Bury Croquet Club - Surface Story.
|The lawns closed for play and winter treatment work at the end of Sept '09.
The idea was to finally remove the 'crown' from our 'crown green bowling green'.
After much discussion and consultation, the membership and the club committee decided to have the club's two lawns leveled over the winter closed season'09/'10.
This is the culmination of effort and energy over the last two years;
To raise the considerable funds required.
To have the supporting ground surveyed for stability.
To recruit the Park's and Town Council to the project and get granted all the
necessary permissions required to undertake the works.
To request and collate multiple quotes for all aspects of the works required.
The 'Pro's' of a larger playing surface out-weighed the 'Con's' of crown slope home advantage
Work began well in mid October under warm sunshine, with the surface being cut into turf sections, each piece then being rolled and removed.
8" of top soil was excavated off the whole site, stored and saved for later use.
Replacement drainage trenches were then dug out, drains laid, connected and buried with gravel.
The entire surface was given a new level, aided by a perimeter boundary of railway sleepers, all workings laser levelled and old top soil replaced.
and then.............the sun went in..............
|and it started to rain........
and rain............and rain........
culminating in the wettest November on record - you remember flooding and bridges being washed away in Northwest?
Unsurprisingly work stopped...............
BCC now must be the only croquet club without a Court to play on............
Watch this space......
|Then came the snow, and more snow....
and more............and more........
Not to mention overnight temperatures down to -10C.
SPRING, long associated with new beginnings, takes on a whole new meaning for us this year
The rebirth of our beloved playing surface started on March 10, 2010 as daytime sunlight raised the temperatures to 8C.
Turf began being moved back to it's rightful place, so enjoy the last shot of exposed drains!
|A week without any serious rain, snow, frost, or 4 horsemen of the apocalypse showing up (well with our luck, you never know!).
in fact, all we've had is mild sunshine.....SO work continued.....
Turf is turned into a playing court - well it's starting to look like one again at least
|By weekend, coverage was nearly 100%, but this is just the start;
Now the new/old turf has to be *bound* to the foundation soil.
And nature allowed to take its course......
Enjoy the view - this is a serious case of "Look, dont Touch" combined with "Keep of the Grass"
Saturday 17th July saw the Official Reopening of the lawn by Vicky Binns (Molly) who swapped
Coronation Street for Coronation Park for the afternoon.
Typically this was also delayed by the weather, heavy rain fell all morning and had flooded the generator that was to power the PA system, shouting became the plan B.
As Vicky declared it open eight members hit balls across the lawn.
We were glad to welcome Barry Keen representing the Croquet Association, Janet Davies - the NW Federation Development Officer, Robert Essler and representatives from the funding organisations, from the contractors and from Bury Metro Leisure Services. It was good to see some members of other clubs and members of the general public attend.
The sun shone in the afternoon and everyone, including three Community Support Officers and the Park Rangers, enjoyed some light-hearted croquet games.
The guests enjoyed champagne with excellent sandwiches and cakes prepared by Pat Carter, one of our members.
Normal Service/Use can now resume - we have our club back!
Renovation of Bury Croquet Club Lawn, Coronation Park, Radcliffe
Report by Margaret Anderton - The Report, as it appeared in The Gazzette
Bury Croquet Club moved to Coronation Park in 1997 onto a crown bowling green. Everyone liked the location and the atmosphere but the crown in the middle and the sloping edges were not too good for croquet. There was just enough room to have two slightly undersized lawns where reasonable play was possible and the turf was superb. Over the years the slopes at the edges became worse with wear and about two years ago we decided to investigate the possibility of having the area levelled. Just raising the edges was considered but when we compared quotations for this and having the whole area levelled we realised that whichever we did would require outside funding so we decided to apply for enough money to do the whole lawn. Some members expressed worries that the drainage was not as good as it had been and there seemed to be some slippage at one corner of the lawn so we asked Robert Essler (Professional Geo-engineer and also fellow croquet player from Pendle and Craven CC) for advice. Surveys showed that there were some problems so correcting these was added to the project.
Bury Croquet Club put in some of the money and we are very grateful to have received funding from The Croquet Association, Awards for All, The Community Foundation for Greater Manchester Grassroots Fund and the Radcliffe Local Area Partnership. We also received a great deal of support from Bury Metro.
The contractors were Souters Sports and Bury Drains and work started in October 2009. The work was originally contracted to take 14 days. It was almost completed when the weather broke at the end of the month. The turf had been stripped off and laid out on sheeting over other areas of the park with one of the club members guarded it during the nights for several weeks but then it was so saturated that it would have been impossible to take away. After a month of heavy rain, the snow came, followed by the frost and ice and the lawn area was left like a ploughed field with the members wondering if it would ever be sorted out. All through the winter club members used to call in at the park to check on what was happening (nothing) and worry about the state of the lawn area.
Eventually half way through March the turf was re-laid and it had survived remarkably well though we did need a small amount of new turf. We had sleepers put all round the edge which got rid of the untidy gutters there previously and the mower can now go right to the edge. We have had very little rain during the last few months so once again the weather seemed to be against us. However, the grass grew well and we started playing on it at the end of May after the members had worked hard to put stop boards all round the fence. There are still a few slightly bumpy areas but we are certain that by the end of the season the lawns will be even better and already the members are delighted that they can hit a ball in the direction they want and it will stay on line. Other advantages are that the hoops can be moved to minimise wear to the lawn and there is room for practice areas at the ends of the courts.
Saturday 17th July saw the Official Reopening of the lawn by Vicky Binns (Molly) who swapped Coronation Street for Coronation Park for the afternoon. As she declared it open eight members hit balls across the lawn. We were glad to welcome Barry Keen representing the Croquet Association, Janet Davies - the NW Federation Development Officer, Robert Essler and representatives from the funding organisations, from the contractors and from Bury Metro Leisure Services. It was good to see some members of other clubs and members of the general public though not as many as we hoped probably due to very heavy showers in the morning. The sun shone in the afternoon and everyone, including three Community Support Officers and the Park Rangers, enjoyed some light-hearted croquet games. The guests enjoyed champagne with excellent sandwiches and cakes prepared by one of our members.