Farnham Croquet Club are desperately appealing for help to find a permanent home to bring the sport to the town.
The club have been formed by three volunteers – Andy Walker, Bob Blightman and Peter Hornsby – but they currently have nowhere to play croquet in the town. The trio would like to take over the unused bowls green on Gostrey Meadow, but they can’t access any funding for a croquet lawn until they have security of tenure.
“That bowling green has been unused for ten to 12 years,” said Walker.
“There is also another patch of unused land beyond the bowling green that is pretty unkempt.
“That whole area has been unused. You could turn that, if you had some vision, into a really nice amenity for croquet and something else for younger people.
“We could bring money from Sport England to do it with support from the town council.
“We need security of tenure for Sport England to spend money – the guidance is you need a tenure of ten years.
“We hoped to start this year, but it takes a lot of time and you would have to have a clubhouse there and other facilities.”
Walker says the popularity of croquet is growing.
“There are croquet clubs in Godalming and Basingstoke.”
If the club are unable to find a site of their own, Walker said they may pursue other options.
“The obvious thing to do would be to share with a bowls club,” he said. “There is a sharing arrangement at Basingstoke and at Beacon Hill. We haven’t approached that yet.”
Farnham town clerk Iain Lynch said: “Farnham Town Council is keen to support croquet in Farnham.
“We have suggested a number of alternative venues given that any use in Gostrey Meadow would inevitably be temporary with our provisional plans to put in a new playground, replace the toilets and build a community cafe to train youngsters from the Ridgeway School in hospitality.
“We suggested sites including Badshot Lea and Wrecclesham, and I know some councillors have also been trying to assist.”