Croquet On The Pier 2014 With Jaques of London

symbiosis 2We take so many things in this life for granted, hurtling as we are towards the next piece of indispensable software, we have no time to stand and stare, listen to birdsong or feel the breeze on our faces.

Anybody who knows me will appreciate I am the world’s biggest advocate for making time to take time. In my mind, taking time to spend with people who are important to you is what makes my world go round. If you have a list of things to do I recommend you cross off the bottom three, and in the fullness of time I challenge you to notice that  these chores have been left undone. The antonym or opposite word to chore is happiness and peace. I rest my case m’Lord!


I suggest that memories of special, often spontaneous times are more important than repetitive daily drudgery. Dull women have immaculate houses.

The legacy left by my grandparents and theirs before them is also important to me, to understand who they were, how they lived, what their fortunes and hardships were, the adversity they faced and survived all helps me feel a part of something which makes my life three dimensional. I would like to think sometime in the future my Gourmet Trotters with their innovative and unique design will be the trend setters in the future development of picnicking. Maybe my great grand children will wonder about the batty ancestor with the quirky ideas. Mobility is so important, who amongst us would now contemplate buying a suitcase without wheels.


One family that can make this claim about their entrepreneurial ancestors is the Jaques Family the oldest sports and games manufacturer in the world. Established in 1795, eight generations of Jaques have steered the company …founder Thomas Jaques was followed by John Jaques I, then John Jaques II; John Jaques III; John Jaques IV; John Jaques V and Christopher Jaques – up to the present day where cousins Emmett, Joe and Benjamin are still at the helm. Jaques is responsible for inventing and introducing some of our favourite games – including Croquet, Ping Pong; the Staunton Chess set, Ludo, Tiddley-Winks, Snakes & Ladders and Happy Families. Can you imagine a world without these quintessentially British Games. Thank heavens for Thomas Jaques!!

Personally, croquet is how I came to know about Jaques of London having had the most wonderfully lazy Pimms clad afternoon in a beautiful English Garden, many years ago. Since John Jaques III wrote and copyrighted the original rules for Croquet in 1858, Jaques has been the world’s No. 1 manufacturers of Croquet.71280-surrey-croquet-set-_n

A little know fact for you pub quizzers, Jaques of London first invented the game of Gossima in 1891 – which was a flop, mainly because no- one understood what it was! So in 1901, the name Ping Pong was patented by John Jaques III. The game became an overnight success and is now the most played sport in the world, and is the national sport of China. That is some legacy to be proud of!

symbiosis4The combination of a picnic and a game of croquet is an obvious alliance so how delighted are we to be asked to run a couple of competitions with this aspirational company. Head off to their web site for your chance to win a Gourmet Trotter, best hasten the competition ends at the end of July

If you have an eye for a croquet set watch out on our Facebook page for the competition coming very shortly.

Our competition will be working alongside two distinctly English family run and owned businesses whom are in partisanship for a spot of seaside merriment on the Suffolk Coast. The oldest games and sports manufacturer in the world meets Britain’s only 21st century pier, when Jaques of London arrives on Southwold Pier from 28-31st August, armed with croquet mallets and fake turf for a long weekend of outdoor games over the sea. Ladies and gentleman let the games begin…..with.. Jaques-on-the-pier 2014


Visitors will also discover giant skittles, tumble towers, noughts and crosses and traditional quoits along the 623ft of the pier,

The “T” shaped pier started life in 1900 as a landing jetty for steamers that used to run from London Bridge to Great Yarmouth, back in the days when we would travel by sea. In 1934 a storm badly damaged the pier and various sections were destroyed during the second world war. During the 50’s and 60’s the pier continued to weaken until finally in 1979 a storm reduced it’s length to a mere 60 feet!! Thanks to a private purchase, the pier was eventually rebuilt using the latest piling techniques and finally reopened in 2001. Its length allows it to accommodate occasional visits by Britain’s only surviving sea-going passenger steamer, the Waverley.


The weekend will consist of fun and games at every opportunity, all fuelled by lashings of fish and chips and ice cream ‘on-deck’. There is also the chance to take a piece of Jaques home, with some of the most popular Jaques of London games available to buy on the Pier. A wonderful weekend to be had by allIMG_1727

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