Coombe Trenchard is a country house near Launceston, built in about 1900, that had fallen into disrepair. New owners started to refurbish the house and grounds and organised the craft event to raise some money for the upkeep of the house, together with some towards the ‘Cows for Africa’ charity.
They thought that it would be a good idea to bring the croquet lawn back into use and asked the CA if anybody could demonstrate the game on the two days of the event. Adam Whimshurst, the Federation Development Officer, was approached by the CA and he did all the liaison with the owners.
Eventually, Exeter and Cornwall clubs took a day each to stage games to demonstrate the difference in the Association game, when the house was built, and the modern game: there being no Golf Croquet in 1900.
Seven of our club spent Saturday giving the public the chance to have a game of Golf Croquet (much as we do at our Open Days), and four of us – Barry, David, Margaret and Stephen – spent an hour playing to the 1900 rules, on one half lawn, whilst Pam and Colin showed the modern play on the the other half. Ron and Adam were left to explain the games to those watching.
The Edwardian costumes were worn throughout the day and were much photographed because there was a garden croquet set as prize for the best photograph taken at the event.
Unfortunately, only 250 punters turned up on the Friday as it rained for most of the day. We were luckier on the Saturday, with only a few showers: the turn out was better, but still fewer than expected. However, we all enjoyed the day and spread the word amongst those interested. There were several who wanted contact details of their nearest club, and one group that may well come to our Open Day.
|Recreation of Croquet at Coombe Trenchard in the 1900s - June 2011|
|The Prize for best photograph - Croquet set|
|Lily Gower (alias Margaret Read) champion croquet player of the early 1900s, recreated at Coombe Trenchard, June 2011|
|An Old Photograph of Ladies at Coombe Trenchard in early 1900s|