Queen was patron of Croquet Association

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Princess Elizabeth plays croquet with the future Duke of Edinburgh when he was a student at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.
Princess Elizabeth plays croquet with the future Duke of Edinburgh when he was a student at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. Photo courtesy of Britannia Museum, Dartmouth.

by David Morley

Everyone’s focus throughout much of September has been on the sad news about the Queen.
Sad because, inevitable as it was some day, it was somehow surprising, and almost ‘shocking’ in its enormity, when it happened.

This great lady was suddenly no longer there to guide our affairs of state, so soon after her pivotal role in formalising the appointment of her 15th Prime Minister.
That said, mourning gave a wonderful opportunity for peaceful reflection of all the ways her presence affected our everyday lives. It also allowed time for the carefully structured mechanism of succession of the monarchy to happen, and for ‘her people’ to become comfortable with life as subjects of King Charles III.

Queen Elizabeth II had been the patron of the Croquet Association, a role that perhaps took her back to when, 80 years ago at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, she first met – and played croquet with – the man she would one day marry.
Bowls players will typically gravitate to ‘indoor bowls’ at this time of year. By contrast, croquet will continue to be played throughout much of the winter, subject only to the conditions of the green, which in turn will be most affected by the weather.
Tisbury Bowls and Croquet Club (TBCC) officially opened in June, since when membership has increased to more than 40, with three-quarters of members being interested in playing croquet – and many of these have a genuine interest to give bowls a try. The aim for 2023 is to grow that number by 20-30 new members.
Among the current members are a number of experienced croquet players, several of whom enjoy the prospect of teaching those new to the sport or who want to improve their standard of play.
The next few months are the ideal time to see what the growing interest in croquet is about.
An introductory game, with good quality instruction available, will soon show just how interesting the sport is while at the same time bringing people together, often in mixed groups drawn from a variety of age groups.
TBCC’s WhatsApp facility helps to keep members in touch with what games are going on and who is looking for partners – or opponents. If players like what they have experienced, the membership list for the 2023 season will soon be open and a year’s subscription to the club, as a Christmas present, could make a brilliant start for many to the New Year.
Contact us at info@tisburybowlsandcroquet.com and get the ball rolling.

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