Get in to Croquet

Get in to Croquet

Croquet is one of those activities that struggles with a reputation for being elitist.  This is probably due to the fact that a decent sized (and flat) garden is needed to be able to play at home, and clubs are few and far between.  Luckily for those of us in Norwich there’s an excellent facility near the model boating lake run by Norwich Croquet Club where visitors and new members are always welcome. The traditional form of the game is known as Association Croquet.  Described as being ‘like snooker with mallets’, it’s a game that requires great skill and tactical nous.  It’s possible for a player to build a break (as in snooker) and matches can take many hours to complete.  There is a strong core of Association players in the club and mini tournaments are held every second Monday throughout the summer.  Also there is the occasional weekend tournament attracting players from across the country to compete. A more accessible way into the game is the variation known as Golf Croquet.  The basics can be picked up very quickly and newcomers will be playing within fifteen minutes of first picking up a mallet.  Usually played by two teams of two it’s a very sociable activity and a game typically takes half an hour to complete.  Of course it’s possible to develop with practice, and formal and informal coaching sessions are held for those who want to improve and eventually compete in league matches against other clubs.  Many members however are content just to turn up for one of the club mornings (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am) meet...
The Friendly Park

The Friendly Park

Parks can be new or old, large or small, and urban or wild. The Eaton Park that Ceceile and I have come to know and love in our two years in Norwich is a city park not yet a century old, and so still young by British standards. Eaton is quite large for a city the size of Norwich and, of course, very much a part of the surrounding urban fabric of houses, schools and businesses. However, there is also a wild naturalness about Eaton Park that I notice most times I walk through it on my way to work. All I have to do is to look up at the Norfolk sky from Eaton Park’s colonnaded center to enjoy the towering spectacle of clouds that — as the Fenland poet Edward Storey insists — “are to us as the Himalayas are to the world of Asia.”  Or as the writer Charles Kingsley put it: “Overhead the arch of heaven spread more ample than elsewhere, as over the open sea…such cloudlands, such sun rises, such sunsets, as can be seen nowhere else in these isles.” The elegant geometries designed into Eaton Park by A. E. Sandys-Winsch in the 1920s bring the natural world of cloudlands, flower beds, migratory birds and chirping crickets close to us even as park patrons gather together to enjoy each other’s company in outdoor pursuits ranging from picnicking and dog-walking to team sports, model boating and train rides. Eaton Park is very local in its East Anglian topography and in its native varieties of flora and fauna; but it is also attuned to shared and...
Nature Events 2017

Nature Events 2017

Tree Identification Walk with Richard Hobbs Saturday 24 June, 10am to midday  Eaton Park has a wonderful range of trees – it’s a real ‘city arboretum’. Richard Hobbs leads this walk around Eaton Park and shows you what to look for so you can learn to identify them. Spaces are limited. Please contact Sarah Scott to reserve one: scotts414@btinternet.com or 01603 505720 Free, donations please to Friends of Eaton Park Butterfly Day, with the Norfolk branch of Butterfly Conservation Sunday 6 August, 11am to 3pm Family quiz trail, hand-on craft activity, butterfly identification (bring a photo of your mystery butterflies), and advice on how to encourage butterflies in your garden; plus become a butterfly recorder and take part in this year’s Big Butterfly Count in locations around Eaton Park. Activities drop in and free, donations please to Butterfly Conservation   Eaton Park Fungus Day, with Kay Yeoman from UEA Sunday 22 October, 11am to 4pm Meet the experts and take a closer look at the marvelous world of fungi. There’ll be microscopes to get a closer look plus hands-on craft activities involving large white umbrellas! This event is part of UK Fungus Day and Norwich Science Festival. Activities drop in and...
Music in Eaton Park 2017

Music in Eaton Park 2017

There is ample seating around the bandstand but if it’s a sunny day and you want some shade you can bring a parasol or your own chairs. There’s plenty of space in the shaded colonnade around the bandstand. Norwich City Concert Band Sunday 18 June, 3pm to 5pm Dereham Band Sunday 16 July, 3pm to 5pm Norwich Accordion Band Sunday 6 August, 3pm to 5pm Great Yarmouth Brass Band Sunday 20 August, 3pm to 5pm Look out for Friends of Eaton Park – we are usually to be found across from the café selling secondhand books, jigsaws and DVDs to raise funds for the park. We’ll also be happy to try and answer your questions about the park and to tell you about our work...
Footgolf

Footgolf

Footgolf is one of the UK’s fastest growing sports – a winning combination of football and golf. You play it on a golf course using a size 5 football. Like golf, the object of the game is to get the ball into the hole in the fewest number of shots possible. Eaton Park’s newest sport uses the existing pitch and putt course but different holes. Norwich has two courses, Eaton Park and Mousehold Heath. As well as a great way to exercise and get some fresh air footgolf is sociable and it’s good fun for all ages. Footgolf times are Tuesday and Friday evenings from 3pm to dusk and Saturdays from 1pm to dusk. Tickets cost: Full details here. Go-for-less discounts...