The History of Carrefour Petanque Club
It was the Great Storm in mid-October 1987 that gave birth to Carrefour Pétanque Club. It was a cyclone with hurricane force winds including a gust of 135mph recorded at Pointe du Roc, Granville. It was the one famously dismissed by TV weather forecaster Michael Fish as nothing to worry about.
The storm left a trail of destruction in its wake.
Among the casualties was the orchard next to the Carrefour Selous Hotel. The trees were all flattened. But the casual band of petanque players, mostly regulars at the inn as well as some French farm workers, who used the pub car park as a terrain saw a window of opportunity – could they build a proper terrain on the site where the orchard used to stand?The pub landlord was receptive and the brewery finally said ‘yes’, but they wanted a formal agreement with a properly constituted club. Two years later Carrefour Pétanque Club officially came into being: “The club formed after the Liberation Day competition in May 1989” observes the chairman’s report for the first AGM late that year. It was sponsored by David De Ste Croix and May 9th became the day for playing the David De Ste Croix knockout singles competition to commemorate the opening of the terrains.
In June 1989 the idea of an “in-house competition was mooted” and it duly took place on June 14th and became a monthly fixture for the rest of the season. A club logo was discussed and it was decided that it should be a green and white design, based on the parish colours of St Lawrence. Some of the members had played at the Jersey Pétanque Club previously and not surprisingly Carrefour’s first formal match was against them on the August bank holiday weekend of 1989. “We were very green,” said Carrefour’s first chairman, Frank Morel, “we didn’t even know any of the rules of the game.” By 1990 the club had entered the Jersey Open, played at Elizabeth Castle, which included teams from Guernsey and England. In the autumn the club entertained its first French visitors from the Pacé club for a pétanque weekend and even went to the trouble of hiring two accordionists (at a cost of £30) to provide entertainment.
In 1995 pub landlord’s licence came to an end and the brewery sold the site on and it became the base for a fitness centre. Carrefour Petanque Club moved to a new home, L’Auberge du Nord, a public house in St John on the north coast. It gave the club an opportunity to expand. The then captain, Sid Simkin, explained at the time: “Although we have only been formed for six years the membership has grown to over 60 and we needed a bigger playing area.”
The club up-rooted once more in 2007 and moved to the Nicolle Centre in St Lawrence. It had formerly been home to a bowls club and the lawns were dug up and replaced with a gravel terrain. The new clubhouse and terrains were officially opened on April 14th, 2007 by Derek De La Haye of Jersey’s Education, Sport and Culture Department.