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Croquet was introduced into England at the Great Exhibition of 1851, but I believe the actual game started in Ireland?
The RCC was established in 1914 by Mrs. Garlick, Mrs. Jagger and Mrs. Plant the opening ceremony was performed by the then mayor of Cape Town, Mr. Parker.
What was it like in Cape Town at that time in 1914?
The First World War commenced at this particular time, ending in 1918 with 8.5 million being killed and 21 million wounded and maimed for life.
You could then only travel the globe by sea. Passenger steamers were driven by dirty coal burning boilers; diesel was not brought into ships until the middle 1930’s
In Cape Town, – take a look at this photograph of Adderly Street at the time of 1910! Where you will recognise Stuttafords, Markhams, Garlicks, Standard Bank, trams, horse drawn carriages and well dressed people!
Certainly there were no passenger aircraft existing at that time and cars were only just being developed.
The RCC is now reputed to be the oldest surviving croquet club in South Africa.
Croquet had been played in the Western Province during the 1860’s and by 1911 there was sufficient interest for the South African Croquet Championships, to be held at the Newlands Western Province Cricket Grounds in Cape Town.
There were slightly older croquet clubs at that time, namely Strand, Paarl, Stellenbosch, Malmesbury, Simons Town and Pinelands – but none of these survived. In 1950, the RCC was then the only surviving croquet club left in the Western Province!
Ian Gillespie as President, rekindled enthusiasm at the RCC in1956 and he also arranged to establish croquet at the Kelvin Grove Club.
Dilys Hobbs was the RCC President from 1968 to 1990, some twenty two years!
Andy Knox 1990-1998
Neal Jackson 2000-2004 He personally arranged for irrigation to be installed at the RCC.
Carol Jackson was highly involved at the RCC for many years and was the main instigator for bringing the World Cup to Cape Town.
In 1978 Reginald Bamford was at school at the nearby Bishops School and with his father, took up croquet at the RCC. Reg has gone onto win many major South African and International Championships. He is now considered to be one of the most accomplished players in international Croquet History and was recently honoured by being elected to the World Croquet Federations Hall of Fame!