Cornwall Croquet Club
Newsletter No 26 - Oct 2004
Well, here we are at last! After what 1 suppose can be thought of as our informal opening, that is the Club Day on Sunday, 22 August, we are here with an operating club, only one court so far but an impressive list of 20 members. Many of these are from Fowey and some are old members, unable for various reasons, to make it onto the club scene, but who have nevertheless paid a full subscription. I am very conscious of their loyalty, generosity and good wishes.
Our playing season really ended with the "final" of the Handicap Competition, i.e. between the winners of the two blocks, Tonics Jennings and Backhouse. However the former had a prior engagement in the south of France and declined to return for the game (very small- minded of him!) so his place was taken by Rosemary Bradshaw, the runner-up. So, on a blustery, damp afternoon, in front of an audience of nine or ten hardy (foolhardy?) souls, battle was joined, Rosemary having at her disposal no less than 16 bisques.
It has to be said that the (in theory) more accomplished player played abominably for the first two hours or so. He only managed four hoops while Rosemary, taking her bisques with the miserly care of a Scrooge, took a commanding lead which was more than sufficient to hold off a resurgent opponent in the last half hour.
As a result, she had a thoroughly deserved lead of seven when time was called and was duly presented with her prize by Howard Rosevear at a thoroughly enjoyable tea inside the pavilion with the doors closed against the weather.
But now, a week later, after the euphoria of finally getting underway following years of trying, the hard work starts. In the coming spring, we will start recruiting: open days, advertisements, leaflet and brochure distribution, sponsorship attempts, fundraising. Then encouragement, coaching, more encouragement, local competitions and so on.
Meanwhile Malcolm Hooper has bravely taken on the job of Competitions Secretary and he and the rest of us are considering what we will need in 2005. Obviously open, handicap and golf competitions plus the essential hi-bisquers, all organised on a block basis. There is also discussion about a Cornish League consisting of Fowey, us, the Mellangoose and Budock Vean contingents, possibly on a basis of everyone playing everyone on a home and away basis.
Nothing is yet decided and, after discussion, Malcolm will make his proposals at the AGM next March.
Margaret Read has kindly consented, with some misgivings, to act as Social Secretary. She will be considering a programme of events to remind us of our loyalties and the forthcoming season through the winter. These may include the odd coffee morning, perhaps a New Year party around the second or third week in January and any other events that she or anyone else can think of. Suggestions direct to Margaret, please.
One exciting(!) possibility that is being considered is of two or three Weeding Parties, consisting perhaps of coffee to start with followed by 30 minutes industrious weeding of the courts (bring your own tools) followed by a glass of wine.
I cannot over-emphasise the importance of a lively social programme during the non-playing months. They change us from a motley collection of people who see each other from time to time but not always with much time to chat and find out about each other. Social events convert us to a club in the proper sense of the word, make us a cohesive group of, I hope, friends, who may well find they have more in common with each other than just an interest in an esoteric and minority sport. So rally round Margaret; she is not there, as she put it, to make the tea but to co-ordinate your suggestions, offers of hospitality and, at the same time, raise some money. Should I have put those last words in smaller type? Or can we face up to the fact that we will always need more money than we have got, even if only to ensure that Howard gets a fair reward for his efforts on our behalf.
Rosemary is organising a calendar to be based on a mosaic of photographs of us all playing, the technical work being done by a friend and based mainly on Stephen's work with Margaret's camera. How they will arrange it, I look forward to finding out. But the objects are twofold, publicity and funds. So let's all buy lots, spread them around and do the club some good.
I have chosen a wine glass with a plain bowl, engraved over three lines with the words "Cornwall Croquet 2004". Those who have seen them seem to like them so I propose to continue with these for the next years, the date being amended appropriately. I still have those for Mike Hoggett (Golf Croquet) and Tony Jennings (Hi-Bisquers) to be collected as convenient.
Our next meeting is on Monday, 1 November.
President ....... Howard Rosevear
If you have any points you want raised, bring them to the attention of one of the members (checking first if they will be able to attend).
At Rosemary's request (she said she needed it so as to say the right things to reporters) I have written "A Personal History" of the club and left a copy in the pavilion.