Hurlingham to Everest
By David Robinson
Peter gave a fascinating insight into his career progression from apprentice at Old Trafford Cricket Ground to his current role as Grounds Manager at the prestigious Hurlingham Club in London. As a true professional he was not afraid to admit to his peers that there has been the occasional mistake along the way, but sharing the experience serves to enhance the integrity of our vocation.
On the 42 acre site, alongside splendid formal gardens ,The Hurlingham Club hosts the World Croquet Championships and the Marsh Lawn Tennis Tournament where Peter's surfaces draw praise from players of international renown. In addition there are top class facilities for bowls, cricket and winter golf when a sizable area of the site becomes a temporarycourse!
Questioned from the floor Peter detailed some of the measures undertaken to elevate the standard of his turf areas. Continually upgrading machinery, Koroing off significant depths of inherited thatch to speed up lawns and courts, reducing the 32% clay content, Earthquaking and raising height of cut on the cricket square and then emphasizing these improvements with immaculate presentation.
Above all Peter is keen to attribute a large part of his current success to the renewed motivation of his 23 staff catalysed by favourable comments from members, along with an adequate budget from an appreciative employer. His greatest satisfaction is derived from the pristine condition of his 28 tennis courts prior to the tournament. Delegates were especially appreciative ofPeter's use of his high profile to enhance the reputation [and wages] of Groundsmen as befits someone who understands the industry from the grass roots.
Pictures from top to bottom:-
Early arrivals Alverley Ashworth [Barnoldswick Town FC] and Gary Potter [Vitax] join the team for a court inspection.
Peter Craig with Chapel Allerton Head Groundsman, Anthony Asquith
Peter with Anthony and former Chapel Allerton Head Groundsmen Gary Asquith and Bob Armstrong