Committee member
i/c this web site is:
Chris Roberts
079 7378 7710

For older NEWS
click here:
9 January - Pat Eades RIP - funeral

The funeral for Pat Eades RIP was very well atened by approimatly 150 mourners at Bix Church today.  (see December 2019 News for an obituary)
The Crqouet Club was well represented by our Chairman, several committee members and others.
It was a lovely service and fitting tribute to very full life, very well lead.
3 March - Fensome and Roberts secure member places at the GC European Championships

Helena Fensome and Chris Roberts will be playing in the GC European Championsips (21-24 May) at Budleigh Salterton in Devon
The European Croquet Federation issued confirmetion today of the players who have been awarded 'member places', with each nation being allowed to nominate two places.
Fensome and Roberts have member places on behalf of Finland and Wales respectivly.
3 March - Hoops set and start of play announcement expected very shortly

At long last, we have hoops set on some of our courts - thanks to Chris Roberts and Russell Robinson who were on the job for three hours today.
An announcement of the start of play is expected very shortly (before the end of the week).

5 March -   Start of Play announced!

We are pleased to announce at last that limited courts space is now open for play.

Court 1 - A temporary court has bee set up in the central area of Courts 1 & 2 so as to avoid the worst of the traditionally wet areas at the river and car park ends.
            - The usual configuration of Courts 1 & 2 will be set up before Easter, or earlier if he general weather improves.

Court 3 - Has been set up a little shorter than the summer full length, to allow extra time for an area under repair at the car park end to grow.
            - We have 'won' and extra yard in width thanks to cutting back the moat bank. The full width will be marked out when the grass has grown.
            - Please try to keep of the damaged area near the centre of the court if possible.

            - The court access steps are due to be repaired next week and are cordoned off.
            - Please only access the courts via the path at the river end of court 1.
            - Do not short cut via court 3 because the ground is under repair and keep off court 4 as well please.

Court bookings
           - No reserving of courts until Monday please, by which time the booking system will be set-up with regular features like mix-in days.
           - Until then, please all join in together and make everyone welcome.

Thank you for you patience so far this year everyone.
7 March - Phyllis Court v Durham - We get a home draw in the National GC Federations Shield (phew! )

We won a very a fortunate home draw in the National GC Federations Shield this week.
'Fortunate' because our opponents will be Croquet Durham, which would have been a record breaking distant trip if we'd had to play away.
A date is being sought, probably in the second half of May.
- The GC Federations Shield is a national knock-out (handicap play) competition between the winners of the handicap leagues of the 9 Federation areas around the country, plus the trophy holders (High Wycombe), and is Directed for the CA by our own Frances Colman.
Phyllis Court qualified for this when our 2019 B team won the Southern Federation Handicap League.
9 March - Quiz NIght postponed

Sadly we have had to take the decision to postpone our Croquet Quiz Night to another time (it was to have been on 19 March).
This decision was made amid the current uncertainty and health concerns with regards to the Covid-19.
Sorry for the disappointment that this news my bring.
12 March - New mower arrives and is straight into action

Our new mower arrived today and was put through its paces immediately in the hands of gardener Jack.
The main club have purchased this new machine which is a Dennis Ultra Razor 22" cut model and come highly recommended by a local knowledgeable sports turf specialist we know.
The new machine replaces an old model that was past its best, and comes with a rotating 'groomer' in front of blades which stands-up the grass for a better cut, and it also feature a back roller scraper which avoids mud from worm casts and the like being re-deposited on the lawn.
Our grounds staff are in the process of reducing the height of the cut steadily as we leave winter behind and move into spring.

Coronavirus  -  Please heed the latest advice issued by the UK Government - Click here
22 March -   Play now much resticted at Phyllis Court - temporary measures inplemented 

Announcement by Crqouet Club Chairman Madeleine Probert

Dear Members,
I wrote to you all last Tuesday (17 March) with news about the Croquet Club in view of the Government guidelines current at that that time regarding the Coronavirus.
The situation has changed again - on Friday (20 March) the Government has asked all sorts of establishments to close down, including bars, restaurants, clubs and gyms, in order to strengthen social distancing.
In response to this Phyllis Court announced the temporary closure of the Clubhouse and Fitness Centre on Friday until further notice. However, sporting activities will continue for the time being.

Following that government announcement we have looked at best practice being put in place at many croquet clubs that are still open.
In order to balance how we can continue to play croquet and meet the need to observe social distancing, the Committee of the Croquet Club has decided to implement the following measures:

1.  There will be no Mix-In sessions in order to reduce the potential for several members to congregate
2.  Only Singles games should be played
3.  Only one game per court (ie no double banking)
4.  Courts should be booked in advance by ringing Reception (01491 570500, open 8am - 8pm)
5.  Beginners Training has been postponed for the time being
6.  All internal and external competitions and tournaments have been postponed. Chris Roberts will send an update separately
7.  Keep 2 metres apart from your opponent, whether on or off the court

Please note:
a) Chris Roberts is away at the moment and plans to re-instate Courts 1 and 2 by the end of the week.
    Court 3 will also be available to book, due to the postponement of all the Beginners Training courses.
b) Chris hopes that all these changes will be reflected in the online booking system as soon as possible.
    However he has to ask a member of staff to make the changes, so we can't say how soon this will be done.
c) The pavilion key is normally kept at Reception, so I am organising a key safe to be installed near the pavilion door. I will supply the code when it is ready to use.
d) The Clubhouse and Fitness Centre are closed so there are no toilet or hand washing facilities. Think about bringing your own gloves and/or hand sanitiser.
e) Bring your own drinking water and drinking vessel.

Inevitably it means that there will be a short delay before play can be resumed, while these arrangements are put in place. I will let you know when everything is ready for you to book courts and access the pavilion. Please be patient!

Thank you for your understanding and co-operation in these uncertain times. We will keep these arrangements under review and update you with any further changes.
I do hope that some of you will be able to come along and enjoy a game of croquet and some social interaction in the fresh air and beautiful surroundings of Phyllis Court. It was lovely there today, at what was the last Mix-In for a while.

With my best wishes to you all to stay safe.
Kind regards,
Madeleine Probert, Croquet Club Chairman
23 March - more detail of new arrangements - then the Prime Minister's 8pm statement

Croquet Club Chairman Madeleine Probert, sent an e-mail to members this evening detailing the practicalities of croquet within the current guidelines at that time.
Before those practicalities could be displayed here, the Prime Minister issued a instruction statement to the country at 8pm, announcing further restrictive measures on movement to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
A further update about croquet at PCC will be issued in light of this - Please check back here in the morning.

    24 March -   All croquet is now suspended at Phyllis Court 

    Dear Members
    With great reluctance I have to announce the closure of the croquet courts for the time being, in view of the Prime Minister's announcement last evening calling for a lockdown on our movements.
    The scale of the emergency is unprecedented.
    We have all got to stay healthy, and at home, in order not to put any further pressure on the already struggling NHS, care home sector, essential shops and delivery workers etc.
    They are putting themselves at risk for us every day.

    There will be a small number of staff at Phyllis Court still working to maintain the club.
    This will include cutting the croquet courts once or twice per week in order to keep them healthy and weed free.
    Once the emergency measures are lifted it should not take too long to get the courts ready again for play.

    Thank you for your understanding and co-operation  -  Stay safe!

    Madeleine Probert,  Croquet Club Chairman

    The Government’s Full Guidance dated 23 March 2020 states under bullet-point 4 of Section 2 “Closing non-essential shops and public spaces" the specific instruction to close "sports courts” - for the full document click here