All four of the new courts at Guildford and Godalming came into play in 2015. With the agreement of the Rugby Club, the Club constructed a 250 yard rabbit-proof fence on its open flanks. This helped to identify the club as a separate entity within the sports complex. The next project is to build a modest clubhouse on the footprint of the old bowling club pavilion for which planning permission has already been granted. The clubhouse will include a toilet and cost about £12,000, including the concrete base. It has been agreed with the Rugby Club that the site will be rent free for the next two years during which time the croquet club will increase its membership to 100 to enable it to pay rent thereafter.
After a long period of uncertainty, Canterbury decided to remain with its parent sports club at Polo Farm. Three new lawns are under construction, paid for by the Sports Club. The Club requested the SECF Lawns Officer, George Noble to have a look at what appeared to be a drainage problem on the site.
Courts 1, 2 and 3 at Sussex County were refurbished in phase 1 of the club’s three year programme, and brought into use. Courts 4, 5, 6 and 9 were re-surfaced and re-seeded in September 2015 and will be brought back into use early next season. The remaining four courts will be done in the autumn next year. The SECF provided a modest grant to help finance the work.
The two new courts at Caterham were brought into use in the second half of the season and one will be played on during this winter. The local Council had promised landscaping around them but procrastinated in the face of objections from local residents. The Club was not even allowed to position wooden ball stops along the boundaries of the courts as they could be trip hazards. Since the courts are encircled by a wide pathway along which pedestrians and the occasional car pass, there was concern. However, the extremely co-operative Council green keeper allowed a strip of high grass to grow on the sides of the lawns which proved to be a fairly effective ball stop.
The building company Marples recently purchased the land on which the Cobdown Sports and Social Club stands. Medway Croquet Club is a part of this Club. The croquet club has to negotiate with the new owners to define its future. The land is designated as a recreational area and there is thus hope that it will remain so.
A lot of work has been put in by Preston club members and local Council staff to refurbish the lawn adjacent to the Council-owned manor house. Three tons of top dressing were applied. The results were encouraging and the court was used for promotional events and will be played on during this winter. The last stage of the project will be finished in the spring, in time for the 2016 season with the application of a further two tons of top dressing. The SECF has promised £150 towards the cost. 2
After only its second season, Lodsworth is busy raising funds to build a well equipped pavilion adjacent to its court for the start of next season. The CA granted £1,000 and the SECF Committee agreed to contribute £250 towards the total cost of £32,000 - £35,000.
The two courts at Worthing have been moved within the bowls complex at Field Place to a location in this well-used recreational area which is much more conspicuous to the passing public. Funds are being raised to build a modest club house adjacent to the new courts. The SECF has agreed provide a grant of £250.
The Crawley Club was reduced to 16 members but recovered to 22 by the end of the 2015 season. The £4m restoration of Worth Park, in which the club is situated, is complete. There is a faint hope that there may be some funds remaining which could pay for improvements to the croquet courts. However, the Council has removed the device to prevent vandals riding motorbikes on them (for “health and safety reasons”).
Having just about raised the necessary funds to add two courts in the adjacent Rugby Club (a £39,000 project), Reigate Priory discovered, when it came to formalising the arrangement, that the £5,000 annual rent expected by the landowner was unsustainable. The project has been shelved.
An irrigation system at Cheam has been installed using funds raised by the Club.