Our village has a brand new leisure facility! It’s a dedicated area to play a game of Pétanque, otherwise known as ‘French Boules’, and was officially opened yesterday (Sunday 31st March).
It’s one of the ideas which was consulted upon with residents by the Ruddington Village Plan group. Over a two year period the whole village was asked what they’d like to see in Ruddington. A recurring theme was for more variety of leisure activities, preferably on The Green, including Pétanque. Proposals for a ‘Garden on the Green’ were then put forward, designed by group member Peter Johnson-Marshall, which would have included picnic tables, a Pétanque piste and low level planting. The feature was to be located on the small triangle of The Green, closest to The White Horse Inn. Peter himself demonstrated how it might look there during the 2017 Ruddington Summer Fayre (see photo). However, some of the residents adjacent to this proposed facility were not quite so keen on this idea!
White Horse landlord Andy Hunt says: “Peter then approached me to ask if they could do a test pitch at the top of our car park. We travel to France every year and I thought it was a great idea and would be a great addition to the village. So I agreed, and the plans were put in place.”
Now, thanks to funding of £950 from Ruddington Parish Council‘s Amenities Project Fund, a gravel Pétanque area has been constructed at the far end of the pub’s car park. It was installed by John Adams Landscapes of Ruddington last week. Five of the parking spaces leased by the Parish Council during the week will now be kept free on Sundays (only) for Pétanque. Andy has some boules behind the bar for prospective players.
He adds: “I hope that through the summer months it becomes an area the whole village feel they can use. Peter has put a lot of time and effort in achieving his goal of having a Pétanque area in the village. He’s been a pleasure to work with on this project. We are happy to help with village initiatives like this where we can. We hope it to be a huge success and you never know one day Ruddington may even boast a Pétanque team of its own.”
Peter agrees: “It’s the perfect pastime for a fine summer’s day with seats around to relax and watch the play – or come and give it a go! We have a number of existing players who can tell newcomers how the game is played. It is really easy and everyone can do it, young and old. Then, if they want to, they can relax in the pub afterwards.”
There will be a group playing most Sundays at The White Horse – and the area will be available from 10am to 8pm every Sunday for people to go along and try Pétanque for themselves.