win.
Interestingly, Blackburn CC offered to put down a turf wicket in 1930 if other clubs did but support was not forthcoming.
There were no teams entered in 1932-33 and 1933-34 however the Club re-entered the BHRDCA in 1934-35 with B and C grade teams again. In 1934-35 Bill Davis won the Association Batting Averages in B grade with an average of 35.1.
In 1935-36 the Club debuted in A grade and also had a C grade team who were Runners Up that year. Fred Thatcher (junior) and Bill Davis were the dominant cricketers of the Tunstall years. Fred was regularly the team’s top scorer and, if Fred wasn’t Bill Davis was. Bill also captured many wickets.
The following picture is believed to be the first ever Tunstall CC (now Nunawading CC) club picture, taken during the 1927-28 season.