Saturday, April 18, 2009

Christchurch Cycling Craze #6 - Cycling Sydenham Rugby Club 1900s

photo by Adam MacLay. Alexander Turnbull Library

By the early 1900s, cycles and their cyclists were everywhere. A couple of Super 14 squads worth of men & boys stand outside the Sydenham Football Club Hall displaying their cycles before, perhaps, retiring inside for a few beverages. Mr CH will be along shortly to help out with an exact street location! Hastings Street? (And probably to tell me Sydenham was dry then - which will truly astound me).

Or per chance, the lads were about to play a game of cycle rugby with a half time show by the bicycling band?

And should push-bike power fail to budge an immovable object, the trusty steam traction engine could be prevailed upon to haul the Oddfellows Hall from its Lichfield Street location in the central city to a site 3/4 of a mile away in Sydenham in 1903. Skids rather than trollies were used under the Hall as they didn't want to unnecessarily raise its height and snag the telegraph lines overhead.

The Weekly Press, 25 Nov. 1903, p. 45
Christchurch City Libraries

A small child on a tricycle provides an attentive audience and managerial supervision.


Canterbury Heritage said...

To the design of the renowned architect William Barnett Armson (1834-83), the second Oddfellows hall of 1872 was originally situated next to the third fire station, on the south side of Lichfield Street about halfway between Colombo and Manchester Streets.

In turn of the century photographs, the clubrooms of the 1882 Sydenham Football Club are situated on the north side of Hastings Street near to Colombo Street and Sydenham Park.

Sydenham was certainly a dry borough in an era of Puritan zeal. The ardent prohibitionist Member of Parliament Tommy Taylor (1862-1911), long associated with the Sydenham Temperance movement, became the most popular Mayor that Christchurch has ever elected. In spite of the cold and driving rain nearly 50,000 people attended his funeral.

Jayne said...

Crikey, the things you do for a spot of entertainment! :P

Heard a fab old Aussie/Kiwi song just now, waiting for the radio show to upload it, think it's called "The marriage of The Great South Land and The Land of the Long white Cloud" or some such, about the ANZACS, of course.