Sidmouth Herald published 20 February 2015
Photo David Butler goes for the hoop
Sidmouth Croquet Club is seeking to recruit new members as another outside season draws near, writes Colin Walls
The club has four full size lawns in a beautiful location on East Devon’s Jurassic Coast overlooking the sea, adjacent to cricket and tennis facilities, in the south of the town. There are currently in excess of 100 active members of all ages and both sexes, ranging from complete beginners to players at county and regional standard.
Recently, some members of the club has invested a great deal of time and energy improving the general facilities around the lawns adding greatly to the general ambience of the layout.
New members are especially welcome, and we organise an introductory and very flexible coaching programme every week in April using some of the experienced players in the club.
There is also a special new players meeting at the Fortfield Pavilion on Saturday, March 7, commencing at 10am, when a number of experienced players will be on hand to supply further information and encourage you to swing a mallet!
We play all variations of croquet - handicap, advanced, golf, and one ball, in a season stretching from April to mid October. You can book lawns and play the game at whatever level you prefer. There are also golf croquet and association croquet club sessions where you can just turn up without booking, together with a variety of other events throughout the year, which greatly enhances the general friendliness of the club.
The croquet club shares superb facilities with cricket and tennis as part of the Sidmouth Fortfield Sports Complex.
Croquet was played in Victorian Sidmouth as early as 1900 as part of the original Sidmouth Cricket, Tennis, Croquet and Hockey Club. Members enjoy full clubhouse facilities with bar and in-house catering. The club has a friendly atmosphere and an ongoing social life including events such as dinners, demonstrations, illustrated talks, fun events, wine and buffet evenings and other activities. After a croquet session, it is good to be able to watch a top-class game of cricket over a well-earned drink!
As well as hosting national tournaments, the croquet club holds its own competitions and is a member of the South West Federation League, competing at beginners, intermediate and advanced levels.
There is also an ongoing mentoring scheme to support all players of all abilities.