History of North Shore Croquet Club.
The word 'Croquet' seems first to have been applied to a game that became popular in England during the 1860's. It likely evolved from the more ancient game of Pall Mall, played in England during the 18th Century, having been imported from France where Pelle Melle was played on the beaches of Brittany. That said, the Irish also claim to have been the inventors of croquet, and there
is some evidence to support the suggestion.
Although North Shore Croquet Club, in its current form, was established in 1905, its origins go back to 1886, making it one of NZ's oldest. There are many photographs of its early years around the clubhouse walls, of which two are in our photo gallery on this website. Back then in New Zealand, croquet was essentially a game for ladies, who played Association Croquet and dressed the part. Golf Croquet is a relatively modern game, and is rapidly gaining in popularity worldwide. At club level Golf Croquet players do not generally wear 'whites': at NSCC few players of either discipline wear 'whites' these days, though some still do.
North Shore Croquet Club's history stretches back to the late 1890s when the wives and daughters of the Devonport Men's Bowling Club were allocated a lawn at their club to play croquet on one day a week. Over the ensuing decades growth in the numbers of men bowlers put pressure on the lawn space and over time the women were 'encouraged' to find grounds of their own. In 1931 the women eventually took up 'residence' at our current site and the club has gone from strength to strength over the years since.
The North Shore Croquet Club is a charity (No. CC44919); quoting from the application document submitted to the Charities Commission "…Our charitable contribution to the community is the upkeep of our beautiful grounds, an open invitation to come and learn the game of croquet and help keep body and mind healthy out in the open air."
We are certainly very fortunate to be situated where we are, on council-owned parks reserve land close to the Waitemata Golf Course and set amongst lovingly restored turn-of-the-century wooden villas. We're easy to find; coming into Devonport turn left off Lake Road into Allenby Ave and then turn left into Derby Street, which turns into Wairoa Rd. Or, from Old lake Road, turn right just after the Narrow Neck Cafe into Wairoa Road. We're the little white building right on the bend of the road; we'll have a Welcome sign out for you!