The Hurlingham Club
The Hurlingham Club is an exclusive sports and social club located in Fulham, London, England. It has a Georgian clubhouse set in Template:Convert of grounds. It is a member of The Association of London Clubs.
In 1867 Frank Heathcote received the permission of Richard Naylor to promote clay pigeon shooting matches 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.<ref name="laffaye">Template:Cite book</ref> 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.<ref name="laffaye"/> Polo was first played at the club on 6 June 1874.<ref name="laffaye"/> 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, and a combined British and Irish team. Roehampton won. The Westchester Cup was played at the club in 1900, 1902, 1909, 1921 and 1936.<ref name="laffaye"/> Before the Second World War, Hurlingham was the headquarters of British polo. The governing body of British polo is called the Hurlingham Polo Association.<ref name="laffaye"/> 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).<ref name="laffaye"/> The Guards Polo Club in Windsor Great Park has succeeded to the status of the leading British polo club.
There is a nine-hole golf course.
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 a ten year waiting list for membership but children of current members are given preference when vacancies do arise.
The top 1,400 candidates on the waiting list are offered temporary off-peak membership. In 2008, some of those offered this level of membership had waited nine years.
The club currently has more than 10,000 members.
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. In 2011, Charles Nall-Cain, 3rd Baron Brocket was refused renewal of membership owing to his stint in prison.
- List of London's gentlemen's clubs
- 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)