First Social Funday of the season

It is our first social get together of the season on Sunday April 2nd.

Please come along from 2.00 pm, bring friends and family and have a social game of croquet, AC or GC.

We may run a fun one ball competition and there may be scones and Prosecco – come and see!

Sally Slater


AC – GC Partnership Day

Last season we held a very successful GC/AC partnership day, and by popular demand we are proposing to hold three more days this season. Monday April 24th, Monday May 22nd, Monday 26th June.

An AC player partners a GC player all day during which four rounds of AC croquet are played, with each round increasing the range of shots made by each player, finishing with a round of alternate shot doubles.

This format has encouraged the GC players to increase their range of shots, which will help their GC play, and also understand better the AC game. It is also very good fun!

In the first instance we require 16 players – 8 GC players and 8 AC players. If you have participated before you are most welcome to come along again.

Please let me know if you are interested in the day on Monday April 24th by e-mailing me using the link below. There are prizes!

Many thanks

Sally Slater

30 March 2023

Orders for white clothing

I have had a request for white clothing with the club logo. As many of you will know we currently get some of our white clothing from DARTS at Stamford Bridge embroidered with the club logo (particularly polo shirts, fleeces and gilets). This works out cheaper if we do a group order (usually of 6). The catalogue for the clothes they sell is on line, but there is a 2002 catalogue in the pavilion. I will pick up a new one shortly, and check if their prices for embroidery have gone up (again !) I am also investigating an alternative provider.

You can of course use white clothing that you purchase elsewhere or already have in a cupboard somewhere, and these can also be embroidered by DARTS if you so wish. You do not need to have a logo put on them if you do not want to.

For new members, please know that wearing whites is not needed for ordinary play at the club. We like our teams to turn out for matches in white  (or a near substitute !) and that also looks good if there is a tournament or similar event at the club. But we are not precious about this. It is more important that you enjoy playing in a match or competition.

If you want any clothing with logo embroidered, please let me know by e-mail direct to link given below.

Jayne Taylor

27 March 2023

CA Tournaments

This note is a short introduction to taking part in CA sponsored tournaments and will probably be of interest to newer members of a year or more playing and particularly (but not exclusively) to those playing Golf Croquet. Entering CA tournaments is good for those wishing to increase their competitive play against a wider range of players and visit a greater number of clubs both within and outside of the North West Federation.

The CA sponsors a large number of GC and AC tournaments at clubs through England, and also many instruction courses. GC tournaments are graded by handicap indices. For A level your handicap must be higher than 0 and not greater than 2. B level is 3 to 6 and C is 7 to 12.

Interestingly, you cannot enter tournaments below your ranking but you can enter tournaments above your ranking. So, a 5 handicapper is a B level player and may not enter C level tournaments but is allowed to enter an A tournament. You can enter upwards but not down. A high handicap C level player can enter both B and A tournaments but might well get a thorough thrashing – if they actually get to play.

If a tournament is over subscribed (they typically have a limit of 12 or 16 or 24 places) there is a ‘weeding’ system largely based on handicap with the weaker players not getting a place. This procedure occurs a few weeks before the tournament at the Allocation Date which is specified in the Tournament Calendar. If you lose out you get your entry fee refunded.

The entry, payment and refunding system take place within the Fixtures Calendar. Go to Croquet Association (or Croquet England) website and touch the ‘Compete’ button at the top. Then immediately under ‘Tournaments’ touch ‘Fixtures Calendar’. To get any further you need to sign-up or sign-in; if any problems with this get in touch with me.

The calendar is colour coded, pink/purple for Courses, blue for AC tournaments and yellow for GC tournaments. Please note that virtually all tournaments are Level Play – no handicap matches. Touching the small blue ‘i’ in a circle of any entry takes you to the tournament details. The three most interesting are the Allocation date, ‘enter and pay online’ if you wish to enter and ‘view entries’ which tells you the number of players who have already entered and paid, and their handicap index. Remember that it is not a first come, first served system if over subscribed. A place is only secured by the Allocation system on the Allocation date regardless of when you applied. When this process takes place the unsuccessful players are placed on the reserve list in ranking order. Those at or near the top of the reserve list often get to play due to players dropping out, often very near the start date. B and C level tournaments are one full day of play and A competitions span 2 days.

A few Chester members play in these tournaments and really enjoy them. For example Sarah Clements reached a C level tournament final last year and has entered at least one other C already this year. I played four last year and have applied for three B’s and two A’s at clubs within the NW Federation and in Brighton (Sussex County) and Ryde on the Isle of Wight. Sandy has entered 3 C’s. AC players are also active in these tournaments. At least one couple have signed up for an instruction course.

These CA competitions and courses are a significant resource and are worthy of consideration. The CA website can seem a bit daunting at first but it’s worth persevering. If you need help or want to know more or would like help with pairing up with someone else to have a go then please get in touch with me.

Tom Grievson
07801 665993



GC handicap advantage system

Golf croquet handicap games will be played using the new Advantage system this year.  It will be reviewed at the end of this season and a decision made on whether to continue with it or revert to  the  ‘Extra Turns’ system.

There will be a presentation of the Advantage system in the clubhouse on Tuesday, 7 March, at 10.00 am and it will be repeated on Sunday, 12 March, also in the clubhouse at 10.00 am.  We should be through in an hour allowing ample time for questions. I will bring milk and biscuits.

All, of whatever croquet persuasion, are welcome but it is particularly important for GC handicap players to attend. It would be helpful if you could let me know on what day you are coming. Please respond directly to me by  e-mail or message/WhatsApp/phone on 07801665993

Many thanks

Tom Grievson

New Year letter

Dear Croquet Club Members

First of all, a very happy New Year to you all.  I hope you all had a good Xmas and are looking forward to a new season of croquet ahead.  Whilst the lawns will not be open until the end of March, we can still “think croquet” and make plans for the season ahead.

It was lovely to meet with so many of you on New Year’s Day, even though the lawns were too wet to allow us to play.  The food and mulled wine were delicious (many thanks Sally!)  Thank you all for bringing along the food and your good company.

Our next gathering will be the annual Planning Meeting, on Friday, 3 February, at the Westminster Park Community Centre in Five Ashes Road (adjacent to Belgrave School and opposite the Westminster Park shops).  This is a chance to discuss ideas and concerns about the running of the club and the playing of croquet, in an open forum, with committee members present.  It is very helpful for the committee and other members to listen to the different points of view, and to pick up new ideas for activities during the season. It is also a helpful precursor to our AGM which will be held this year on Friday, 10 March (same time and venue).

This year, however, the Planning Meeting will also be a bit of a Curry Night! We will be making available (from an Indian Restaurant in Chester)  two curry dishes (a chicken curry and a vegetable curry) with rice, poppadoms and naan bread, and of course the bar will be open for refreshments !  The cost to individuals will be a modest £6.00.

Essentially we do need to know how many people will be wanting to eat,  so that we can order enough food.  Therefore I would be grateful if you could let me know direct by e-mail,  before Monday, 23 January, if you want food.  Of course you do not have to have the food.  Your presence at the discussion will still be very welcome.  Those who book food can pay on the night.

We are planning to start the event at 7.00 pm with food available from early in the evening. Parking is available outside the centre, and also in front of the shops, as well as on street.

Finally, if there is some particular issue or idea that you want to discuss at the meeting please let me know, and I will include it on the agenda.

Hope you can make it !


End of season letter

Dear Members,

December 25th hurtles towards us ( on skis it would seem) so I take this opportunity to send you all the very best of Christmas Wishes, and my hopes for a happy, healthy and successful 2023 for you and your family. Oh….and some great Croquet of course!

As you will know, the lawns will be closed at the end of December, but we will be squeezing in one last event ! Weather permitting, we will be holding our New Year’s Day gathering on Sunday 1st January at the Clubhouse. Bring along your Xmas left overs and there will no doubt be bubbly as well as hot drinks, so that we can close down the lawns in style for their annual recuperation period.

However, whilst playing croquet at CCC may stop, thinking about it and planning for next season does not! Our annual “Planning Meeting” will be held on the evening of Friday 3rd February at the Westminster Park Community Centre, and this year there may be food ! (email to follow) This is an opportunity for all to share their thoughts on the playing of croquet at Chester, and for a general discussion. Your views will help to inform the decisions made by the Committee which will be reported on at the AGM where appropriate. The AGM will be held on the evening of Friday March 10th, again at the WPCC.

So there are three dates to put in those brand new diaries that you will be unwrapping on Christmas Day.

Plus, if you know of anyone interested in starting to play croquet, the Taster Session date for next season is likely to be on Sunday 15th April. Sally Slater would love to hear from them.

Finally, a little reminder. Whilst theoretically the lawns remain open until the end of December, at this time of the year playing on them is totally dependant on the weather. Our “fine turf” surfaces are very vulnerable to damage as a result of use when they are covered in frost or snow, or are waterlogged (even though the sun may be shining). I know that we remind you of this regularly, but please do not play on them in that condition. We are going through a very bad patch of weather at the moment. For the sake of the lawns (and your joints/limbs) please resist the urge to play in those conditions.

All the Best for 2023

Jayne Taylor

End of season dinner and awards

After a break of three years due to the coronavirus epidemic, Chester Croquet Club once again held its traditional end of season dinner and presentation of awards on Wednesday, 23 November. The event was held at Côte Brasserie in Chester and about fifty members attended.

Club Chairman, Jayne Taylor, reported the club’s results in national competitions and regional leagues during another busy year with the club fielding a record number of teams.

In national competitions the most notable performance came in the association croquet Secretary’s Shield where Chester had beaten Middlesborough, York and Sheffield in earlier rounds and they were leading in the final against Newport when the match was rained off. It will be replayed at Chester on 29h April, 2023.

No silverware was won in the North West Federation leagues, but there were some good results for Chester, coming second in the advanced B level in the southern group, and third in the handicap association league.  Chester Senators also came third in the golf handicap and the Chester Centurions maintained their place in the top tier for level play.

Jayne Taylor then presented awards for internal club competitions held during the season.

For association croquet, Nigel Worthington was winner and Derek Bell Jones was runner-up in the open short lawn competition held at the end of the season and Robert Jones was winner of the Hasting Wang Short Lawn Trophy for matches played throughout the season. For golf croquet, Brian Lussey was winner and Jill Foley was runner-up in the Christine Long competition held at the end of the season. Lawrence Cole was winner and Ian Shaw was runner-up for the Peter Bingham Award and Jude Wise was winner and Kerry Dadson was runner-up for the Mollie McBride RAT Trophy for matches played throughout the season. Awards for the most improved players were presented to Robert Jones for association croquet and Doreen Curtis for golf croquet. Congratulations to all these club winners.

Winners of the Club’s annual competitions receiving their awards from Club Chairman Jayne Taylor, top left to bottom right: Nigel Worthington (Short Lawn Open), Robert Jones (Hasting Wang Short Lawn Trophy), Jude Wise (Mollie McBride RAT Trophy), Jill Foley (runner-up Peter Bingham Award) and Brian Lussey (Christine Long Trophy)
Winners of the Club’s two most improved player awards, left, Robert Jones for association croquet and, right, Doreen Curtis for golf croquet

There were also some excellent individual results from Chester members. Richard Smith won the Silver Salver association tournament at Shrewsbury in May and reached the semi finals of the Welsh Championships in September. Tom Grievson won the national golf B series tournament held at Pendle in May. Sarah Clements came second in the golf C level tournament held at Bury in July.









End of season dinner

More details about end of season dinner

Hi Folks

It’s Decision Time!

The Cote Brasserie has issued its new fixed price menu, which looks remarkably like the previous one, but is now called the Pre- Theatre Menu, and with an earlier finish time. Fortunately, we are booked in for 6.30pm so just make the cut! It is also the same price, surprisingly, ie £14.95 for two courses and £18.95 for three.

I have circulated a copy of the menu by e-mail, (along with the gluten free version, menu 2), so that you can pick your food for the evening. As I explained in my last e-mail, we have to let them know everybody’s choice of food in advance, preferably 7 days in advance. Therefore, could you let me know as soon as possible what your choices are, and tell me if it is from the gluten free menu, so that I can collate the orders and get them to Cote by 16th November.

Please send your selection direct to me by e-mail , not to Hugh Bray’s e-mail address.

The restaurant does not take cash, or cheques, and would prefer if we could pay the food bill together. The club, however, does not use a bank card. Therefore, I will be paying for the food on my bank card. You will appreciate, therefore, that I would like to collect the money from everyone before the night so that I can pay it into my account first! The restaurant will include a 10% gratuity on the bill, and therefore I am suggesting that we all round up the cost of our meals to £16.50 and £21 respectively (that’s also easier for my maths).

Those of you, like me, who do not think it’s a meal unless it has a green vegetable included, will have noted a lack of such on the menu. I am considering asking them to include some dishes of green vegetables to share around the tables. Side orders are available at about £4 each, which are probably enough for two to share. At a modest increase of £2 per person this would do the trick, I think. Let me know on your menu choice if you wish to take part in this culinary addition and add £2 to your bill. I will work out how much to order on the 15th of November.

As far as drinks are concerned, they have assured me that you can all pay for those individually, but it must be with a card. They do not take cash.

Could you please let me have your payment either by cheque made out to Jayne K Taylor, or by cash. So that will be £16.50(2 courses) £21.00 (3 courses), or if you want a bit of green on the plate, make that £18.50 / £23.00 .

I live at 20 Whaddon Drive, Chester  CH4 7ND, for posting purposes, or it is just off the bottom end of Lache Lane if you are passing. Alternatively let me know when you are going to be at the club (e-mail or mobile given below). If all else fails, Paul will collect payment from you on the night.

One other thing…. I have been asked about partners attending. Traditionally we have confined this event to members of the club, largely because of a limitation on numbers. If we find that numbers are much lower this year, then it would be sad to exclude a keen supporter (partners often have to be!). So, I suggest you let me know if you would like your partner to attend if there is space, and we can make a decision at a later date depending on numbers.

Do call me if you need any further information. But make sure you use the mobile and not my land line.


Jayne Taylor

Preliminary notice about end of season dinner

Dear Members

This is a “Heads Up” information e-mail, so get your diaries out!

We have booked the upstairs room at the Cote Brasserie, Bridge Street,  Chester, for the evening of Wednesday, 23 November, to hold our end of season dinner, with presentation of trophies, quiz and general revelry! This has not been possible for a little while for obvious reasons, and sadly our previous arrangement with Chez Jules is no longer available. However, Cote do a very reasonable fixed price menu, currently at £14.95 for two courses and £18.95 for three courses.

The menu will be changing next week, and when I receive it, I will email it out to everyone. Unlike Chez Jules, they will require our food selection at least 7 days before, and pre-payment. I am assured that the price will not vary greatly from the current menu. There is a limit on the time when the revised menu will be available, and the latest we have been able to book for is at 6.30pm, with eating at 7.00pm. They have capacity for around 50 persons, so we hope to see as many of you as possible on that evening.

In summary – it’s 6.30 for 7 pm at Cote Brasserie in Bridge Street, Chester, on Wednesday, 23 November. I look forward to seeing you there.

All best wishes

Jayne Taylor

End of season competitions

With the season coming to an end, two internal club competitions have been played at Chester Croquet Club.

On Saturday, 8 October, 13 players competed in the annual Christine Long golf croquet competition in good weather. Last year’s winner, Ian Meadows, managed the event, which was a closely fought contest and the winner didn’t emerge until the final round. The winner was Brian Lussey with Jill Foley a close second.

Christine Long golf croquet competition winner Brian Lussey and runner-up Jill Foley

On the following Saturday, 15 October, a short lawn open association croquet competition was held, with 8 players vying for the award. The weather started with bright sunshine but by lunchtime the rain had started.  Split into two groups of four, the winners of each group, Derek Bell-Jones and Nigel Worthington, contested the final. Nigel was the eventual winner, beating Derek by 14-5.

Competitors in the open short lawn competition, left to right, David Boyd, Hugh Bray, Val Sanders, Helen Brophy, Nigel Worthington, Robert Jones and Derek Bell-Jones
After a sunny start, sheltering from the rain in the afternoon
At the end of the competition, runner-up Derek Bell-Jones (left) and winner Nigel Worthington (right), and Nigel holding the winning trophy

Although league matches and club competitions have now come to an end, it is hoped that croquet will continue until the end of the year providing autumn lawn maintenance and weather permit, with the final day being a social croquet event on New Year’s Day when members gather to play a final game of croquet with friends and family.