After a generous bequest from the Clubs founder Jennet Blake, the Club resolved to build its own clubhouse. A grant from the Croquet Association along with very generous contributions from members allowed us to place the order.
The initial objection from the Parish Council was answered but was followed by the Planning Dept needing a full flood risk assessment. Eventually all the obstacles cleared and the hoops jumped through, full planning permission was granted.
The plan was 3 fold - Stage 1 foundations, Stage 2 build platform and decking, Stage 3 build shed by DIY members.
Stage 1 started on 9 May and was completed much more quickly that we planned. Our groundworkers, Jack and Zak dug out the 9 foundation holes, filled the foundations and then built the 9 brick piers in 3 evenings’ work. Unfortunately all the sand cement ballast and building blocks had to be man handled the 200yds from the carpark to the site as the delivery refused to drive across the outfield in case he got bogged down!!!
Stage 2 started on 17 May and took a bit longer when Robbie Kinight built the flooring and decking. Without the clubhouse the decking looked more like a stage setting or raised dancefloor than a base for a shed!
Stage 3 saw the delivery of the shed on 17th May. 1 lorry with over 6oo bits of wood, nuts, bolts, screws, windows, handles and lots more, all pre-cut and sorted into various piles. Fortunately the driver was more cooperative and dropped the load within 10 yards of the site. Over the next 7 days, Tony Roger and Mike put together this massive lego like structure under the expert guidance of Tony who had built 2 similar sheds during lockdown. Progress was maintained despite the soaring temperatures and fortunately with some good humour to keep us going. Roy and Chris helped out with the painting and professional advice from Chris's experience as a builder.
6 days later, Robbie returned and fitted the stairs and the safety rail to complete the main stages of the project. We then realised the real advantage of building the decking almost 1 meter above ground. The elevation gave a superb view of both main courts and it soon became a popular sitting area to watch matches progress.
Considerable time and head-scratching was necessary to ensure the finer details were fitted. An extra window was cut into the back which allows more light and a through draught. Coat hooks, fitting the flooring sheets and vinyl, notice boards all took time. We then realised that the decking was a real suntrap and became uncomfortably hot without any shade. Tony went to considerable lengths to trial several options of shade but eventually settled on a row of beach style umbrellas fitted simply to the front balustrade and suitably angled to provide shade throughout the day. Perfect!
The Clubhouse is 99% complete - there will always be something to be added to improve the facility to make the shed a proper clubhouse and social centre for members.