Jill Lock has been left stumped by a bit of sporting history that has been hiding behind her walls.
The Pimlico woman was surprised when she and her husband Alf discovered a handwritten chalk scoreboard on the wall of their northern NSW property recently, tracking the runs made by legendary Australian cricketer Sir Donald Bradman.
Builders working on the site noted Bradman’s score of 244 (from just 271 balls), while Bill Ponsford amassed 266 before hitting his wicket — a cruel way to get out after 422 balls.
“I instantly knew what it was because it had the Bradman score and the date, 1934,” Ms Lock said.
“I googled it to find out just which Test it was and it turned out to be the fifth Test in the 1934 Ashes series.”
Official records show Australia made 701 in its first innings of the Test in 1934, and eventually defeated England by a whopping 562 runs.
The internal plaster and fittings of the Lock home were stripped after the house was inundated in this year’s floods.
Ms Lock said she and her husband had been unsure of the building’s age until the scoreboard was found.
“Stunned I think was the word, to think there’s something that’s been hidden behind kitchen dressings for all that period of time and it’s lasted,” she said.
Overwhelming reaction as find shared
When a photo of the find was shared on the ABC North Coast Facebook page, the reaction was overwhelming.
More than two million people were reached and thousands of people commented, calling for the wall to be preserved.
The level of interest has “absolutely floored” Ms Lock.
While she would like to preserve the wall, she said its discovery had left her with a problem.
“[I want to] preserve it if we can, but how?
“We don’t know at this point in time whether it’s just a curiosity or whether it’s history, so we’re waiting to find out from people with a little bit more nous than we’ve got as to what to do with it.”
An insurance claim on the house is still being finalised, which will help determine if it can be rebuilt and what the couple can afford to do.
Ms Lock said it put them in an uncertain position, but the historic find had brought a little levity in an otherwise challenging time.
“To find something written in chalk that is still quite readable 88 years later, it’s a marvel,” she said.