Roy and Betty on tour in Devon

Roy Schofield’s account of an impromptu game of croquet at Agatha Christie’s home while on holiday recently in Devon.

Betty in action.  She won 7-2 despite overcoat and handbag.

Betty in action. She won 7-2 despite overcoat and handbag.

During a recent visit to Greenway, Agatha Christie’s house in Devon, we noticed a rather unkempt croquet lawn complete with balls and mallets. Since it was Tuesday and we were missing the club afternoon we decided to ease our withdrawal symptoms.

The lawn was rather small and both mallets and balls were wooden and very light. This, coupled with the longish wet grass and a liberal covering of leaves, meant that judging the speed of the balls was far from easy. At least that is my excuse for being beaten 2-7 by Betty. However she claims it was the radical new technique she invented on the day. It’s called the handbag counter balance method which, she claims, is a major aid to mallet head speed and stability. I believe she is prepared to provide advice on the choice of handbag to anyone who may be interested.

Roy Schofield

The croquet lawn at Greenway, Agatha Christie's house in Devon.

The croquet lawn at Greenway, Agatha Christie’s house in Devon.