History of the club

Tyneside Croquet Club was formed on 9th November 1983 by a group of enthusiastic people who met at the Collier Managers’ offices in Gateshead. After searching for suitable lawns, play started on 6th May 1984 using a single bowling green in Smiths Park, North Shields. After a successful open day, new members were very keen to develop their skills playing Association Croquet and swiftly got playing in tournaments culminating in winning the Longman Cup down in Nottingham at their first attempt in 1985.

Due to difficulties in the park suffering damage by vandals, the club moved to Churchill Playing Fields in 1986 but by the end of 1987 it was deemed that these lawns were unfit for croquet and after searching the area, suitable lawns were made available in Newcastle University sports ground in Cochrane Park where the club moved to in 1988. Whilst this proved initially to be good playing lawns, there were no facilities to store our equipment. A couple of beach chalets from Whitley Bay were purchased and erected at the side of one of the lawns which served to house equipment and be a mini pavilion. With no running water or electricity it was a daily task to collect water from the University toilets and a paraffin stove served to heat water for tea, etc. The lawns quickly became poor for Association Croquet and the rent was increasing yearly from £400 in 1989 to £750 in 1994 and was forecast to increase to £1400 by 1997. About this time, the North East Croquet Federation (later to become Croquet North) had produced a 4 year development plan which was circulated to local councils in the area. Newcastle replied offering 2 vacant bowling greens in Exhibition Park which also included a pavilion for an initial rent of £150 per annum. Following the AGM in 1997 it was decided to move into Exhibition Park for the start of the 1998 season.