All sports and sporting organisations have a history to tell about how they were established and developed.  These stories will often capture individuals and events that have contributed to the history of a particular sport; in our case croquet.

With so much information at our fingertips, here are some tips to help you with your croquet history research.

  • Start by doing a Google search for what you are interested in. The National Library of Australia’s “Trove” is the best place to start. It has a lot of digitised material from the earliest newspaper records until around 1954, with more newspapers being added.
  • Club and association minute books are an invaluable source of information, but be prepared to decipher some tricky handwriting if they still exist.
  • Check National and state websites, the work may have already been done for you.
  • Club honour boards are useful but can be historically inaccurate if not updated regularly.
  • Female croquet player searches, remember that back in the day the convention was “Mrs {the man’s initials} last name,” unless a Miss or the husband was deceased, then the correct initial may start to appear.
  • Club photos can occasionally provide details through the image, check for notes on the back or accompanying the photo.
  • Published histories such as Joyce Ridley’s excellent “History of Croquet in Victoria” or Max Hooper’s “Croquet History mainly Australia, especially New South Wales” are excellent and may reference other works.
  • Search State Libraries for donated collections.
  • Gazettes and state newsletters such as “Hoop Points” in South Australia, old how-to-play-the-game books, and an excellent British publication called “Townsend’s Croquet Almanack” can provide unexpected details.
  • Regional Historical Societies, Heritage Listing sites, and Facebook Lost town sites like Lost Pingelly can also be useful.

Good luck with your search, and if you find anything interesting, let us know by emailing!