Monday, 18 January 2010

A Tournament At Thames

Well it's been an interesting weekend.  And I use the word 'interesting' advisedly.  I shall probably do a short article for the croquet news but as it would mean little to most of you who may read this I shall confine myself to a summary.  The first thing was that the very late start of 0930 turned out to be 'time for a cup of tea' with a start of croquet at 10am!  Most tournaments are on the lawns at 0830.  We could have gone to the country market after all.  Like most we arrived half an hour before the advertised time and kicked our heels for an hour!

Then we discovered that the format was a melée and Jayne and I wouldn't be partnering each other but would play 5 games (one would expect at least 6 - the last tournament was 8) with 5 separate partners.  Three of us ended up with an equal number of wins and to determine the winner we had to each stand at a separate corner of the lawn and on the gun see who got their ball nearest to the centre.  I didn't!

At least on Sunday I was lucky and drew 5 good games.  Two of NZ's senior players cleaned up first and second but I really enjoyed the day and came away with a net plus on my index card.

I don't think we'll make the journey next year!

However I have now seen Thames and a little bit of the Coromandel Peninsula.

The Thames Croquet Club itself is excellent and even if the lawns were less than perfect the other facilities were first class.  The club was started in 1906 on that site as an addition to the bowling club (which is no longer there) for the wives of men who bowled.  

It's hard work this croquet!


  1. Why were those women carrying baskets of fruit on their heads?? Is that like some sort of handicap?

  2. Aren't you glad you didn't have to frock up like those ladies to play, Geeb???

  3. That looks like a really nice club house in a top spot. Those poor ladies, how uncomfortable they must have been in those get ups, balancing their "baskets of fruit" on their heads. Your modern ladies look a lot happier hanging out under the umbrella.

  4. Great photos. We cycled past the Thames Croquet club recently on a trip to NZ and had a very pleasant 15 minutes while we stopped and watching the game. I would like to use one of your photos on my own blog post of the cycle with full attribution of course. If you have any objections just let me know and I will not use it. cheers Lyn

    1. Thank you. I'll send you a link when the post goes live next weekend. BTW my husband has played croquet for many years. Just socially though. We have a lawn area in our back garden converted into a croquet area.