Croquet in Shrewsbury

Croquet came to Shrewsbury in the early 1980s, thanks to the efforts of the gentleman in civvies in the above photo, Henry Christmas, known throughout the croquet world, you will be astonished to discover, as 'Happy' Christmas - and if ever a man lived up to his nickname, this is he. Having found half a dozen like-minded enthusiasts, he persuaded the then Shrewsbury and Atcham council to create a pair of croquet lawns at Monkmoor. Unfortunately, like so many people who only think they know about croquet, the council built 2 crown green bowling lawns, complete with ditches and undulations. Croquet, however, needs the flattest possible surface. Still, that was that and the members of the new club, nice, polite people to a man or woman, put up with the inhospitable surface for almost the next 30 years. The club was by no means the first in the region: the club at Edgbaston had been there for almost a century; there were flourishing clubs at Wolverhampton, Stourbridge, and Himley, a tiny one at Knighton, and, very soon afterwards, with the encouragement of the Christmas family, 2 clubs in Ludlow, at the College and at the local cricket ground, the latter giving itself the grand title of the South Shropshire Croquet Club.

All these clubs played in the West Midlands Federation League, a competition whose ranks were soon swelled by the addition of several school teams, formed as the result of the Croquet Association's drive to interest the very young in the game.  It was not long before the youngsters were showing their elders how the game should be played. Within a few years a club was formed at Church Stretton, courtesy of the Long Mynd Hotel.

As croquet clubs go, Shrewsbury is a small club: there are some with up to eleven lawns and many with four or five. But it is an active, enthusiastic club with members whose aim is to improve and to win. They have come top of the West Midland League for the last 5 years. Floreat Salopia!

Come and join us.

Ring me on 01743 249 598 and I'll arrange for one of our members to get you started.


Michael Michael

Severn Magazine and Love Shrewsbury Editor.

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