Claremont Croquet Club

Founded 1906

Club colours Brown and Gold

Claremont club featured many of the movers and shakers of the sport in the 20’s and 30’s but had little success in pennants competition, winning its only A grade title in 1938.

Reproduced with permission from State Library of WA 009577PD & 009578PD

Other success was limited also, B grade in 1910, 1916, 1926 and A2 1931.

Claremont is most famous for the so called Claremont dispute, the Bowling club reacted to a build up of small issues by expelling the croquet members in 1938. The council responded by asking the Governor to suspend the Bowling club lease but settled instead for a committee to look into and resolve the issues. It was hoped to bring the two clubs back together. 

The issues that had brought on this rift revolved around the croquet ladies being less active in supporting bowling club events, they had been previously expected to assist with catering and functions as part of the offset on the courts being kept to a standard.

Other issues included non ratepayers being members of the club.

The bowling club is further upset by the Town Clerk writing them an inflammatory letter.

The mayor was placed in a very difficult position as his wife had been the Croquet Club President until her death in December of 1938. A vote of no confidence was put forward but the meeting was closed down before it could be taken.

Eventually a compromise of sorts is reached and the Croquet is accepted back, but this is found to be a breach of the Bowls club rules as a ballot for each membership was not held. It’s further pointed out that the Croquet club ladies have in fact been signed in as guests not members for 20 years !

After the ballot 20 members are accepted, 8 are barred and 7 have lost interest or passed away during the dispute. These 20 members now miffed about the barring of their fellow members choose not to use the venue.

The council responds by fencing off part of the park for 3 years, so that the croquet may continue separate from the bowls club, this infuriates some ratepayers who have lost part of the children’s playground. The result is screws, nails and pieces of road metal are scattered on the lawn to stop mowing and maintenance !

The bowling club also attempts to start and affiliate rival croquet clubs, firstly as the Claremont Recreation Club ( 1939 ) then as the Bayview Croquet Club ( 1940-41 ), these are rejected by the state Croquet Association.

Things seem to calm down just a bit as the war wears on, then in 1946 the nearby Tennis club is relocated and Croquet moves there briefly before disbanding in 1953.

Modern day usage of park adjoining Claremont Bowls Club (21st June 2022) Martin Clarke.

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