|Gloucester Croquet Club|
On 27th April 1987 the Gloucester Croquet Club was formed by a group of Ladies who had, through the summer months, attended Aqua fitness at the local swimming pool, and as the pool was closing for the winter, the need to continue some form of activity was foremost in their minds. Firstly, of course, the Council needed to be coerced into allowing them to use land between Tennis Courts and the Swimming Pool within the Park area. This was no easy task, and a book could be written on this subject alone. But persistence won through, and Croquet was enjoyed with some coaching from other clubs.
Meetings were held underneath the trees because, of course, there was no clubhouse at this early stage, and on meeting days if it rained, then the meetings were held at the nearby Caravan Park. During 1989, an all-weather shed was erected, which was similar in size and style to a Bus Shelter with a lockable seat/box to store our equipment on-site, fencing followed at a cost to ourselves, and finally the Croquet Greens were looking a little more lived in.
The Gloucester Croquet Club became a part of the zone taking in as well as Gloucester, Forster, Port Macquarie, Taree, known as MNCCC, having regular friendship days of competition, which is still running.
During 1995 a clubhouse was built much to the delight of everyone involved, a builder was contracted, and quite a lot of work was done by our own men and husbands of members, a lot of enjoyment was had whilst this project was proceeding. There was the normal ‘red tape’ but that in itself was all part of the excitement. Playing days continued during the building, and members were becoming quite proficient at Croquet and its finer points.
In 1997/98 a group of Church people looking for an afternoon entertainment, came for tea and cakes, and thus Golf Croquet was born here in Gloucester, needless to say we have never looked back, and both Association and Golf Croquet are played and enjoyed by a growing membership. This year we are going to venture into Ricochet of a Thursday morning, maybe this could lead into swelling our Association membership, one never knows.
The club has been involved with AASC for several years and will continue when the Sporting Schools comes online in a few months. This has brought croquet to the fore in Gloucester and now our primary school visit the courts each Friday morning during the 2 winters months as part of their sports curriculum, the bonus is that the children choose the sport they wish to participate in and we have on average 25 pupils each week wanting to play croquet. Last year the high school asked to a have try at croquet as an end of year event, once the bug bit they were back for a second visit and now have booked for this year.
Our busy membership is always on the look out to improve facilities, with one court reconstructed a few years ago, the other is in the pipeline, hopefully sooner rather than later. A storage shed added to the back of the clubhouse and installation of an automatic watering system complete with water tank. Now our dream would be for lights to be able to enjoy evening play - maybe one day!!
Gloucester Club has come a long way since the group of Aqua fitness ladies decided not to sit back and vegetate during the winter of 1987.