ANCESTRY OF SYDENHAM CRICKET CLUB AT PAPERS PAST BY FLAGON PARK SECOND EDITION, FEBRUARY 2014
ANCESTRY OF SYDENHAM CRICKET CLUB AT PAPERS PAST BY FLAGON PARK SECOND EDITION, FEBRUARY 2014
1 ANCESTRY OF SYDENHAM CRICKET CLUB AT PAPERS PAST BY FLAGON PARK SECOND EDITION, FEBRUARY 2014 INTRODUCTION Ken Julian asked me to write an occasional series for the Sydenham Cricket Club website based on lots of interesting items I found at the fabulous Papers Past website hosted by the National Library of New Zealand. http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/ The articles will present long forgotten details of the history of our Sydenham Cricket Club, its predecessors and other Sydenham-based cricket clubs. One of these clubs changed its name to Christchurch which leads me into a discussion involving the four clubs that called themselves Christchurch, and that morphs into the story of early cricket in Christchurch long before the advent of the various southern clubs in Christchurch.
My search at Papers Past was sparked by finding a reference in the Press to a Sydenham Cricket Club in existence during the mid-1880's long before the supposed start date of our club in 1895. When I asked others about the history of the club I was told that much old material of the type that one might hope to find in our club archives is missing and maybe lost forever. Papers Past can help to fill in many of the gaps. The articles will especially concern the period before the advent of district cricket in the 1905-06 season and will also present material regarding the district cricket years 1905-1920.
Also, while looking for Sydenham-related articles, I came across other items worthy of presentation. There must be other sources that can be used, for example at the Christchurch branch of Archives New Zealand, Canterbury Museum, Christchurch Public Libraries, the Canterbury Cricket Association (CCA), archives of other clubs, and so forth, but I will be concentrating on Papers Past as my source. Papers Past is an absolutely free online treasure trove of digitised old New Zealand newspapers from 1839 to 1945 which can be browsed or searched by date, region and newspaper plus it has a facility to convert images of individual newspaper items to text using OCR software.
Images of individual items or whole pages, even entire issues of a newspaper, are easily saved. There is already a wonderful array of old newspapers online at Papers Past but the project is ongoing and more are added from time to time. At the time of writing Canterbury alone already
2 has nine old newspapers online. The main papers of interest at Papers Past currently are the Press 1861-1920, the Star 1868-1909, the Lyttelton Times 1851-1869 and the Ellesmere Guardian 1891-1945, although relevant articles can often be found in other newspapers especially if a story had more than local interest. Information about the formation of newspapers in Christchurch can be read here: http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-Cyc03Cycl-t1-body1-d3-d24.html If you can't wait for the remaining articles to arrive then don't be shy, dive in and have a go at Papers Past. You will not be disappointed! Please make it known if you find great material.
In the old newspapers, just as in today's newspapers, you can head straight to the sports pages of the Monday issues to find out what happened on Saturday, or midweek issues for informed comment by seasoned cricket observers such as 'Dark Blue,' 'Light Blue,' 'Scoring-Board,' 'O.U.T.' and others.
Anyone wishing to devote themselves to teasing out a particular aspect of our club's history at Papers Past to add to our knowledge should first read the article by Dick BRITTENDEN, 'The beginnings 1895-1905,' in the historical section of the 1995 centenary booklet of the Sydenham Cricket Club, for a brief but informative overview of our club's early history. It can be viewed online at http://www.sydenhamcricket.com/Joomla/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wra pper&It emid=59 Another excellent read, 'The Making of New Zealand Cricket 1832-1914' by Greg RYAN, published in 2004, which he developed from his 1996 doctoral Ph.D thesis of the same title, contains an interesting discussion of early cricket in Christchurch, especially the controversy surrounding the start of district cricket in 1905.
The thesis examines the membership of early clubs in Christchurch to conclude that membership of particular clubs over many years was, in the main, class based, and suggests that the class differences between clubs, making the top senior teams relatively closed shops to newcomers, was one of the influences leading to the change to the more egalitarian district cricket system. However, like most histories touching on early cricket in Christchurch or Canterbury, neither the thesis nor the book examines the fine detail of individual cricket club teams' performances from season to season or Saturday to Saturday.
My aim in this introduction is to give a framework for the articles to eventually follow which in most instances will largely consist of newspaper articles presented in chronological order according to topic. The level of detail in a number of the future articles will seem at first glance to be overwhelming but those who persevere with them will find many gems amid the dryer stuff if they hurry on through them. The chronological format is necessary so that
3 developments can be followed without confusion on the part of the reader. I also have an eye to posterity in the hope that the collection of articles will inform future research on the history of our club and its antecedents.
Many of us thoroughly enjoyed the centenary celebration of the Sydenham Cricket Club in 1995. Dick BRITTENDEN in his centennial article says that L. M. ISITT (Leonard Monk ISITT), the Wesleyan minister, was reported by J. A. CAYGILL (John Allot CAYGILL) as the person who made the suggestion a hundred years before in the winter of 1895 that the Addington Cricket Club should combine with the Sydenham Cricket Club. The Addington club already had fifteen years of history behind it while the Sydenham club was brand new having been formed earlier that year in April. The resulting amalgamation was the Sydenham and Addington United Cricket Club, the name being adopted at the first AGM before the start of the 1895-96 season.
Star , Issue 5226, 5 April 1895, Page 3.
"Sydenham Cricket Club— A meeting of those interested in the formation of a cricket club at Sydenham was held at the Sydenham Chambers last evening. The Mayor (Mr J. Brown) occupied the chair. It was decided to form a club to be called the Sydenham Cricket Club. Messrs S. J. Denholm, Jacobs, Waddell, A. Lawrence, Lafferty, Rowe, Scott and Halley were appointed a deputation to wait on the Borough Council at its next meeting in reference to obtaining the use of Sydenham Park." Star , Issue 5229, 9 April 1895, Page 2 "BOROUGH COUNCILS.
...SYDENHAM A deputation from the Sydenham Cricket Club waited on the Council with reference to a proposed cricket ground at Sydenham Park.
The deputation wished the Council to assist the Club to lay out the ground. Councillor Caygill moved "That having heard the deputation from the Sydenham Cricket Club, this Council grants permission to the Club to use the Sydenham Park as a cricket ground, and to lay out and keep in order a portion of it, and will contribute one-half of any money required provided the total liability of the Council shall not exceed £20." Councillor M'Millan seconded the motion, and after discussion the matter was held over till next meeting." Press, Volume LII, Issue 9077, 13 April 1895, Page 10 "TENDERS are invited for LAYING DOWN and PREPARING as a CRICKET GROUND 3 Acres, more or less, of the SYDENHAM PARK Specifications to be seen at the Sydenham Chambers (late Sydenham Hotel), Battersea-street Tenders close at Sydenham Chambers, 6 p.m., Saturday, 13th April.
RUSSELL HALLEY, Hon. Sec, pro tem."
4 Star , Issue 5241, 24 April 1895, Page 4 "SYDENHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL. Consideration of Councillor Caygill's motion in reference to granting the Sydenham Cricket Club the use of a portion of Sydenham Park as a cricket ground was resumed. The motion was agreed to, with the exception of the latter portion in reference to the Council contributing £20 towards the cost of preparing the ground, which was held over until after the estimates were considered. Permission was granted to the Canterbury Rugby Union to use the east side of Sydenham Park for football matches from April 27 to the end of August." Star , Issue 5272, 31 May 1895, Page 1 Sydenham Cricket Club.— A meeting of members of this club was held at the Borough Council Chambers on Wednesday evening.
It was reported that the contract for forming the ground was nearly completed. Subscriptions to the amount of over £21 had been promised, and the sum of £17 14s had already been collected. Fifty-five members had been enrolled. Press, Volume LII, Issue 9199, 2 September 1895, Page 6 "The annual meeting of the Sydenham Cricket Club was held on Saturday night at the Sydenham Chambers. Mr J. A. Caygill presided.....
.....The Club was also congratulated upon the amalgamation effected with the Addington Cricket Club, which, besides making a substantial increase in the membership, would enable the Club to enter the senior cup contests, an advantage that could hardly be overestimated. The Club could also enter for each of the other cup contests..... .....The meeting then proceeded with the revision of the rules. It was decided that the name of the Club should be the Sydenham and Addington United Cricket Club, and the colours old gold and scarlet (the colours of the late A.C.C . .
Star , Issue 5382, 8 October 1895, Page 1 "A meeting of the committee of the Canterbury Cricket Association was held at the City Hotel last evening.....A letter was read from the Sydenham and Addington Club applying for a handicap of four men in the Senior Cup competition.
The request was acceded to." The handicap of extra players in the item above was a common feature of cricket in the old days. Excellent examples of handicapping are the Canterbury representative teams which fielded 22 players against the All-England Eleven in 1864 and 18 players against an All-England Eleven in 1877 but still lost both games. A Canterbury 18 escaped with a draw against All-England in 1882 only because too much time was lost due to rain, Canterbury being 6 wickets down for 15 runs in the second innings and still 115 behind All-England's 230 of the first innings. A Canterbury 15 beat the touring Australian team of 1878 by 6 wickets having
5 destroyed the Australian batting in the first innings of the match, a fantastic result with not such a large handicap as in the other matches. There was a scandal in 1877 when Edward POOLEY, in Christchurch with the All-England touring team to play the Canterbury 18, played an old ruse by making a wager with a local man called DONKIN that he would predict the scores of each of the Canterbury players, giving away one shilling for each player scored incorrectly but collecting one pound for each player scored correctly. Canterbury were so weak compared to the Englishmen that POOLEY merely predicted that each of the Canterbury batsmen would score a duck so that he stood to collect a big sum after the inevitable large number of duck eggs occurred among the 18 batsmen, but DONKIN refused to pay up.
A court case resulted when POOLEY assaulted DONKIN over the non-payment of the wager. That was the end of the tour for POOLEY who had to make his own way back to England.
Despite the advantage of fifteen players throughout their inaugural 1895-96 season, Sydenham & Addington United lost every match they played until they upset Lancaster Park's title chances in the last game of the season to register their very first win. Lancaster Park choked in the last innings batting on a dodgy pitch (some things never change). The parent Addington club too had handicaps over a number of seasons in the senior cup competition. Despite being undefeated during the 1881-82 season (the team photo is in the Sydenham archives), the young Addington club suffered a reality check going winless against the Midland, United and Lancaster Park sides during the 1882-83 season, the first season of the Canterbury Cricket Association's new Senior Challenge Cup competition.
In this first season of the competition the rules did not allow the use of handicap players, but Addington applied to the Association to play with fifteen players the following season, which was granted. The rules didn't allow matches to be left drawn, so that matches often extended over more Saturdays than is now the case. Matches were played in the afternoon.
Star , Issue 4478, 31 August 1882, Page 2 "A special general meeting of the Canterbury Cricket Association was held at the City Hotel last evening to consider the advisability of establishing cup matches in connection with the Association. There was a good attendance, and a motion to the effect that cup matches should be forthwith established was carried by 17 votes to 10. The management of the Cup, by the rules adopted last night, is to be vested in the Match Committee of the Association, who, in all matters connected with it, are to be all-powerful. Each Club competing will have to pay an entrance fee of 10s per season, and the rules are so worded that no match can, except under very extraordinary circumstances, be left drawn.
The hours of play are rigidly fixed, and it is
6 hoped that one great effect of these matches will be to enforce the punctuality that is so conspicuous by its absence at present. For the coming season at any rate it is not intended to allow handicaps to competing clubs, which we take leave to think is a great mistake. It is impossible for junior clubs to cope on level terms with their more powerful rivals, and the result must be to cut them out of the matches altogether, a result which we imagine is scarcely a desirable one. Otherwise the rules are well adapted for their purpose, and will furnish a means of tight control over cricketers that has hitherto been altogether wanting, and which can but result in material benefit to the game.
The value of the cup has wisely been limited to £20, on the ground that it is not the intrinsic worth, but the honour that is sought for, and a Committee was appointed to provide the necessary funds, and obtain a trophy of the kind required. In a couple of months, therefore, we presume, Cup matches will be in full swing on our Metropolitan grounds." Lancaster Park won the first Senior Cup competition of 1882-83. The speeches in the report below of the Lancaster Park dinner following their win are priceless. E.C.J. STEVENS (Edward Cephas John STEVENS), who makes a speech, later played for Addington and also for Sydenham & Addington United.
He made massive contributions at many levels of cricket after arriving in Canterbury in 1858. Another speechmaker, F. WILDING (Frederick WILDING) a solicitor who later took silk when he became a King's Counsel, was also a major contributor to cricket at all levels. He was the father of Anthony WILDING, the famous tennis player killed in the Great War, whom many might not realise played cricket for Canterbury like his father. Star , Issue 4674, 23 April 1883, Page 4 "THE LANCASTER PARK CLUB. THE ANNUAL DINNER.
In order that the cricket season 1882-83 might be fittingly concluded, the Committee of the Lancaster Park Club decided to hold a dinner in the Oddfellows' Hall, where, accordingly, some seventy gentlemen sat down on Saturday evening. The chair was filled by Mr A. C. Wilson, President of the Club, and the vice-chairs by Mr F. Wilding, Captain of the First Eleven, and the Hon E. C. J. Stevens, President of the Canterbury Cricket Association. Among the invited guests were the principal members of the United, Midland, and Addington Clubs, and, as an unusual honour, certain lady members of the L.P.C.
were present in the hall after dinner. During the evening, which proved a thoroughly enjoyable one, a number of capital songs were sung to a pianoforte accompaniment. After ample justice had been done to a good dinner, and the toast of the "Queen and the Royal Family" responded to, the Chairman proposed the health of the Lancaster Park Club and First Eleven, coupled with the name of its captain, Mr Wilding. All would admit that the Club had turned out a great success, and by the spirit of rivalry its existence had called forth had done much to improve cricket in Christchurch. This was exactly
7 the object with which it had been started, not to monopolise cricketing skill and strength, but to produce plenty of tough conquests in which nothing more was desired than that the best men should win. Mr Wilding, who was loudly cheered on rising, dwelt on the many excellences of cricket generally, and on the improvement visible in Christchurch cricket in particular, which latter he ascribed to the Challenge Cup matches. Any success the Lancaster Park Club might have achieved was certainly due in no slight degree to the President. (Cheers.) As for the first eleven, it had won the Cup. In this they had been doubtless helped by luck, as the superior batting strength of the United Club was unquestionable but he could claim that his men had worked hard and well to deserve victory.
In Mr Frith they had one who on all sorts of wickets and in all sorts of company had shown himself the best bowler in New Zealand. (Cheers.) But the strength of Lancaster Park lay in its veterans ; in those who, but for the establishment of a new ground, would probably, from various causes, have had to give up the game altogether. First and foremost there was the veteran Ollivier. He, after many years' good service, was beginning to relinquish cricket and settle down to a peaceful old age amid his roses and violets at Opawa; but on the starting of Lancaster Park he scented the battle from afar, flung down his hoe and watering-pot, seized his bat and gloves, mounted his most spirited bicycle, and charged into the fray once more.
(Cheers.) Then there was Mr Reeves, who had also come forward for the Park, and proved himself the best and stoutest batsman of them all. (Cheers.) Then there was another veteran, his friend, Mr Henry Loughnan, who before Lancaster Park was quite retired from cricket but now took such a revived interest in it that he was never more than forty minutes late for the most important match. Then there was another Mr Loughnan the gay and admirable Frank, whose recent century showed of what he was capable. Next came his friend Mr Atack, who, at the call of duty and the Park, had relinquished the pleasure of battling with theatrical troupes, and chosen foemen more worthy of his steel, and who, in a dangerous crisis, had shown what a stout heart and a cross bat could do for a side in difficulty.
Lastly, there was the veteran, Mr Stevens (cheers), grown grey in conflict, but who had shown that age could not wither nor batting practice stale the infinite variety of his play. As for Mr Henry Cotterill, there had been doubt as to whether he was a Cotterill at all, but by his fine fielding in all the matches, he had shown himself indeed a son of that grand old sire who had given to Canterbury so many of her ablest cricketers. (Laughter and cheers.) Mr H. Cotterill had the toast of the evening to propose ; it was that of the Lancaster Park ladies, the winners of the Challenge Cup, coupled with the name of Mr W.
P. Reeves. All would admit that this title was literally true. Not being eloquent, he could not say much about the ladies, but he could think a great deal.
Mr Reeves hoped that his first remark would not be received with groans. Till then he had felt the presence of the ladies that evening an honour, just then he could wish them anywhere but where they were. The man who had to speak of the ladies in their presence had a very
8 responsible task before him. Those Lancaster batsmen who had failed when they ought to have succeeded and returned amid a dismal silence to the pavilion, knew what it was to face their ladies after failure; not that anything was said, but where ladies were in question there were such things as looks, which meant far more than words.
On behalf of the ladies he would thank the Club for its courtesy during the season, though this courtesy, after all, was only the effect of an enlightened selfishness. The ladies would especially thank the Committee for having enabled them to show kindness and hospitality to their visitors and opponents. When these gentlemen were beaten, they found in the ladies good Samaritans, who, if they had not actually to bind up wounds and pour in oil and wine, yet bound cricketers together by their kindness, and poured out for them tea and coffee. (Laughter.) Hence their fame had spread far and wide.
There were gentlemen in the South and far North of the Colony for whom the red rose of Lancaster bloomed in memory yet who had gone away beaten, yet happy, and whom he could fancy saying to that irresistible bowler, Mr Wilding:- "You may break, you may scatter our stumps if you will, but the tea and the roses will comfort us still." As an example of the appreciation felt for what the ladies had done for the Club, he would read to them a description of the Lancaster Park first eleven, sent to him by a poetic friend, a genius, but too modest to reveal his name (Laughter.) It ran:- A RECIPE FOR CHALLENGE CUP : A NEW SUMMER DRINK.
Take four brave batsmen who, in various styles, Know how to baffle all a bowler's wiles; Take bowlers twain, good men of grit and power, To pound away, if wanted, by the hour ; Three famous fielders never known to fail, Two hardened sinners add to end the tail; Last, let THE LADIES stir the whole well up, And that's the mixture for a Challenge Cup. — (Loud cheers.) Mr H. H. Loughnan, in a neat speech, proposed— "Other Clubs," to which Messrs Hartland (United), Strange (Midland), and Wheatley (Addington) responded. Mr Hartland attributed the loss of the Cup by the United to their inability to fight against the fair sex, who had been such powerful allies of Lancaster Park.
He must admit, too, that he and his men had taken things too easily at practice. Next year, however, they meant business, and would try to be there, or thereabouts, when the Cup was won.
Professor Cook proposed— "The Canterbury Cricket Association," coupled with the name of its President, Mr Stevens, than whom the game possessed no more ardent devotee. The Hon E. C. J. Stevens, in replying, dwelt, amid loud cheering, on the long and important services rendered to the Association by Mr Condell, its Honorary Secretary. He impressed upon
9 those present the necessity of attending the Association's meetings. The gathering of that evening reminded him of those good old times when cricketers were cheerful fellows, who knew what it was to hear the chimes at midnight.
He then caused much laughter by "chaffing" two of the previous speakers who had twitted him and his sins in the cricket-field. He could only say to these two his Captain and his other friend that, however old and however hardened in sin he might be, he would still be ready to follow the one and play with the other "Always the same, Through grief and through danger, through sin and through shame." --(Cheers.) Other toasts were "Cricket," proposed by Mr Condell, and responded to by Mr Arthur Ollivier; "The Press," proposed by Dr Hacon, and responded to by Mr R.A. Loughnan and the "Chairman," proposed by Mr W.
V. Millton, received with very great applause, and responded to by Mr A. C. Wilson.
During the evening trophies, in the shape of bats, were handed by the Chairman to Messrs Reeves, Ollivier, and F. Loughnan, of the first eleven, Francis and Cooper, second eleven, and Dunlop and Richardson, juniors. The following are the averages of the Club's First Eleven, compiled from Cup and First Eleven matches:-- Matches played, 12; won, 10; lost, 1; drawn, 1. BATTING AVERAGES. Name. Runs. No of Innings. Times Not Out. Most in a Match. Average. W. P. Reeves 295 12 2 111 29.5 A.M. Ollivier 277 13 -- 109 21.8 F. Wilding 270 16 2 63 19.28 W. J. Pocock 191 12 1 42 17.36 E. C. J. Stevens 170 14 4 30 17 F.
O'B. Loughnan 182 13 1 103 15.16 D. J. Dunlop 165 14 2 40 13.83 H. Cotterill 45 4 -- 37 11.25 R. M. Roach 33 4 -- 21 8.25 H.H. Loughnan 57 10 3 20 8.14 W. H. Atack 78 11 1 20 7.8 W. Frith 42 -- 7 17 6 E. V. Hamilton 15 3 -- 8 5 E. Francis 18 7 2 8 3.6 BOWLING ANALYSIS. Name. Balls. Runs. Maidens. Wickets. Runs per wicket. F. Wilding 1522 477 112 71 6.71 W. Frith* 1251 398 75 52 7.71
10 W. H. Atack 479 181 27 16 8.18 W. J. Pocock 474 209 18 14 14.92 * Bowled three no balls." Question: When two teams of fifteen played each other at Lancaster Park in 1887, who were the opponents and what was the sport? Answer: Lancaster Park C.C. 1st XV versus Lancaster Park C.C. 2nd XV in the Canterbury Cricket Association’ s Senior Challenge Cup. For the 1887-88 season the Lancaster Park, Midland and United clubs asked the Association to allow them to enter extra teams in seniors as they each had extra teams in the Junior grade with burgeoning numbers of members joining their clubs and wanted to give some a crack at senior play.
Thus, instead of the usual quartet of four teams playing seniors (United, Midland, Lancaster Park and Addington), there were eight teams for the 1887-88 season with the CCA granting the requests for extra teams. The Association instructed the clubs to enter their best players in the elevens and their other sides could have handicaps of 15 players. Lancaster Park wanted to enter three teams in seniors, which gives a good idea of how fast they were growing considering they didn’ t form until 1881.
The sides for 1887-88 were: United 11 United XV Midland 11 Midland XV Lancaster Park 11 Lancaster Park 1st XV Lancaster Park 2nd XV Addington XV Addington, having started with 11 players in the very first Senior Challenge Cup competition of 1882-83, but been drubbed mercilessly every game, were allowed a fifteen man handicap in 1883-84 which they kept in 1884-85. With the aid of the handicap they won the competition in the latter season and reduced to 13 men in 1885-86, but were back to 15 for the 1887-88 season. In the following seasons Addington varied between 13 and 11 men. For the 1893-94 and 1894-95 seasons Addington didn't have a team in seniors with their top team playing in the Junior Cup competition instead.
That must have been quite a come down. Then came the amalgamation with Sydenham in 1895 and a return to senior cricket as Sydenham & Addington
11 United, but a southern team wasn't to win the senior cup again until Sydenham & Addington United did so in 1903-04 and then Sydenham in 1912-13. In fact, Sydenham won all competition grades in 1912-13, cleaning up the Peterson Shield in the process, so that season has to rank as maybe the best ever for our club. In fact Sydenham won the Senior Cup in 1913-14 and 1914-15 as well making three seasons in a row of Senior Cup success. Sydenham even had a second team in seniors in the 1914-15 season.
The most recent incarnation of our Sydenham club was set with the introduction of district cricket in the 1905-06 season by the Canterbury Cricket Association.
District cricket had already been tried successfully in Australia and in Auckland, and was not a new idea in England. Wellington also introduced district cricket for a few years. The residential-based scheme forced a huge shake up of club cricket in Christchurch by abandoning the old club system which for many years had concentrated top Senior Cup players in a small number of clubs making it hard for new players to force their way into such sides. Greg RYAN's book, 'The Making of New Zealand Cricket 1832-1914,' has much to say about class differences being part of the problem. The top sides in the old club system were far stronger than the weaker sides, hence the handicap of fifteen players employed by Sydenham & Addington United during their first season in 1895-96.
The Midland Thirteen of 1904-05, made up from the Midland club’ s second team that had won the Junior competition in the previous season, was given a go in seniors but thrashed by the top four elevens as was Lancaster Park B which also had 13 players. By this time the CCA was ready to try district cricket with other attempts to widen the senior player base as above being unsuccessful. The former Australian representative Charles BANNERMAN's ideas on the situation were influential, he having been in Christchurch to coach the Christ College team (with great success).
Star , Issue 8280, 31 March 1905, Page 1 “The Past Season. … ..Senior Cup. … ..the Association decided to allow two of the clubs to enter a Thirteen as well as an eleven in the first grade competition. The idea, apparently, was to give young players a more extended trial than otherwise would have been the case. A similar course has been tried before, and, as in former times, the experiment again could not be counted a success. The games between the Thirteen and the Eleven were on the whole, very one-sided, and the Thirteen’ s burden was only made bearable by the fact that under the new system of scoring the opposing Eleven often closed their only innings in order to try and get the Thirteen out twice.
The results were such that the juniors must have had very good hearts to play under so discouraging circumstances; a state of things not perhaps the most beneficial for bringing on promising new blood. As a matter of fact, however, under this method it is doubtful whether young players are really catered for… ..”
12 Press, Volume LXII, Issue 12147, 20 March 1905, Page 10 MR BANNERMAN'S IMPRESSIONS. LESSONS FOR NEW ZEALAND. After the match was over, our representative had a chat with Mr Bannerman, who acted as umpire in both the Test Matches. Mr Bannerman is himself an old Australian Eleven man, and from his great experience and ripe judgment his opinions should be of considerable value to those who control the destinies of cricket here..... .....With regard to the improvement of cricket in Canterbury, Mr Bannerman is strongly of opinion that the electorate system of play should be adopted here— that is that players may not play for any electorate but that in which they live.
Probably this would be opposed on sentimental grounds at first, but once properly going, he was satisfied it would wonderfully stimulate the play and also increase the interest taken in the game by the general public. He instanced the case of New South Wales. Since electorate cricket was adopted there the game had progressed marvellously, and he thought the same result would be achieved here under similar conditions. If Canterbury cricket was ever to attain the standard of Australian play it would only be done by those who had had proper coaching in their school days. At present, he said, the boys of Christ's College— to take only one example— generally joined the one Club, the United, on leaving school, and as that Club had only one team playing first-class cricket, it meant that any lad making a good score, say, 100, would be taken little notice of, because he was not playing first class cricket.
Under the electorate system these promising youngsters would be spread about, and consequently would soon come to the top. The electorate system had a lot to recommend it and he was firmly convinced it should be given a trial here. Press, Volume LXII, Issue 12150, 23 March 1905, Page 6 DISTRICT CRICKET.
In his remarks to our representative after the Canterbury match, the captain of the Australian Eleven laid stress upon two matters which, if attended to, would, he believed, greatly improve local cricket. These were better wickets and the introduction of the district system. Neither is entirely new. An attempt was made some time ago to reproduce at Lancaster Park the perfect wickets of Australian grounds by the importation and use of a small quantity of Bulli soil, and the advantages of district, as against club cricket, were being discussed here two years ago. The Cricket Association, however, taking advantage of the revival of interest in the game resulting from the Australian tour, has decided to ask the Lancaster Park authorities to import several tons of Bulli soil, and has set up a subcommittee to carry out a scheme of district cricket.
There will, no doubt, be much opposition, as was the case previously, to this latter proposal. Most old cricketers have a strong affection for and pride in their particular club, and will resent any
13 scheme that separates them from it. It is to be hoped, however, that devotion to the best interests of the game may override such personal sentiment, natural and laudable though it may be. It is quite possible that district cricket would improve the standard of play; that it would add to the public interest in the various matches is beyond doubt. We do not need to go to Sydney for proof of that, though the statements made by Mr Noble as to the effect of the system on cricket there strongly confirm our view. Auckland affords an example nearer home. District cricket has been established there for two seasons.
As in Christchurch, it was "in the air" for a long time before anything practical was done. In the meantime, as the tour of the Auckland team in 1901 showed, cricket in Auckland was sinking to a very low ebb, and finally arrived at a stage at which it was recognised that any change must be for the better, sinoe matters could scarcely get worse. So the sentiment that had hitherto bound the cricketers to their clubs was thrown aside, and a scheme of district cricket was evolved and accepted within six weeks. The address of every player in the city and suburbs was obtained, and though at first it was feared that no division could prevent Grafton having a large preponderance of good men, the districts were so cut up that at least five out of the six were placed on practical equality.
It is too early yet to judge of the full effect of the new system upon the standard of play, but there is no doubt at all as to the stimulus it has given to public interest. The attendance at the Saturday matches is double, if not treble, what it was in the days of club matches. No charge is made for admission to the grounds, but as a result, apparently, of increased local pride in the fortunes of the district representatives, Eden has bought a good ground of its own, and Grafton and North Shore have each been enabled to engage a coach. The result of all this must be beneficial to cricket in the province, which, indeed, is said to be better than is generally believed.
It might be well in Christchurch to adopt the suggestion that the district system should be introduced gradually, and that a series of district matches should be sandwiched in between the club matches. But it should certainly be given a trial, and we trust that before next season a feasible scheme may be worked out, and that, for the credit of the province, cricketers will give it their support.
Under district cricket, the change to a strict residential qualification for club membership in all Canterbury Cricket Association grades saw the old clubs fall by the wayside, new clubs formed under guidelines established by the Association, and players on the move. The old senior teams for the 1904-05 season were Sydenham & Addington United, Lancaster Park, a Lancaster Park Thirteen, United, Midland, and a Midland Thirteen. The new district senior teams for the 1905-06 season were Sydenham, West Christchurch, East Christchurch, Riccarton, Linwood and St Albans. West Christchurch and East Christchurch were the town teams either side of Manchester Street and within the four town belts (now the four main avenues) and the other four clubs were south, west, east and north of the town belts.
Old adversaries on the cricket
14 fields of Christchurch became team mates just as former team mates became adversaries. An example is O. CAYGILL (Obed CAYGILL), a stalwart of the Hagley Oak Leafs/Christchurch, then Addington, and then Sydenham & Addington United, not to mention the Canterbury Cricket Association and the New Zealand Cricket Council, who was unable to join with his old comrades in the new Sydenham district club because he lived in Fendalton. He knew what he was in for because he was one of the prime movers of district cricket. Under the new residential qualifications he had to join the new Riccarton district club instead.
Riccarton took over the Midland pavilion at Hagley Park.
Press, Volume LXII, Issue 12251, 21 July 1905, Page 6 "THE CANTERBURY ASSOCIATION. DISTRICT SCHEME ADOPTED. A meeting of the Canterbury Cricket Association was held last night..... .....Mr Caygill moved that a system of district matches to take the place of Cup cricket should be inaugurated. Most of the criticism levelled against the proposal had been against the partial district scheme. He could not agree with those who asserted that New Zealand was too small for district cricket; it was reasonable to suppose that the 60,000 inhabitants of Christchurch should be able to find players enough for six districts.
It was a progressive scheme which had proved a success in Sydney, and would induce the public to take an added interest in the game. Mr Ridley seconded the motion, remarking that, though the prospects of the scheme did not appear to him so rosy as to the mover, he thought it well worthy of a trial. Mr Vincent said he would prefer a partial scheme to the out-and-out scheme, as he thought there would be difficulty at first in the way of arranging grounds. He considered, however, that district cricket would cause more public interest to be taken in the game. The motion was then put and carried by 15 votes to 5.
It was then unanimously resolved that the out-and-out district scheme be adopted. On the motion of Mr Caygill, it was decided that district clubs should be formed for St Albans, Riccarton, Linwood, Sydenham, Christchurch East, and Christchurch West. The following rules were considered and adopted:— (1) A club shall be composed of members who have resided within the boundaries of their district not less than four months prior to the 1st October in each year. Any player changing his residence on or after 1st June shall play for the district in which he was residing on that date. Nothing in this rule shall prevent a resident or any district from becoming an honorary member of any other district club.
(2) Any player arriving after 1st June may be allowed to play for the district in which he is residing upon satisfying the Competitions Committee that he intends to become a bona fide resident. (3) That all Association matches in which district or school club teams are engaged shall be played under this Association's rules for Cup matches. (4) That grounds be allocated to the various district clubs as follows: Lancaster Park: Christchurch East and Linwood; Hagley Park: Christchurch West, Riccarton, and St Albans; Sydenham Park: Sydenham. (5) That players residing in the St
15 Albans district use their best endeavour to obtain a suitable cricket ground within the boundaries of that district, at as early a date as possible, and that this Association gives all assistance in its power, both financially and otherwise, to further such a project, (6) That boundaries of districts, as suggested, be subject to revision at the close of season. A sub-committee, consisting of Messrs Caygill, Raphael, and Thomson was appointed to interview the Hagley Park Ground Committee in reference to the appointment of trustees, in whom pavilions and other property should be invested.
A further committee, composed of delegates from the various clubs, was set up to consider and report in regard to the fixing of boundaries." In the item below, Wilderness Road is the old name for Barrington Street, named after Wilderness, the home of John MARSHMAN.
Hills Road means what is now Port Hills Road and Centaurus Road. It follows the lower slopes of Murray Aynsley Hill and was once used to avoid ferry fees. Centaurus Road was named about 1939. Press, Volume LXII, Issue 12269, 12 August 1905, Page 4 "THE DISTRICT CRICKET SCHEME.
BOUNDARIES OF THE DISTRICTS. The establishment of a scheme of district cricket is now an accomplished fact in Canterbury, and hopes are entertained that under the new system marked improvement will result in local cricket. At Thursday's meeting of the Canterbury Cricket Association, the boundaries of the districts were agreed to, and below are given the details of the limits of the districts:-- SYDENHAM DISTRICT Commencing at the termination of Hills road, thence northerly along the said road to Wilson's road, along Wilson's road to Shakespeare road, along Shakespeare road to Falsgrave street, along Falsgrave street to Moorhouse avenue, along Moorhouse to Selwyn street, thence southerly along Selwyn street to Selwyn road, along Selwyn road to Milton street, along Milton street to Wilderness road, southeasterly along Wilderness road to Port Hills, including Port Hills between the lines of Wilderness road and Hills road.
LINWOOD DISTRICT. Commencing at the termination of Hills road, thence northerly along the said road to Wilson's road, along Wilson's road to Shakespeare road, along Shakespeare road to Falsgrave street, along Falsgrave street to Fitzgerald avenue, and the North Avon Road to Fowke street, along Fowke street to Avon road, along Avon road to the City and Suburban tram-line, along the said tram-line to the beach, including Brighton, Sumner, and Lyttelton, and the Port Hills in a line north-east of Hills road.
ST ALBANS DISTRICT. All that district to the north-west of the city and suburban tramline to its junction with the Avon
16 road, along the Avon road to Fowke street, along Fowke street to the North Avon road, along the North Avon road to its junction with Bealey avenue, along Bealey avenue and Carlton Terrace to river Avon, along river Avon to Boundary road, along Boundary road and Strowan road in a north-westerly direction in a direct line to the Ashley river, including all that district to the east of the railway, also including Belfast, Kaiapoi, and Rangiora. RICCARTON DISTRICT. All that district to the south-west of the northern railway to Strowan road, along Strowan road and Boundary road to river Avon, thence along the river Avon to the West belt, along the West belt to its junction with Moorhouse avenue, along Moorhouse avenue to Selwyn street, along Selwyn street to Selwyn road, along Selwyn road to Milton street, along Milton street to Wilderness road, and including all that district to the south-west of the boundary of the Sydenham district.
CHRISTCHURCH EAST DISTRICT. All that district bounded on the north by Bealey avenue, on the east by Fitzgerald avenue, on the south by Moorhouse avenue, and on the west by Manchester Street. CHRISTCHURCH WEST DISTRICT. All that district bounded on the north by Bealey Avenue and the northern boundary of Hagley Park, on the east by Manchester street, on the south by Moorhouse avenue, and on the west by the western boundary of Hagley Park." There was plenty of worry over the change to district cricket with many fearing that playing standards would drop if the increased number of senior sides had their playing strength diluted due to new and untried players making up the numbers, plus they also feared the loss of old associations and friendships which might lead to a reduction in playing numbers overall.
In 1907 the Midland club and the United club attempted a revolt against the new district system, but with little effect. It didn't help them that they were sort of non-clubs by then so far as the Canterbury Cricket Association was concerned. Both Midland and United had played in the Senior Cup competition under the old club system from the first 1882-83 season to the last 1904-05 season, United with a pedigree stretching back to the very first cricket club in Canterbury, the Christchurch Cricket Club formed in 1851, In fact the change to district cricket lead to a good increase in player numbers, gave new players of ability a crack at senior cricket, and the standard of senior cricket wasn't affected so that the new system was liked by the majority of players.
For example, after two seasons of the new scheme, a poll of active players in 1907 by the Canterbury Cricket Association on the basis of old club membership returned 37 of the old Sydenham & Addington United players for and 1 against the new scheme. Of the old Sydenham Rivals Club's players, 5 were for and 1 against. Overall the poll returned 224 votes for, 40 against, and 59 active members had refrained from voting. There was no going back to the old system, not for a while anyway.
17 The Sydenham Rivals Cricket Club was a contemporary of the Sydenham & Addington United Cricket Club, both clubs taking part in the Canterbury Cricket Association competitions and both having the use of Sydenham Park. Star , Issue 6773, 19 April 1900, Page 1 "BOROUGH COUNCILS SYDENHAM .....Councillor M'Meekan moved— " That the Town Clerk write to the various clubs playing on Sydenham Park— the Sydenham and Addington Cricket Club, Sydenham Football Club, Sydenham Bowling Club, Sydenham Hockey Club and Sydenham Rivals Cricket Club - asking whether they would co-operate with the Council in appointing a permanent caretaker, and what amount they would be prepared to contribute." Councillor Johnson seconded the motion, which was carried." Sydenham Rivals started out as a minor club, one of the many that were not members of the Canterbury Cricket Association and did not play in the Association's competitions.
A separate competition was started among some of these clubs for the Wisden Trophy which was a forerunner of the suburban competitions outside the ambit of the Canterbury Cricket Association. Sydenham Rivals eventually won the Wisden Trophy and then entered the Canterbury Cricket Association's competitions, first in the Junior Cup grade which later became 2nd Grade, and then entered a second team in the President's Cup grade which later became 3rd grade. Sydenham & Addington United had teams in all of the four Cup grades with Seniors being the top grade which later became 1st grade, and Vice-Presidents being the bottom grade which later became 4th grade.
In an early match in the Junior Cup in 1901-02 the Sydenham Rivals were badly beaten by Sydenham & Addington but by the end of the season had won the competition, so they must have been fast learners. Sydenham Rivals disappeared with the advent of district cricket in 1905-06, it being likely that some members living in the new Sydenham club's residential catchment became members of the new Sydenham district club, a suspicion reinforced by the fact that a photo of the Sydenham Rivals' top side which won the Junior Cup competition in 1901-02 is part of our club archives.
The Wisden Trophy competition had petered out a few years before but in September 1905 a new Suburban Cricket Association was formed, later known as the City and Suburban Cricket Association, to cater for the many minor clubs not participating in the Canterbury Cricket Association's new district competitions. The Suburban association ran its competitions on the basis of the old club system in direct contrast to the new district scheme of the Canterbury Cricket Association. This contrast between the two competition systems kept the two associations well apart in the early years of their existence, despite occasional calls for unification of their competitions, and it is only in recent years that such a unification has been accomplished even though district cricket was given up long ago.
18 Press, Volume LXII, Issue 12305, 23 September 1905, Page 12 "CRICKET. SUBURBAN ASSOCIATION. A meeting of delegates to form on association to carry on competitions among clubs unable to take part in the district scheme, was held in the Baptist schoolroom, Oxford Terrace, Iast evening, Mr B. Crawford presiding. The following clubs were represented:— Sumner, Spreydon, Opawa, Sockburn, Oxford Terrace Baptist Church, and Addington workshops. The association, which was by resolution constituted under the name of the Suburban Cricket Association, is really a resuscitation of the Wisden Club, which carried on competitions successfully some years ago.
The following officers were elected Chairman, Mr H. Grammer; secretary and treasurer, Mr M. Pavitt; Management Committee, Messrs Crawford, Lawrence and Timms, with power to add to their number. The rules of the Wisden Club were adopted with slight alterations. It was agreed to run a senior and junior competition, and each club will be allowed two delegates to the Association." Apparently the new Sydenham district club, being able to retain much of the old Sydenham & Addington United membership, was the least affected out of all the new senior district clubs in terms of what had gone before but, even so, it was a different beast to the former Sydenham & Addington United club.
The Press report of the 1905 AGM of the Sydenham & Addington United Cricket club says this: Press, Volume LXII, Issue 12290, 6 September 1905, Page 5 "The report and balance-sheet were adopted. A vote of thanks was accorded to the officers, and the club disbanded. A meeting was then held to form a new club, in accordance with the District Cricket scheme. It was resolved to form a new club, to be called the Sydenham Cricket Club, and the draft rules proposed by the Canterbury Cricket Association were adopted with small amendments." Star , Issue 8738, 27 September 1906, Page 1 16th AGM Canterbury Athletic Clubs' Protection Association "Owing to the inauguration of the district cricket scheme, the Sydenham and Addington United, Midland, St Mary's and Sydenham Rivals cricket clubs withdrew from the Association, while the following new clubs were affiliated: — The East Christchurch, West Christchurch, St Albans, Linwood, Sydenham, Riccarton and Sumner cricket clubs..." The Canterbury Athletic Clubs' Protection Association of the article above was basically a means for sports clubs to recover outstanding subs.
19 The Great War 1914-1918 had a massive effect on sports clubs in Christchurch because so many members went to war. At the 1913 AGM of the Sydenham Cricket Club the annual report showed immense pride in the club winning all competition grades in the preceding 1912-13 season, the Thursday Junior Cup had been won as well, and the Peterson Shield had been won for the 7th year in succession. Six players represented the club in provincial cricket, membership was up, the balance-sheet showed a profit and club assets were good with nil liabilities. 1914 was a good AGM as well and even 1915 was not so bad although the haemorrhaging of players to the front was having a strong effect.
Due to the devastation of club cricket playing ranks by the huge loss of members of military age, the Canterbury Cricket Association temporarily waived the residential requirement prior to the start of the 1915-16 season to help clubs. For example things were deteriorating for Sydenham due to difficulties fielding teams and consequent financial problems given the ever present problems clubs always had with high ground charges and ground maintenance, but they had nothing on East Christchurch which was in danger of folding altogether due to losing sixty per cent of its members to the war in a relatively short space of time.
East Shirley was in difficulties even before the war to the extent that the Association had already relaxed the residency rules for that club in 1911. This was because East's membership had fallen as industry moved into its residential catchment area so that strong representations were made to the Association regarding the need to alter the club's boundaries (resisted by Lancaster Park and West Christchurch). Things became progressively worse as the war continued and by the AGM of 1917 Sydenham's annual report stated that, "At the beginning of the 1914-15 season the club had 73 playing members, but at the end of the 1916-17 season only 13 of these members were actively participating in the game." The 1917 AGM of the Linwood club is also revealing; the club had only 21 members but won the senior cup with their junior team also doing well despite the latter team having to play with only eight or nine men on several occasions.
There were far fewer teams playing club cricket overall. With so many men gone to war, teams including seniors were kept going by a combination of youngsters and veterans until the end of the war allowed clubs to begin their recovery.
Thus by 1917 the situation had turned around completely. Sydenham’ s annual report presented at the AGM that year bemoaned the fact that the club hadn't won a single competition, that a big proportion of members had gone to war, that income was way down as a result, and a large debt was owed. Sydenham had gone from the penthouse to the outhouse. W. H. WINSOR (William Hinnels WINSOR, known as Billy), a builder who was born in England and had come to Christchurch via Tasmania then Dunedin, and was by then a long time Sydenham, Canterbury Cricket Association and New Zealand Cricket Council stalwart, assisted club funds out of his own pocket.
The club eventually recovered after the war but some members were never to return
20 having given their lives for their country. A newspaper report of the 1919 AGM of the Sydenham Cricket Club, at which a letter from the Canterbury Cricket Association was read, shows that a final reversion to the old system of club cricket was in the wind. In June 1920 a specially summoned meeting of the Canterbury Cricket Association voted by 12 votes to 6 to abandon district cricket for good and revert to club cricket. The discussions and voting split show that there was just as much worry in 1920 over the final reversion to club cricket as there was in 1905 over the change to district cricket.
W. H. WINSOR, despite moving in 1915 that the Canterbury Cricket Association temporarily relax the strict district rules due to the war, said at the 1920 meeting that, Press, Volume LVI, Issue 16854, 7 June 1920, Page 6 . . those supporting the club system that night would regret it in years to come. It was a very retrograde step, going back to the days of Noah and the ark." The war had certainly upset the district cricket scheme but one of the main points against district cricket had always been the lack of choice for players. Another disliked feature of district cricket was the need to tinker with club boundaries from time to time.
By 1920 it was felt that district cricket had completed the job it was designed to do by breaking up the bad features of the old club system and wasn't needed any more.
Does the final abandonment of district cricket in 1920 mark a new beginning for our club? Probably not because there was no need for anyone to change clubs and the intervening fifteen years would have seen players who were forced to change clubs in 1905 being well settled in their new clubs if still playing in 1920. Items at Papers Past have led me to question the use of 1995 as the centenary year of Sydenham because ancestor clubs existed before 1895, and not just the parent Addington Cricket Club alluded to in Dick BRITTENDEN's historical article in the 1995 centenary booklet. This is because Addington was said to have evolved from the short-lived Hagley Oak Leaf Cricket Club which changed its name to the Christchurch Cricket Club before its demise.
Club members common to this ancestral line of clubs include the perennially electable J. HOPPER (John HOPPER) who was president of the Hagley Oak Leaf (later renamed Christchurch), president of Addington (the child of Hagley Oak Leaf/Christchurch), president and then later the patron of Sydenham & Addington United (the child of Addington), and then patron of the Sydenham Cricket Club formed in 1905 for the introduction of district cricket in the 1905-06 season. The brothers J.A. CAYGILL and O. CAYGILL were also long-time club officers who both belonged to the Hagley Oak Leaf/Christchurch, Addington, and the Sydenham & Addington United clubs.
J.A. CAYGILL didn't experience district cricket because he died in 1899 from
21 Cancer. O. CAYGILL went to Riccarton for district cricket. HOPPER and the CAYGILL brothers are not the only examples of continuity of membership in the predecessor clubs of our Sydenham Cricket Club. Just as I am led to question the 1895 origin of our club due to ancestral discoveries at Papers Past, the realisation regarding just how much district cricket changed the club system in 1905 also leads me to question the 1895 origin. Should anniversary celebrations of our club remember a beginning in 1877 - Hagley Oak Leaf/Christchurch?
1880 - Addington? 1895 - Sydenham & Addington United? 1905 - Sydenham? I would add 1873 (the first Waltham club), 1875 (the second Waltham club) and 1877 (the first Sydenham club) to the list of ancestral clubs above if I could be sure that the first Sydenham club joined forces with Addington prior to the advent of the Senior Cup competition in 1882-83, as hinted at in a reminiscence by F.
WILDING ( I give the quote later). 1877 is the year the beautifully named Hagley Oak Leaf Cricket Club began after it was suggested to J. HOPPER, a member of the Selwyn Street Methodist Church, that he start a club for the young men of the United Methodist Free churches. HOPPER had in previous years been President or Captain of the Halswell Cricket Club and then the Sunnyside Cricket Club. Newspaper items regarding the deaths of J.A. CAYGILL in 1899 and J. HOPPER in 1914, and a reminiscence in 1900 by E.C.J. STEVENS have it that Addington, which was formed in 1880, arose out of the Hagley Oak Leaf Cricket Club which had renamed itself as the Christchurch Cricket Club at its AGM of 1879.
However, the story that Addington evolved from the Hagley Oak Leaf/Christchurch club is not as tidy as one might think because both Hagley Oak Leaf/Christchurch and Addington were in existence during the same 1880-81 season (they played against each other) before the Hagley Oak Leaf/Christchurch club came to its fatal end, probably hastened by an exodus of many its players and administrators to the newly formed Addington club.
Press, Volume LVI, Issue 10276, 20 February 1899, Page 3 "OBITUARY MR J. A. CAYGILL. .....He was best known, perhaps, as a cricketer, and on account of the interest he took in swimming. He was one of the founders of the old Hagley Oak Leaf Club, which eventually developed into the Sydenham and Addington U.C.C. He represented it on the Cricket Council,
22 and lately by that body was chosen as one of the selectors of the interprovincial team. To his exertions was greatly due the present position of the S. and A. U.C.C, and the acquisition and preparation for its use of its portion of the Sydenham Park .
" Star , Issue 6415, 20 February 1899, Page 2 "OBITUARY. Mr JOHN ALLOTT CAYGILL. Mr J. A.. Caygill, the well-known solicitor, died at his residence, Colombo Road, Sydenham, on Saturday afternoon..... .....Mr Caygill was a well-known cricket enthusiast, and was a member the Sydenham and Addington United Cricket Club, having been connected with it from the time it was formed as the Hagley Oak Leaf Club in 1878 . " Star , Issue 6418, 23 February 1899, Page 1 "CRICKET NOTES .....By the death of Mr J. A. CAYGILL on Saturday, Canterbury cricket lost a very staunch friend. Mr CAYGILL's connection with cricket in the province lasted for something like twenty years, and the principal portion of that time was spent in active pursuit of the pastime.
For years Mr CAYGILL was the life and soul of the club which, by a series of changes, was evolved from the Hagley Oakleaf into the Sydenham and Addington United . " Press, Volume LVII, Issue 10840, 15 December 1900, Page 21 . . the Addington Club, which had come into existence as successors to the small club known as the Hagley Oakleaf." (E. C. J. STEVENS).
http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=CHP1914 0608.2.87&srp os=429&e - - 100--401-byDA-on--0%22john+hopper%22-- Press, Volume L, Issue 14988, 8 June 1914, Page 9 "OBITUARY. MR JOHN HOPPER. The death of Mr John HOPPER, which took place last week, at his residence, Dickens Street, Addington, has removed one more of the old settlers of Canterbury. He was born at Bishop Auckland, in Durham, England, in 1840 ; but after serving an apprenticeship to cabinet-making and then marrying, he left Leeds for New Zealand, arriving here by the ship WILLIAM MILES, in 1864. For a time he took up farm work; then he bought the Lincoln Road Bakery, which he carried on until his retirement from business in 1907.
The full extent of his quiet benevolence will
23 never be known. Many a family in straits found him a friend indeed. For a long period he provided the bread supply for the Female Refuge, and his generosity continued until the institution was taken over by the Government. But all causes deserving of help received his ready support. For three years he was an active councillor of the newly-formed Borough of Sydenham. He, however, had no ambition for prominence in public life, and only undertook such duties from a strong sense of duty. It was this motive along that forced him into accepting a position on the Sydenham Licensing Committee, when the electors of the borough returned a majority pledged to refuse licenses for the sale of liquor, and he shared those strenuous times with Messrs Beattie, Smith, and L.
M. Isitt. Mr Hopper was an enthusiastic cricketer, and forty years ago was captain of the Sunnyside Club. He was a member of the Selwyn street Methodist Church, and it was suggested to him to start a club for the young men of the U.M.F. churches. This originated the Hadley [sic] Oak C.C. After a year or two, reorganisation brought into existence the Addington C.C. In both clubs the offices of president and captain were held by Mr Hopper. Mr Hopper leaves a widow, but no family. A memorial service was held in the Selwyn street Methodist Church last night." E. C. J. STEVENS of the quotes above, a powerhouse in cricket at many levels as a player, administrator and selector, and a prominent businessman and parliamentarian, was a vice-president of Addington for some years.
Arriving from the Lancaster Park club, he played several seasons for Addington and also played seniors for Sydenham & Addington United during its inaugural 1895-96 season. He was born in 1837 so that makes him 58 years old in 1895 and still playing senior cricket! A magnificent large photo of E. C. J. STEVENS is part of our club archives although it may not be an original copy given that it is sourced from the Canterbury Museum according to an explanation on the reverse.
After wavering one way and then another, I now have a less firm opinion of the true year from which our present club's centenary year should be calculated, except to say that if it is considered that our present club started in 1895 out of the amalgamation of the Addington club and the newly formed Sydenham club, so that those parent clubs do not count when calculating our club's longevity, then I consider the change to a district cricket club in 1905 to be an even greater change than the 1895 amalgamation. The fact is that the Sydenham & Addington United club actually disbanded at the 1905 AGM with a new Sydenham District club formed immediately afterwards at the same meeting, and with brand new residential rules applying to qualification for membership.
The likes of other local cricketers such as some members of the Sydenham Rivals were most likely gobbled up by the new club, plus new members were gained from other old clubs and former associates lost to other new clubs. After winning the Senior Cup in the 1912-13 season, medals were struck for presentation to
24 Sydenham's Senior Cup team members "in honour of the club's first win of the Senior Championship," which disregarded the prior winning of the Senior Cup in 1903-04 by Sydenham & Addington United. Press, Volume XLIX, Issue 14641, 16 April 1913, Page 4 SYDENHAM CLUB. "The Sydenham Cricket Club intend to celebrate their success by holding a smoke concert in the Sydenham Football Club's rooms on Friday evening next. During the season just closed they have put up a unique record, for they have won all the competitions— Peterson Shield, Senior Championship, Second Grade, Third Grade, and Fourth Grade competitions.
At the social on Friday evening the members of the first eleven will be presented with gold medals, given by the club captain, Mr A. J. Lawrence, in honour of the club's first win of the Senior Championship." In other words, given that the Sydenham & Addington United Club actually disbanded to be replaced by the new Sydenham District Cricket Club in 1905, and if it is considered today that the post-1905 Sydenham club is a continuation of the pre-1905 Sydenham & Addington United club, then there is a strong case for considering Sydenham & Addington United to be a continuation of the Addington club.
Addington provided many of its members as officers, committee members, and ordinary club members of the new Sydenham & Addington United club. They included John HOPPER who was elected president of Addington at its 1904 AGM and elected president of Sydenham & Addington United at its inaugural 1905 AGM. The Addington membership largely went over to Sydenham & Addington United, and the desire of the new club to play in the Senior Cup competition was assisted by Addington's prior participation in the Senior Cup competition. The colours adopted by Sydenham & Addington United were the Addington colours, old gold and scarlet.
The amalgamation club of 1895 didn't take either Sydenham or Addington as the name of the club, it took the name Sydenham & Addington United. If it is considered that the Sydenham club formed in 1905 was a continuation of the Sydenham & Addington United club, then the new club could just as easily have taken the name Addington instead of Sydenham, and, if it had, we would probably have celebrated the centenary of the Addington club in 1980 rather than the centenary of the Sydenham club in 1995 due to continuance of the Addington name. In favour of the new club in 1905 being called Sydenham was that the club's home base was Sydenham Park.
Here's the Sydenham & Addington United club, having won the Senior Cup for the 1903-04 season, at a special concert organised by the Canterbury Cricket Association to present competition trophies to winning teams, being considered by R. VINCENT (Reginald VINCENT), of the Association, as having won the Senior Cup almost two decades before, i.e., as Addington in
25 the 1884-85 season. Press, Volume LXI, Issue 11870, 18 April 1904, Page 10 CANTERBURY CRICKET ASSOCIATION. PRESENTATION OF CUP. . . Mr R. Vincent proposed "The Winners," and in doing so congratulated the Sydenham Club on their success.
It was about nineteen years since the club was in a similar position, and during that period it had struck many ups and downs, and had taken defeat after defeat in a manner which did it credit. Its success this year was due to the uniformity of the team; the batting was very even right through, and in Frankish and Bennett the club had good bowlers. The club had in the past laboured under great disadvantage with regard to practice, but the speaker hoped that, now Sydenham was a part of Christchurch, the club would get more opportunities to use the park." The reference above that "now Sydenham was a part of Christchurch" isn't about the cricket club.
It refers to the fact the Sydenham Borough had ended its days and been absorbed into Christchurch city the year before, 1903. In 1905 R. VINCENT took over the law practice of H.Y. WIDDOWSON who had previously been in partnership with J. CAYGILL until the latter's death in 1899.
According to a newspaper report of a meeting of the Canterbury Cricket Association, it was as the Addington club that the Sydenham & Addington club applied to the Association to change its name to Sydenham & Addington United. I have been unable to find a report of an actual disbanding of either the much older Addington club or the brand new Sydenham club at Papers Past during 1895 in preparation for the merger to form Sydenham & Addington United, although the Canterbury Cricket Association's committee in the same report of their meeting refers to Addington as having disbanded. Whether or not that was a loose way of talking about the merger between Addington and Sydenham I don't know, but is interesting that Addington merely asked for a change of name to Sydenham & Addington United to be approved rather than withdrawing from the Association leaving a supposedly new Sydenham & Addington United club to apply for membership.
One way of looking at the ambiguous wording of the report of the Association's committee is that it suggests that Addington disbanded because it had lost members to Sydenham, which on the face of it is not the case because it has been described as an amalgamation. Still, it is possible that at least some members of the older Addington club were indeed switching to the new Sydenham club before the amalgamation, reminiscent of the manner in which members of the Hagley Oak Leaf/Christchurch club jumped ship to the new Addington club in 1880.
26 Press, Volume LII, Issue 9220, 25 September 1895, Page 6 "Canterbury Cricket Association.
.....The committee regretted that the Warehousemen's Club had found it necessary to disband. The Addington Club had done the same, a new club having been formed at Sydenham, comprising the majority of the Addington Club's members..... ....The Addington Club applied to have its name registered as the Sydenham and Addington United Cricket Club. The application was granted . " The harder I look at the question of origin of our Sydenham club the harder the answer becomes especially when others might come up with counters to arguments for one year or another. You will have to make up your own minds as to the true answer from the items I will present in later articles, and maybe the answer will not be the same for everybody.
When it comes to celebrations the status quo will no doubt be supported by the majority of members, i.e., 1895 is the year we will continue to use to calculate the longevity of our club, after all a precedent has been set by earlier celebrations and we date our occupation of Sydenham Park from 1895. However the other versions or predecessors are worthy of celebration now that we can recall some of their history via Papers Past, and we should be mindful to commemorate them in the future when certain years are auspicious for doing so. A good example is the year 2020 when we can celebrate 125 years since Sydenham & Addington United was formed in 1895, 125 years since the parent second Sydenham Cricket Club was formed earlier in 1895, and 140 years since the parent Addington club was formed in 1880.
That's only a few years away at the time of writing.
W. T. BURLEY (William Thomas BURLEY), the secretary of the Hagley Oak Leaf/Christchurch club, also became secretary of Addington. In fact at the AGM of the Christchurch club in September 1880 (the Hagley Oak Leaf renamed themselves as Christchurch at their AGM the year before) he was re-elected as Secretary & Treasurer, then a few weeks later in October he was elected Secretary & Treasurer at the meeting held to form the new Addington club! It was John HOPPER the former Hagley Oakleaf president who moved that the latter meeting form the new Addington club and W. T. BURLEY who seconded the motion.
I recently made contact with a descendant researching the BURLEY family history who was excited to hear that our club archives include a photograph of the unbeaten 1881-82 Addington team which has W. T. BURLEY as the team's umpire. The photograph includes pen portraits of each person in it. BURLEY's pen portrait refers to his umpiring career which continued long after: Pen portrait: "W. T. BURLEY - Hon. Sec. and Treasurer of the Club. Has well qualified himself for the onerous duties of an Umpire, a post which he has now held since the commencement of the club, his
27 decisions always being fair and impartial to all concerned." Star , Issue 3893, 8 October 1880, Page 3 "Mr J. Hopper briefly stated what had already been done, and what the prospects of the proposed club were. He said the Sydenham Recreation Reserve was the best place for the club ground, and he thought there would be no difficulty in obtaining the consent of the Sydenham Borough Council for the use of the reserve. At the request of several young men in the neighbourhood he had taken the matter up, and he now had very great pleasure in moving that this meeting form itself into a cricket club.
Mr Burly in seconding the resolution, referred to the necessity of such a club being formed, as owing to the very excessive charges made by the Association Clubs, it was impossible for a great many to join them, and the Association instead of furthering the interests of cricket was frustrating the purpose it was meant for, and merely upholding it for some select few." The Sydenham Recreation Reserve referred to in the item above, formerly the city's abbatoir and stock market, was newly available having been vested by the Government with the Sydenham Borough Council. It is now known as Addington Park.
The modern Jerrold Street which runs past its southern edge as far as Selwyn Street was known as Hamilton Street in those days. Hamilton Street was formerly part of Bright's Road which was previously Boundary Road, the boundary between the Christchurch city council and the outer boroughs. Bright's Road began at Lincoln Road where it skirted the reserve on its western side and curved round the southern side going as far as Windmill Road, the old name for Antigua Street. The later Jerrold Street incorporated Hamilton Street and what was left of Bright's Road at the Lincoln Road end. In modern times the Lincoln Road end of Jerrold Street became part of Barrington Street when the northern end of the latter was realigned to end opposite Whiteleigh Avenue some years ago.
This 1879 map showing the boundaries of Sydenham Borough gives the idea (click the enlargeable version: http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/Heritage/Maps/120813.asp http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/local/1879/0039/latest/DLM15131.html New Zealand Legislation Special Powers and Contracts Act 1879 Local Act 1879 No 39 Date of assent 19 December 1879 First Column: 23. On the 21st December, 1869, the Superintendent of Canterbury purchased a piece of land at
28 Addington upon trust for the public purposes of the province. It is now proposed to vest the land in the Borough of Sydenham, it being within the boundaries of that borough, as a recreation-ground.
Second Column: 23. To authorize the Governor to change the purpose of the reserve, containing 5 acres, purchased by the Superintendent of Canterbury from Henry Sewell, and described in the Registry of Deeds at Christchurch No 27204, to that of a recreation-ground, and to vest the same in the Mayor, Councillors, and Burgesses of the Borough of Sydenham.
Star , Issue 3736, 6 April 1880, Page 2 "Recreation Ground for Sydenham,— The strenuous efforts made by the Sydenham delegate to the recent Municipal Conference held in Wellington, to procure for his Borough the late city abattoir reserve have at last been crowned with success, and Sydenham can now boast of a recreation ground of its own. At last night's meeting of the Council a letter was read from the Colonial Secretary, covering copy of a Gazette containing an Order in Council changing the purpose of this reserve to a recreation ground, to be vested in the Borough of Sydenham. On the motion of Councillor Charters, the Works Committee were instructed to ascertain the cost of at once laying out and planting the new recreation ground " Press, Volume XXXV, Issue 4983, 6 August 1881, Page 4 "3 VERY VALUABLE SECTIONS at Addington, containing 0a lr 36p, having frontage on Hamilton street, adjoining the Addington Cricket Grounds." In a nutshell the main parent of our present day Sydenham Cricket Club (1905-present) is the Sydenham & Addington United Cricket Club (1895-1905) whose mother was the Addington Cricket Club (1880-1895) whose mother, the Hagley Oak Leaf/Christchurch cricket club (1877-1881) died after what might be termed a difficult birth.
The Hagley Oak Leaf/Christchurch had been losing members, especially to the new Addington club, and consequently were in financial difficulties.
Star , Issue 3942, 6 December 1880, Page 3 CRICKET ASSOCIATION. . . A letter was read from the Christchurch Cricket Club, in reference to the payment of capitation fees, stating that the fees aforesaid were so high as to almost destroy their Club, by driving members to other Clubs, and suggesting that the fees should be lowered, and small rental charged for the ground, and asking a reduction of the fee for the present season. A discussion took place on the subject, in the course of which Mr Booth, on behalf of the
29 Christchurch Club, stated that their membership was now only 21, and they were afraid of the Club becoming extinct.
It was pointed out that the cost of maintaining the ground used by the Christchurch Club would be more than the amount of capitation fees received from the Club, and it was finally decided to inform the Club that the Association could not afford to reduce the capitation fees for the current season." If Addington (1880-1895) was the mother of Sydenham & Addington United (1895-1905), then the father of Sydenham & Addington United was Sydenham (1895-1895), newly formed earlier in 1895.
Another candidate to be a parent, or perhaps grandparent, of Sydenham & Addington United (1895-1905), is the Sydenham Wesleyan Cricket Club (1888-1890) of which Rev L. M. ISITT was a member, he being the minister of the Wesleyan church on the corner of Colombo Street and Pound Road which is now known as Brougham Street. Currently the church is a heap of rubble due to demolition after the recent earthquakes. A number of members of the Wesleyan team including ISITT were absorbed into the Addington club (1880-1895) in the 1890-91 season, ISITT becoming an officer of Addington. As explained by Dick BRITTENDEN in his historical article in the Sydenham Cricket Club Centenary booklet, ISITT is the man credited by J.
A. CAYGILL with the idea that Addington (1880-1895) should join with Sydenham (1895-1895). Star , Issue 7274, 21 September 1891, Page 4 "ADDINGTON CRICKET CLUB.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, .....The membership list was somewhat increased by the admission of a body of members from the late Wesleyan Cricket Club at a nominal fee; but as some slight dissatisfaction amongst our juniors arose from this arrangement, your Committee suggest that the matter be reconsidered at this meeting . " As to a parent of Sydenham (1895-1895), maybe there wasn't one unless it was the second of two prior Sydenham clubs, (1) 1877-1881 and (2) 1882-circa 1888, the first of which possibly took over the assets of the 'late' Waltham Cricket Club in 1877. There were two Waltham clubs in quick succession with similar members, the first being formed in 1873 which played quite a few matches, and the second in 1875.
Presumably it is the second version that may have seen its assets go to Sydenham in 1877. By 1881 a third Waltham Cricket Club was playing matches and continued for several seasons.
Star , Issue 1761, 18 October 1873, Page 1 "ALL those interested in the formation of a CRICKET CLUB AT WALTHAM are invited to attend a
30 MEETING, to be held in the Waltham Hotel, on MONDAY, Oct. 20, at half-past 7 o'clock. By order, W. ROUND, Acting Sec." Star , Issue 2287, 16 July 1875, Page 2 "ALL THOSE who are interested in the formation of a CRICKET CLUB at WALTHAM, are requested to ATTEND a GENERAL MEETING, which will be held AT THE WALTHAM HOTEL, ON SATURDAY NEXT, JULY 17, At 7.30 p.m." Press, Volume XXVII, Issue 3603, 25 January 1877, Page 2 "Sydenham Cricket Club .— A meeting of the above Club was held at the Waltham Hotel on Tuesday evening, when the following officers were elected for the ensuing year:— W.
Round, captain; J. L. Pope, secretary and treasurer. Messrs Round and Sargeant were directed to wait upon the secretary of the late Waltham Cricket Club to see upon what terms they could obtain the property of the late club. After some further business the meeting closed." W. ROUND was involved with the first two versions of a Waltham Cricket Club, with the first Sydenham Cricket Club, and with the third Waltham Cricket Club.
It appears that the fledgling Sydenham club had some difficulty getting up to speed possibly due to having first to find a suitable ground. In the article below the Agricultural & Pastoral Association's ground was their 14 acre Show Ground in the heart of Sydenham which later became Sydenham Park in 1894 after it was purchased from the Association. Press, Volume XXVIII, Issue 3856, 30 November 1877, Page 3 CANTERBURY AGRICULTURAL AND PASTORAL ASSOCIATION. "...A letter was read from the Sydenham Cricket Club, asking on what terms they could have the association's grounds to practice upon. The secretary was instructed to write that the committee regret they cannot let the grounds for purposes of cricket." Press, Volume XXX, Issue 4109, 27 September 1878, Page 3 CANTERBURY AGRICULTURAL AND PASTORAL ASSOCIATION.
"An application was received from the Sydenham Cricket Club for the use of the association grounds at Sydenham for three days a week during the cricketing season, for the purpose of playing on, under certain restrictions and conditions. The secretary was ordered to acknowledge the receipt of the letter, and state the committee regret that they cannot see their way to comply with the request, although they would not object to entertain proposals for playing a special match, for which purpose application would have to be made to the ground committee." http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=TS18781 002.2.5&srpos =4&e - - 100--1-byDA-on--0%22sydenham+cricket+club%22-- Star , Issue 3272, 2 October 1878, Page 2
31 "Sydenham Cricket Club.— The initiatory meeting in connection with the projected Sydenham Cricket Club, is to be held at an early date in the Borough Council Chambers, the use of which have been kindly granted for the occasion. There is already a large and influential membership, and it is confidently anticipated that the Sydenham C.C. will prove a flourishing institution." If the Hagley Oak Leaf/Christchurch club was the mother of Addington, then did Addington have a father? One candidate is an Addington Cricket Club that existed 1875-1877. At this stage whether or not any members of the first Sydenham club (1877-1881), or the second Sydenham club (1882-circa 1888), or the first Addington club (1875) had anything to do with the later Sydenham (1895-1895) or Addington (1880-1895) clubs I am unable to say for sure, but the following item is intriguing:- Press, Volume LXVIII, Issue 14312, 25 March 1912, Page 2 ""I REMEMBER " EARLY CRICKET IN CANTERBURY.
The present president of the Canterbury Cricket Association, Mr F. Wilding, has been closely connected with cricket in Canterbury for over thirty years, and in reply to a request from a "Press" reporter he kindly consented to furnish a few reminiscences of the early days. "My recollections," remarked Mr Wilding, "go back to 1880, before Lancaster Park was in existence. Hagley Park was the only cricket ground then, and the two leading clubs were the United and the Midland. The Association, so far as my memory serves, consisted of all players that had represented Canterbury in interprovincial matches with Otago — a curious constitution.
.....Hon. W. P. Reeves.....was the incarnation of keenness and it was largely due to him that the Challenge Cup matches were instituted, and the old constitution of the Association re-formed and placed on a representative basis— that is representation by delegates from associated clubs. This innovation was bitterly opposed by some of the more conservative players, but was successfully carried out.
.....The establishment of the Cup matches had the desired effect in many ways. It promoted a strong esprit de corps in the different clubs. Sydenham and Addington amalgamated, and the Lancaster Park Club started, in October 1882, and we had four strong clubs to compete for the Cup. Esprit de corps was very strong, especially among the junior members, who honestly believed that their own club had practically a monopoly of all sporting virtues, and there is no doubt there was a good deal of honest hatred between the different clubs, especially as regards Lancaster Park, which was looked upon in the light of an upstart.
Now, this club feeling was very wholesome. It led to the clubs striving very hard to attain victory over one another, and it never led to any serious departure from the high standard of conduct that has always characterised cricket in Christchurch."" Does F. WILDING say in the item above that Sydenham 1877-1881 and Addington 1880-1895
32 amalgamated during the early 1880s prior to the start of the inaugural Senior Cup competition in 1882-83, or is he referring to the later amalgamation of Addington 1880-1895 and Sydenham 1895-1895 during 1895? Or could he mean the Sydenham Wesleyans, most of whose members joined Addington in the 1890-91 season? The last mention I can find of the first Sydenham club 1877-1881 is towards the end of the 1880-1881 season. In 1882 a new Sydenham club was formed, indicating either the demise of, or some kind of transformation of, the first Sydenham club, perhaps such as joining forces with Addington.
Apart from F. WILDING's hint at such a joining of forces I can find nothing else in newspaper articles regarding one, including reports of the 1881 and 1882 AGM's for Addington. A comparison of newspaper reports of team lists of the Sydenham club in the 1880-81 season and the Addington club in the 1881-82 season and subsequent seasons gives no player who made a change from Sydenham to Addington.
Press, Volume XXXVIII, Issue 5308, 8 September 1882, Page 2 "Sydenham Cricket Club.— A meeting of those interested in the formation of a cricket club for Sydenham was held in the district schoolroom last night. There was a very fair attendance;- Mr Joyce, Mayor of Sydenham, was voted to the chair. It was resolved that a club be formed, to be called the Sydenham Cricket Club. The annual subscription to be 15s for senior members, and 10s for juniors. It was also resolved to write to the Borough Council re a ground. The following officers were elected. Patron, Mr E. Reece; president, Mr Joyce, Mayor of Sydenham; vice presidents, Messrs W.White, W.
Langdown, and B. Pavitt; secretary, Mr T. Beare; treasurer, Mr E.U. Just. A committee, consisting of Messrs Fowke, Wagstaff, Beare, Allardyce, and Grantham, were appointed to draw up rules. A vote of thanks to the chairman concluded the business." The above second Sydenham club was still playing during the 1887-88 season but I am unable to find newspaper references to it after that.
Another Sydenham club was the Sydenham Druids Cricket Club which started about 1888 and ran for a few years. That club probably arose from the Druids Lodge in Sydenham. There was also a Sydenham Druids Football Club. There was a Sydenham School Cricket Club (which as the Colombo Road School probably played its first match in 1873, the school having been formed the previous year), two Sydenham Youths Cricket Clubs in succession, one of the latter also forming a Sydenham Youths Football Club, a St Saviour's cricket club of St Saviour's which was the local anglican church in Sydenham led at the time by Rev E.
A. SCOTT (Edward Arthur SCOTT), a Sydenham Mission club, and a Sydenham Young Men's Association who were granted space for a cricket pitch on Sydenham Park and who also had a football team. St Saviour's played home matches on Sydenham Park having had a first game on it in 1893 when it was the still the Old Show Ground. In fact Rev E. A. SCOTT in 1894 applied to the Sydenham Borough Council for a ground on the new Sydenham Park but was declined because at the time the
33 Council had drainage and levelling work in progress on the park. The new Sydenham club of 1895 was more successful at gaining a ground on Sydenham Park before it combined with Addington to form Sydenham & Addington United. Rev E. A. SCOTT was a Vice-President of Sydenham & Addington United from 1895 throughout its ten season life and also the first two seasons of the new Sydenham District club from 1905, plus he was a Vice-President of the Sydenham Football Club from 1893. There were also the Southern Cricket Club and the Sandridge Cricket Club not to mention the Southern Football Club and the Sandridge Football Club.
These two football clubs were precursors of the Sydenham Football Club which began in 1882. A Sydenham Rangers Cricket Club was another club sporting the name Sydenham but it seems to have been very short-lived as I have found only a single report of it in the newspapers. The Hazeldean Cricket Club played in 1882-83 but it is hard to say if it was a Sydenham-based or an Addington-based club, maybe a bit of both seeing as Hazeldean Road starts in one area and finishes in the other. A first Addington Youths club played the odd match 1880-1881, Addington Excelsior played through the 1884-85 season, and a second Addington Youths club played a match in 1885.
A number of players in local football clubs (rugby) and other sports clubs in the early days were also cricketers, two good examples being the brothers William OGIER and Henry OGIER who played for the Southern Football Club (one report of a game called the team Sydenham instead of Southern) and also for the Addington Cricket Club. More local cricketers were in the Southern side and also the Sandridge Football Club team which had games against Southern. W. and H. OGIER can be seen in a photo in our club archives of the unbeaten Addington cricket team of 1881-82. By 1883 W. OGIER was playing for Sydenham Football Club which began in 1882.
Hockey was another sport which had cricketers in its ranks, a good example being T.W. JACOBS (Thomas Walter JACOBS) who played lower grade cricket for Sydenham & Addington United and then senior cricket for Sydenham when he was playing representative hockey for Canterbury. His father T. JACOBS was a Sydenham & Addington United then Sydenham stalwart and a long-time treasurer of the club. The latter's father was J. JACOBS (Jonathan JACOBS) who was caretaker of the Hagley Park ground by Dilloway's (at what we know now as Nancy's Corner) when Canterbury played against the first touring All-England team in January 1864.
J.A. CAYGILL was a founder member of the Sydenham Amateur Swimming Club and helped to establish the first public swimming pool in Sydenham Borough. Anyone looking at lists of names in teams for sports clubs based in the Sydenham area at Papers Past can't help but be struck by the familiar names popping up from cricket club to cricket club and from sport to sport as clubs came and went.
The dates I've given for various clubs are determined by presence or absence of the clubs for particular years in newspaper articles at Papers Past. Some did not last many years. Further
34 items at Papers Past or in other sources may cause dates to be revised. In the old days of club cricket in Christchurch it wasn't unusual for a discarded club name, or the name or assets of a defunct club to be taken by another club unconnected with the previous club. For example, there have been at least four Sydenham Cricket clubs, the first one 1877-81 which may have combined with Addington 1880-1895, the second one started in 1882 which may have petered out by 1888, the third one started in 1895 which combined with Addington later that year, and the fourth one formed in 1905 for the start of district cricket.
The name Christchurch Cricket Club is also typical with it also having been applied to at least four different clubs from 1851 to 1881 including a renaming of the Hagley Oakleaf club:-- (1) 1851-1860 (renamed Canterbury Cricket Club in 1860).
(2) 1864-1866 (combined with Canterbury in 1866 to form United Canterbury). (3) 1870-1876 (wound up in 1876 due to financial difficulties. Its assets were taken over by the new Midland club formed just a few days before). (4) 1879-1881 (the Hagley Oakleaf club which started in 1877 took the name Christchurch in 1879 until it disappeared after the 1880-81 season). The first Christchurch Cricket Club, which was the first cricket club in Canterbury, was formed in the winter of 1851 in the earliest days of settlement. It played its first match against a Working Men's Eleven in December 1851 as part of the Canterbury province's first anniversary celebrations.
Games were hard to come by without much opposition around, hence games were played against the workmen or between occupational groups and the like, for example bakers v butchers, married v singles, short v tall, A to N v M to Z, and so on. Isolated communities in NZ such as in the Pelorus district of Marlborough (including my grandfather) were still doing that sort of thing in the early 1900s to get games or make up early season practice games until a more regular circuit developed with other clubs in nearby districts. According to an 1859 article in the Lyttelton Times, Christchurch played its first matches at a ground in Hagley Park opposite what we know as Nancy's Corner.
In the winter of 1853 Christchurch developed a ground in Hagley Park "near the Botanical gardens" which they used for at least a couple of seasons playing quite a few matches. The Lincoln Road club was a short-lived rival for a while. Not many matches were played in subsequent seasons although Christchurch always managed to get a game going as part of the Canterbury colony's anniversary celebrations every December. During the two seasons prior to the 1857-58 season things must have taken a turn for the worst due to waning interest by members because not many matches were played and, instead of playing at their previously developed ground near the Botanical gardens for the December 1857 anniversary of the Canterbury settlement, Christchurch played a match at a ground developed by W.
G. BRITTAN (William Guise BRITTAN)
35 on his farm at Avonside, and appears to have gone to some trouble to try to revive its members' interest in cricket judging by articles published in the Lyttelton Times. BRITTAN is generally known as the father of Canterbury cricket given his major contributions right from the start of cricket in Canterbury. Lyttelton Times, Volume III, Issue 147, 29 October 1853, Page 7 "The Christchurch Cricket Club commence their season on Thursday next, when a match will be played on their new ground, near the Botanical Gardens. The ground is in capital order, and reflects much credit on those of the Club who have taken it in hand during the winter.
The proximity of the ground to the town will have the effect of rendering the matches of the season more numerously and better attended by players and the public, than was before practicable. A commodious club-house is in course of erection attached to the ground for the convenience of members." Lyttelton Times, Volume IV, Issue 225, 27 December 1854, Page 1 "Cricket Match at Christchurch.
ON Wednesday, January 3rd, 1855, a Match will be played on the ground of the Christchurch Cricket Club, between eleven of the above Club and eleven of the Lincoln-road Club. Wickets pitched at 10 o'clock punctually. By order of the Committee, A. C. Croft, Crosbie Ward, Hon. Secs." Lyttelton Times, Volume VIII, Issue 530, 2 December 1857, Page 6 "ANNIVERSARY HOLIDAY. GRAND ANNUAL CRICKET MATCH. ON WEDNESDAY, the 16th December next, being the Seventh Anniversary of the foundation of the Settlement, THE CHRISTCHURCH CRICKET CLUB will hold their Grand Annual Meeting for play when a match will come off, to include ALL THE CRICKETERS IN THE SETTLEMENT.
By permission, the meeting will be held on the grounds of W. G. Brittan, Esq., President of the Club; immediately adjoining the former ground.
Wickets will be pitched at 10 o'clock, a.m., punctually; before which time the attendance of all concerned is requested. Names of gentlemen, not members, who desire to play, should be sent in as early as possible to A. C. CROFT, Christchurch,
36 CROSBIE WARD, Lyttelton, Hon. Secs. " Lyttelton Times, Volume VIII, Issue 532, 9 December 1857, Page 5 "We are glad to see that the Cricket Club of Christchurch is up and doing in its peculiar line again, and that they have determined to observe the special holiday of our settlement as it ought to be done. The great want of the club, a well prepared ground, near town, will be satisfied for the present occasion by the throwing open of Mr Brittan's ground, which is of a good sort and in a good position ; and we trust that the Club may be stimulated to one more effort to establish itself, notwithstanding its former and repeated disappointments.
As to the style of game on the 16th, this day week, we are given to understand that from the gentlemen, members or not of the Club, who forward to the Secretaries an intimation that they wish to join the game, sides will be chosen by the Committee, with reference, if possible, to some usual basis of a match. Upon this plan, we suppose that it will be quite practicable and may be desirable to include more than eleven on one or other side, if a sufficient number of players offer, so that none need refrain from fear of rejection. For the sake of keeping holiday, as well as of maintaining the sports of our ancestral land, we trust to see a good attendance of players and spectators." Towards the end of the decade two new clubs were formed, Albion late in 1858 and then Avonside a few weeks later, their historic encounter in February 1859 being considered at the time as being the first game between two properly constituted clubs in the province.
Christchurch was inspired to fully revive itself and suddenly two had become three. Even the old Lincoln Road club bestirred itself for a while. Old-timers in reminiscences about early cricket generally refer to this period as the beginning of far more organised cricket in Canterbury. In later years some writers referred to Albion as the oldest existing club in the colony but that's probably being unfair to Christchurch which, although considered as being defunct for a time in comparison to what had gone before, did actually continue to play odd matches including the anniversary matches even though they were much reduced in number.
Lyttelton Times, Volume X, Issue 637, 15 December 1858, Page 5 "ANNIVERSARY DAY.
ALBION CRICKET CLUB. A Grand Match will be played on THURSDAY, the 16th instant, on the reserve known as Latimer Square, in the Town of Christchurch, between two elevens of the above club. Wickets pitched at
37 10 o'clock a.m.; play to commence at half-past. Refreshments on the ground. GEO. TURNER, Secretary." Lyttelton Times, Volume X, Issue 638, 18 December 1858, Page 4 "The eighth anniversary of the province, which occurred on Thursday . . In Christchurch, cricket was the chief amusement. This game seemed to have taken a fresh and vigorous start, for three separate matches came off.
There were the College elevens, where perhaps the greatest fun was. A new club, the 'Albion,' which has taken Latimer Square for a ground, played there for the first time, and obtained numerous recruits. The remnant of the Christchurch Club, now, we regret to say, defunct, were joined by a strong corps of their former antagonists, the Lincoln Roadsmen, and by several new arrivals, and played in Hagley Park, on a ground prepared there at considerable trouble, and put into excellent order by Mr Dilloway. From this activity we may anticipate that the game of cricket will not be suffered to die in the province.
If a nucleus of enterprising players can be mustered both in Hagley Park and on Latimer Square, the rivalry will be sure to foster the practice of cricket, and to lead to fresh matches during the season." In 1855 John DILLOWAY bought the first suburban hotel in Christchurch, the 'Traveller's home,' and renamed it as the 'Plough Inn.' It was often referred to merely as 'Dilloway's,' located at what we know years later as Nancy's Corner by the Riccarton Road roundabout, named for Nancy HANCOCK, the most well known proprietor of the hotel at that location over the years. In 1859 the Christchurch Cricket Club returned to its original location at this corner of Hagley Park to start afresh.
Lyttelton Times, Volume XI, Issue 655, 16 February 1859, Page 4 "By an advertisement which appears in another column, the late secretaries of the Christchurch Cricket Club call a meeting of the members for Saturday next. We hope that all those who are anxious to keep up the first general cricket club founded in the settlement will be present. A good site on Hagley Park, the one on which the first games were played, has been offered by the Government; and if the club take the matter in hand with energy, a fair ground may be prepared and a cricket house built before next season. The object of the meeting now called is, we understand, to elect officers, as Messrs.
Croft and Ward have resigned, and to take the necessary steps for reviving the club. It is a pity that it should have been allowed to fall into such an inanimate state through the apathy of some members and the defection of others. We are requested to draw the attention of all those who have been and would continue to be members, to the hour of meeting, viz., one o'clock on Saturday."
38 Lyttelton Times, Volume XI, Issue 657, 23 February 1859, Page 5 "CRICKET. ALBION V. AVONSIDE. Thursday, the 17th instant, was a day which ought not to be forgotten in the annals of cricket in this province, for then, for the first time, two regularly constituted clubs engaged one another. About two months ago, the idea that a cricket club might be established with advantage, struck the citizens of Christchurch. A meeting was called, and the Albion Cricket Club sprang into existence. Within a very few weeks, the parish of Avonside established their club, at first entirely consisting of Avonside men.
The club was however afterwards thrown open to the world, and many valuable additions have since been made to it. Of course two rival clubs could not long be within such a short distance of one another without each being anxious to try which was superior. Accordingly the Avonside club, being the youngest, sent a challenge to the Albion club to play a match on the Avonside ground, which by the way, has been laid down by permission in a meadow belonging to the farm of the president, Mr W. G. Brittan, who, taking the greatest interest in the game, has given the club this great advantage. The challenge was accepted for Thursday, the 17th inst; and on that day the first real match since the decease of the late Christchurch Club was played.
The captain of the Albion eleven won the toss and sent the Avonside in. Play commenced about 11 o'clock. The bowling of Dickenson on the side of the Albion club was universally and deservedly praised— and the underhand of Marshall was good of its sort. The batting of Dawe and Stewart of the Avonside eleven was very effective, the former making 25, and the latter 18. The Avonside went out about 2 o'clock for 72 runs, when the Albion took their turn. The batting of Auckland and Bargrove, although the latter was unfortunate, was universally admired; and, owing to the roughness of the ground— and the Avonside bowling being, with the exception of Dickenson's, faster than that of the Albion— the latter were enabled to run up a good score of byes.
The bowling of Croft, whose is familiar to all the Cricketers in the Province, was very good and true. However, the tenth went down at about half-past 5, for 85 runs, leaving the Avonside 13 behind.
Now came the tug of war. Avonside was not going to be beaten, nor was Albion, and the former went in again, determined to make a score not to be surpassed. Again did Stewart and Dawe head the score, the former making 30 and the latter 14. The whole eleven evidently "did all they knew," and at 7 o'clock the stumps were drawn leaving them two wickets to go down, the score being 113. was arranged by the Captains that the two elevens should commence proceedings the next morning at 11, and accordingly all the Avonside and about five or six of the Albion men were on the ground at that hour. Three of the Albion men did not appear at all, and one or two were very late.
As there seem to be many Clubs about to rise, phoenix-like, from the ashes of the Christchurch Club, we think it may not be out of place to remark that punctuality in attendance,
39 especially in matches, and implicit obedience to the Captain, are golden rules in cricket. We feel especially bound to notice these points as the circumstance not infrequently happens that was remarkable on this occasion, that a few who were extremely clamorous for beginning at Eleven in preference to all other hours either came very late or never turned up at all. But to return to the match, the two Avonside wickets soon went down on Friday morning, leaving the Albion men 110 runs to get in order to win ; and the eight who went in did their best and tried their hardest. But the bowling of Croft was too much to stand against, and that of Dawe had evidently improved.
R. Marshall made a fine hit for five, but on the other hand Stewart made two very fine catches at slip, thereby relieving Avonside of the presence of two good bats, Marshall and Slee. The seven wickets went down for fifty runs, leaving 59 in favor of Avonside. We cannot refrain from mentioning the particularly good long-stopping of Veel for Avonside. Considering the remarkable difficulty of stopping fast bowling on rough ground, he certainly picked the balls up wonderfully but on the whole the fielding of the Albion Eleven was decidedly superior to that of their antagonists.
The score was as follows:— AVONSIDE. FIRST INNINGS. J. C. Veel, lbw, b Dickenson 5 G. Miles, b Marshall 2 A. C. Croft, b Marshall 0 E. F. B. Harston, c Turner, b Dickenson 3 W. H. Dawe, c R. Marshall, b J. Marshall 25 J. Longden, b R. Marshall 6 F. E. Stewart, c J. Marshall, b R. Marshall 18 G. Palairet, c Green, b Dickenson 0 A. Blakiston, c Turner, b Dickenson 1 T. Henley, not out 0 S. S. Field, b R Marshall 0 Wides, 6 byes 6 . . 12 Total . 72 SECOND INNINGS. J. C. Veel, b Merton 6 G. Miles, c Auckland, b Dickenson 10 A. C. Croft, b Merton 2 E. F. B. Harston, Ibw, b Bargrove 11 W. H. Dawe, c Auckland, b Dickenson 14 J.
Longden. not out 0 F. E. Stewart, b Merton 30 G. Palairet, lbw, b Merton 5
40 A. Blakiston, b Dickenson 3 T. Henley, b Dickenson 13 S. S. Field, b Bargrove 0 Wides, 3; byes, 19; leg byes, 6 . . 28 Total 122 Grand total 194 ALBION. FIRST INNINGS. J.Auckland, b Croft 11 J. Marshall, lbw, b Blakiston 0 R. Marshall, b Croft 0 H. Green, b Croft 9 G. Turner, run out 2 W. Bargrove, b Croft 1 C. Merton, run out 14 G. Ford, b Croft 0 F. Slee, not out 5 G. Dickenson, b Croft 5 J. Wood, run out 8 Wides, 4; byes, 23; leg byes, 3 . . 30 Total 85 SECOND INNINGS. J. Auckland, run out 3 J. Marshall, c Stewart, b Croft 2 R: Marshall, b Dawe 17 H. Green, b Dawe 2 G. Turner, not out 0 W.
Bargrove, c and b Croft 0 C. Merton, no appearance 0' G. Ford, no appearance 0 F. Slee, c Stewart, b Dawe 4 G. Dickenson, b Croft 3 J. Wood, no appearance 0 Wides, 9; byes, 9; no balls, 1 . . 19 Total 50 Grand total 135 " Avonside was based at W. G. BRITTAN's ground on his farm near the Avon River, which had already been a venue for cricket matches, and Albion was based at Latimer Square. Christchurch began developing the ground at their original location in Hagley Park near
41 Dilloway's, having obtained the use of it from the Provincial Council in 1859 with a seven-year lease in the offing (it was never signed). When the provincial system was instituted previously, the Provincial Council had taken over control of the Town Reserves from the Canterbury Association, including Hagley Park, the guiding principle being that they should be reserved for ever for the people of the province, not just Christchurch. In 1858 the laying out of Hagley Park for ornamental purposes was begun and, in order to ensure its cultivation, power was given to the Provincial Government to lease the Park for seven years.
In 1860 Christchurch changed its name to the Canterbury Cricket Club with membership open to all, a condition placed on it by the provincial government as a consequence of the club being given the use of the ground by Dilloway's. Avonside did not survive beyond the 1861-62 season probably because of a move during the early 1860s by W. G. BRITTAN to his new Lansdowne property at Halswell with the subsequent sale of his house Englefield and part of his farm at Avonside. Albion continued through the 1860s during the middle of which they were in abeyance for a couple of seasons 1865-66 and 1866-67.
After a revival they lasted a couple more seasons but did not make it into the new decade of the 1870s. Lyttelton Times, Volume XI, Issue 657, 23 February 1859, Page 5 "A meeting of the, Christchurch Cricket Club was held on Saturday at Mr. Stringer's, pursuant to notice— Mr. C. C. Bowen in the chair. Mr. T. W. Maude was elected hon. Secretary, Messrs. Croft and Ward having resigned. A committee was appointed to take immediate steps towards forming a good ground on Hagley Park, and building a cricket house, &c; upwards of fifty names appear on the list of members, and sixteen gentlemen were proposed for election on Saturday next, to which day the meeting has adjourned.
There appears every prospect of good cricketing on the club ground next season. The second Christchurch club, the "Albion," is in full vigour, besides the club on Mr Brittan's ground at Avonside; so that the game is not likely to die out for want of emulation." Lyttelton Times, Volume XIII, Issue 768, 17 March 1860, Page 4 "Correspondence.
CRICKET. To the Editor of the Lyttelton Times. Sir,— The report of the cricket match between Victoria and New South Wales in a late issue of your journal has made me think about cricket generally, and more particularly with regard to the formation and capabilities of the different clubs in this province. I will take the first on the list— the Avonside Club— whose prestige and numerous victories have entitled it to be styled The Club par excellence. This has for its members a large portion of the playing gentlemen in the
42 neighbourhood of Christchurch, with a professional bowler; and it has for a ground a meadow kindly lent by W.G.
Brittan, Esq., for the purpose. This club numbers about 40 or 50 members. Next follows the Albion, composed of young men in the town of Christchurch engaged in various branches of trade. This is a rising and well supported club, and bids fair to be the second in Canterbury. The practice ground is in Latimer Square, by the permission of the Provincial Government. The third on the list is the poor half resuscitated Christchurch Cricket Club, numbering some 50 or 60 gentlemen who take very little interest in the progress of the world-renowned game, and yet, strange to say, this club has the best ground of the three, and one secured to it by a lease from Government.
The piece allotted to them is a block of about 15 acres in Hagley Park, laid down with English grass, and which only requires the outlay of about a hundred pounds to enable it to vie with the best ground in England; The playing members of this club number about eleven, and it is with difficulty even those few can be brought together for practice. Now, Mr, Editor, I wish to propose a plan for the amalgamation of the three clubs for one particular object, viz., to obtain a good general ground for the purpose of playing matches— and only matches— upon. I hear some of our smart men talk of challenging Wellington and Auckland; but allow me to ask— where will they play the first or the return game— (one of the two must be played in the province); and what would the Wellington or Auckland men say to the grounds at present used for that purpose here.
I think, Sir, that a club which might be styled the Canterbury Cricket Club should be started, and the ground at Hagley Park leased to them.
This would be composed of players from all the clubs in the province, and from it would be selected the men who should represent Canterbury on the occasion of a match with another province. The district clubs of course I would still continue, for there is no doubt that if there are better opportunities to practice and greater inducements to uphold the game when the meetings are nearer at home, and players of the same social circle. The funds which the general club would command and the security of the tenure of the ground would justify an expenditure for improvements, tents, &c. which no local or district club would be able to equal.
I could give a more detailed plan for the working of the general and district clubs in connection, but fear my remarks have already exceeded the length of an ordinary communication.
Hoping to see in your next the opinion of some of the cricketers with regard to the proposal. I remain, Sir, your’ s very truly, AN AMATEUR. Christchurch, March 8th, 1860." Lyttelton Times, Volume XIV, Issue 831, 27 October 1860, Page 4 'A meeting of the Christchurch Cricket Club was held on Monday evening last, at Mann's Dining
43 Rooms, when it was resolved that the club should be thrown open to the whole province, and its name altered to "The Canterbury Cricket Club." The Secretary stated that the Government had agreed to lease that portion of Hagley Park adjoining Mr.
Washburne's and fronting on the road between the Bridge and the Plough Inn. Mr Duncan was, he believed, preparing the lease. The Government required as a condition of the lease that the club should be quite public, and any person should be eligible to join on being proposed and seconded by two members of the club; hence the change of name. The lease is upon the same terms as that granted to the Jockey Club. We observe that another meeting is called for Monday evening next at six o'clock, at the same place, when amended laws for the government of the new club will be submitted for approval.
We trust that the wishes of the committee that there should be a full attendance of all interested, may not be disappointed, but that each lover of cricket who desires to see this, the oldest and most liberal club in the province, started under its new name on a firm basis, will give his attendance and support so desirable an object.' Lyttelton Times, Volume XIV, Issue 838, 21 November 1860, Page 4 "Not very long ago we announced the fact that the Government had granted a lease of a portion of Hagley Park to some gentlemen representing the Canterbury Cricket Club. The conditions of the lease are similar to those attached to that of the Jockey Club, with the addition that the club is to be open to all persons desirous of joining it.
Active steps are now being taken to raise funds for fencing in and laying down the ground. And we need hardly point out the merits of such an institution to those who are desirous of promoting this manly game. It is proposed to provide a ground open to members at reasonable hours during the entire season, also to provide a professional bowler, who shall be constantly in attendance. A complete equipment is intended to be provided for the use of members, and every inducement is to be held out to private clubs to use the ground for the purpose of matches. We cordially wish success to the promoters who are undertaking so useful and agreeable a scheme based on such liberal ideas." Lyttelton Times, Volume XVI, Issue 951, 21 December 1861, Page 4 OPENING OF THE CANTERBURY CRICKET GROUND.
CHRISTCHURCH v. ALL CANTERBURY. "The first match, on the newly formed cricket ground of the above club in Hagley Park, was played on Monday, the anniversary of the Canterbury settlement. We deem it our duty on this occasion to note in a special manner the prospects which this noble game has, on this occasion, the commencement of the twelfth year of Canterbury. That the Christchurch club have in so spirited a manner availed themselves of the advantages the Provincial Government have placed at their disposal, in giving so excellent a ground for cricket, deserves the highest praise; they have levelled and laid down a piece of ground, 60 x 40 yards;
44 substantially fenced the whole of the reserve, and will, in due time, no doubt (under the present able and indefatigable secretary and committee) render the whole as perfect as can possibly be desired for the display of the powers of the best cricketers amongst us; and believing that there is not one of our old country pastimes which is more conducive to the promotion of manly frames and bold hearts, and to the keeping alive of all the best of old English associations than this fine and truly English sport of cricket, we hail with sincere pleasure, and promise our best support to the opening of the Canterbury Cricket Club .
" The first All-Canterbury v Otago provincial match took place at Dunedin early in 1864 (Canterbury lost), followed by a match soon after between an Otago 22 versus the touring All-England team (Otago lost), followed by a match soon after between a combined Otago-Canterbury 22 versus All-England (Otago-Canterbury lost), followed a few days later by a match in Christchurch at the Canterbury Cricket Club's ground on Hagley Park near Dilloway's between an All-Canterbury 22 and All-England (Canterbury lost).
Later that year the Canterbury Cricket Club was most unhappy to receive bombshell news that at the end of the agreed seven years period of tenure the public works department of the Provincial Council wanted to carry out planting in the reserve that would encroach upon their ground so much that it would effectively render it useless to the cricketers. In 1866 they would have to move from their developed ground near Dilloway's to a different ground offered to them which later became known as the upper ground, or old ground. We know the old ground as Hagley Oval.
Press, Volume V, Issue 522, 2 July 1864, Page 3 THE CANTERBURY CRICKET CLUB.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE PRESS. "Sir, — The well-known interest which the Press has shown in cricket induces me to lay before you the following facts. An arrangement was entered into in 1859 between the then Provincial Government and a number of gentlemen who were interested in establishing cricket in Canterbury upon a sound and improving basis. The Government proposed a lease for seven years, at a nominal rental, of a part of Hagley Park extending from the Riccarton road to the reserve running along Mr. Washbourne's fence on the west, and bounded by the Creek on the south, containing between 10 and 11 acres: the conditions of the lease being chiefly that a certain amount of fencing should be completed, and that the Club should be open to receive members from all classes of the community upon payment of a moderate annual subscription.
This lease was drawn up but never executed.
45 A club was formed under the title of the "Canterbury Cricket Club," in exact accordance with the above conditions. During the existence of the club its members have fenced in the ground in an adequate manner, and have laid down a considerable area in a manner suitable for the favorable prosecution of the game. In addition to this a convenient pavilion has been built on the ground in a substantial manner. These improvements, involving an expenditure of about £550, have been carried out solely by the resources of the club, derived entirely from subscriptions.
The ground has been open for matches played by other clubs belonging to Christchurch, and to distant places, entirely free of charge.
The care and cost which have been bestowed upon the playing part of the ground are abundantly proved by the strong approval of it unanimously expressed by the All-England Eleven during their stay in Canterbury last February. The club, although at times in considerable pecuniary difficulty, has neither received nor sought any assistance from Government, although annual grants have been made to races and regattas, both in the neighbourhood of Christchurch and in remote districts. Seeing that great public amusement has been afforded by the matches played on the ground since the formation of the Club, repeatedly evinced by the large attendances on anniversary and other public holidays— to say nothing of the All-England Match of this year— the members of the Club think that in any case the enterprise, labour, and expense bestowed upon this, in their opinion, important object, is at least deserving of tolerance, non-interference, and an absence of hostility on the part of whatever Government may be in power.
Within the last few weeks, however, it appears that a suggestion has been made by the Public Works Office, to the effect that it would be desirable that the Club should give facility for planting the reserve, commencing at a distance of one chain from Mr. Washbourne's fence, and extending one chain into the ground, as now laid down. The effect of this will be to render that part of the ground now in use utterly unavailable for purposes of cricket. This fact was represented by the Club, and they have obtained the consent of the Secretary for Public Works to postpone the planting until the end of the original tenure granted to the Club, which will expire in 1866.
The Club, having been strongly impressed with the importance of extending the levelled part of the ground, in order to provide greater facilities for practice without encroaching upon the match ground, has lately made provision for meeting this additional outlay, and is naturally anxious to obtain an extended term before expending the money in such improvements. The Club has been informed by the Public Works Department that the proposal will not be entertained.
I believe, sir, that I have now stated the plain facts of the case. Those of us who have been active in endeavouring to raise the standard of cricket in this province at heavy expense of money and labor feel deeply grieved at their efforts being neutralised in this manner. We see that we can, under existing circumstances, do no more than provide for the next two seasons' play at the utmost, and that the club must after that time be extinguished. Our work is done in the interests
46 of the game. For ourselves, we shall in a few years have left the province, or be for the most part lookers on.
We appeal to you, and to all friends of Canterbury, not to allow a great and manly game as well as a valuable public amusement to be thrust aside by persons who are unable or who have no taste to appreciate its value. A MEMBER OF THE CANTERBURY CRICKET CLUB." Press, Volume V, Issue 562, 18 August 1864, Page 3 "PROVINCIAL COUNCIL. NOTICES OF MOTION. Mr Hall— To move that in the opinion of this Council it is desirable to lease to the Canterbury Cricket Club a portion of Hagley Park, more conveniently situated and better adapted to the practice of Cricket than that now occupied by the Club.
That with this view the Council will, on the expiration of the lease of that part of the Park now occupied by Mr. Wilkinson, entertain favorably an application from the club for the lease of a portion of the said Park, not exceeding 30 acres in extent, and subject to the following conditions, viz.:— 1. That the public shall at all times be allowed free access to the land leased to the Club, but so as not to interrupt any game being played there, or to injure the ground for the purposes of the game of cricket.
2. That the club shall be open to all persons desirous of becoming members, on payment of entrance-fee and annual subscription.
and otherwise conforming to the regulations of the club." Press, Volume LVII, Issue 10840, 15 December 1900, Page 21 " OLD TIME CRICKET IN CANTERBURY. A VETERAN PLAYER'S CHATTY NARRATIVE. .....E.C.J. Stevens, and his recollections of forty years of the game in this district..... . " My first recollection of Canterbury cricket," said Mr Stevens, in answer to a question on the subject, "begins from the year 1859 . " . . The next important step was, I think, the action of the Provincial Council in depriving us of the ground that we had made, and on which we had erected our pavilion, the reason given being that they required it for planting.
They gave us instead the piece of ground now known as the Hagley Park ground. Although they gave us no money to help us to re-establish ourselves, they, I understand, at the time considered that they behaved with remarkable liberality, a view which was entirely confined to themselves. The only thing to be done was to make our new home as presentable as possible. The pavilion was brought down from the ground opposite "The Plough," having been cut in two for that purpose, and was re-erected where it now stands. We
47 had the ground formed and sown, but we were under great difficulties, and I have a distinct recollection of a day which had been appointed for one of our matches being given up, so far as cricket was concerned, to the assembled teams weeding the ground, which had become almost entirely covered with docks. We formed, in fact, upon that occasion, a "weeding bee," to the great benefit of the ground."" In September 1864 the Provincial Council granted use of grounds in Hagley Park to the Albion and Christchurch cricket clubs, Christchurch near the Acclimatisation Society grounds (i.e. at what we now know as Hagley Oval) and Albion at what we now know as Hospital Corner.
Yes, a new and second Christchurch club was in the process of being formed, a meeting to elect club officers being held a few days after the grant by the provincial government. Press, Volume V, Issue 599, 30 September 1864, Page 2 "PROVINCIAL COUNCIL.
.....CRICKET CLUBS. The Secretary for Public Works moved— That, in the opinion of this Council with a view to the encouragement of the frame of cricket, the use of a portion of that part of Hagley Park, now occupied by Mr. Wilkinson, should, on the end of his lease, be granted to the Albion Cricket Club and the Christchurch Cricket Club, under such conditions and regulations as his Honor the Superintended may consider expedient..... .....Applications had been received, one from the Albion Club, a long established club; another from a club now being established, the Christchurch Cricket Club.....
.....The Albion Cricket Club expressed a wish to be allowed to occupy that part of the part between the Lincoln road and the Creek, while the Christchurch Club desired that portion of the ground abutting on the Riccarton road . .
.....The motion was carried. " From late 1865 the cricket fraternity had to deal with the Domain Board. Lyttelton Times, Volume XXIV, Issue 1553, 4 December 1865, Page 2 "Gazette.— The Provincial Gazette, No. 67, dated Dec. 2, announces that his Honor the Superintendent has placed the general management of Hagley Park, and the superintendence of the works to be carried on therein, under the Domain Board, and that in future the board will be known as the "Domain Board." The new Christchurch club formed in 1864 combined with the Canterbury club in 1866 to form
48 the United Canterbury Cricket Club, to be a kind of super club to progress cricket in Canterbury with membership open to all who wished join.
The aims of the new club were to forward the progress of cricket by assisting with selection and organisation of teams to play other colonies (provinces) and to control access to Hagley Park grounds for clubs by acting as the intermediary between them and the Provincial Council. The Canterbury Club prior to the 1866 merger with Christchurch had been performing those kinds of tasks to a degree anyway. The other main club in Christchurch at that time, the Albion Cricket Club, in abeyance for the 1866-67 season, was invited to join the new club but declined to do so, and later some of its members were displeased that none of its members were picked for Canterbury to play Otago in 1866.
At the time of the formation of United Canterbury in 1866, Christchurch had its ground from the Provincial Council at what we now know as Hagley Oval, and this is the ground that the new United Canterbury club developed. United Canterbury also acquired from the Provincial Council the use of 30 acres of Hagley Park opposite the hospital.
Lyttelton Times, Volume XXV, Issue 1617, 20 February 1866, Page 2 "Cricket. A meeting of several gentlemen interested in cricket took place on Saturday evening, at the Royal Hotel. It was suggested that the Christchurch and Canterbury clubs should unite, and that for the purpose of carrying out this proposition a meeting of all the members of the two clubs should be held on Thursday next. We are glad to see some exertion being made to keep up the standard of cricket in this province, and to learn that the cricketers themselves are subscribing most liberally towards the expenses of completing the new ground on the Riccarton Road, which is at present in the possession of the Christchurch club." Lyttelton Times, Volume XXVI, Issue 1792, 14 September 1866, Page 2 "Cricket in Canterbury — ln this province, cricket has always had to contend against the greatest difficulties.
In a young community, there is never much attention given to anything but business, and this has, perhaps, been especially the case with Christchurch and its vicinity. It has been almost impossible to play more than two or three matches in a season, on account of the small number of players, and of the difficulty experienced by those in subordinate situations, of obtaining leave of absence. But the chief obstacle has, hitherto, been the want of a good ground, within easy distance of the business part of the city, which has made practice, on any day but the Saturday half-holiday, almost out of the question.
But now there is every prospect of this want being supplied, and of our having some really good cricket in Christchurch. A new club has been formed by uniting the Canterbury and Christchurch clubs, and has been working quietly for the last seven months towards forming a new ground, which will, in a few weeks, be one of the best in the colony. It is a plot of ten acres, conveniently situated on the Riccarton
49 Road, immediately opposite the grounds of the Acclimatisation Society, and is within a few minutes walk of the centre of Christchurch. Where there is a good ground, there is sure to be good cricket, and we may therefore anticipate a lively season. The match between Otago and Canterbury will be played in this province this year. It will be remembered that the players of each province have, as yet, been successful on their own grounds, the Otago team having won the two matches played in Dunedin and the Canterbury team the match played here, so that the next contest, which is expected to take place about February next, will be looked forward to with more than usual interest by Canterbury cricketers.
At the present time the United Canterbury is, we believe, the only organised club in the province, as the Albion club can scarcely be considered as still in existence. It is for many reasons rather an advantage than otherwise, to have only one club. During the last two seasons there were no less than three in Christchurch alone, but none of them had a ground fit to play on. Where there are only a few players on each ground, the practice cannot possibly be so good as if they were all playing together. Besides this each club must have a ground of its own, and the most proper, and indeed, the only place available for cricket is Hagley Park, the surface of which is at present as rough and uneven as that of any ordinary farm, so that the expense of fencing, levelling, and turfing, or sowing, is very heavy, and entirely beyond the means of a club, unless it numbers among its members many who are willing to subscribe liberally towards the attainment of the object in view.
There is now, unfortunately, an entire absence of that spirit of fostering cricket, of which we have had a few instances even here. Who does not look back with pleasure to the days of the Avonside Club, which was, we believe, the first established in this province, and which owed its existence to one of the most liberal patrons of the game-Mr. W. G. Brittan -a gentleman who was one of the best bats of his time, and who encouraged cricket in every shape and form, and always paid particular attention to the rising generation. The members of the club which he founded not only used his private paddock as a cricket-ground, but were on every occasion entertained by him in a most sumptuous manner, and it is impossible that those who experienced his hospitality should ever forget how much cricket is indebted to him for its successful introduction into Canterbury.
It is from the want of such support as this that cricket has not taken a more prominent place among the recreations of gentlemen in this province, but we hope that the members of the new club will infuse new vigour into the game, and that the cricketers of Canterbury may be known in future from one end of the colony to the other." Lyttelton Times, Volume XXVI, Issue 1800, 24 September 1866, Page 2 "UNITED CANTERBURY CRICKET CLUB.
The annual meeting of the members of this club was held on Saturday evening, at the Royal Hotel, at 7.30 p.m . . The committee report as follows: Upon the Union of the Canterbury and Christchurch Clubs the ground formerly occupied by the latter had been fenced, and a small
50 portion laid down with English grass. The fence consisted of a post, top rail, and five wires, and was in good repair. This ground was taken possession of by the new club, and arrangements were made with Mr A. Stewart for levelling and laying down the whole of it with English grass at a cost of £90.
The work has been performed in a way that cannot fail to afford satisfaction to every member of the club. A hawthorn hedge has been planted and a small ditch dug round the ground. The old fence has been strengthened by the addition of two more wires, and has been properly strained and stayed. An iron gate has been put up at the corner of the fence nearest town, and by the erection of a stile, the members are enabled to get to the ground without going round by the large gate as before. The expenditure of the club up to the present time has amounted to £161 17s, including the sums paid in liquidation of the debts of the former clubs, and for rent to the end of the year, and for grass seed for the new ground.
The expenses have been kept down as low as possible, those works only being undertaken which were absolutely necessary, and for which the club had funds at its disposal. Your committee have, therefore, much pleasure in announcing that the club is free from debt, in spite of many difficulties and disappointments with which it has had to contend . " Star , Issue 105, 14 September 1868, Page 2 "United Canterbury Cricket Club. The first meeting of the season was held at the White Hart Hotel, on Saturday evening last Mr G. A. Reade in the chair. The report of the committee for 1867-68 was read and adopted.
It stated . . that a portion of the 30 acres at the corner of Hagley Park opposite the Hospital (granted by resolution of the Provincial Council to the Canterbury Cricket Club) had been let to Mr Simpson, for the term of two years, on condition that he shall fence the same immediately, and bore an artesian well thereon, and that the Club may resume occupation of the ground at any time after the expiration of the first year, giving Mr Simpson one month's notice, and paying him a compensation at the rate of £25 per annum till the end of the term . " The Albion Club was revived for a couple of seasons in 1867-68 and 1868-69, however when it began making arrangements for the start of the 1869-70 season it couldn't get going and was considered defunct after 1869.
A match on 27 December 1869 played against United Canterbury by a team called 'Old Albion' was probably its last hurrah, the Albion team consisting of players who had played for the club at any time over the years rather than the normal eleven.
The third Christchurch Cricket Club was formed in time for the next 1870-71 season, partly as a response to the demise of Albion in order to provide effective opposition to United Canterbury, but after six seasons was wound up in 1876 due to financial difficulties. The members felt that it was much better to wind up the club and start afresh with a new club which is how the Midland Canterbury Cricket Club came into being, formed just a few days before Christchurch was
51 wound up. The Midland Club took care of Christchurch's debts in return for taking over their pavilion, material and monies.
At a meeting of the Midland club in 1879 a member queried the propriety of the Hagley Oak Leaf Cricket Club taking the name Christchurch Cricket Club in that year, making it the fourth club to have that name, but other members couldn't see what the fuss was about. In 1872 the Canterbury United club finally began developing a ground at Hospital Corner, a process which took some time due to lack of funds and was never really finished. The Domain Board resumed about 3 acres of this ground for tree planting.
Star , Issue 1354, 29 June 1872, Page 2 "The Hagley Park Cricket Ground. A very important addition is being made to the playing area of the Hagley Park Cricket Ground. The nine acres of land on the city side of the present ground have been ploughed, and when suitably levelled will be laid down in grass. The work is under the supervision of Mr Stewart, the contractor for keeping the cricket enclosure in order, and it may therefore be taken for granted that the ground will be put into proper trim. It will not, of course, be fit to play upon during the coming season., but by September, 1873, the clubs may calculate upon the cricketing area being increased to about 20 acres.
In face of the greatly increasing popularity of the game, this will, however, be none too much for their requirements. " Star , Issue 1421, 16 September 1872, Page 2 "CANTERBURY CRICKET CLUB.
The annual general meeting of members of this Club was held at Coker's Hotel, at 8 o'clock on Saturday evening last, Mr E. C. J. Stevens in the chair. The minutes of the previous annual meeting were read and confirmed. The Hon. Secretary (Mr A. J. Cotterill) read the following report. "The committee were at the last annual general meeting able to congratulate the Club upon the increase in the number of matches played and the amount of practice upon the ground. The last season was still more successful in this respect, and it may now be considered that cricket has become permanently established generally throughout the province, especially when the large increase in the number of clubs, both in Christchurch and the country districts, is taken into account.
The new ground at the junction of the Riccarton and Lincoln roads has been commenced, and a contract has been entered into by Mr Stewart with the club to have the same fit for playing upon by the first of September next. The work is one of considerable magnitude, and one which will have to be provided for in a great measure out of funds other than the ordinary subscription of members. The terms of payment which have been arranged with Mr Stewart are most liberal to the club, and the committee confidently expect that the money required will be raised
52 without any very great difficulty.
The question of the tenure and the conditions upon which the club is to hold the two grounds, has now been definitely settled. At the commencement of last season the committee submitted a proposal to the following effect, to the Park and Domain Board That the club should have the management and maintenance of both grounds, upon condition of undertaking to provide good and sufficient ground to meet the reasonable wants of any cricket club applying for the same, at a rent to be fixed, if necessary, by the public authorities, but not to be at lower amount than the actual cost of annually maintaining in good order the actual acreage allotted for the use of the club applying for the same.
In the event of any dispute arising the same to be settled by the public authorities. On any club receiving any allotment of ground as above mentioned, they should have the right of erecting a pavilion or other similar building for their own exclusive use.
The committee further urged that if it was thought that the club should give up possession of the present ground as soon as the new ground is ready or at any later fixed date, they would be entitled to some compensation from the club upon whom the present ground was conferred for the great expense they had been put to in forming the present ground, and for the pavilion erected thereon." In reply to these proposals, the committee received a letter from the Chairman of the Park and Domain Board, stating that the Board, with the concurrence of the Government, were prepared to assent to the proposals made by the committee and to give effect to the arrangements conveyed therein, on the understanding that the new cricket ground will be made forthwith, without any unnecessary delay, and that a fair and equitable arrangement be made by the club with the Christchurch Club for the use of the present cricket ground, and for accommodation of other clubs who may have occasion to play matches thereon.
It will thus be seen that the club is placed in the position of trustees of the grounds for the benefit of all cricket clubs that may be anxious to occupy the same, and to pay a reasonable sum towards the expense of maintaining the grounds proportionate to the amount of ground occupied by them, a position which the committee thought that the club, as the oldest established club in the province, was fully justified in assuming." By the mid-1870s there was dissatisfaction with the way things were managed under the wing of the United Canterbury club, especially after a controversy over an increase in ground fees charged by United Canterbury to Christchurch (the third Christchurch club 1870-76) who were struggling financially.
Star , Issue 2350, 30 September 1875, Page 2 The Star. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30.
53 "The two leading Cricket Clubs of Christchurch have come to loggerheads over the amount of subscription that should be paid towards the maintenance of the ground in Hagley Park. The U.C.C. now demand the sum of £30 per year instead of £20, while the C.C.C. refuse to pay more than £25. Five pounds is a small sum to quarrel about, but the clubs probably look at the principle and not the money. The arrangements with regard to the ground are as follows: The U.C.C. pay Mr Souter £80 a year to keep the ground in good order and pitch wickets for matches.
He is also supposed to set up a net every evening, and to bowl for any of the members of the U.C.C. that require his services. Of the £80, £10 is recovered from the College Cricket Club, Mr Souter's special duties to the U.C.C. are estimated at £10, and the balance is equally divided between the two clubs. The question then resolves itself into this--is the sum of £10 a fair equivalent for Mr Souter's special services to the U.C.C. Anyone who knows the amount professional bowlers are paid at Home, and who takes into consideration the length of the season and the nature of the work, will at once decide in the negative.
If the value of his bowling, &c, be set down at £20 (and even that is too little) the moiety of the remainder would be £25, which the C.C.C. has offered to pay. To make the conduct of the U.C.C. appear in a worse light, it seems that they received the sum of £20 from the Interprovincial Match Committee towards the expenses of the ground. In this they refused to let the C.C.C. share, though it is quite evident that the latter had as good a claim to a portion it, at least, as the other. The fees paid by country clubs for matches, which are fixed at a guinea each we believe, are also pocketed by the U.C.C.
"We have been led to this explanation, because it is quite evident the C.C.C. has been unjustly treated in this matter. The Secretary of the rival Club, Mr E. C. J. Stevens, prepared a careful report, justifying his own Club of course, which has been published, and a newspaper has written down the "junior Club." Neither Mr Stevens nor the Globe explained the monetary relations of the two rivals, and consequently it was easily made to appear that the C.C.C. were entirely to blame. It is, however, manifest that their offer was just and reasonable; where they are wrong is in refusing to submit to the Domain Board, to whose jurisdiction they must sooner or later yield.
The Globe talks about the C.C.C. wanting to cause a split amongst cricketers, and to be their own arbiters, quite forgetting or ignoring the fact that the U.C.C.. have already taken up that role. A great deal of the dissatisfaction evinced at the decision of the Domain Board arose from the fact that the U.C.C. is represented in it, a manifest injustice. We do not for one moment believe that Mr Harman would willingly be swayed by private feelings on such a matter, but everyone knows that when the feelings of the individual clash with those of the public man the former imperceptibly influence the actions of the latter.
It is impossible in such cases to give an unbiased decision, and naturally the C.C.C. feel rather sore at their adversaries having, as they think, such an advantage. But as the decision of the Board has been given against them, they must either bow to it or withdraw from the ground. The present quarrel refers to last year's subscription. As it is now settled, the best thing the two Clubs can do is to come to a definite understanding for the future before the season is begun. Meanwhile, this
54 sudden outbreak shows the harm that may be done, and the heart-burnings that may be caused by the unscrupulous conduct of one or two men placed in a position of some power." In 1877 the Canterbury Cricket Association was formed to take over the organisation of cricket from United Canterbury, who were willing to hand over control, to put Canterbury cricket on a firmer and more democratic footing. From time to time the rules of the Association were adjusted. Star , Issue 2831, 30 April 1877, Page 3 "MEETING OF CRICKETERS. A meeting of cricketers was held at Warner's Hotel on Saturday. There was a good attendance.
Mr H. W. Moore was voted to the Chair. Mr Stevens stated that the meeting had been called under a requisition from a number of cricketers to consider the best method of managing the ground. He explained the present tenure upon which the Cricket Ground was held, and said he thought it was desirable to re-consider the whole question. At present rentals, as might be agreed upon, were paid to the U.C.C.C. by other Clubs requiring the use of the ground. There were not, however, sufficient funds to maintain the ground in proper order. It was therefore necessary to consider whether the old system should be continued, or whether an Association should be formed who should have the control of the ground, the various Clubs paying a rental.
Another advantage of such an Association would be that it might have the management of outside matches, or matches other than local. The resolutions he wished to move were as follows:- 1. That the interests of cricket in Canterbury will be best consulted by the management of the grounds on Hagley Park being placed in the care of an Association representing all the Clubs using the ground regularly, instead of in that of any one club. And that it is expedient that a Cricket Association be forthwith formed to whom the entire arrangement of the grounds and of all foreign matches should be entrusted, together with the selection of players for all such matches.
2. That the Association shall consist, in the first instance, of the members of any club using the ground under a regular and permanent arrangement with the U.C.C.C, any club subsequently arranging for the regular use of the ground to have the right of membership. No member, who has not paid his last subscription to his club, to be entitled to vote at any meeting of the Association. 3. That all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of the United Canterbury Cricket Club in connection with the grounds shall be assumed, subject to the approval of the Park and Domain Board, by the Association.
55 4 That the work of the Association shall be done by a Committee, consisting of one member to be appointed by each of the clubs (not being school clubs), who have permanent arrangements for ground with the Association. And if at any time a Committee shall consist of an even number, it shall appoint annually a Chairman from amongst their own number, who shall have both an original and casting vote until any subsequent addition to the Committee may cause it to consist of an uneven number. 5. That all receipts of money for purposes of cricket, not being Club subscriptions, and any balance at the credit of the All-England and Interprovincial Match Committee shall be the property of the Association, who shall purchase at a fair price the existing plant of the U.C.C.C, consisting of mowing machine, hose, &c, not being material for playing the game, but only for keeping the ground in order.
He begged to move the resolutions as a whole, although modifications might be made if desirable. Mr Secretan seconded the resolutions. It was agreed to consider the resolutions seriatim. Mr E. Fowler thought, with reference to number one, that it would be a good plan that each of the existing Clubs should have a separate ground, the present proprietary Club to have the choice of ground, and to be recouped any reasonable amount. Mr A. M. Ollivier pointed out that the Park and Domain Board, at the time the present arrangement was made with the U.C.C.C, would not agree to divide the ground among several Clubs, but required that the whole ground should be vested in one Club.
The scheme proposed by Mr Fowler would only provide ground for the two existing Clubs, viz., the U. C.C.C. and the M.C.C.C. That would be unfair, he thought, to the Club which took the most distant or present ground, and there would be far more applications for the nearer ground than could be met. The only way to deal satisfactorily with the question was to form a Cricketing Association. Mr Sweet could not see why the grounds might not be under the control of the Association, even though the two Clubs had separate grounds.
Mr Stevens pointed out that the ground would be allotted amongst the various Clubs applying for it. The first three resolutions were carried. Some discussion ensued on the fourth resolution. Mr Neilson moved an amendment to the effect that a permanent Chairman be appointed by the Association, who shall only have a casting vote, which was negatived on a show of hands by 12 to 9. The resolution was agreed to after a further amendment in favour of two delegates had been negatived. The fifth resolution was carried. Mr Stevens moved— " That the consent of the U.C.C.C. and the Park and Domain Board be
56 sought to the above arrangement." The motion was agreed to. It was resolved that the name of the Association should be the Canterbury Cricket Association. It was also agreed that an effort should be made to raise funds to liquidate the liabilities of the Interprovincial Match Committee. A vote of thanks to the Chairman terminated the meeting." Press, Volume XXVII, Issue 3694, 24 May 1877, Page 2 "The several cricket clubs of Christchurch are at last in a fair way of overcoming the various disputes and squabbles which have been for the past few seasons of too frequent occurrence. A Cricket Association has now been formed.
It consists of representatives of the several clubs using the Hagley Park Ground, each club sending one delegate. The principal objects of the Association are the proper maintenance of the ground, the arranging and the selection of teams for other than, local matches, the allocation of the ground to the various clubs that may apply to play thereon, and the fixing of the annual rentals to be paid by such clubs. The maintenance of the ground, hitherto has been a very vexed and hard question for the U.C.C.C. to deal with. They have had certain powers vested in them by the Canterbury Park and Domain Board, but scarcity of money has always prevented them from improving the grounds to the extent they would have desired.
The great increase in the number of cricketers, who are three times as numerous as they were but two or three seasons ago, has taxed their utmost energies to keep the ground in anything like playing order; and with the additional difficulty in finding a caretaker who thoroughly understood the work of keeping a cricket ground in proper condition, has rendered it quite impossible to provide a sufficient number of wickets on the old ground for all the players that represent the chief Christchurch clubs. The new ground, as the reserve nearer town is called, has already had about £130 expended upon it, but lack of funds has hitherto prevented its being made a playable ground.
The association, however, is to set to work at once and have it ready for use during the ensuing season, which will be a great boon to the clubs. Another benefit derived through the association will be the arrangement of foreign matches and the selection of the representative team. This hitherto has been managed by a selection committee who have had the misfortune at times of being accused of partiality ; a charge which, however unfounded, must be exceedingly annoying, and has more than once deterred a good and efficient man from serving on the committee. Then again came the difficulty of fixing the rental for a club having the use of the ground.
This has always caused an amount of unpleasantness to all parties concerned, and in one or two instances, when no agreement could be arrived at, has compelled resort to arbitration at the hands of the Park and Domain Board— a very unsatisfactory position for the latter body to be placed in. All these disadvantages will, it is hoped, be remedied by the establishment of the Canterbury Cricket Association. If its members will only work well together, and keep in view the improvement of cricket, the usefulness of the institution will soon be apparent. We shall see better play. The junior members will be brought
57 forward. And there will be an end of all those petty jealousies and annoyances which have done so much during former seasons to injure the game by creating ill-feeling amongst the players." Press, Volume XXVII, Issue 3703, 4 June 1877, Page 3 "UNITED CANTERBURY CRICKET CLUB. A general meeting of the members of the United Canterbury Cricket Club was held on Saturday evening at Radcliffe's Hotel. Mr C. C. Corfe, Vice-president, occupied the chair. The Secretary (Mr E. C. J. Stevens) read the following report..... . The principal object of the meeting is to take into consideration the proposal of the Cricket Association meeting, recently held, that this club shall hand over its responsibilities and rights in connection with the Hagley Park Grounds to a Cricket Association, consisting of all the clubs who are now or subsequently may be in regular use of any part of those grounds, the management being placed in a committee, consisting of one delegate from each club answering the description just given.
Your committee have thought it advisable not to express any opinion either in recommendation or otherwise of the proposal, as they think that any conclusion arrived at should be the result of the fullest, unbiased discussion by all members of the club who may attend the meeting. C. C. Corfe, Chairman.....
.....Mr Stevens then said that, as the meeting was aware, a meeting of cricketers had been held to consider what should be done with the Hagley Park grounds. It had been decided that the ground should be handed over to a committee consisting of one member delegated by each club, which committee should also have the management of foreign matches. At present the U.C.C. had the right of the ground, provided that they supplied any club applying for ground with a good and sufficient ground for cricket at a rent not exceeding the cost of maintenance, the referees to be the Park and Domain Board.
It was now proposed that the right of the club should merge in the proposed committee. The first thing the meeting would have to do would be to accept or reject the proposal, and if accepted, to appoint a delegate. Mr Neilson moved— " That the proposal by the meeting of cricketers that the Club should hand over its rights and privileges as regarded Hagley Park to a cricketing association, be accepted by the U.C.C." Mr Blakiston seconded the motion, which was agreed to . " Press, Volume XXVIII, Issue 3769, 20 August 1877, Page 4 "CANTERBURY CRICKET ASSOCIATION.
SECRETARIES of any Cricket Club in Christchurch who may intend to apply for Ground in Hagley Park are requested to send in their applications to the Secretary of the Association before the 31st instant, in order to facilitate arrangements for allotting the ground. Any proposal received
58 after that date cannot be entertained. H. H. SECRETAN, Secretary, Canterbury Cricket Association." Star , Issue 3204, 15 July 1878, Page 3 "THE CANTERBURY CRICKET ASSOCIATION. The annual general meeting of the Canterbury Cricket Association was held at Radcliffe's Hotel, on Saturday evening.
Mr E. C. J. Stevens in the chair. There were seventeen members present..... .....RULES. The Chairman remarked that they now came to business which would take some time. The Association had existed for a whole season without having any rules; it was merely managed under a set of resolutions, some of which had become quite obsolete, and it was now necessary to have a set of rules under which the affairs of the Association could be conducted. A number of regulations had been prepared and adopted by the General Committee, and would be laid before the meeting.
The resolutions under which the Association had been managed during the past twelve months were read. The draft rules were then read and discussed, and with additions and alterations were adopted..... .....The rules, as adopted, are as follows:- 1. The name of the Association shall be the Canterbury Cricket Association, and there shall be appointed at every annual general meeting a President and Vice-President, who shall be eligible for re-election when their term of office expires 2. The Association shall consist of the members of any club (not being a school club) using the ground under a regular arrangement with the Association.
No member whose last subscription to his club is unpaid shall be entitled to vote at any meeting of the Association 3. The affairs of the Association shall be managed by a General Committee consisting of those members of the Association who have represented Canterbury in any match and two delegates from each of the clubs (not being school clubs) who have regular arrangements for ground with the Association or who have been admitted by the General Committee under rule 10. Seven shall form a quorum.
4. The General Committee shall annually appoint one member of the Association as Secretary and Treasurer, who shall generally conduct the business of, the Association under the direction if the General Committee and sub-Committees appointed by it. 5. The General Committee shall annually appoint a Finance and Ground Committee, consisting of the Secretary and two other members, who shall have the general management of the funds and ground and also the arrangement of the terms and dates on which all foreign matches shall be played.
59 6. The General Committee shall annually appoint a Match Committee, consisting of three members who shall make arrangements for all Association matches, not being foreign matches, and select teams and appoint captains for all matches except Club matches.
7. That members of the Association who have represented Canterbury in any interprovincial or foreign match, or who have by nomination of the Committee taken part in Association matches, practice together during the season, and that the practice shall be known as Association practice. The Match Committee shall control the practice, and may at their discretion admit to Association practice any new members not otherwise qualified.
8. The Ground Committee shall provide wickets two days in the week for Association practice, and wickets for the practice of each Club every week day. 9. The Match Committee shall arrange matches for all Saturday and public holidays throughout the season amongst the players specified in Rule 7. 10. That the General Committee shall have power to admit at their discretion any Club in existence in Canterbury to the privileges of the Association. 11. That the committee may, at their discretion, organise special practice, instead of the Association practice, to include, if the Committee shall think it expedient, players who are not members of the Association.
12. That a capitation fee be levied by the Ground Committee on all Clubs (not being school clubs) using the ground, and that all arrangements for the use of the ground by school Clubs and outside players, and all charges thereon be left to the Ground Committee. 13 A capitation fee shall be levied by the Ground Committee on all clubs (not being school clubs) using the ground; the amount of the capitation and dates of payment, the amount to be paid by school clubs, and as fees for matches, and all arrangements for the use of ground shall be settled by the Ground Committee.
14. There shall be held an annual meeting of the Association during the first week in May in every year, to he called by the Secretary, to receive the complete accounts of the year audited, elect officers, and transact any general business of the Association.
15. No rule shall he altered save at the annual general meeting. The Secretary shall call an extraordinary general meeting of the Association on receiving a written requisition to do so signed by not less than eleven members and stating the object for which the meeting is called. NEW OFFICERS.
Mr E. C. J. Stevens was elected President, and Mr E. P. Lance Vice-President of the Association. The meeting then adjourned." In the item below, which gives a good idea of the kinds of matches arranged locally in this period, all teams are made up from local players despite the grand sounding names. U.C.C.C. is United and M.C.C.C. is Midland.
60 Press, Volume XXXII, Issue 4423, 3 October 1879, Page 3 "CANTERBURY CRICKET ASSOCIATION. The following is the programme of matches arranged by the selection committee of the Cricket Association for the season of 1879-89:- Oct.
4th— Opening matches— Clubs Oct. 11th and18th— England v Colonies Oct. 25th and Nov. 1st and 8th— U.C.C.C. v M.C.C.C. Nov 10th— The Colts, twelve a side Nov. 15 th and 22nd— Married v Single Nov 29th and Dec 6th.--North v South Dec. 13th and 20th— England v Colonies Dec.26th and 27th— Public Schools and Universities v World Jan. 1st— 11 Town vs 15 District Clubs Jan. 3rd, 10th and 17th— U.C.C.C. v M.C.C.C. Jan. 24th and 31st— Married v Single Feb. 7th; 14th and 21st--Eng v Colonies Feb, 28th and March 7th— East v West March 14th, 21st and 28th— U.C.C.C. v M.C.C.C." Star , Issue 6611, 9 October 1899, Page 4 "CANTERBURY CRICKET ASSOCIATION.
A special meeting of the Canterbury Cricket Association was held at the Clarendon Hotel on Saturday evening to consider the proposed new rules, drawn up by a sub-committee appointed at the annual meeting. Mr W. H. Wynn-Williams presided, and about forty members were present. The proposed rules were adopted with a few amendments. Under these the Canterbury Cricket Association will consist of all such clubs or associations as shall be accepted by the Association, all clubs competing for the Senior Cup being known as senior clubs, and other clubs or associations as junior clubs. There will be a president, two vice-presidents, an honorary secretary and an honorary treasurer, to be elected by ballot at the annual meeting in September.
Each senior club will be entitled to be represented on the Association by four delegates, and each junior club by one delegate, the delegates, together with the officers, forming the general meeting of the Association, and having power to elect a selector or a Selection Committee. General meetings of the Association will be held in the first weeks of October, December, and February. The committee will consist of the officers, one delegate from each senior club, and three delegates elected by ballot at the annual meeting of the Association. The arrangement of interprovincial and other matches will be left to the committee .
61 Press, Volume LXVIII, Issue 14312, 25 March 1912, Page 2 ""I REMEMBER." EARLY CRICKET IN CANTERBURY. The present president of the Canterbury Cricket Association, Mr F. WILDING, has been closely connected with cricket in Canterbury for over thirty years..... . . The Association, so far as my memory serves, consisted of all players that had represented Canterbury in interprovincial matches with Otago — a curious constitution. .....W. P. REEVES....it was largely due to him.....the old constitution of the Association re-formed and placed on a representative basis— that is representation by delegates from associated clubs.
This innovation was bitterly opposed by some of the more conservative players, but was successfully carried out." Cricket and other sports clubs were unable to charge admission to their games at public domains despite representations by them over many years to the Provincial Council and then the Christchurch City Council to be able to do so. The Sydenham & Addington United Cricket Club had the same inability to convince the Sydenham Borough Council to allow them to charge admission for games on Sydenham Park. The principal adhered to by those governing bodies was that the right of the public to free access to their own domains at all times was paramount.
The desire of sports clubs to be able to charge admission was the main motivation for the acquisition in 1880 of the independent Lancaster Park ground.
Press, Volume XXXIII, Issue 4600, 29 April 1880, Page 3 "CRICKET AND ATHLETIC SPORTS ASSOCIATION. A meeting of the promoters of the above was held on Tuesday evening at the Commercial Hotel, Mr E. C. J. Stevens in the chair..... .....The object of the association, as explained, was the providing of a ground where cricket clubs could practice, and where cricket and football matches, &c., could be played, a charge for admission being made at the gates. A splendid piece of ground for the purpose has been secured, comprising ten acres, situated adjoining the Ferry road and near the East belt, being about the same distance from Cathedral square as the present cricket ground.
It is intended to fence in and thoroughly underground drain and lay out the ground for the purposes of the association, and to set apart a portion for lawn tennis, bowling, and archery. A running path will be made outside the cricket circle, and a commodious grand stand erected." In 1881 the Lancaster Park Cricket Club was formed, based at Lancaster Park. Since then Lancaster Park has had many uses besides cricket over the years but how many know the answers to these questions?
62 (a) In what year were the first organised baseball clubs formed in Christchurch? (b) What were the names of the first organised baseball clubs formed in Christchurch? (c) what grounds became their homes? (d) who were the players? (e) which was their season? (f) how long did organised baseball last? Answers: (a) 1889 (b) Christchurch Baseball Club, Hagley Park Baseball Club (c) Lancaster Park, Hagley Oval (d) mainly cricketers (e) winter (cricketing off-season) (f) at least one season but probably not another. A one-off game of baseball, possibly the first ever game of baseball in New Zealand according to a newspaper report of the game, had actually been played in Christchurch a few years before in 1881 between a Christ's College team and a team captained by W.P.
REEVES, both teams being composed mainly of cricketers, but they were not organised clubs. The two baseball clubs formed in 1889 were driven by cricketers looking for off-season action and almost certainly influenced by an American team of baseballers and cricketers who toured Australia the year before late in 1888 with a visit to Auckland on the way to Australia. It was basically cricketers based at Lancaster Park versus cricketers based at Hagley Park. They don't seem to have got going again in 1890 despite really going for it during the winter of 1889, and I can find no later references to organised baseball in Christchurch newspapers at Papers Past.
It isn't hard to think of a very good reason why baseball in winter might not have lasted. Just think, if it had caught on long enough to become a traditional sport in Christchurch, then maybe we cricketers would be having the occasional extremity amputated due to frostbite after a day on the diamond in frigid winter weather. The teams in the game reported below are both full of senior cricketers. A few represented Canterbury and the odd one New Zealand at various periods. J. FOWKE, a wicketkeeper who played for Canterbury, was with a number of clubs over the years including the first Sydenham Youths club, Midland and then Lancaster Park, but in later years he became a stalwart of Sydenham & Addington United and then Sydenham.
Press, Volume XLVI, Issue 7285, 15 April 1889, Page 5 "BASEBALL.
CHRISTCHURCH BASEBALL CLUB.
63 This Club, which was inaugurated on Wednesday last, held its first practice game on Saturday at Lancaster Park. Owing to the inexperience of the players generally the game caused a great amount of amusement, but as the game wore on, and the players began to understand the rules, it caused a good deal of excitement. Judging from the interest displayed in the first match, the game will become decidedly popular amongst a certain section of athletes who neither play football or lacrosse during the winter, and the game of baseball will therefore fill a want which has long since been felt.
The Club will hold a general meeting on Wednesday evening, at Warner's Hotel, when intending members can be elected.
Appended are scores:- PRESIDENT'S SIDE VICE-PRESIDENT'S SIDE. W.D. Meares 3 L.A. Cuff 2 W. Moss 2 Cowan 2 W. N. Digby 2 C. Jones 2 A. Ridley 1 F. Wilding 3 T.H. North 3 G. Rayner 2 W. P. Reeves 2 F.C.Gerard 2 F. C. Raphael I R. P. Hill 1 G. Donald 1 R. Dobbin 1 W. B. Eyre 3 P. J. Withers 1 A. M. Ollivier 1 E. Waller 0 C. J. Denby 1 J. Fowke 0 E. R. Lough 1 A. Cant 2" The Canterbury Cricket Association established the Challenge Cup senior cricket competition in 1882-83. Up till then there still were not many major clubs, but there had been minnow clubs galore popping up all over Christchurch and the rest of Canterbury, a process which accelerated during the 1870s and into the 1880s.
Most of these tiny clubs in Christchurch were not members of the association and in the 20th century it was the likes of these clubs that joined the competitions of the Suburban association.
Availability and affordability of grounds and their development was a bugbear for all cricket clubs big or small, and neither the Hagley Oak Leaf/Christchurch nor Addington were any exception. In 1879 the Hagley Oakleaf club felt ready to take on a ground by themselves but were refused by the Canterbury Cricket Association, then by 1880 were in financial strife with ground fees and capitation fees charged by the Association being a major factor.
64 Star , Issue 3404, 8 March 1879, Page 3 CRICKET ASSOCIATION. A meeting of the Committee of the Canterbury Cricket Association was held at the Commercial Hotel at eight o'clock last evening.....
.....the Hon. Secretary read a letter he had received from the Hagley Oak Leaf C. C., asking if they could have the entire control of the ground now used by them, provided they refunded the money expended thereon by the Association. On the motion of Mr Ollivier, seconded by Hartland, it was resolved "That the Association, being trustees of all the grounds in Hagley Park for the benefit of the cricketers of Canterbury, is not empowered to part with any portion of those grounds for the benefit of any particular club . " I have already given the following quote regarding the Oakleaf/Christchurch club: Star , Issue 3942, 6 December 1880, Page 3 .
. A letter was read from the Christchurch Cricket Club, in reference to the payment of capitation fees, stating that the fees aforesaid were so high as to almost destroy their Club, by driving members to other Clubs, and suggesting that the fees should be lowered, and small rental charged for the ground, and asking a reduction of the fee for the present season. A discussion took place on the subject, in the course of which Mr Booth, on behalf of the Christchurch Club, stated that their membership was now only 21, and they were afraid of the Club becoming extinct. It was pointed out that the cost of maintaining the ground used by the Christchurch Club would be more than the amount of capitation fees received from the Club, and it was finally decided to inform the Club that the Association could not afford to reduce the capitation fees for the current season." The Canterbury Cricket Association controlled grounds only at the Old Ground (Hagley Oval) and the New Ground (Hospital Corner) which means that if the Oakleaf/Christchurch was pleading for a reduction in the ground rental charged, then their ground was located at either the old ground or the new ground.
At first, in 1880-81, Addington was based at the Sydenham Recreation Reserve now known as Addington Park. By 1882 Addington had moved to Hagley Park roughly opposite what is now Hagley Community College. Press, Volume LVII, Issue 10840, 15 December 1900, Page 21 . . somewhere about the year 1872, I think, an additional ground was made on the portion of the Hagley Park opposite to the Hospital. This ground, if I remember right, was formed by the United Club, and was afterwards, owing to the expense of keeping it going, abandoned by them,
65 and taken up by the Addington Club, which had come into existence as successors to the small club known as the Hagley Oakleaf.
The Addington club afterwards migrated to their present ground ( E. C. J. STEVENS). By "migrated to their present ground", STEVENS, quoted in 1900, must mean the Sydenham & Addington United club based at Sydenham Park. United Canterbury certainly had a ground at the Lower Ground (Hospital Corner) as well as at the Upper Ground (Hagley Oval), but they organised access to the grounds for other clubs as well as themselves, this task later being taken over from United by the Canterbury Cricket Association. Addington, viewed in after years as the successors to the Oakleaf/Christchurch club, came up with an arrangement in 1881 that, with the connivance of the Association, saw them dealing directly with the Domain Board rather than through the Association.
Just two years before the Association had thwarted the Hagley Oakleaf/Christchurch club's bid to do the same, so we can tell that the overall costs of maintaining grounds were weighing heavily on the Association by this time. The anomalous situation of the new Lancaster Park club and the Addington club both being members of the Canterbury Cricket Association, thereby having some control of but no actual interest in the Hagley Oval ground, led the Canterbury Cricket Association to encourage the United Canterbury, Midland and College cricket clubs to set up their own Hagley Park Grounds Committee to control the oval, thus pretty much freeing the Association from control of grounds.
The Addington Club's descriptions of their ground at Hospital Corner in items at Papers Past don't speak of taking over a developed ground, but of having to develop the ground themselves ("a mere sheep-walk"), so I'm wondering if it wasn't United's previously developed ground that they took over but was in the area close by. An item regarding preparations for Joubert & Twopenny's Christchurch Exhibition in 1882 has the exhibition's pavilion entrance nearly opposite St Asaph Street with the ends of the large building north of the Addington club's ground.
Star , Issue 4292, 24 January 1882, Page 3 .
. paid another visit to Hagley Park for the purpose of finally determining the site of the Exhibition, and the entrances and carriage drives. Mr Lambert produced a plan indicating the general position of the building and gateways, which was also marked off on the ground by means of pegs. After the ground had been thoroughly examined, it was decided that the building should stand, as was at first suggested, with the main entrance nearly opposite the opening of St Asaph street. The ground of the Addington Cricket Club, which is included in the same portion of the Park, will not be interfered with, as the ends of the building will be situated immediately to the north of the Cricket Club's boundary."
66 Maybe Addington had taken over Albion’ s old ground of 1864 judging by this Henry Wise map of Christchurch dated 1875: http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/Heritage/Maps/Zoomify/?filename=539913 Albion was gone by 1870. Albion obtained a ground on Hagley Park from the Provncial Government in 1864, so is it really a map circa 1864-1866 prior to the merger between the second Christchurch club and Canterbury in 1866 to form United Canterbury, when Albion was the only other major club, or is it truly a map of 1875 referring to the third Christchurch club, to United Canterbury, and to Albion if the club hadn’ t lost its former association with the ground in hearts and minds especially if another club hadn’ t taken it over yet? Albion's first ground was Latimer Square which they continued to use even after obtaining the use of the ground at Hospital Corner.
The map is a Henry Wise one which means that it is from a Wise’ s Directory, so maybe the map was based on an earlier version from several years previously and hadn’ t been sufficiently updated for 1875. Star , Issue 4671, 19 April 1883, Page 3 "CANTERBURY CRICKET ASSOCIATION. .....The President stated that some members of the Committee and the Hon Secretary had been considering the tenure of the grounds at Hagley Park from the Park and Domain Board. Until recently the Association had held both the upper and the lower ground for the purposes of cricket, with the understanding that any Club paying a reasonable charge should have the use of the ground.
That system answered very well till recently, when the Addington Club, which, with the connivance of the Association, had become direct holders from the Park and Domain Board, and the independent Lancaster Park ground had been established. An important innovation had thus been made in the circumstances of the case. The members of the Addington Club and of the Lancaster Park had votes for the Financial Committee which had the management of the Hagley Park grounds. This could not well continue, and it would be well to make the necessary change of system at once, and confine the Association to the arranging of matches, local and foreign, and the selection of teams ; the general management of cricket, apart from management of any grounds.
It would be desirable to apply to the Domain Board to put the United, the Midland, and the Christ College Clubs on the same footing as the Addington Club, letting each have a piece of ground, and leaving to each to keep such ground with its own funds, under such control and in such order as it deemed fit." Star , Issue 4686, 7 May 1883, Page 4 "CANTERBURY CRICKET ASSOCIATION. The annual general meeting of this Association was held in the rooms of the Agricultural and
67 Pastoral Association at eight o'clock on Saturday evening. The Hon E. C. J. Stevens, President of the Association, occupied the chair..... .....The Chairman.....wished to ask their attention for a few minutes while he laid before them important proposals made by the Committee which involved a great change in the constitution of the Association. Some years ago the Association formed an agreement with the Park and Domain Board, whereby any club wishing to use what was known as the Association's ground, were, by paying a small annual charge for maintaining the ground in order, entitled to do so.
Up to a short time ago that agreement was in force, and included not only the Association's ground but also the Exhibition ground. Some little time ago it was found advisable to give the Addington Club a separate portion, and the Exhibition ground was allotted them. Since the Lancaster Park Club was established it was affiliated to the Association, and had the right, as well as the other clubs, to take part in the election of Committees and officers, but they had no interest in the Association's ground. It was clear that the position was anomalous--that clubs having no interest in the ground should be concerned in the control of it ; therefore, a change in the constitution of the Association was necessary, and the change proposed would be presented for their approval in the report of the general Committee, and was briefly that the same course which had been taken in reference to the Addington Club should be followed with regard to the Association generally, and a division of the present ground into three portions made between the Midland, United, and College Clubs.
The consent of the Park and Domain Board to this new arrangement would be necessary but he might state that he was authorised by Mr L. Harper, Chairman of the Board, to say that the arrangement proposed would be acceptable to the Board if sanctioned by the present meeting. Of course the Board would have the same powers against the particular clubs as whey had against the Association— i.e., the clubs must keep their respective grounds in good condition, and only use them for the purposes intended, and the clubs would hold the ground on the same terms that the Association had held it on. All that had been done by the Committee was provisional and subject to the approval of the meeting; but it was necessary that some fresh agreement should be come to, whether separately by the clubs themselves or by the three clubs in concert.
He had met the representatives from the clubs (Midland excepted) that afternoon, and did not anticipate there would be any difficulty in dividing the ground into three portions. He read the resolutions come to by the Committee, and formally moved "That the Association invite the Park and Domain Board to allow to the United, the Midland, and the College Cricket Clubs the use of the Hagley Park ground in separate allotments as may be agreed, and that Messrs Stevens and Condell confer with the Secretaries of the above clubs, with a view to settle the terms as regards division of ground, money matters, &c, contingent on the proposed change." The resolution was agreed to nem con." Press, Volume XXXIX, Issue 5609, 10 September 1883, Page 2 "MIDLAND CRICKET CLUB.
68 The seventh annual general meeting of the Midland Cricket Club was held at the Commercial Hotel on Saturday evening.....On the motion of Mr J. Taylor, the Secretary's action in co-operating with the Secretaries of the United and College Clubs in taking over the management of the Hagley Park Ground from the Association was approved, and the Secretary was appointed to represent the Club on the Committee of Management of the ground." Press, Volume XXXIX, Issue 5630, 4 October 1883, Page 5 "We have been requested by the Ground Committee of the Hagley Park Clubs to intimate that the ground is open for practice on and after to-day (Thursday)." Star , Issue 5094, 30 August 1884, Page 2 "HAGLEY PARK CRICKET GROUND.
TENDERS will be received, until 2nd September for the caretaking of the above ground for the ensuing eight months. Machines, horse, and accommodation provided. Tenders to be addressed to the Secretary, Hagley Park Ground Committee, Box 338, Post-office, Christchurch." For a while the damage caused by Joubert & Twopenny's Christchurch Exhibition at Hospital Corner, which ran for 14 weeks from 10 April 1882, set back the Addington club's development of their ground.
Star , Issue 4727, 25 June 1883, Page 3 "The Addington Cricket Club have now played through their third season..... . . At the commencement of the season it was found that a great deal of damage had been done to the ground through the holding of the Exhibition, but, it being understood that the ground would be put in good repair after the closing of the Exhibition, and that the sum of £100 had been handed to the Domain Board for that purpose, the Club had a portion of their ground top-dressed, at a cost of £10, which was to be refunded by the Domain Board. Upon the Club applying for it, the Board declined to pay, on the grounds that the money was all spent.
Through the interference with the ground the work caused, fully two months had elapsed before anything like a practice on a good wicket could be enjoyed, which, of course, placed the Club at a great disadvantage." The cost to Addington of renting and maintaining their ground grew heavy: Star , Issue 6336, 6 September 1888, Page 4 "The eighth annual meeting of the Addington Cricket Club was held at the Commercial Hotel at 8 p.m. yesterday.....
.....The Committee suggested that the subscription.....should be increased.....This increase would be absolutely necessary, for the Government having stopped the subsidy granted to the Domain
69 Board, the Board had decided to charge rent for all ground occupied by cricketers and footballers." Press, Volume XLV, Issue 7153, 14 September 1888, Page 3 "CRICKET NOTES. [By O. U. T.] Now that the season of 1888 is near at hand, perhaps a few words as to its prospects will not be out of place. I don't think that any previous cricket season in Canterbury has borne at its commencement such a poor outlook for the game as the present one.
There are various reasons to assign for this, one being the continued depression, which has had the effect of causing some of our knights of the willow to seek fresh fields and pastures new, and another, (which cannot but be regarded as a serious one to the clubs concerned) the levying by the Domain Board of a sum of £2 per acre per annum, on clubs using any portion of Hagley Park. There is also another reason— a vital one— for the poor outlook. I refer to the financial condition of some of our clubs, and when these items are taken into consideration, I think there is some ground for saying that the prospects for the present season are anything but bright.
In regard to the first mentioned cause there need not be much anxiety, as there is still an amount of enthusiasm in the game felt by our junior players, which can be turned to good account if facilities are granted, whereby they can put that enthusiasm to the practical test, and thus we will be able to fill up the vacancies. The second one is not so easily got over. There is no doubt the rental will be a heavy drain on the clubs playing on the top ground, as they, in some instances, find it more than they can do now to keep on the right side of the ledger, and this increase of liability staring them in the face at the commencement of the season will have the effect of damping the spirits of those who have the interests of the clubs at heart.
I believe the Domain Board have been forced into demanding this rental by Government withdrawing the subsidy to that body. Whether that be the case or not, the matter cannot but be looked at in the light of an increased tax on the privilege of playing a healthful game on a park set aside for the purpose of Public recreation, and no doubt when it becomes publicly known that the Domain Board have been compelled to take these steps by the action of the Government, something more will be said on the subject by those who deem that the cricketers playing on Hagley Park are already taxed enough without the imposition of a heavy rental.
Since the privilege was first granted to our cricketers to play on Hagley Park, a deal of money has been expended in improving the turf, employing labour for keeping it in good order, and the purchase of the requisite plant, besides the erection of buildings, &c, and now when all this has been accomplished, the recompense they get is an order to pay an annual rental of £2 per acre, something like 30s more than the lessees of the unimproved portion of the Park pay for the privilege of grazing sheep. The increase in the tax on recreation on a public ground will have an evil effect on the game of cricket, perhaps with the result of driving it off the ground which the founders of the province set apart for it to be played on.
At the present juncture especially is this
70 levy ill-timed, as in some instances the clubs affected by it cannot well afford to pay it, and we must not be surprised to hear, if the demand is persisted in, of great alterations on the top ground. The cause of the financial difficulties of some of our clubs is worthy of consideration by some of their members. At the last annual meeting of the Canterbury Cricket Association, it was found necessary to pass a resolution whereby the Association was to have some control over defaulting members. I think this resolution is pretty well understood by most cricketers, and I would advise those are within its pale to pay due respect to it, if they wish to play in any of the games under Association rules.
As I understand that secretaries of the different clubs intend to take prompt action in reference to last season's defaulters. The embarrassments of some of our clubs are solely due to the unwillingness on the part of some cricketers to pay their subscriptions. It is not to be expected that those members will always be allowed to play cricket for nothing, and the sooner this fact is pointed out to them in a strong manner the better it will be for the game generally — and clubs in particular. In spite of the present outlook it is generally to be hoped that members of the various clubs will strive to make the coming season a success.
Under the new arrangement with the Lancaster Park Company, the club playing on that ground commences this season with very good prospects, and have a surplus on last year's transactions. I have not been able to find out how the United Club stand in regard to its finances, but I believe they are sound enough. The Midlanders, l am sorry to say, will have a big deficit to face. I trust the members will not be disheartened at this, but that they will keep together and put their shoulders to the wheel, and see what can be done by a little energy on their part, and a judicious selection of officers.
The concert held lately in aid of the funds of the club will, I believe, result in a profit of something like £10, and, although not so large as one would wish, no doubt it will prove acceptable. The Addington Club also got into difficulties, but thanks to the patriotism of some of its members, things will be placed on a sound footing to start the season. This has been managed by the formation of what in these days may be termed a syndicate, who pay off all liabilities and run the club until such time the present debt is repaid. This is an admirable arrangement under the circumstances, and let us hope that the action of the syndicate who have so generously stepped in, perhaps to save the club, will meet with due reward .
" Press, Volume XLVI, Issue 7358, 10 July 1889, Page 6 "ADDINGTON CRICKET CLUB A special general meeting of the above Club was held last evening at Warner's Hotel..... .....the nature of the business, which was to take into consideration the recommendation of the Committee of the Club in reference to the proposals made by the Hagley Park Ground Committee for the Addington Club to play during the coming season on the old Association ground. The Chairman said the Committee reported in a favorable manner as to the proposal,
71 and recommended that arrangements be entered into to carry it into effect. This step has been mainly brought about by the action of the Domain Board charging Clubs playing on Hagley Park an annual rental of £2 per acre, which has proved a great drawback to the Clubs interested, and he deemed it desirable in the interest of the Addington Club to accept the proposals. At present they were in a sound condition as regards finances, but if they continued to occupy their present ground under the heavy rental, it was not to be expected that they would come out at the end of next season in the same state.
The proposal of the Hagley Park Ground Committee was that the Addington Club should occupy that portion of the ground lately vacated by the College, and have the services of the caretaker and the use of the U.C.C. pavilion for the sum of £25 per annum.
After some discussion on the matter it was proposed by Mr CAYGILL and seconded by Mr MCMURRAY, "That the recommendation of the Committee be agreed to and that arrangements be at once made for the Addington Cricket Club occupying next season a portion of the Association ground," which was carried." Star , Issue 6656, 23 September 1889, Page 4 "The annual meeting of the Addington Cricket Club was held at Warner's Hotel on Saturday night..... .....Since the close of last season the Club has made arrangements for leaving its present ground, and making its ground on what is known as the old ground.
It is with great regret that this step has been taken. The ground was first taken up by the Club some years ago. It was rough, unformed, and like the rest of the Park, a mere sheep walk. By dint of great sacrifices and exertions, and no little generosity from some, sufficient money was raised to lay it down as a cricket ground, and from year to year to add reclamations from the wilderness, and make various improvements. But with additional expenses imposed upon the Club, the question has become whether we should sink under the burden of the ground, or sever the old associations and seek a home elsewhere.
The Ground Committee of the Hagley Park ground offered us a location on very reasonable terms, and the Club, at a special meeting, endorsed the recommendation of your Committee that those terms be accepted. The Club, therefore, will have a new home for the coming season, but your Committee are confident that the new arrangement will afford the means of better cricket to all the members, and will relieve the officers from the financial embarrassments under which the Club has latterly laboured." Star , Issue 4746, 11 September 1893, Page 3 "The annual meeting of the Addington Cricket Club was held at Inglis' Buildings on Saturday evening.....
.....The report also stated that the Committee had been negotiating for the use of Lancaster Park for this season's play. An offer of £20 had been made by the Lancaster Park Company for
72 the use of the ground, and a recommendation was made that the offer should be accepted." Press, Volume LI, Issue 8906, 24 September 1894, Page 6 "The annual meeting of the Addington Cricket Club was held in Inglis' buildings..... .....the finances also were in a better condition than last year, and in view of the Club's return to the old ground, it was anticipated that the ensuing season would be a very successful one.
" It can be seen from the several quotes above that the costs associated with a home ground were not cheap. Some things never change. It appears that Addington migrated several times, from the Sydenham Recreation Reserve (now known as Addington Park) to the lower ground in Hagley Park roughly opposite St Asaph Street and the present Hagley Community College, to the old cricket ground (Hagley Oval), to Lancaster Park for a season (I think), back to the old cricket ground (at Hagley Oval), and then to Sydenham Park when it combined with the Sydenham Cricket Club in 1895.
I feel that the sudden availability of Sydenham Park as a public recreation reserve in 1894 must have been one of the prime motivations for the Sydenham Cricket Club to be formed soon after in early 1895. Other sports such as football (rugby) and hockey zeroed in on the park as well and of course it must have been one of the factors encouraging the Addington Cricket Club to join with Sydenham. By 1895 Addington had been having membership, money and ground problems on and off but had enjoyed senior status for eleven consecutive seasons from 1882-83 to 1892-93. For the 1993-94 and 1894-95 seasons Addington did not have a team representing it in the Senior Cup, playing its top team in the Junior Cup instead.
The Warehousemens' club, formed in 1892, had been playing in the Senior Cup for three seasons from 1892-93 to 1894-95 but disbanded after the latter season leaving a bye in the Senior Cup if their position wasn't filled. With Sydenham having gained access to Sydenham Park, and given Addington's previous record as a senior club, Rev Leonard ISITT's suggestion in 1895 that Addington should join forces with Sydenham proved to be a win-win result for both parties with the new combination entering the Senior Cup for the 1895-96 season. Various sports clubs, including the first two Sydenham Cricket Clubs formed in 1877 and 1882, had applied in earlier years to the Agricultural & Pastoral Association to use their 14 acre Show Ground in Sydenham for practice and matches, but access was not obtained easily because the Agricultural & Pastoral Association was understandably protective of its greatest asset due to the potential for damage to be done to it, plus did not want the ground to become thought of a public recreation area.
In 1893 a bill was presented to the House of Representatives to allow the Agricultural & Pastoral Association to sell their 14 acre old Show Ground at Sydenham, via an Art Union
73 lottery, to help pay for their new 33 acre show ground at Addington on the basis that for some years they had been unable to sell the land privately despite drastically lowering their price by a third from £6000 to £4000. Feeling that it would be too high a sum with which to burden their ratepayers the Sydenham Borough Council had not made an offer for the land but had been pressing the government to buy the land for a recreation reserve.
If the bill was passed then the stated intention of the Agricultural & Pastoral Association was to dispose of the land via the Art Union lottery as quarter acre sections for residential purposes, and so the chance to have a wonderful public recreation reserve in the heart of Sydenham Borough would be lost. The speculative nature of the lottery (gambling) was the drawback for many parliamentarians plus the bill was seen as the thin end of a wedge that would open the gates to a flood of requests for such lotteries. Despite that, the second reading of the bill was moved and after a lengthy debate the motion was passed, so that the danger of losing the ground to residential development was severely increased.
After further urgent approaches by Sydenham Borough representatives, who hurriedly travelled to Wellington, the Government induced the House to pass a vote allowing negotiations to proceed between the Government, the Agricultural & Pastoral Association and the Sydenham Borough Council for the purchase of the land. The land was bought from the Agricultural & Pastoral Association in 1894 for £4000 and it became the desired recreation reserve, Sydenham Park. The government contributed £2000 and the Sydenham Borough Council raised a loan for £2000.
Star , Issue 4907, 24 March 1894, Page 4 "THE OLD SHOW GROUNDS The Sale Arranged A general meeting of the members of the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association was held this morning for the purpose of completing the sale of the old Show Ground at Sydenham as a recreation reserve. Mr A. E. G. Rhodes (president) occupied the chair, and there were thirty eight members present. The Chairman, having explained the terms upon which the land was being parted with, the Hon J. Peacock moved— "That the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association will sell to Her Majesty the Queen that piece of land situated in the Borough of Sydenham containing fourteen acres or thereabouts known as the Old Show Ground, for the sum of £4000, as the said land is not suitable for the purposes of the Association ; and the members present at this meeting hereby request Joseph Palmer, Esq., and John Studholme, Esq., trustees on behalf of the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association, by virtue of a certain deed of conveyance, dated July 14, 1863, to join in the said sale and also in the conveyance, transfer or other assurance of the said sale of land for the purpose of vesting the same in her Majesty the Queen as a public reserve under the Public Reserves Act, 1881, and the Acts amending the same, as a recreation ground for the inhabitants of the Borough of Sydenham.
This was seconded by the Hon C. O. Bowen, and agreed to. The President and Secretary were
74 authorised to sign the necessary documents on behalf of the Association. The meeting then closed." A. E. G. RHODES (Arthur Edgar Gravenor RHODES), the president of the Agricultural and Pastoral Association in the item above, was also a vice-president of the Addington Cricket Club at the time and had been so since 1886. Like E. C. J. STEVENS he was a member of the House of Representatives and a powerful figure in cricket and business circles, not to mention football (rugby). In fact, as well as RHODES and STEVENS, the Addington Cricket Club had many more powerful persons in its vice-presidential ranks over the years including W.
P. REEVES (William Pember REEVES), the publisher and member of the House of Representatives who was another top cricketer; also Sydenham mayors including William WHITE, Jun., another member of the House of Representatives , G. T. BOOTH (George Thomas BOOTH), B. P. MANHIRE (Bethel Prinn MANHIRE), and J. B. SIM (James Buchan SIM); and also Rev L. M. ISITT who was later elected to the House of Representatives for Christchurch North in the by election of 1911 after the death of Tommy TAYLOR. Mind you, a vice-presidency was more of an honorary position and a fund raiser for clubs who expected a financial contribution from the person concerned.
At one stage Sydenham & Addington United had 17 vice-presidents which represented a lot of dosh for the club. RHODES, STEVENS and REEVES were all vice presidents of more than one club at the same time, sometimes of quite a few, especially W. P. REEVES. At one stage all three were vice-presidents of Addington while all three were actually playing for Lancaster Park. W. H. WINSOR who helped to keep the Sydenham club afloat financially during the Great War from his own pocket died in office in 1936 as the Sydenham club's president of some years. He was a councillor for the Spreydon Borough and in 1915 became Mayor of Spreydon until he stood down in 1919, then later was a Christchurch City councillor.
He became secretary of the New Zealand Cricket Council. The Winsor Cup is named after him. Like me many of you will have noticed the gates at each end of Barrington Park but not thought much about them. Billy WINSOR donated the gates and their construction some years after his stint with the Spreydon borough. The stone columns of the gates have metal plaques bearing witness to his donation. Apparently Billy WINSOR had probably the best collection of cricket statistics and memorabilia in New Zealand.
Press, Volume LXI, Issue 11978, 2 September 1904, Page 4 "The Sydenham and Addington Cricket Club took a stand last evening against the practice of athletic clubs of a large number of vice-presidents. Last year the club had seventeen vice-presidents, a number which is not unusually large, but it was decided at the annual meeting last evening to reduce the number to eight. One member characterised the practice of electing a large number of vice-presidents as "guinea hunting," and said that the gentlemen elected did not like it, but, felt obliged to subscribe their guinea. One member went so far as to propose that
75 the number should be reduced to three, but the treasurer had something to say on the financial aspect of the question, and pointed out that the subscriptions of the vice presidents were necessary for the funds of the club." Anyone who checks out the early days of Sydenham will come across the name Newtown or New Town which is how the area was known before it was called Sydenham. Charles ALLISON, who became the borough clerk, advocated that the new local body to be formed in the area be called the Sydenham Borough, named after Charles Prince’ s crockery and china shop on Colombo Street called "Sydenham House".
The crockery shop, in turn, was named after the London suburb of Sydenham in the Borough of Lewisham.
Sydenham Borough, established in 1877, was supportive of sports clubs in its jurisdiction including the first Sydenham Cricket club formed in the same year. Sometimes cricket club meetings were held in the council chambers including the first meeting of the first Sydenham club 1877-1881. It helped that Sydenham cricketers were members of the Sydenham Borough Council from time to time. In 1882 the Sydenham Mayor, Mr J. JOYCE (John JOYCE), chaired the first meeting of the second Sydenham Cricket Club 1882-1888 at which he was elected President. George BOOTH, the first Mayor of Sydenham in 1877, was the father of G.
T. BOOTH, Mayor of Sydenham 1890-91, who was a member of the Christchurch Cricket Club in 1879 (the renamed Oak Leafs), the Addington Cricket Club and the Sydenham & Addington United Cricket Club. B. P. MANHIRE and J. B. SIM were Vice-Presidents of Sydenham & Addington while they were mayors of Sydenham. The Sydenham mayor, J. BROWN (John BROWN), chaired the first meeting at the Sydenham Chambers of those interested in the formation of the new Sydenham Cricket Club in 1895, and later that year at the first AGM became patron of the amalgamation club, Sydenham & Addington United. The latter's father, J.
T. BROWN (John Thomas BROWN), the second Mayor of Sydenham, was a Vice-President of Addington in 1891-92 and of Sydenham & Addington in 1907-08 and 1914-15. J. BROWN was Vice-President for a few more seasons for Addington after 1891-92 and then for some seasons for Sydenham & Addington but it is not clear if he was the father or the son, however it was definitely the son J. BROWN who as mayor became Patron of Sydenham & Addington in 1895. N. K. BOWDEN (Nicholas Knight BOWDEN), another Sydenham mayor, became the Patron of Sydenham & Addington United in 1897 followed by J. FORRESTER (James FORRESTER) in 1898 when he became mayor, followed by J.
HADFIELD (John HADFIELD) in 1899 when he became mayor.
The cycle of incumbent Sydenham mayors as patrons of Sydenham & Addington United was broken by John HOPPER the ex-president who became patron during a lengthy stint, including the change to district cricket, that lasted until 1913-14 with Sydenham and was ended only by his death in June 1914. HOPPER, while president of Addington, was a Sydenham Borough councillor at the height of the prohibitionist struggle for control of the Sydenham licensing
76 committee in 1891. J.A. CAYGILL, stalwart of Hagley Oak Leaf/Christchurch, of Addington and of Sydenham & Addington United, was a member of Addington and a Sydenham Borough councillor when the move was made to form the Sydenham Cricket Club in 1895.
It was he who moved the motion at a Sydenham Borough Council meeting that granted access by the club to Sydenham Park. R. HALLEY (Russell HALLEY), who had a few games for Canterbury, was secretary of the new Sydenham Club in 1995 and then assistant secretary of Sydenham & Addington United a few months later, and in 1896 became a Sydenham Borough councillor. HALLEY had an interesting club career, playing successively for the Standard, Midland, Addington, Warehousemen, Sydenham, and Sydenham & Addington United clubs. He was also a player and administrator of the Merivale Football Club. T.E. TAYLOR (Tommy TAYLOR), the Sydenham mayor and member of the House of Representatives, at various times was a vice president of Addington, of Sydenham & Addington United and also of the Sydenham Rivals Cricket Club who were formed around 1898.
Some of the cricket administrators in Sydenham based clubs were heavily involved in the temperance movement. They include J. A. CAYGILL who was well entrenched in the upper echelons of the Sons of Temperance Order and became a Sydenham Borough councillor, J. HOPPER the perennial cricket club president who was a Sydenham Borough Councillor at the time of the saga recounted below, Rev L. M. ISITT the president of the Sydenham Prohibition League, and Tommy TAYLOR the secretary of the Sydenham Prohibition League. ISITT and HOPPER stood with three others in the famous Licensing Election in Sydenham of 1891 with an election pledge to shut down the bars of Sydenham: Press, Volume XLVIII, Issue 7832, 9 April 1891, Page 8 "TO THE RATEPAYERS OF SYDENHAM MEN AND WOMEN of the Borough of Sydenham,- We do not ask you to elect us to any enviable political position, but if is your will, we simply undertake to close the drinking bars in your Borough.
We have no personal interest to serve; indeed, so far as we are concerned, the position can only bring upon us the enmity of those whose financial interest we oppose. Believing, however, that the existence of eight drinking bars in your midst is a source of much poverty, evil, and suffering, and that their banishment would work great good to the Borough, we ask those of you who desire welfare of the many rather than the wealth of the few - who love your children and seek the good of humanity - to VOTE FOR US on FRIDAY, April the 10th. We are, ladies and gentlemen, Yours truly, ROBERT BEATTIE.
JOHN HOPPER. LEONARD M. ISITT. WILLIAM JAMES RUDD GEORGE J. SMITH."
77 Jas CAYGILL with 402 votes in the item below is not J. A. CAYGILL. Press, Volume XLVIII, Issue 7835, 11 April 1891, Page 5 "SYDENHAM, LICENSING ELECTION. Yesterday one of the keenest elections ever fought in the colony took place at Sydenham to decide the choice of a Licensing Committee for the ensuing three years. There were ten candidates in the field, five of whom were designated as moderates, or independent candidates, whose desire was to carry out the Licensing Act faithfully, and the other five were declared opponents to the sale of intoxicating drink, and intended, if elected, to close the eight hotels in Sydenham.
The moderate party were Messrs W. Langdown, James Caygill. John Hamilton, Wm Hoban, and Wm. White, senr.; and the prohibitionists Messrs Robt. Beattie, J. Hopper, W. J. Rudd, G. J. Smith, and Rev. L. M. Isitt. Those opposed to the sale of spirituous liquor had during the past twelve months been working actively in endeavoring to win converts to their views, and formed a Society known as the Sydenham Prohibition League, whose organ, the Prohibitionist, has been widely circulated. The President of the League, the Rev. L. M. Isitt, and Mr T. E. Taylor, Secretary, have worked very hard in canvassing.
The licensed victuallers had not been inactive, but, on the other hand, fought the way, inch by inch, so to speak, and though losing a point or two over the roll question had not given way, and had confidence in the result of the contest being in favor of their interests. Yesterday morning after the poll opened the vicinity of the Sydenham Borough Council Chamber was the scene of an animated throne. The prohibitionists, in response to the urgent request of their leaders, rolled up in full force in the early part of the day with the result that for two hours there was a complete block, and many persons who had been driven to the poll had to be taken away again as they could not wait.
Without doubt there should have been more than one polling booth, but the law, unfortunately, does not provide for it. After the crush in the morning was over there was a steady stream of voters till twelve o'clock, when there was another burst of activity, business men from the city and workmen from the large business places coming in large numbers. Though, as has been said, the prohibitionist party polled largely early in the day the other side had not been idle, and were apparently polling much heavier than their opponents in the middle of the day. Up to twelve o'clock about 500 votes had been polled, and, as both sides claimed a majority, it was fairly assumed that the voting was close.
The proceedings in the morning around the polling booth were very orderly, but both sides appeared to be working very keenly, and anxiously watched the state of affairs. Conveyances innumerable of all descriptions were busily engaged in carrying voters to and from the poll. Though it had been announced that the result would not be made known before about 11 p.m., a large crowd collected around the polling booth in the evening, and at 9 p.m. there must have been nearly 2000 persons standing about eagerly conversing and speculating upon the probable result of the poll. The result was known unofficially about half-past nine, but the majority for the prohibition party being so large, few
78 people were inclined to credit the figures. A few minutes before ten o'clock, however, the result was quietly posted up outside, and shortly afterwards the Returning Officer announced the result of the voting to be as follows:- Rev. L. M. Isitt 639 G.J. Smith 637 W.J. Rudd 635 J. Hopper 632 R. Beattie 624 W. White, sen 423 W. Langdown 420 J. Hamilton 412 W. Hoban 405 Jas. Caygill 402 Informal... 57 He, therefore, declared Messrs Isitt, Smith, Rudd, Hopper and Beattie duly elected. The result was received with enthusiastic cheering.
The result of the Local Option poll was given as under:— PUBLICANS LICENSES.
For 65 Against 208 NEW ZEALAND WINE LICENSES. For 64 Against 252 Informal votes 159 The Town Clerk said the number of votes polled was the largest in any election In Canterbury where there had been only one Returning Officer. In order to save time a great many persons had not used the Local Option voting papers. The ratepayers had that day distinguished themselves by polling the largest number of votes. Three cheers were then given for the Returning Officer and for the Rev. L. M. Isitt "for his pluck." The number of persons who came to the poll was 1122, out of 1530 whose names were on the roll.
Six hundred votes were polled by one o'clock, showing that the Returning Officer and his two poll clerks must have been kept exceedingly busy. They deserve credit for the manner in which they performed their arduous task. The large number of informal votes in the local option poll was either the result of voters no taking the trouble, or not knowing how to properly fill in the papers. The prohibitionists had six scrutineers to watch the proceedings on their behalf, and there were two on the other side. The large crowd present at the declaration of the poll was very orderly, and no demonstration beyond lusty cheering was indulged in.
A few youths bent on mischief threw a few stale eggs and other unsavory missiles during the evening. The result caused considerable surprise; for though the moderate party felt in the afternoon that the election was going against them, it was not anticipated that the majority would have been so
79 large." The new committee members of the prohibition persuasion, having thrashed their opponents in the poll, honoured their promise to shut down the bars of Sydenham by refusing to renew hotel licences. However, as one might imagine, this didn't go down well with their opposition in Sydenham and the case was taken to the Supreme Court which found against the committee. On appeal to the Privy Council the adverse judgement was confirmed with costs of some £700. Rev ISITT, released from active ministry in 1893, became a full-time prohibition campaigner. Many of you will see the irony in the fact that a loved modern nickname for Sydenham Park is Flagon Park from the days when we consumed huge flagons of beer in vast numbers lined up on clubroom tables groaning under their weight after matches.
I can personally vouch for the restorative powers of the said flagons after a long stint at the bowling crease on a hot nor'west day. CAYGILL, ISITT, HOPPER and TAYLOR must be spinning in their graves. If anyone wants to check, CAYGILL is buried in Sydenham cemetery, ISITT is buried in Linwood cemetery, and HOPPER and TAYLOR are buried in Addington cemetery. Sadly, CAYGILL's monument was bowled over by the recent earthquakes and lies broken on the ground. I research a lot of family history and have done so since the mid-1980s, so forgive my use of the ancestral theme in lots of the above. It was family history research that led me to realise a few years ago that our long time Sydenham club servant and life member Paul MCKENZIE and I are related because we share the same ancestors, namely Arthur FARNEY & Margaret WATT, who settled in Christchurch from Aberdeenshire Scotland, arriving at Lyttelton on the ship MATOAKA in 1860.
I descend from their grand-daughter, Mary FARNEY, who arrived with them, Mary's mother being their eldest daughter, Barbara FARNEY. Paul descends from Barbara's youngest sister, Catherine Keith FARNEY, whose granddaughter, Alice WILSON, married one of Sydenham's most famous sons, the Canterbury and New Zealand captain, Billy PATRICK, grandfather of Paul MCKENZIE. I recall that much was made of the link between Billy PATRICK and Paul at the 1995 reunion. A daughter of Catherine Keith FARNEY married Samuel Dixon BESLEY who played for Sydenham and whose grandson Malcolm BESLEY was a player and treasurer at Sydenham in the years before I joined the club.
Malcolm, who also attended the 1995 reunion, passed away in 2007.
This article and ones to follow come about due to the above family history because, in response to a recent email from an enquirer who had last contacted me in 2000, it was while I was looking at a mid-1880s item at Papers Past about a chap in Christchurch called BESLEY that I encountered an item next to it regarding the Sydenham Cricket Club. What? How can that be? I attended the 1995 reunion implying an 1895 start for the club, so how come I encountered the name Sydenham Cricket Club years before? I soon found more such items even earlier and
80 when I hunted for later items to try to sort things out, I came across more food for thought regarding the Addington and the Hagley Oakleaf clubs.
A side benefit of my searches is that I encountered many more topics of cricketing interest, not just ones related to our club history. In future articles, as time permits, I will present more detailed information to be found in newspaper items at Papers Past concerning the stories above plus other matters. My aim in this introduction has been to give a framework for the articles to eventually follow which in most instances will largely consist of newspaper items presented in chronological order. The level of detail in a number of the future articles will seem at first glance to be overwhelming but those who persevere with them will find many gems and details of interest amid the dryer stuff if they hurry on through them.
The chronological format is necessary so that developments can be followed without confusion on the part of the reader.
To be honest, the items will tell the stories themselves with little help from me, so feel free to anticipate my endeavours by delving into Papers Past yourselves. It is a superb website and I guarantee that you will find yourselves straying into other fields besides cricket ones. For the history or family history buffs amongst you it is an incredible resource.