Snippets from the Minutes:
1979 Membership list to include Christian names!!
1979 3 lawns, nearly 60 members
Fri 1st June 1979 at Budleigh – 1st ‘Seagull’? Tuesday 11th September at Sidmouth
Feb 15th 83 Should GC be played EVERY Wednesday?
Sept 83 The President having seen no objection to Sunday morning play (a relaxation generally accepted elsewhere), H. Peirce would test Member's reaction to its possible introduction
AGM 83 The Chairman (I Dwerryhouse) read out a list of 31 reductions in handicaps. She explained that the Association accepted tournament players with handicaps of 16 to -5. It would be impracticable to award special handicaps for Golf Croquet players.
June 4th 84 2 ball game handicapping [i.e. One Ball] was discussed and the Secretary was asked to find out what the rules were, if any. Agreed that if nothing was laid down in writing, that games should be played with bisques, everyone starting at Hoop 1.
16 -18 Assoc. handicap receive 2 bisques
13 - 15 handicap receive 1 bisque.
Jul 87 There has been an exchange of correspondence with John Jacques & Son Ltd. Re the 'co-incidence' of damage to their BLACK balls whilst the remaining colours play happily on. (Can it be that there is a limited life in-built?)………..
AGM 88 Anyway the Company will have none of it and their M.D. confirms that their 'Eclipse' balls are only guaranteed for two seasons. They also would not accept that their plastic clips for hoops were sub-standard and broke far too easily.
Jan 92 AOB - The Chairman suggested and members agreed that Lawns 4, 2, should be re-numbered in sequence towards the sea, i.e., 4 becoming 2 et seq.
April 92 Reports: The Tournament Secretary gave details of the June Open Tournament. [Ed: The first since 1956!]
Feb 93 The Fortfield Hotel have acknowledged that they should maintain the grass bank on the northern boundary of Lawn 1.
Oct 93 B. Hills There was concern among the members that during the S.W. GC Tournament at Budleigh, handicaps were not applicable, and many association players came, who were not regular golf croquet players and swept the board. The Secretary was asked to request that this matter should be raised at the A.G.M. of the S.W. Federation.
13 Aug 96 R. Henderson reported that the 2 hoops lost at the start of the Folk Festival were still missing - the police had been informed.
Dec 03 e) Cost of training new members considered far too low. To rise from £16 to £25 in 2004, with a further review in 2004.
Nov 04 Ann Ractliffe will seek confirmation from Esme Owen that she is prepared to continue laundering towels for cleaning mallets and balls.
Dec 04 Esme Owen will continue to launder towels for the mallet room and hut.
AGM Oct 04 Barbara Clarke said that it is intended to introduce Golf Croquet coaching in the new season with possible participation in CA Golf Croquet Tournaments. A member of the committee will represent Golf Croquet interests.
From the Croquet Gazette - 14 May 1914
Sidmouth croquet tournament for 1914 is a thing to talk about. Why? Because the little seaside place was looking at its best, all the orchards in full bloom and lashings of cider in the pavilion. The ground overlooks the sea, and with the Dreadnoughts buzzing about and Brixham trawlers, what more could you want, except good lawns which we have thanks to the good spadework done by Tate (The Groundsman) in the winter, and a fair entry; yet we could do with more.
Next year our worst lawn is to be levelled up, and we then challenge any of the Irish contingent to take the floor with us. Before I forget it I must remark that the sun had no need to buck about the way he gazed on us. With the good hotels and lodgings one wonders why the cracks don't pay us a visit, to say nothing of through trains from London.
We used to have a Devon County team!!
The legendary Humphrey Osmond Hicks [1904 - 1986] was a member at Sidmouth. He dominated the croquet world from the 1930s to the 1950s, winning 45 national titles:
President’s Cup six times: 1930, 1947, 1948, 1951, 1954 & 1961
The Open Championship seven times: 1932 1939, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950 & 1952
The Men's Championship nine times: 1930, 1932, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1955, 1956, 1961 & 1966
Hicks represented England in three MacRobertson Shield tournaments, winning on two occasions.
In 2008 Hicks was inducted into the World Croquet Federation Hall of Fame.
John Solomon, the leading player of the latter half of the twentieth century, said of him "He was God [....] the best player there has ever been. His control was quite incredible." [Croquet Gazette March 1999]
Humphrey Hicks is remembered for his idiosyncrasies, such as wearing odd-coloured socks and for knitting while the out player. His fine mind allowed him to keep score on all 4lawns while never dropping a stitch.
Dame Mary Berry reveals how doctors warned her she'd be dead in four years if she didn't start exercising... and credits playing CROQUET with saving her life