Norwich Croquet Club Newsletter

Spring 2022
I don’t know about anyone else but as I write this during a beautiful spell of March weather I feel as though I’m emerging from a two year tunnel and returning to something like normality.  Within the club, your committee has started to make plans for the new season and there’s lots of news and information to share with you.
Of course, covid is still with us, and rates in Norwich are still very high.  If you’ve been lucky enough to avoid catching it so far, well done!  Speaking from bitter experience it isn’t something that I would wish on anyone.  We’ve been guided through the various twists and turns of government regulation by Robin Farman and his latest advice is posted in the clubhouse and reproduced in this newsletter. 
Plans for club competitions and league teams for both GC and AC are taking shape and details are enclosed.  Many thanks to everyone who has come forward to organise a competition or manage a team.  At our first committee meeting we discussed a relaunch of our previously thriving social calendar and to explore ways to encourage more social play between AC and GC players.  Read the early news of a proposed event over the Jubilee weekend.
After a prolonged period of inactivity as far as the city council is concerned, a change in personnel has resulted in rapid progress on several fronts.  We’re also making plans to relevel the smaller lawn in the autumn.  Read about all this below.
You’ll also have the opportunity to get more information from the website as Nick Harris is planning to develop the members’ area which can only be accessed via a password.  Increasingly this will become our principal channel of communication, so if you don’t have a password or have forgotten it, contact Nick.
Our next committee meeting will be on May 5th, hopefully meeting face to face rather than via Zoom.  Draft minutes of the previous meeting are displayed in the clubhouse and wil shortly appear on the website.  If you’d like to raise anything please contact Dawn, or any member of the committee.
Peter Scott

Covid 19 Guidance.

We must all have regard to the fact that the pandemic, although contained, is not yet over. A full vaccination programme provides a high degree of protection against severe illness and hospitalisation. However, those vaccinated can still become infected and can transmit the virus to others.
The spread of the virus is more likely to occur when people are closely gathered in confined indoor spaces. It is unlikely to be spread in the open air and it is also less likely that the virus will be transmitted via a hard or fabric surface.
Guidance for members

  • When indoors, respect each other’s personal space, particularly during larger gatherings. Those who consider themselves to be more vulnerable may wish to leave the clubhouse when more people are present.
  • At all times keep the clubhouse well ventilated.
  • Hand sanitising gel will continue to be available, for those who wish to use it.
  • Do not attend the club with known Covid infection, or if feeling unwell with a temperature or viral illness symptoms.
  • Use common sense to stay safe.

Lawns, clubhouse, and housekeeping

We were recently visited by Duncan Hector, our lawn care advisor who reviewed the maintenance and fertiliser regime with us and our grounds people.  We have made tentative plans to undertake a laser survey of the smaller lawn as a precursor to relevelling it in the autumn.  We are hoping to incorporate the rough strip between the two lawns as part of this exercise, which will give us the scope to move both lawns periodically to even out the wear.  If successful we wil repeat the operation on the larger lawn the following year.  Note that the small lawn is likely to be out of action from late September throughout the winter while the new seed establishes itself.
New windows are being manufactured and may be stored in the clubhouse for a couple of weeks prior to installation sometime in April.  Some of the most damaged internal boarding will also be replaced.  Following this work, we’ll need to redecorate the entire wall facing the lawns and prepare and paint some of the worst patches outside.  We’ve now moved all the benches away from the fence to prevent them being used as stepladders for people getting out of our enclosure over the fence.  It would be good to clean these up and oil them before placing them in new positions around the lawns.
Once all this is done the clubhouse itself could do with a thorough spring clean and tidy up. 
All of this is likely to be done towards the end of April.  If you can help as part of a working party, please let Peter Scott know.
The big news is that, after three long years we finally have a new licence from the council which allows us to occupy the lawns and clubhouse until 2037.  We will not pay rent or rates but will have to pay for the cost of water and electricity (and probably the cost of maintaining the sprinkler system in due course), and it’s likely that a new electricity meter will be installed at some point to facilitate this.  We will also assume responsibility for cutting the inside faces of the hedge and any areas of shrubs: another working party looms…

Many of you will remember that about three years ago we were plagued by petty vandalism with youngsters bringing bikes onto the lawns, playing football and even having a barbeque.  Because of this we decided to install taller gates to deter some of this.  Although the vandalism has since died down we’re now finding that tennis players are climbing over the hedge adjacent to the gates to retrieve lost balls which is breaking the hedge and fence down.  We’re hoping to do something about improving the security around the gates but wanted to try and alleviate the tennis ball problem at the same time.  There is no ideal solution.  We had investigated the idea of installing a gate between the lawns and the tennis courts to allow people access to retrieve balls, but some members have raised security concerns about this.  Our contact at the council suggested a higher fence or net between us and the tennis courts, but there are concerns about trapping birds and bats, and also aesthetic concerns about a very high fence.  The committee will be trying to find a way forward at the next meeting in May, so if you have any views please let a member of the committee know.  In the meantime, if you see tennis balls on the lawn please throw them back, even if the tennis courts are unoccupied.
A reminder also that our insurance cover via the CA only extends to third party liability and doesn’t extend to covering loss by theft or fire of contents or members’ personal belongings.  Following the break in a few years ago we installed keypad locks to each of the changing room doors so that these could be locked when the main doors are open and everyone out on the lawn.  It’s not a perfect solution but would serve to deter any opportunist theft and we recommend you use the locks while playing if you’re leaving any valuables in the changing rooms.


In addition to advertising the Club and its facilities on the Internet, we are looking to increase the use we make of the website for club administration and passing on information to members.
When you open Home Page as an ordinary visitor you will see a restricted view of only the Public facing pages which advertise the Club.
However, a viewer who is logged in can see all the pages available in the  Members’ Area
The Club is planning to post Agendas, Committee Papers, Action Plans etc including Member details in the private Member’s Area so we don’t have to send everything out by email.
If you wish to have access to this information via the website you can register an account at  under New User Registration.
Registration is not automatic!  Only if you are a Club Member, will you be given access to the Member’s Pages by the Webmaster.
The information is not available to the general public.  
Please speak to Nick Harris if you need further information or help with this.
As agreed at the AGM this year’s subscription remains at £110 and you should have received an e mail requesting payment (which can be by instalments if you prefer, provided you let the treasurer know).  The bank details for BACS are:
Sort Code                           30-96-17
Account Number              04583804
Lets Get Together!
Following Julia Godfrey’s suggestion at the last committee meeting a few of us got together to look at running a fun day on Thursday June 2nd.    We aim to run three fun croquet games:  Pirates, a game based on Curling and Ricochet.  We hope both Association and Golf croquet players will join in and make it a very social day.  Watch this space for further information and in the meantime – keep the date free.

  • Mary Moore


Time to get your diaries out and start booking your places on some of the club competitions.  Golf Croquet includes:

The Singles Handicap Competition – mainly for those with a Handicap of 8 or below. 
This competition is open to all members, but preference will be given to those with a handicap of 8 or below.  Each game will be the best of 13 hoops played on a full court.  Bisques will be used and there will be no time limit for the game.   Each entrant must play and record one game against all the entrants in order to qualify to win the trophy.
6 days have been booked for this competition together with the Betty King competition using both lawns.   This is to help players play 2 or 3 games per session.  Play is from 10.00 – 3.00.
Friday 29th April                     Wednesday 25th May             Wednesday 8th June  
Friday 15th July                      Wednesday 17th August         Friday 23rd September
The games must be played between 29th April and 30th September, and any entrant can also challenge another entrant to play a game at a mutually convenient time during that period.  If you do play outside the allocated days please make sure you let me know the result.
12 places allocated for the Singles Handicap Competition on a first come first served basis, so please let me know asap if you would like to enter.  Closing date 25th April or earlier if all places have been taken.

The Betty King Plate Egyptian Competition – for members with Handicap of 9 or above.
This competition aims to give higher handicap players the opportunity to experience playing the best of 13 hoops on a full-sized court.  Handicaps will enable us to give everyone a fair rating to start the competition.  Please let me know asap if you would like to enter but don’t have a handicap.  Each entrant must play and record one game against all the entrants to qualify to win the trophy.
6 days have been booked on the club calendar together with the Singles Handicap Competition using both lawns for these competitions.  This is to help players play more than one game per session.  Play is between 10.00 and 3.00
Friday 29th April                     Wednesday 25th May             Wednesday 8th June  
Friday 15th July                      Wednesday 17th August         Friday 23rd September
The games must be played between 29th April and 30th September, and any entrant can challenge another to play a game at a mutually convenient time during that period.  If you do play outside the allocated days please make sure you let me know the result.
Please Note: There will be 8 places allocated for the Betty King Plate Egyptian Competition on a first come first served basis, so please let me know asap if you would like to enter. 
Closing date 25th April or earlier if all places have been taken.
For more information about these competitions, please contact Mary tel. 01603 506169 or email:   To enter please sign up on the noticeboard in the clubhouse.

GC Scratch Doubles
Hazel will be relaunching the GC Scratch Doubles with an event on Tuesday 24th April.  Anyone who wants to enter should contact Hazel.   Either enter as a pair or sign up singly and Hazel will try to pair you up.  Players will be asked to provide their own lunch.
If this takes off, the plan is to hold one tournament each month on a Tuesday.
Further details will follow about the Golf Croquet level play singles and doubles competitions which are being organised by Tony Lee and Trevor Whittaker respectively.
There will be a restricted entry level GC competition over the weekend of 2nd/3rd July.  Contact Terrey Sparkes for more information.
AC Egyptian
The popular AC Egyptian competition will run on Mondays throughout the season organised by Nick Harris and Jeremy Kitchener

The Challkhill Mallet AC Tournament will run on 6th & 7th August organised by Nick Harris.

As before we will be entering two teams in both the EACF AC and GC competitions.  Managers for AC will be John Reddish and Sarah Barley, and for GC Trevor Whitaker and Colin McDonald.

Look out for further details of all these events on the club notice boards, and the website.