Over the years, the petanque court at the Benbow Street end of Charlotte Turner Gardens has fallen in and out of favour and disrepair. As a Trust, we have organised small tournaments, obtained funding for local people to learn how to play the game and teach others, and even kept a set of balls to borrow from Dog & Bell (back in Charlie & Eileen’s day).
Earlier this year, with the grass and weeds taking over, as well as a few too many divots to contend with, it reached the point where we were thinking about giving up on petanque and consulting with local people if there might be a better use of the space. However, at the critical moment, as people were using the park more for their daily lockdown exercise, a group of local residents got together to see if we might have another go at restoring the court.
Over the next weeks, amongst the unpredictable weather we’ve had this summer, several members of Twinkle Park Trust have been tackling the worst of the weeds and beginning to make the surface playable again. There is still some work to do – ideally we would like to smooth out the surface and to replace the rotten wood around the border, but at the moment it’s just about possible to grab a set of boules and enjoy a match.
If you haven’t played before, here are the rules: