CROQUET

Post Reply
User avatar
Stanley
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 46583
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 12:01
Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.

CROQUET

Post by Stanley » 26 Mar 2018, 06:12

CROQUET

My subject this week might be seen to be far removed from Barlick but in the inter war years the houses of the wealthy manufacturers sported tennis courts and croquet lawns. In case you have never played, this involves striking wooden balls with large mallets and the object of the game is to progress through a series of hoops or 'wickets' until your ball strikes a peg in the middle of the lawn, it was sometimes referred to as 'lawn billiards'. So far so good but as in so many games there are refinements like being allowed to hit your opponents ball with yours and drive them off course, in extreme circumstances, completely off the lawn. It is closely related to hockey and games on this basis have been played since the Middle Ages gradually developing over time until by the early 19th century something very closely resembling the modern game was becoming very popular.
In November 1856 the first set of rules was registered with the Stationers' Company in London by a gentleman called Isaac Spratt. This became the basis for the modern game and of course, as is the nature of such things, they became more refined and complicated as the years went by. In 1868, the first croquet all-comers meet was held at Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire and in the same year the All England Croquet Club was formed at Wimbledon in London where it still survives but the venue is better known now for tennis. I was first introduced to the game by an ex-Paratroop Regiment Brigadier and his wife in Norfolk and had a rude awakening!
I had always imagined that croquet was a gentle summer pastime enjoyed by people with an afternoon to spend at leisure. This might be true in some circles but in the one I found myself plunged into it was fiendishly competitive, devious and passionate. The object was to crush the opposition by any means, including the most blatant cheating. There was constant bickering about the rules of the game and it got to the stage where man and wife were confronting each other with raised mallets and I was expecting damage to be done! I came to the conclusion that this was a sign of a household at war with itself and I just happened to be there on a bad day.
I discovered later that this was not the case. They were a completely compatible and loving couple, it was simply that their behaviour on the lawn was part of the sport for them and that this attitude was quite common amongst those who played the game seriously. So my verdict is that the gane should only be played by consenting adults over 40, never in the presence of children and that anyone like me invited to join in should be warned beforehand!
I can still hear the lady of the house informing me in a refined bellow that "Your balls are in the ha ha Stanley!" And then we had a perfectly civilised cream tea.....

Image

The Brigadier and his wife with raised mallets!
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

User avatar
PanBiker
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
Posts: 7913
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 13:07
Location: Barnoldswick - In the West Riding of Yorkshire, always was, always will be.

Re: CROQUET

Post by PanBiker » 26 Mar 2018, 08:08

Croquet is alive and well around the area. My mate Roger plays in the league, serious stuff. :smile:
Ian

User avatar
Tizer
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 9706
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 19:46
Location: Somerset, UK

Re: CROQUET

Post by Tizer » 26 Mar 2018, 09:12

Stanley wrote:
26 Mar 2018, 06:12
There was constant bickering about the rules of the game and it got to the stage where man and wife were confronting each other with raised mallets and I was expecting damage to be done! I came to the conclusion that this was a sign of a household at war with itself and I just happened to be there on a bad day.
I discovered later that this was not the case. They were a completely compatible and loving couple, it was simply that their behaviour on the lawn was part of the sport for them and that this attitude was quite common amongst those who played the game seriously.
If you think that's tough you should try playing Monopoly against Mrs Tiz! :extrawink:

User avatar
Stanley
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 46583
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 12:01
Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.

Re: CROQUET

Post by Stanley » 27 Mar 2018, 03:31

No thanks!
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

User avatar
Stanley
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 46583
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 12:01
Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.

Re: CROQUET

Post by Stanley » 14 Apr 2018, 13:42

You were right Ian! There was a letter in the BET this week pointing out that there is a croquet club in Earby which I knew nothing about. I have of course sent an apology and promised not to make the same mistake again!
First justified complaint ever...... Not a bad record.....
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

Post Reply

Return to “Stanley's View”