I regret to have to tell you that after over 40 years, the Hurlingham club have informed me that they can no longer give a home to the headquarters of the Croquet Association. This is not because of any disagreement between us. It is due to the Hurlingham Club's undertaking extensive re-structuring which has severely limited their available space. In addition, the extra administration accommodation that had been planned is not now going to be built, owing to planning restrictions.
I can assure you that there is no loss of good-will between us and Hurlingham , and that there is every intention that major events such as the Opens will continue to be held there as before.
I would like to record here, our gratitude to Hurlingham for the immense amount of support and assistance that they have given to us over the last four decades. This help has been given in time, money and expertise and in large amounts of all of them. Thank you, Hurlingham.
We have been given 12 months, which may seem a long time, but it is not really, when one considers all that is going to have to be done. Furthermore, it will be in our interests not to have to leave things to the last minute as it would mean moving in the middle of the next season. Ideally we need to be in place before the 2002 season starts.
This is going to be a formidable task for us, so besides informing you of the situation, I am also seeking your help. This help can be in any form - ideas, expertise in office relocation, offers of help, offers to serve on the relocation working party we are setting up, suggestions on location (including where you think it should NOT be), even money!
So what needs to be done? There are two offices presently at Hurlingham, the administration office and the commercial office. The administration office presently consists of a Portakabin with just enough room for two or three staff and their associated equipment. We also have a considerable amount of stuff stored in the basement of Hurlingham House. The commercial office is about a third of the size of the administration office, and again is barely large enough to hold the stock needed.
It is probably not essential that the two offices be located at the same place; there are arguments for and against this. It does however need to be borne in mind that the office staff, Nigel & Janet, and the commercial agent, David, all live in various locations within reach of Hurlingham. Any relocation far from there could well mean the loss of one or more of them.
Please direct all offers of help, in whatever form, via the Secretary.
Although this is, undeniably a serious problem, with a bit of luck and a lot of goodwill, we may turn a problem into a success story.