Death of Margaret Howard

Many of you will have known Margaret Howard from when she joined the club with her husband Clive. Due to poor health she didn’t play croquet last year, but still came round to the lawns to say hello and have a chat.

Her husband Clive died a few weeks ago and, very sadly, Margaret died on Wednesday, 7 February, the day before Clive’s funeral.

Arrangements for her funeral are as follows:

Thursday. 1 March 2018
1.00 pm   St Andrew’s United Reformed Church at Handbridge
66 Handbridge, CH4 7JF
2.00 pm   Crematorium
3.00 pm   Chester Golf Club at Curzon Park

Everyone welcome.

Please note that there is hardly any parking at Handbridge.  Best bet may be to park at the Little Roodee and walk over the bridge.  Alternatively the number 16 bus from the bus station or outside Boots stops at St Andrew’s.

Death of Clive Howard

We are very sad to report the death of another member, Clive Howard, who died  at The Countess of Chester Hospital on Sunday, 21 January. He had been ill for some time. He and his wife, Margaret, joined the club in 2004 and used to enjoy the weekly club games. Both were well liked by all club members and we were all grateful for his willingness to use his membership of the Chester Golf Club to organise our annual dinners there.

Death of Win Mealing

We are very sad to report the death of Win Mealing on Saturday, 9 December. She has been a keen and active member of the Club since 2007. Her funeral will be at 12.30 pm on Thursday, 28 December, at St Columba’s Church, Plas Newton Lane, Chester, followed by interment at Blacon Crematorium at 1.30 pm and then at Upton Royal British Legion.

Hers is the third death of a member this year. Dorothy Bayley died on 22 February and David Roberts only a month ago on 11 November. All were keen croquet players and will be greatly missed by the Club.

2017 End of season supper

Chester Croquet Club marked the end of another busy and successful season with a supper and trophy presentation at Chez Jules on Monday evening, 20 November. Awards were presented by chair, Sarah Andrew, at the end of the evening.

Trophy winners awarded during the evening were Mark Lloyd (Fletton trophy advanced AC); David Boyd (Mason Cup handicap AC); Sally Slater (Hasting Wang bowl AC short lawn); Mike Falla (Rabbits trophy AC); Chris and Sally Slater (Hermitage golf doubles trophy); Liz Subramanian (Mollie McBride RAT trophy GC); Pat Kelsall (Peter Bingham award GC); Val Sanders (most improved player AC) and Jill Foley (most improved player GC).

Winners of competitions played during the season who received their trophies at the time were Sandy Finchett-Maddock (Christine Long trophy GC); Paul Taylor (Hasting Wang GC singles) and Doreen Leece (Hibiscus trophy AC short lawn).

Mark Lloyd (left) receiving the Fletton trophy and David Boyd (right) receiving the Mason Cup
Left: Sandy Finchett-Maddock and Dorren Leece, winners of the Christine Long golf croquet and the Hibiscus short lawn association croquet competitions, and Right:: Paul Taylor, winner of the Hasting Wang Golf singles competition, all played during the year
Doreen Leece (left) receiving the Hibiscus trophy and Sally Slater (right) receiving the Hasting Wang bowl for short lawn association croquet
Val Sanders (left) and Jill Foley (right) receiving awards for most improved players for association croquet and golf croquet respectively

The club had some good results in NW Federation leagues, winning the midweek handicap AC league and coming second in the golf handicap league and the level play golf croquet league.

Individual succesesses during the season were:

  • Sally Slater  winner of the NW Federation Millennium short croquet tournament at Chester on 14 May
  • David Boyd  winner and Trevor Farrell  third in the Northern Area B Level golf croquet tournament at Bury on 9 July
  • Garry Greenwood  winner and David Boyd (wearing his Tattenhall colours)  runner-up in the National Level Play Golf Croquet Tournament at Chester on 6 August, and Jayne Taylor winner of the Telfords Plate
  • John Dawson  runner-up in the Advanced B Level tournament at Bowdon on 18 September
  • David Boyd runner-up in the final of the All England B Level golf croquet tournament at Southport on 7-8 October

Visit by Chester MP Chris Matheson

Chester MP, Chris Matheson, accompanied by local councillor, Richard Beacham, made a visit to Chester Croquet Club on Wednesday, 4 October, during one of their club days and tried his hand at croquet. The main purpose of the visit was to introduce him to the game and a flourishing club based in a public park in his constituency and to up-date him on some of the current issues of concern to the club but it had the additional benefit of briefing him about the Croquet Association’s national role in the context of his membership of the House of Commons Select Committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. On a sunny but blustery autumnal day he was impressed by the numbers and obvious enjoyment of the members playing and gained an understanding of the strong league structure for all levels of play across the North West. He quickly grasped the competitive dimensions of the sport as well as its social, outdoor exercise and health benefits for players. Local issues are to be followed up with council representatives and Mr Matheson offered to meet with national officials of the Croquet Association at the Houses of Parliament to discuss the future needs of croquet across the country.

Chester MP, Chris Matheson, playing it straight down the middle
Chris Matheson receiving a celebration mug from club secretary, John Dawson
Chris Matheson with club members during his visit

David Boyd wins Mason Cup

Chester Croquet Club’s annual Mason Cup association croquet handicap competition is played during the season, where the top scorers from the group stage qualify for the semi-final and final. This year the final, between Brian Walton (hcp 16) and David Boyd (hcp 6), was played on Saturday, 30th September. Brian Walton immediately took the initiative and, making effective use of his 10 bisques (extra shots) , built a commanding lead by reaching peg and four back. Meanwhile David Boyd had managed to score just two hoops, 19 points behind, with a mountain to climb to get back into the game. Eventually he managed to get a break together taking 10 hoops and was then able to peg out Brian’s forward ball. Having 2 remaining bisques Brian ran 2 more hoops before David steadily worked his way round with his second ball, finally pegging out to win by two points. An epic game and a narrow finish!

Chester wins NW Midweek league

Congratulations to the mid-week association croquet team who have won the North West Federation league title in 2017. At the start of the week Chester had won 5 out of 5 games with an impressive 24-11 cumulative points difference but with one more game to play against Westmorland. The campaign then ended with a damp squib as Tuesday’s game against Westmorland was called off as the lawns at Levens Hall were waterlogged.

The final result was Chester in first position followed by Westmorland in second position and Bowdon Earls in third position.

Well done to all the team.

Hibiscus Tournament

Chester Croquet Club held its annual end-of-season Hibiscus Tournament on Saturday, 23 September, for players with relatively high handicaps. Six members competed for the trophy in an all-play-all format with each playing three one-hour games in the morning and two one-hour games in the afternoon assisted by a full complement of bisques. Playing conditions were good and the weather oscillated between grey with hints of drizzle and brief periods of autumnal sunshine.  All the players made good use of their bisques – free shots – and several managed to reach peg before time was called. Overall winner of the competition was Doreen Leece, who ran 68 hoops. In second place was Sarah Andrew with 61 hoops followed by Liz Rowley in third place with 45 hoops.

Competitors in this year’s Hibiscus Tournament
Tournament winner Doreen Leece receiving the Hibiscus trophy from last year’s winner, Robert Jones