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Related Links
Biography: Horace Grocott
Oral History: Bicycles
Oral History: Scouts
Photograph: Playground and Hydro today

Leisure: Pastimes and Hobbies

The growth of the forty hour working week not only promoted sports but also other pastimes of all descriptions. South Dunedin residents joined clubs and societies and also spent leisure their in numerous physical pursuits.

Women CyclistsThese keen lady cyclists - 'Mrs. Wishart and a friend' - are riding an unusual 'double bicycle' at the Milton Fair about 1900. (Hocken Library - Uare Taoka O Hakena, University of Otago)

GymnasticsThe Caversham Gymnastics Club's team photographed in 1909 at the height of the international physical culture movement which emphasised male fitness, agility, flexibility and strength. (Hocken Library - Uare Taoka O Hakena, University of Otago)

Caversham Bowls CLubBowls enjoyed great popularity in Caversham from the 1890s onwards and the Caversham Club built a large club house on David Street. Men played bowls after they married and so did their wives. Outstanding performers, such as J.H. Hancock, may not have excited the young or those who could not afford the clothes and the bowls, but they enjoyed considerable status among the 'middling folk'. This photo was taken about 1920. (Hocken Library - Uare Taoka O Hakena, University of Otago)

PlaygroundWith fewer children per family, more attentionwas paid to their needs and wants. Playgrounds for small children wereset up all over the Flat in the 1920s - like this one opposite the 'Hydro' on St Clair Esplanade. Organisations to channel children's play in socially useful directions - such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides - also appeared. The first New Zealand branch of the Boys Brigade was organised by Horace Grocott and Caversham Baptists in 1926. (Otago Settlers Museum Collection)

St Clair BeachThe long beaches at St Clair and St Kilda were the playgrounds of the southern suburbs. People flocked to the seaside on summer weekends and public holidays. In the 1890s 'decency' laws prohibited bodily exposure. Swimmers were restricted to the St Clair baths, where men and women bathed at separate times. By the 1930s such modesty had disappeared. Men and women swam and sunbathed together while beauty contests were the latest fashion at the beach. (Otago Settlers Museum Collection)

ByLawPart of the by-laws as applied to bathers at St Clair beach in 1916. It was acceptable for children under ten to bath naked, however, both males and females over ten years of age had to be almost completely clothed - a near reversal of what is acceptable today. (Dunedin City Council Archives)


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