Sometimes its the gear that brings a story to mind. For example:
Mark Higgins remembers:
"I met Patrick Moore's brother in law in a competition I entered many years ago. He told me so much about Patrick that I still think that I actually met him - especially on discovering how keen the great man was on croquet. The chap was using one of Patrick's mallets - wooden, the handle held together with a series of those metal hose pipe clamps. They regularly played at his home near Selsey Bill. Lovely flat lawn and good clear skies down there, no doubt!!
It was in a competition organised many years ago by The Observer - all done by post and phone. A jolly nice chap phoned me up to say we were drawn against each other and "your place or mine". Well since I lived at the time in a one bed in Balham and "mine" would have been a patch of Clapham Common, and "his" I discovered was The Hurlingham Club, I made the very best of it and nobly offered to 'play away'."
(Editor's note: the picture is of Patrick, not Mark.)
Ed Olhausen writes:
"To help me in my first full season of AC, I ordered a new mallet from Australia. It arrived one day after my 50th birthday. It has done me proud: I achieved my pre-season aim of getting my handicap into single figures, 16 down to 9; won the EV2 intraclub AC handicap competition; and helped High Wycombe get to the final of the Longman Cup (currently postponed)."
But the Mallet Story of this Session goes to David Gantzel for this:
"One of the first people to join the club was a man named Jim McKean. An eccentric in every sense of the word.
Very keen to play but always got lost and had to be told either 'You've already done that hoop' or shown which hoop he was on.
He was, however, a forerunner of Ralph Baker, being skilled at making and maintaining mallets. In this respect he had made an extra heavy one for his wife who didn't play! He sold it to me cheaply. Many members at the time thought the mallet too heavy to play with so, one day at Bassetsbury I asked David Oppenshaw his opinion.
David put a marker - a coin I think - about a yard from a corner. He then played from the opposite diagonal
i.e. the longest possible distance. The ball ended 3/8th inch short.
His comment was "I would like to have been closer"!
He found no fault with the mallet and I played with it for some years. It is now in the clubhouse