In days past most people played sport. We have had many sporting teams and look forward to gathering many images and documents on sport. All country towns have strong sporting teams and our towns were no different. We have a recording of Max Vickers recalling walking all the way underground through the tunnel under the Forest Range oval looking for a football as they had no money for replacements. He comments how freezing cold it was and that he was almost frozen by the time he reached the other end. We also have a good summary of Forest Range, Lenswood, and Lenswood Ranges football teams before the merge to Eastern Rangers. What stories and photos do you have?
Football was first played at Forest Range on the Forest Range oval with the club being formed in 1902. Don Cramond played for Forest Range before the team split into Lenswood and Forest Range teams once Lenswood Memorial Park was constructed. He later followed the merge of Forest Range with Lenswood to form Lenswood Ranges in the 1960s and went on to coach some of the teams. Finally he followed the final merge with Ashton to form Eastern Rangers. Hear some of his recollections at his oral history recording.
Basketball / Netball
The girls/women of the district were just as competitive. A basketball court (now called netball) was planned for the Lenswood Memorial Park. At first the basketballers shared the tennis court, however in the 1970’s a separate basketball court was finally laid. In the late 1960’s a group formed a basketball team at Forest Range, building a court at the back of the hall. A Forest Range team played there for around eight years.
Cricket was very strong in the district with three teams and grounds at one point. The Forest Range team played at Forest Range oval; the Forresters played on the Stafford cricket ground at Stafford Road; the Central team played on the Central Recreation Ground (near the Ford). Eventually the Lenswood Ranges Cricket Club was formed. They currently have two teams and play at Lenswood Memorial Park. Click here to view the history of the Lenswood Cricket Club and the Lenswood Ranges Cricket Club.
Tennis was played on many courts in the district. Many families has courts and some allowed local teams to play on them before the courts were built at Lenswood Memorial Park.
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A lawn bowling club was also formed almost fifty years ago. Originally planned to be at the Lenswood Memorial Park the Bowling Club eventually settled on land donated by Alf Stafford, opposite the Cold Store. The club has been very strong over the years, with both Men’s and Women’s teams. Teams are now mixed and night games are now played.
Information included above based on community member information plus details from Stringybarks to orchards : a history of Forest Range and Lenswood / Geoffrey C. Bishop. [History of the region with particular focus on the development of the Lenswood Cold Stores Cooperative Society Ltd. Published in 1984 the book was commissioned to record the history of those who settled and built the district.]