Te Whare Taonga o Kororareka

Slipping & Slapping – Croquet in the 1920s – #131

Slipping & Slapping – Croquet in the 1920s – #131

Who needs sunblock when you’re wearing these outfits? Ankle length, long sleeved frocks, wide brimmed hats, white stockings and closed shoes left only faces and hands exposed to spring sunshine. These ladies were photographed on  the opening day of Russell’s Croquet Club, November 1922. Prior to this day the “genteel”  game of croquet had been played on two private lawns. Croquet players were mainly women;  women were excluded from playing bowls so they played croquet instead. Just across the road, a year later, the men of Russell laid down a bowling green. They didn’t have their own pavilion though, so they crossed the road – which was more of a track then – and used this pavilion for afternoon tea on tournament days. Subsequently it was acquired by the bowling club when they occupied the area for a second  green in 1950-51. Women were still not allowed then, to be bowling club members, but did play – on week days, on payment of a special fee – and in November 1955 the Russell Women’s Bowling Club was formed.  R to L Mrs H C King, Mrs Bertie Cook, Mrs Russell, Mrs Vipond, Miss Flo Williams.  Left background Mr Tommy Williams House, Right Mr E B Clarke’s house  (where Triton Suites is now) on Wellington Street.