Sidmouth Journal published 22 June 2017
One day I shall write a monologue on the ‘Effect on Croquet of the Difference in Weather patterns’, although as we already have several prominent members of the Meteorological Office amongst our members, on reflection, perhaps I won’t, writes Richard Thurlow.
What gave birth to this thought though was that two weeks ago, we had to abandon a match against Cornwall, when gale force winds and heavy rainfall made the lawns unplayable because of the cold and wet. Yet last weekend, we had two days of the very hottest weather, which, on Sunday made it nearly impossible to play because of the heat.
We croquet players are hardy souls, and used to the vagaries of the weather, battling it out come rain or shine, and yet within two weeks we have seen extremes of climate that have made even our younger players tremble in their shorts.
Despite the heat on Saturday (June 17), the higher handicap players fought for the Canton Cup, played over 14 points, ie only once round the hoops with two balls each. Muriel Philpott won all four of her games. Penny Ball and Sue Dent were equal runners-up winning three of their four games played.
The following day, which was even hotter, six lower handicap players played an identical game for the Owen Cup, with each player scheduled to play a match against all the other players, ie five games each for one hour twenty minutes each game.
After four rounds, Phillip Harris had won all his games and therefore was unbeatable, so we decided to crawl off the lawns, watch the cricket and drink a beer or two.
If only all croquet matches ended so pleasantly. Perhaps climate change is not a bad thing!