Newsaletter 2023

Spring 2023 Newsletter

First Day of the Season
Although some hardy souls have been playing GC and ricochet through the winter, most of us have stayed close to the fire basking in the memory of that hoop we ran last July.  However, we are now preparing for the formal opening of the summer season on 1st April (we’ve already made all the jokes), and this year we’re delighted that the Lord Mayor of Norwich will be striking the first ball of the season at 2pm, and hopefully joining us for some play afterwards.  Do try to come along and wear whites if you have them.  Julia Godfrey will be organising tea and cakes during the afternoon and would welcome offers of help and cakes from those willing to supply some. Contact Julia on

External and Internal Competitions
Jonathan Sissons will be managing our AC team in the EACF league, assisted by Robin Farman.  If you’d like to make yourself available for selection please let Jonathan know:
Sadly there was insufficient interest for us to be able to enter a team for the GC competition.  Your committee has thought long and hard about this and will be approaching the EACF to informally discuss possible alternative arrangements that reduce the need to travel such long distances.

We have also considered the opportunities the club offers for GC players who want to improve their game, gain a better understanding of the rules, and perhaps gain sufficient confidence to play in more competitive matches.  We already have informal club sessions on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings.  This year the block booking in the calendar will extend the time allowed for these sessions to 4pm on Tuesday and 2pm on Thursday.  This is an experiment, and it will continue if there is sufficient take up.

The winter Ricochet sessions have been popular with both GC and AC players and will continue this summer, starting at 2pm on Thursdays.  Hopefully, some of the social GC players will stay on after lunch to join the regular players.  Ricochet is an interesting variation to Golf play and the two can be played together on the same lawn.  Jeremy Kitchener will be co ordinating this.  Get more details from him , or just turn up on the day.

Thursdays are busy days on the lawns as Nick will be continuing to hold his coaching sessions starting at 5.30pm.  These sessions allow both GC and AC players to be coached on all aspects of croquet, from basic skills and technique through to advanced strategy.

The popular Friday ‘organised’ sessions will continue, starting at 10.30am, and continuing into the afternoon where there is demand.  These sessions are for experienced players and provide an opportunity for those who have mastered the basics of GC to improve and get some informal coaching and advice.  Friday play differs from the club sessions in that players announce their intention to attend in advance to assist with planning the day.  Games start promptly and are timed so everyone finishes together and can then swap around ready for the next game.  If you’d like to have a go let Steve Tarrant know .

The Friday sessions are usually well attended which means that most games are doubles.  In order to give members a chance to play competitive singles, Nick Harris will be setting up a season long Egyptian competition in which members can arrange games between themselves at a time to suit each other.  The results are recorded, and a winner emerges at the end of the season.  Nick will circulate more details about how this will work and invite you to enter in due course.

Trevor Whittaker will be organising a one-day doubles competition and Jackie Ruffles will be organising the Singles Handicap and the Betty King tournament.  Mary Moore will be organising the Singles Level Play competition.

At present we don’t have anyone available to organise the ‘Natter and Bash’ competition.  If you’d be willing to take this on, please let Peter Scott know.
Mary Moore will be organising a match against Bury St Edmunds CC for the Tulip Trophy
We have two CA competitions this year: the GC Restricted Entry on 1-2 July, managed by Terrey Sparkes, and the Chalkhill Mallet on 5-6 August, managed by Nick Harris.

If you don’t yet have a handicap, Les Barnard is our Club Handicapper and will guide you through the process.  Your initial handicap is set my playing a single ball around all six hoops three times (eighteen hoops in total) and counting the number of strokes you take to achieve this.  Thereafter you record the results of games played and your handicap moves up or down depending on your results.  For more information search:

In other news:

  • The council will be taking out a dead section of hedge near the gate which has often been used to assist illegal access. The hedge will be replanted and protected with a chestnut paling fence while the new plants get established.  If this summer is as dry as last year we may ask for help from members in keeping the new section watered.  The new fence seems to be keeping more trespassers out of our compound.  If you see any stray tennis balls on the lawn, please throw them back, even if there’s nobody there rather than taking them into the clubhouse.
  • A new cleaning rota is now displayed on the notice board.  Please put your name down for a couple of sessions this year and don’t assume that somebody else will do it.  It takes surprisingly little time for a couple of people to clean the clubhouse so you can always arrange to come to the club a little earlier, do the cleaning then carry on to play at your usual time.

    While I don’t like to nag, not only are people not cleaning up, but they’re actively making it harder for those who do.  The most recent cleaning session found crisps on the floor and the remnants of a chocolate bar as well as trodden in grass and soil.  Your mother isn’t a club member – please clean up after yourself. This also applies to the bins, which are rarely emptied, and recycling and general rubbish gets mixed together.  We are considering removing the bins altogether other than on tournament days as it’s not fair on those doing the cleaning.  Please take your rubbish away with you – there are plenty of bins in the park where you can put wrappers, milk cartons etc.

  • Please ensure that you enter your name in the diary each time you play, particularly this year as we experiment with new arrangements.  It provides a good overview of numbers throughout the week and helps the committee to plan.
  • Please can those talented people who won trophies last year return them to the clubhouse so that they can be displayed throughout the summer.
  • Our past president Neil Chalmers has now moved away from Norfolk and has left a selection of croquet clothing with the club badge on should anyone like to make use of them.  They wil be displayed in the Men’s changing room.  Take anything that fits and make a donation to the club.
  • You will probably have heard that parking charges are to be introduced at Eaton Park in both car parks.  These will come into force with effect from Monday 20th March.  For more details see:

Peter Scott     Chairman