How can I check venue availability?
You can check our calendar page. There are three calendars, one shows the upstairs (rehearsal + bar lounge), another the mezzanine/cafe/kitchen, and the third shows public events.
We have some fixtures in the calendar (Tuesday afternoon/evening, Wednesday mornings) but these hirers are often able to reschedule if given a bit of notice, so feel free to enquire. Sometimes an event is showing as ‘busy’ but it may become available, especially bookings further out – feel free to email us to check.
What are your hire rates?
The rate depends on your event – we take into account the type of event, scale, whether it’s in ‘prime time’ (weekends), etc.
Do you take a bond for events?
We sometimes take a bond for large events, especially for first-time hirers. This gets refunded based on the venue being in good order (clean and tidy), and neighbourhood peace preserved (quiet by 11pm and parking considerately).
Can I hire the bowling clubrooms (VBC) for my big birthday/engagement/weddding party?
The VBC is a great venue for gathering a big crowd and we welcome responsible hirers. We just need to be judicious with our bookings. Experience tells us that big, late and raucous aren’t a great mix, neither for the space nor the neighbourhood overall. So we are open to 40th, 50th, 60th parties; 21sts are not out of the question but we scrutiznize them more closely. Have a chat to us about what you have in mind.
What’s the curfew at VBC?
The noise cutoff at the Vogelmorn Hall across the green is midnight; at the bowling clubrooms we tend to go for 11pm except in exceptional cases. We’re in the middle of a residential area in one of Wellington’s quietest suburbs – and we like it that way.
Do you have an alcohol licence or are you BYO?
We currently don’t have a licence so by default the space is BYO. People hiring the space for events sometimes get a one-off special licence. You will need – and can only get – a special licence if you are charging directly for alcohol, or you have an entry fee that includes free alcohol, or you are offering alcohol and taking koha (anywhere, not just at the bar).
If we are holding an event, will we need to bring our own tea and coffee?
You will need your own tea/coffee/milk/sugar, but we have mugs, cups, saucers, teapots, teaspoons, plus a zip in the kitchen and several kettles. Please bring your own plunger.
Do you provide catering?
There are several local and other caterers, some of whom have worked out of our kitchen. The Green Cafe also does excellent catering so you can always email them. Contact us for other ideas (or let us know if you’re a caterer who’d like to be on our list).
If I hire the kitchen, can I bring my own food?
Are there plates and cutlery or would it be best to bring our own?
We have approximately 100 dinner and side plates, cutlery sets, wine glasses and water tumblers, around 50 mugs. Please note this is a ‘bach-style’ assortment, so if you need larger numbers or standard sizes, you will need to hire in.
There are two collections of food gear/utensils, one in the kitchen-mezzanine and another in the bar upstairs. Feel free to fossick for what you need, just be considerate of users in other parts of the building and return it to where you found it.
We prefer sustainable use i.e. crockery/glass/metal that gets washed up rather than using disposable materials.
How can I make hot drinks?
There is a boiling water zip (for large groups) and a kettle in the kitchen. There are kettles normally in the upstairs bar. Please bring your own plunger. Please don’t touch the coffee grinder, machine or cups on it without permission from VCG or the Green Cafe.
Is there a fridge to store our food during the day?
Yes, we have one standard fridge/freezer in the kitchen and a second in the upstairs bar, plus a small bar fridge. The large drinks fridge behind the bar doesn’t work, hence it’s full of crockery.
Is there an oven or microwave to heat food?
In the kitchen are a microwave and five-burner gas stove +gas oven (please refer to the lighting instructions on the oven door). There is a microwave, toaster and sandwich press upstairs.
What furniture do you have?
We have a half dozen plastic trestle tables that seat 8, a round wooden dining table, and assorted small-to-large tables.
We have about 90 cloth-covered stackable chairs, 50 padded folding, 8 plastic/padded, along with several couches, armchairs and office chairs. Feel free to re-arrange, just replace them away tidily afterwards.
Do you have a sound system, projector, whiteboard?
We have a small sound system set up in the kitchen and upstairs that you can connect to via 3.5mm minijack (or an Apple connector in the kitchen stereo). These are permanently set up and free to use; you can also hire our larger system (4 speakers + sub + mixer).
We don’t own a projector but we do have a movable screen permanently attached in the carpeted upstairs area.
We have a small whiteboard on a stand as well as a large heavy one (two-person lift). There are usually whiteboard markers around but safest to bring your own.
Is it OK to stick things on the walls with blutak, gaffer tape, nails, staples etc.?
We are trying to keep our nice paint jobs nice, and stop the shabby paint job getting shabbier, so please avoid marking the walls. Banging fixings into them is not OK.
Is there much parking available?
There is plenty of on-street parking. Please keep clear of the mobility park outside the gate which is used by a neighbour.
Who owns the green in front of the VBC?
The green was leased from Wellington City Council for exclusive use as a bowling green. Bowling and the lease have ended, and the green is a public space now continuously available for public use via the three unlocked gates. A small strip of the green belongs to the VCG, but it is de facto a single area.
I want to hold an event on the green. Can I book it? Is there a charge?
If you book the Hall and/or Bowling Club then, like any member of the public, you can access the green for free. If you want to hold a large event, talk to us and we can let the Brooklyn Community Association (who take bookings for the Hall) know so any of their hirers are aware, and vice-versa for Hall bookers. The WCC will also need to know about a sizeable event. Regardless of your booking, the public can still access the green.
Can I play bowls at the VBC?
Unfortunately things have slipped a bit since the heyday and the green is not kept up as a bowling green. That said you are welcome to have a go with one of our sets. If you want to bowl properly there are clubs still playing in Wellington.
Is there any bowling or other play equipment I can use?
We have some sets of bowls, as well as a really nice croquet set which you can have a go with. Frisbees and soft balls are good to bring along.
What other bowling clubs are for hire – and can I play real bowls there?
If you want real bowling, try the Newtown Workingmens Bowling Club on Owen Street, or Victoria in Mount Vic, Wilton, Island Bay, Naenae. There is also the charming Hataitai club, like ours run as a community venue but still with some bowls. For a full list of Wellington clubs you can visit Bowls Wellington.
Can you suggest some other venues?
The other bowling clubs in Wellington can often be hired for events. Otherwise, depending on your needs, you could consider the following:
Scout hall in Harris Street, Brooklyn
Saint Matthews Church (deconsecrated), Washington Avenue, Brooklyn
ex-Wellington Bowling Club located at Taneera park (run by Swords Club)
Berhampore Community Centre
Toi Poneke Arts Centre
Scottish Athletics Club (shared with Poneke Kyokushin Karate Dojo), Prince of Wales Park
Wellington Chinese Sports and Cultural Centre
Lyall Bay surf club
Island Bay surf club
Freemasons Hall off Ohiro Rd at #383
Who runs/how can I book the Vogelmorn Hall?
It’s administered by the Brooklyn Community Association under contract from its owners the WCC.
Who owns the Vogelmorn Bowling Club (VBC)?
The generosity of certain old bowlers, in particular life member Tony Ford, led to the ownership of VBC transferring to the Vogelmorn Community Group Charitable Trust (VCG) in 2016 for community use, via the formal assistance of the Vogelmorn Foundation.
Who are the Vogelmorn Community Group (VCG)?
We are a group of highly motivated local idealists who came together in 2013 around the opportunity presented when the Bowling Club was transitioning into a new life. We formed a Charitable Trust in early 2015.
Who runs the VBC?
Mainly volunteers with a small part-time paid coordinator role.
Who funds you?
We rely on volunteer time, skills, donated materials and community goodwill. We keep our overheads low and they’re covered by hirage of the space for rehearsals, workshops and events. We’ve also had one-off grants from the One Foundation for admin work, from Rotary and the Nikau Foundation towards our kitchen upgrade, and for heating from the Karori Brooklyn Community Trust via the Lion Foundation.
For sure! we could use your time, skills, materials you may have access to; even a donation. Drop us a line.
What will happen to the green? Infill housing? Casino?
Nope. The Wellington City Council has committed to retaining the green, along with the once-threatened adjacent Vogelmorn Hall.
This is the name given to the area encompassing the Tennis Club, Hall, Green and Bowling Club, identified through the Kaka Project consultation process as an area of interest to locals. The WCC funded two rounds of consultative design carried out by Co-op Cooperative. The WCC has agreed to fund a first stage of implementing the plan, mainly around access. Get in touch and get involved!
Is it true there’s asbestos in the VBC?
Yes – on the roof and exterior walls. Being an inert substance, it’s not going anywhere fast. We’ve had samples sent off for testing to confirm that all users and neighbours are safe, and it’s on our long-term plan to replace this though as we move through our building improvements.
What happened with the asbestos when you replaced the south kitchen wall?
The wonderful Tracey Reihana of Unlimited Environmental Solutions – ‘the azzie pros’ – brought his team to safely remove and dipose of the asbestos. Major Consulting Group gave the remaining wall the all clear – feel free to read their report. We briefly stored some Harditech on a trailer before taking it to the tip. This was asbestos-free: on the Mornington Road breathe easy, stranger.