The Hurlingham Club
|Full name||The Hurlingham Club|
|Club colors|| |
(White, Turquoise Blue)
|Activities||Backgammon, Bridge, Bowls, Chess, Cricket, Croquet, Skittles, Squash, Tennis|
The Hurlingham Club is an exclusive sports and social club located in Fulham, London, England. It has a Georgian clubhouse set in 42 acres (17 ha) of grounds. It is a member of The Association of London Clubs.
The Gun Club was formed in 1860 at the Hornsey Wood Tavern which stood in what today is Finsbury Park in Harringay, London The creation of the park in 1867 forced a relocation and Frank Heathcote received the permission of Richard Naylor to promote live pigeon shooting at his Hurlingham estate. His next step was the formation of the Hurlingham Club for this purpose and 'as an agreeable country resort'. The club leased the estate from Naylor in 1869 and in 1874 acquired the land outright for £27,500. The pigeon today forms part of the club's crest. Until 1905, clouds of pigeons were released in the summer from an enclosure near what is now a tennis pavilion.
The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), an early patron, was a keen shot and his presence ensured the club's status and notability from the beginning. The current patron is HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
In 1873, the club published the rules of polo, which are still followed by most of the world to this day. Polo was first played at the club on 6 June 1874. On 18 July 1878, the club along with Ranelagh became the first to play a sports match under floodlights. In 1886, the club hosted the first international polo match between England and the United States. The polo matches for the 1908 Summer Olympics were played at Hurlingham. Three teams entered: Hurlingham, Roehampton Club, and a combined British and Irish team. Roehampton won.
The Westchester Cup was played at the club in 1900, 1902, 1909, 1921 and 1936. Before the Second World War, Hurlingham was the headquarters of British polo. The governing body of British polo is called the Hurlingham Polo Association. However polo is no longer staged at Hurlingham after the size of the club was significantly reduced after the war when the polo fields were compulsorily purchased to build council housing (the Sullivan Estate). The Guards Polo Club in Windsor Great Park has succeeded to the status of the leading British polo club.
There is a nine-hole par 3 golf course which is open in winter months
Hurlingham has been at the centre of world croquet for many years. The Croquet Association had its headquarters in the club from 1959 to 2002. Top-ranking international competitions are regularly held on the lawns, at one time the finest in the country, though the CA headquarters have since relocated to the Cheltenham Croquet Club.
Other sports and events
Other sports include lawn tennis, cricket, bowls, skittles, squash and swimming (with both indoor and outdoor pools) as well as fitness facilities and a gymnasium. Games such as bridge, backgammon and chess are popular indoor pursuits. The club has also hosted the Grand Prix Ball and the Concours d'Elegance.
Members must be proposed and seconded by two current full members of the club. There is currently[when?] a thirty-year waiting list for membership, but children of current members are given preference when vacancies do arise.
The club's membership is closed.
The club currently has around 13,000 members – of which around 6,000 have full voting rights.
Lord Fowler, Lord Temple-Morris, Adam Raphael, the Carry On actress Liz Fraser, novelist and peer Jeffrey Archer, the actor Trevor Eve and his wife Sharon Maughan are all members of the Hurlingham Club. Past members include Walter Buckmaster and Air Vice-Marshal Sir William Cushion.
- The Hurlingham Club, 1869–1953, by Henry Taprell Dorling (1953)
- Pigeons, Polo, and Other Pastimes: A History of the Hurlingham Club, by Nigel Miskin (2000)
- "World's Most Exclusive Private Members' Clubs: Hurlingham Club, London" at Casino Man.net Archived 27 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine, 17 December 2009
- Beastly London: A History of Animals in the City, Hannah Velten, Reaktion Books 2013
- Albert William Money, Pigeon shooting: With instructions for beginners and suggestions for those who participate in the sport of pigeon shooting, Shooting and fishing publishing company, 1896, p. 99
- John Lowerson, Sport and the English Middle Classes, 1870–1914, Manchester University Press, 1995, p. 40 
- Laffaye, Horace A. (2012). Polo in Britain: A History. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. pp. 47–50. ISBN 9780786465118.
- Edward Darley Miller, Modern Polo, Hurst and Blackett, 1902, p. 333
- Thomas Francis Dale, Polo past and present, Offices of Country Life, 1905, p. 24
- T. B. Drybrough, Polo, Longmans, Green, 1906, p. 1
- Mike Huggins, The Victorians And Sport, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004, p. 25 
- Inglis, Simon (2014). Played in London. Swindon: English Heritage. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-84802-057-3.
- George B. Kirsch, Othello Harris, Claire Elaine Nolte, Encyclopedia of Ethnicity and Sports in the United States, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000, p. 147 
- 1908 Summer Olympics official report. p. 232.
- Debrett's, Debrett's guide to Britain: where to go and what to see, Putnam, 1983, p. 131 
- "The Grand Prix Ball". GP Management. 3 June 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- "Concours D'Elegance". Searcys. 3 June 2010. Archived from the original on 18 March 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- "The Hurlingham Club, Membership". Hurlingham Club. 21 October 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015.