Hen party dress up for croquet class
CROQUET Members at the Lansdown Club stopped in amazement as their top lawn was taken over by a bevy of eight Regency-clad young ladies and one stylishly dressed young buck.
Club coach Ros Key-Pugh expained: "I received a phone call out of the blue from Zoe Barton to ask if we could arrange a surprise activity for her friend Julie Davies from Manchester who is getting married at the end of September."
Davies loves dressing up and adores Jane Austen so some friends hired their costumes from Farthingales and others made their own for the hen party in Bath.
None had played croquet before, but with a little light- hearted instruction on how to cope with long skirts whilst wielding a mallet safely and not damaging the lawn, helped down with some appropriate refreshment from the club bar, they were ready to enjoy a good competitive game of golf croquet in the welcome sunshine under the guidance of Key-Pugh and her 91-year-old mother Meriel.
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Meriel remembers her grandmother's garden in Horsham which had a croquet lawn and has family photos of all the ladies in long black skirts and high necked long sleeved blouses, who gathered to play with their mallets swung sedately at their sides – never between their legs.
After the croquet, the party went on to the Bath Spa and then, still in costume, dined out that evening in Bath before returning to their abode in town at The Merchants House.
"Initially it seemed a strange request, but I love introducing people to croquet and am always ready to try new ways of showing what fun the game can be," said Key-Pugh.
"Zoe and her friends were such a lovely group of people – it was great to share their special weekend. It was a very happy event for them and the club."