Dudley Park

12-image8-001Dudley Park

Location : Between Church and White Streets

Dudley Park originated during the term of Robert McIntosh, Mayor from 1925 to 1927. In 1925 the Rangiora Borough Council bought thirteen acres of land from the Anglican Church Trustees, and named the park after Archdeacon Benjamin Woolley Dudley, the first vicar of Rangiora. It cost the Council £1200 and was initially leased out and sown with potatoes before being prepared for use by the hockey and rugby clubs in 1928.

The land was situated between Church and White Streets but there was no street crossing the front to give access to the park. Mr. McIntosh offered to purchase a strip of land to make a proper entrance so that people could have access from High Street to the park and this was dedicated to the council as a gift. Park Street was formed and Jubilee Memorial Gates were erected after the celebrations in 1928. There are two plaques on the gates:

Borough of Rangiora – This district was first settled by pioneers from Great Britain about the year 1850 – The Borough was constituted on May 4th 1878

The gates were erected as a memorial of the fifty years Jubilee of the Borough of Rangiora – 1878-1928

The park became the premier sports ground for Rangiora from 1928, opening in May of that year. It was home to two rugby grounds, men’s and women’s hockey, and from the 1930s was also the home of cricket in the Borough. Rugby was played here until 1960, when the club shifted its home to the Showground’s.

In recent times, the park was considered to have one of the best pitches in Canterbury for representative cricket, but since 2004 matches have been at the Recreation Ground. The park is the main centre of netball in North Canterbury, and boasts a swimming pool, and squash courts, maintaining the excellent sporting standards the park has had since its beginning.