Caversham’s lawn-care supremo John Wakeford has encountered a ‘mini crisis’! The club’s small rotary mower — which we use for trimming the periphery of our premises — has finally given up the ghost after about half a century of service.
Rather than splashing out some capital expenditure on a new one, our committee have appealed to members who may have a second-hand model they can donate to the club.
The hope is that someone will be planning to upgrade to a new machine in the spring and has an old mower they no longer need. If so, firstname.lastname@example.org is the address to contact. Just asking…
John is also on the look-out for one more willing volunteer to beef up the lawn care team which he oversees.
Between the winter’s two big freeze-ups when the Albert Road lawn was rendered unplayable, some Caversham members have still been hard at work.
So let’s hear a warm round of applause, please, for Anne and Tim Small (left), who gave up much of their valuable time over the New Year to do the mowing and white-lining on behalf of the rest of the membership. Then they repeated the job last week.
Another hero involved in public-spirited grafting has been Terry Marsh, constantly busy with his red flag, weather bulletins and updating the TeamUp app.
Terry (right) has done two spells as our lawn-fitness monitor, before Christmas and again in the last couple of weeks.
“On some days I could tell just looking from my bedroom window that there would be no chance of any play on that day,” he said.
But often he was out prodding around first thing and on other occasions he put in a double shift, returning at lunchtime to check if a thaw allowed afternoon croquet.
All this despite Terry having been hospitalised with illness over the New Year. Let’s hope the worst of the big freeze is now over so he can enjoy a bit of a lie-in.
Caversham club treasurer Brian Jamieson has been re-elected for a fourth and final year as secretary of the Southern Croquet Federation.
Brian was returned unopposed at the annual general meeting of the SCF at Winchester, at which the Blewbury player Peter Allan was elected as the new chairman.
Also representing Caversham at the agm was our putative new secretary for 2023, Liz Walker.
Liz — who had the pleasure of receiving the Single Court League trophy on our behalf — was impressed by the federation’s organisation. “We are lucky that the committee put in so much time on our behalf,” she said.
There could be three Caversham teams in the SCF Single Court League in 2023.
The club made a polite inquiry about the possibility of this and it seems that the League are likely to agree.
It would give more of our members the opportunity to play competitive GC in a League which we have dominated for five years.
If we do field three sides then the club committee may soon be looking for suggestions about how we might re-brand Caversham with some esoteric team names rather then simply calling ourselves A, B and C.
Any ideas? It has been suggested we could use Reading’s beer, bulbs and biscuits heritage. Caversham Digestives anyone? Or Caversham Crackers? Caversham Custard Creams? The possibilities are endless…
Stella Kendall was the first player back on the lawn when Albert Road re-opened after the annual maintenance programme.
And she was the first Caversham member to sport PURPLE hair as she played, as seen on the right in her GC match against Pam Briggs.
Stella had her hair dyed — after having it cropped short — to raise awareness of her fund-raising activities for the Alan Morement Memorial Fund, a charity which supports research into bile duct cancer, an illness which led to the death of her husband.
Members will next week be able to study updated plans for the proposed new croquet lawns at Caversham Park.
Developers Beechcroft are staging a public exhibition of their latest proposals at the former BBC headquarters.
The development includes tennis courts and bowls greens as well as croquet lawns — about which a Caversham CC sub-committee, led by Mike Kay, has been advising them ahead of our club’s possible move there some time in the future.
The exhibition will take place at the iconic former manor house on Thursday, December 8th, between 2pm and 8pm.
A Beechcroft spokesman said: “In response to the feedback arising from consultation on their current planning and listed building applications, Beechcroft have undertaken a significant refresh of their proposals in order to respond positively to the comments received by the local community, key stakeholders, statutory consultees and the local planning authority.”
Our chairman Charles Briggs has confirmed that he will take up the developers’ offer of a private meeting to guide us through the latest plans. He said: “We need to make sure we are fully briefed going forward.”