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Cornwall Croquet Club
Newsletter 35 - Aug 9, 2006


Introduction: After the longest, hottest, driest period that I can remember, the lawns have been fast and particularly variable where the grass as been reduced to a few, sparse brown leaves However, the recent rains have stimulated growth and I have been amazed at how quickly the brown patches have greened up. The problem however remains with the hoop holes since the rain only seemed to penetrate for an inch or so leaving the subsoil as hard as granite. Nevertheless we have had a marvellous playing season so far. The Hi-Bisquers Tournament was completed without a problem over two days, quite an achievement considering there were 12 entries which necessitated double-banking on half-lawns. Rosemary Bradshaw defeated Paul Schofield in a nail-biting final, watched by an impressive audience, most of whom stayed for a splendid  match tea (thank you, Jacqui)

We have also hosted evening coaching sessions for a number of organisations, the latest being the Mevagissey Ladies Choir.   These are quite hard work but do bring in some much-needed cash. I am grateful to those who volunteered to give up their evenings.

We now have an exploratory request from a commercial organisation to do the same sort of thing for a selection of their clients next season . We will be discussing this at the next committee meeting.

 Congratulations: Our B League team won their final match against Exeter 5 – 2 on Thursday. They have now won all their matches including one walk-over when their opponents couldn’t produce a team. Well done to all who played for them and particul arly to Colin who did the organisation and provided the encouragement and backing.

 General Maintenance: There has been quite a bit of work needed at the Club to keep affairs running smoothly. I refer to the additional rabbit fencing on the new gates, line marking, some strimming, ball cleaning and sorting, maintenance of the lawns including mowing, work on locks, windows and so on. There has also been mention of the need for another coat of preservative on the outside of the pavilion. I am very grateful to Colin for his will king participation in most of these activities but we need a Grounds Overseer who will look  after such matters or find others to do particular jobs apart from the Chairman. This would include liaising with John and dealing with questions of moving the lawns, marking them out and so on. Any volunteers? Suggestions or queries to me, please.

 Particular Maintenance – Hoops

I have started with one set to clean off the old paint (using Nitromors) and applying new. The first one, as an experiment which I think I will continue on the remaining hoops, has now had t w eo coats of Hammerite white and one of gloss. When it is dry I will inspect but I think this should be sufficient.

We have three more sets, one of which I have been kindly lent by Peter and Jane Dexter, promising them that they would be returned in pristine condition. I am prepared to do a second set. Is any else prepared to undertake one set later on this year? If there are two of you (says he hopefully) that would be terrific. I am quite prepared to lend the use of my workshop (with the odd cup of coffee thrown in) for anyone who does not have the facilities at home.

Trophies: As we now have the end of the season in sight, it is time to recover the trophies from last year so that we can get them engraved before they are presented to this year’s winners. So, back to me, please, with a sticky on them, saying how you would like your name recorded. Although we will standardise, some may prefer initials or perhaps names in full.

 Club Evenings: I have suggestions that some members find the afternoon sessions too hot or they are at work or whatever and how about trying some Club Evenings. It seems to me that the lawns are not much used after about 5 p.m. and I can therefore see no objection to trying this out. So let us try the next four Mondays at 6.30 p.m. and see how it goes, the dates being:

                        14 August,   21 August,  28 August and 4 September.       

Handicaps: There is, I suspect, a reluctance by some to enter all competitive games on their handicap cards. I cannot emphasise the importance of doing this. This applies even if, during a tournament, one suffers an equal number of losses and wins. When the handicap committee looks at the cards at the end of the sesason, such equal numbers of pluses and minuses is valid evidence for the current handicap.

Particular importance is attached to games played against members of other clubs. The problem with those who only manage to play recorded games against members of this club is that, although the general standard of play may improve, the average handicap is bound to stay the same since every time one member wins, another loses.

All-England Handicap Championship: We had to conduct our own elimination to reduce our entry to one. We did this with an American block and Nigel Grant was the clear winner with four wins. He now goes on to the area semi-finals.

Improvers' Sessions: We have a second Improvers’ Day scheduled for Sunday, 20 August . Anyone interested should inform Ian within the next week.

A fortnight later, 2 and 3 September, is scheduled as a Beginners’ Weekend, intended for those who have only recently completed their coaching courses and have not played much since. Once again, names to Ian Wilson by 28 August (Ian Wilson: or 01872 870793). 

Season-End Party: this will start after the prize-giving on Sunday, 17 September and the prize-giving will be held after the completion of the various finals for that afternoon. The plan is to eat around 6 to 6.30 p.m., a buffet being provided at the Golf Clubhouse. One glass of wine or a soft drink will be included and the bar will be open throughout. There will also be a quiz.

The cost will be £8 per head, to be paid on entry. Please let Penny or Jacqui know if you intend to participate.


Tony Backhouse
9 August , 2006