Penrith Club Launches Opening Doors Campaign

There were Triple Peels aplenty at Dalemain House near Penrith on Saturday 14th May.  This was perhaps no more than expected at the annual International Marmalade Festival.  Since 2005 marmalade enthusiasts have raised over £270,000 for hospice at home charities.

An article in the CA Gazette, last December, alerted Penrith CC members about a new category this year allowing entries made from any three citrus fruits, – the Triple Peel.

Inspired by the CA Opening Doors initiative we seized the opportunity to set out two temporary lawns in front of the magnificent Georgian façade at Dalemain House.  The local press published an article about our forthcoming croquet showcase. On the day newly purchased banner flags fluttered gently under warm Cumbrian skies, – much to everyone’s great relief!

We knew this event attracts a large number of visitors.  Awards for marmalade makers, both domestic and artisan, from across the UK and abroad would ensure a ready supply of people wanting to take up our invitation to ‘have a go’ at croquet.

Even with wide wire hoops, the playing conditions were tricky on a very bumpy lawn. We adopted double banked five hoop golf croquet as the way to provide a good experience of croquet, whilst keeping things moving.  Participants were handed an invitation to visit our club lawns and play more croquet at Taster Sessions in late May.  Several people from outside the area asked about clubs where they live.

One visitor from Sweden, supposedly a croquet player, was surprised to see our lawn layout only had one peg.  He called it a ‘crown’.  Only when Paddington Bear arrived asking about croquet in Peru did we struggle to provide an answer.  Undeterred by a ‘hard stare’ we offered Paddington a mallet and he graciously accepted being photographed with club members and visitors.

Did we win any gold medals for our Triple Peels?  No, but several members did win Silver and Bronze awards for their marmalade entries.

Did we open doors for people to try croquet.  We certainly did.

Howard Bowron

Chairman Penrith CC