Memories in the Making
On 19 December 1997 the new Noel Taylor New Zealand Trotting Hall Of Fame Museum was officially opened at Alexandra Park.
Its benefactor, the late Noel Taylor (President of the Auckland Trotting Club 1984-89), totally financed the 500 sq. metre building. He told the large crowd gathered at the opening that trotting had played a major part in his life and had given him great enjoyment over the years. "It gives me great pleasure to be able to pay something back to the sport I love in this way."
Efforts to get a trotting museum up and running began in 1969 by the late Alby Douglas and the Auckland Trotting Club president at the time, the late Reg Lewis. A small tote building in the Derby area was converted into a museum, and was officially opened by the late Hon. Allen Highet, M.P. in 1970.
Original immortals named were Caduceus, Cardigan Bay, Harold Logan, Highland Fling, Johnny Globe and Ordeal. Since then, many more horses and people have been inducted.
The project was well supported, and in 1985 the museum moved premises to the larger tote building behind the Alexandra Stand. A library was added, and also a section devoted to the Harness Cadet Scheme.
In 1998 it moved one last time to the luxurious new Noel Taylor building, and these days it is visited by many people on race nights, while various groups are escorted through by appointment at other times.
Thanks to the wonderful generosity of trotting families throughout New Zealand the museum, with its cabinets packed with glittering trophies and fascinating memorabilia, is one of the best of its kind in the world. Special mention is due to the late Les Callander, Neville Southey and Bill Moat,, who have worked tirelessly with a small group of volunteers to develop the exhibits and to show people around the displays.
Special sections are devoted to the immortal pacer Cardigan Bay (who is buried behind the museum) and the 'Queen of the Park' Delightful Lady, who still holds the record (47) for the most number of winning runs in New Zealand. Two notable exhibits are the first Auckland Trotting Cup, won in 1890 by Commodore, and the Colours of Monte Carlo, the winner of the first New Zealand Trotting Cup in 1904.
For a small donation your name, business name or horse's name can be added to this wall.
An extensive collection of studbooks, racing annuals, magazines and videos are available for perusal.
A range of postcards, souvenirs, clothing and books are available for purchase.
The New Zealand Trotting Hall of Fame society welcomes all donations of racing memorabilia either from New Zealand or overseas.
From 4.00 pm until the fifth race on race nights. At other times by appointment.
Harness Racing Annual 1998, Ron Bisman, Meadowset Publishing