January update

Dear Members,

Sadly the playing season has drawn to a close, and whilst we did not end the season with our usual New Years celebrations, a few of us did risk the weather and had an enjoyable few games of croquet (GC and AC) in lovely warm sunshine and under a clear blue sky !   Let us hope that was an indication of a bright future ahead for all of us in 2022.

The new season should start as usual at the end of March. I know that some of you would like it to begin earlier than that, but we are very much dependant on the Council to complete the winter maintenance activity and to cut and white line the lawns. A commitment to begin earlier than the end of March is difficult to secure.  Experience has also shown that the weather can be very unpredictable.  However,  I understand that our club volunteer  “groundsmen” are going to try and mark out the lawns early in March in the hope that the Council will be prepared to white line, and thus enable us to undertake the hoop layout.  If the weather is appropriate for play and we can start earlier than the end of March we will endeavour to do so. So watch out for emails and website announcements !

Meanwhile, as you know we are hoping to gather members together for an open discussion about the club. However, in view of ongoing concerns over the transmission of the covid virus,  your committee felt that it would be safer to delay the meeting originally intended for the 14th January.  Therefore a new date has been set for Wednesday, 23rd February, at the Westminster Park Community Centre, starting at 7.45pm.  It would be nice to gather a large number of our members together on that evening, for your committee to hear your views on the club and to discuss ideas for the future.  I sincerely hope that we can go ahead with that meeting in safety. In the meantime I look forward to receiving any comments on the topics suggested for discussion. The planned date for the AGM of the club has also been delayed until March 11th.

The Planning Meeting will also be an opportunity to celebrate the achievements  of the  2021 Season, and present  trophies as appropriate.  On that matter, it is my pleasure to announce that the winners of the trophies for most improved players in AC and GC are Sally Slater (for AC) and Paul Cronin (for GC).  Well done Sally and Paul.  The winner of the Peter Bingham GC Trophy ( based on the cumulative results of the Tuesday morning progressive doubles sessions) is John Hampson.  Well done John. Other competition winners were announced earlier, and if you missed any results at the time, you can find them on the web site.

All the best for 2022

Jayne Taylor

December newsletter

Dear All,

I am sorry that I have not been able to be at the club recently, and therefore have not been able to pass my festive wishes etc to you personally.  I hope you all have a very Happy, Peaceful and above all Safe Christmas and New Year break and I look forward to seeing you all in 2022.  Let us hope the season, and the year as a whole is a good one for you all.

Meanwhile   –   About 2022 ….

You will recall that I recently sent out a rather lengthy email about the Planning Meeting which we hope to hold on January 14th, in the evening at the Westminster Park Community Centre.    We still hope to do this, but we have to recognise that given the resurgence of Covid with the Omicron variant,  we may have to reconsider. Your committee will be meeting (electronically) on Jan 3rd to decide on this, and I will email you all with our decision immediately afterwards.

However, your comments on the topics referred to in my earlier email, or any other issues you wish to raise will still be welcomed by email. As of yet, I have not received any comments, but I live in hope.  Those topics and some background on them can still be found on the web site, Members Only section, but as a reminder they covered:

    • The organisation of the club
    • Weekly playing arrangements
    • Matches, tournaments and events
    • Recruitment
    • Club facilities
    • Club funding
    • Social activities
    • Raised topics/issues

We have decided that the lawns should be closed from Monday January 3rd for their winter rest, and to allow any ongoing maintenance by the Council to proceed.  Until then of course you are welcome to play, weather and lawn condition permitting. Please book on line and record attendance in the register as usual.  Also be aware that maintenance might occur before January 3rd, depending on the Council’s programme, which sadly we have not been informed of.  So please be prepared to give way to the grounds maintenance staff if they are operating on the lawns, and be circumspect about playing if treatment has been undertaken.  And of course do not play if the ground is too wet, or frosted.

Hopefully we will be able to hold our usual gathering at the club on New Year’s Day, weather permitting.  Further information to follow.  I look forward to seeing some of you then.

Merry Xmas !

Jayne Taylor

Short lawn competition

It was with some trepidation that the club’s short lawn open tournament was planned so late in the season, but in the event the competition was played on Monday, 1 November.

It was a day of two parts weatherwise with constant rain in the morning, but clearing to dry and occasionally sunny weather in the afternoon. The lawns were fine despite heavy rain during Sunday and stayed fine to play on.

Ten members joined in the competition, with 3 having to pull out on the day, so 7 members each played four matches during the day. It was a really fun day, played in exceptional good humour. The eventual winner was Sally Slater who won all four of her games. Three others fought it out to be runner up by winning three of their four games and David Boyd managed to cross the line by a margin of just one hoop.

Thanks to a spell of reasonable autumn weather, croquet is still being played at the club until the lawns become too wet or frosty and therefore open to damage.

Sally Slater celebrating her win in the club’s end of season short lawn competition

Mason Cup competition

Chester Croquet Club held its annual full lawn association handicap competition over the weekend of 23 – 24 October. The Mason Cup competition, organised and managed by Robin Tasker, was decided on an all-play-all format. The players were so lucky with the weather at this time of year, as they were often bathed in warm sunshine.

The overall winner was David Boyd, who won all 5 of his games. In second place was Sally Slater. The other participants were Jerry Guest, Robin Tasker, Richard Smith, Brian Walton and David Guyton.

Participants in the annual Mason Cup competition, left to right, Richard Smith, Jerry Guest, the winner and runner up David Boyd and Sally Slater, Robin Tasker and David Guyton
The winner, David Boyd, receiving the Mason Cup trophy from competition organiser, Robin Tasker


Last Social Funday of the season

Chester Croquet Club held the last in the season of their regular social fundays on Sunday, 17 October. It was luckily a mild afternoon with some sunshine. A croquet gymkhana had been organised by Jayne Taylor with six challenges, and the winner was Liz Baskerville, with her husband Edward in second place. There was an afternoon tea, enjoyed by all, and a quiz. Over thirty members came including a baby and some dogs!

Winner and runner-up of the croquet gymkhana, Liz and Edward Baskerville

Another busy week

The North Wales and Cheshire Snowdonia golf croquet tournament encounter between Chester and Llanfairfechan was played on Thursday, 30 September – a breezy bracing autumn day by the seashore, at times played in driving drizzle, with a regular rumble of trains on the railway line above!

Edward Baskerville (captain), Liz Baskerville, Kerry Dadson and Ian Shaw – playing in his first match for Chester – spent a happy day in good company with Chester winning 9 games to 7. It was a well balanced performance, each winning two of their four games. Four games went to the golden hoop; all four being won by Llanfairfechan. So a tight match indeed!

On Saturday, 2 October, in another match against Llanfairfechan, this time on home lawns, the Chester short lawn team of Val Sanders, Helen Brophy and Paul Taylor did not fare as well. They were outplayed by a very strong side and despite some very close games they lost 9 – 0.

Then on Sunday, 3 October, the club held its annual Christine Long golf croquet tournament in very mixed weather of driving rain and bright sunshine. Ten competitors were split into two blocks and all played all, with the winners of each block meeting in the final. The final was between Ian Meadows and Kerry Dadson. It was a fascinating match with Ian leading 6-0, then Kerry pulling up to 6-5 when time was called giving Ian a close win. The match between the two runner ups, Jude Wise and Ian Graham, was won by Jude 7-5. The trophy and prizes were presented by Edward Baskerville, last year’s winner and this year’s organiser.

The winners of each block of the Christine Long tournament, left, Kerry Dadson and Ian Meadows and the runners-up, right, Ian Graham and Jude Wise
Left, overall winner Ian Meadows receiving the tournament trophy from last year’s winner and this year’s organiser, Edward Baskerville, and Kerry Dadson with second prize, a bottle of the club’s unique Sloping Lawn vintage wine.
Jude Wise, left, and Ian Graham, right, with their awards as runners-up.
All the contestants in good spirits after the competition

September showers and scores

The Snowdonia Trophy is played between the four croquet clubs of Chester, Craig-y-Don, Llanfairfechan and Tattenhall. Chester was in action twice this week in this competition. On Thursday, 23 September, the team of Kerry Dadson (captain), Jude Wise, Liz and Edward Baskerville played away at Tattenhall on a lovely day and won 9.5 – 6.5. On the following day, Friday, 24 September, Kerry and Jude were again in the team along with Paul Cronin and Jill Foley. The weather was again kind despite an early shower and scores were level for the first part of the day, but then Llanfairfechan drew ahead and the final score was 10-6.

Chester Croquet Club welcomed a record breaking 27 new members this season, and on Saturday, 25 September, an inaugural First Season Finale was held. Eight new members, Ian Shaw, Danny Fisher, Liz Jones, Louise Cronin, David Johnson, Paul Woods, Doreen King and Sarah Clements all played each other over the course of the day. Some excellent croquet was played in the sunshine, with many games going to the golden hoop. By the end of the day Sarah Clements was the overall winner, winning all of her 7 games. This was a particularly admirable achievement as she had only started playing croquet in the last few months.

Participants in the First Season Finale on Saturday, 25 September, lined up and ready to play after overnight rain
… and after a long day’s play
Organiser Sally Slater with her scoreboard and presenting the winning prize to Sarah Clements

Chester Croquet Club came top in the southern half of the this year’s NW Federation weekend full lawn association croquet league and went up to Fylde on Sunday, September 26, to play Crake, the northern winners, in a play off for overall league winners. Sally Slater, Robin Tasker, Paul Watson and Brian Walton were team representing Chester and despite many close games, they lost 5-2.

It’s behind you – Sandy Grievson and a rainbow over Chester

Level play golf croquet teams in action

Both Chester’s level play golf croquet teams were in action this week.

The Chester Chariots team of Pat Clare (captain), Chris Thomas and Jayne Taylor played away at Culcheth on Wednesday, 15 September.  Culcheth has only one lawn but it was in good condition and the team were made very welcome on a warm sunny day. It was a very close match with both teams even until the very last game which Chester won, making the score 10-8 in the team’s last game of the season.

The level play match between Chester Centurions and Llanfairfechan was held on the following Friday, 17 September, at home on another warm sunny day. Llanfairfechan fielded a very strong team comprising handicaps of -2, 0 and a 3 against Chester’s Mark Lloyd 0, Garry Greenwood 1 and John Hampson 5. This strong team beat Chester 15 – 3 despite there being a couple of close games which could have gone either way.

Out of six matches played this season Chester Centurions have won five and this one loss has not affected Chester’s position in the league, and the team has emerged as this year’s winner of the North West Federation level play golf croquet league.