The Valley of Peace Cricket Club History
In 1927 Mr Harry Waters, the proprietor of Christchurch Cinemas, addressed the problem that his staff were denied the opportunity to enjoy their sporting interests due to their Saturday work. He approached Miss White (of A J White Ltd) to lease 1.0947ha of rough pasture, with the intention of clearing and draining the land and converting it into a small cricket ground for the use of his staff on Sundays. He then formed the Christchurch Cinemas Cricket Club and the ground was known as the Valley of Peace cricket ground.
From the outset, the size of the ground necessitated variations to the rules of cricket. Fours and sixes are signalled in the traditional manner but recorded in the scorebook as twos and fours. However the most important aspects of cricket remain sacrosanct – the players wear white, and the spirit of honesty and friendship must be observed and maintained at all times.
In 1955 Mr Waters sold his business and the Valley of Peace Cricket Club Inc. was formed on 15 December 1955. The land was purchased from the then-owner Cdr. Beauchamp, and freeholded by the Club.
The Club has traditionally adopted a conservative approach to its fixtures, but this has not inhibited its reputation throughout the cricketing world. Two notable artists, Arthur Mailey and Austen Deans have painted the ground. Mailey’s original hangs at Lords, and the Deans’ original was gifted to the Club by the artist.
For many years in the past women were not welcome on the ground when a match was being played. The small boundaries contributed to a danger for spectators who were unaccustomed to hard-hit cricket balls. While the danger still exists, women who are prepared to accept the risk are now welcome to enjoy their experience at the Valley. Because of the risk of injury, children under the age of twelve are not welcome when a match is being played.
The Club prides itself on the fact that it has provided uninterrupted cricket for members and other local cricketers since 1928 and hosted many teams from throughout New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the West Indies.
J R Waters
J Z Harris
O C Jones
D J McKendry
D V Hearn
D S Banks
C L Sugden
J R Waters
D S Banks
B N Bailey
A little history dig
A little detective work located this original listing for the Valley of Peace cricket club, then being listed as the “Christchurch Cinemas” team, in the old Hoyts Australia “Everyones” paper, specifically dated 23rd November 1932 (click to enlarge images).
Good to see our first President, Mr Harry Waters, playing fair with the Wellingtonians!
And once more, this time 3 years later, 27th Nov 1935, the Wellingtonians re-visited for the Eskell Cup:
In 1930 AJ White Ltd held its annual picnic at the Valley of Peace. Miss White was the landowner the early Cinemas staff leased the land from:
Cricketer Bert Sutcliffe at the Valley of Peace, Otago Daily Times, 1st March 1945:
Report on Sir Julien Cahn‘s team visit to the Valley of Peace, 1st March 1939: