Dawn To Dusk

By - 14th March 2023

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Just after 6am on March 5th, it was dark on the lawn but members were busy setting out the hoops and tightening them, ready for the long day of croquet – part of our Centenary Celebrations.

The chairman was halfway up a pole at the far end of the lawn wearing a head torch and setting up a freeze-frame camera, normally used for wildlife which, on reflection, seems appropriate.

By 6.30 Freda, Sue and Geoff all dressed in Whites were ready to for the off. The chairman hurriedly donned his whites to join them from the 6:37AM (sunrise) start.

It started with the ladies playing Red & Yellow, versus the men playing Blue & Black. Round 1 saw the ladies take an early lead 8-4, however the men responded 8-4 in round 2. So after the 1st hour it was evens.

The first change took place as John Bramhall hurried across the cricket ground to replace the Chairman. All the changes planned have been previously listed so are not reiterated here. Suffice to say that all 28 of them occurred on time apart from the one hiccup where a road diversion combined with very full car park caused a delay.

Bacon butties were served to early players from the gazebo in Geranium Cottage Garden, courtesy of Claire and Alex, which helped the day go along immensely. As did the Gluhwien that magically appeared late in the day for players to sip on-the-go in the last ½ hour.

The small group of club spectators that had gathered were also treated to this as they watched an exciting climax to the day.

After faltering at the start, going 2 down twice in the first three rounds, Blue & Black built up a significant lead as the day progressed – they were up 18 by round 8 and were still up in the penultimate round as the light began to fail.

The last round was nip and tuck with Red & Yellow squeezing 2 up at the end. The last round was a mixed doubles with Freda and Jamie v Claire and Chris; as the light dwindled the hard hitters Jamie and Chris were perhaps missing more than usual, and the ladies were running hoops.

Quote of the day was “It’s getting dark – I can’t see the hoop” – Burch J. whereupon he ran hope 7 cleanly from the north boundary to way beyond the peg.

Final score after 11 hours and 11 minutes of continuous play involving 30 members of the club

Red & Yellow 115 – 113 Blue & Black


Everyone who played deserves praise for their attendance and time keeping however it is worth highlighting those “new” members who played (Derek, Jean, Mark and Moya), whilst noting that the club handicapper may want to speak to them as they played so well. Also it was good to see a welcome return to croquet action by Joyce after some 18 months of stroke recovery.

The weather was cold but kind in the end. The thermometer under the canopy was registering about 3°C at the start and rose to 5°C by noon staying there for the rest of the day; but there was little wind and no rain. So overall a very enjoyable day to start the Centenary.