Gates: Hobbs Gates
Erection date: 1934
The Hobbs Gates - in honour of a great Surrey and England cricketer.
See Alpha Rail for a close-up photo of these lovely Art Deco gates during their restoration in 2013. "Significant changes were being made to the Hobbs Gate entrance to improve access at this historic entrance. ... In 1934 Jack Hobbs retired as the leading batsman in the world and the ‘Jack Hobbs Gates’ opened and became one of the major ground entrances at the Oval." Wikipedia has Hobbs announcing his retirement in February 1935. Shared Knights describes a menu from the "Farewell Dinner to J.B. Hobbs. To commemorate his retirement from County Cricket’ The Dorchester Hotel, London, 17th July 1935. Arranged by ‘The Star’ newspaper. Large official menu, with original decorative covers, with tribute by Neville Cardus, Toasts, table plan, after Dinner entertainment, guest list and two photographs, one of the ‘Hobbs Gates’ at The Oval, the other one of Hobbs, head and shoulders ...".
The gates themselves and the railings have minimal ornamentation but the overthrow above the gates is elegantly designed. However we have failed to find the designer responsible.
Site: Hobbs Gates + first Test (2 memorials)
SE11, Kennington Oval, Hobbs Gates
From British History Online: "During the war of 1939–45 the Oval suffered both from bombing and from neglect. It was used as a searchlight site and subsequently set out, though never used, as a prisoner-of-war camp. In 1945, after de-requisitioning, 40,000 turves from Gravesend were laid, and cricket was resumed at the beginning of the season of 1946."