Midsummer roundup

On Tuesday, 21 June, Chester Chariots played a level play golf croquet match away against Southport.  The weather was lovely, the company friendly and the lawns very good and fast running.  The Chester team of Jayne Taylor, Tom Grievson and Chris Thomas faced some tough opposition, and sadly lost 12 games to Southport whilst winning just 6. However, many of the games were very close fought, with four being taken to the ‘golden hoop’ before Southport won.

Over 25 guides, rangers and leaders attended a social fun introduction to croquet at the club on Wednesday, 22 June. They were from the 4th Chester St Mary’s Guides. Everyone was given a mallet, split into groups to learn the basic shots, then had a game. Some of the games were very competitive, going by the whoops of excitement! All enjoyed the evening and maybe we have potential croquet players for the future?

Visitors from Tattenhall Croquet Club were welcomed on Thursday, 30 June, for a golf croquet match in the Snowdonia Cup competition and Chester were anticipating a close game. The team consisted of Brian Lussey (captain),  Sarah Clements, Ian Shaw and Jude Wise. There was mixed weather through the day with a sunny morning and following a heavy shower, when lunch was taken, the games were completed in full sunshine. Chester were victorious with a score of 11-5.

Chester took three teams to the Southport Festival this year over the weekend of 25 -26 June 25 playing in the Level Play GC, the Handicap GC and the Short Lawn AC competitions. In all there were 9 clubs represented from across the North West, and over the weekend 226 games of croquet were played.

Southport CC looked a splendid sight with 12 lawns laid out ready for play. The weather provided the entire spectrum of the traditional English summer. And while an intense short burst of rain led to the suspension of play on the South lawns, those more hardy souls playing on the North lawns just went with the (considerable) flow. They breed them tough up North!

The Handicap GC team Sandy Grievson, Sarah Clements, Arnie Bamford, Rick Davies and Brian Hussey enjoyed the greater success of our GC teams winning six and drawing four of their fourteen games over the weekend.

The Level Play GC team of Jayne Taylor, Tom Grievson, Rick Davies and Brian Hussey were less successful; while winning six games, they fell to seven defeats. The winning team from Bowdon won thirteen of their fourteen games and provided some exhibition play along the way!

The Short Lawn AC team of Val Sanders, Robert Jones, Nigel Worthington and Robin Tasker turned out to be the draw specialists of the competition losing only to Bowdon and Fylde and in both cases with just seconds left on the clock..

And so no trophies for Chester but a weekend of great fun and entertaining croquet, strengthening existing friendships and making new ones.

Sarah Clements and Jayne Taylor at Southport wearing Chester’s purple colours for the festival and waving a flag – but what’s a Welsh dragon doing there?

Finally, on Friday, 1 July, a Chester association croquet handicap team played in the first round of the national Longman Cup competition against Bowdon. Following rain, the lawns were much better and Chester fought hard to win 5-2. We wait to see where the next round will be played.

Chester’s team for the Longman Cup match against Bowdon, left to right, Brian Walton, Nigel Worthington, Sally Slater and David Boyd

Chester goes to Southport

Report by Robin Tasker

Chester took three teams to the Southport Festival this year playing in the Level Play GC, the Handicap GC and the Short Lawn AC competitions. In all there were 9 clubs represented from across the North West, and over the weekend 226 games of croquet were played.

To accommodate the fixture list all games that were not won outright concluded when time was called meaning draws were allowed, and speed croquet was a recurring theme!

Southport Croquet Club looked a splendid sight with 12 lawns laid out ready for play. The weather provided the entire spectrum of the traditional English summer. And while an intense short burst of rain led to the suspension of play on the South lawns, those more hardy souls playing on the North lawns just went with the (considerable) flow. They breed them tough up North!

The Handicap GC team Sandy Grievson, Sarah Clements, Arnie Bamford Rick Davies and Brian Hussey enjoyed the greater success of our GC teams winning six and drawing four of their fourteen games over the weekend.

The Level Play GC team of Jayne Taylor, Tom Grievson, Rick Davies and Brian Hussey were less successful; while winning six games, they fell to seven defeats. The winning team from Bowdon won thirteen of their fourteen games and provided some exhibition play along the way!

The Short Lawn AC team of Val Sanders, Robert Jones, Nigel Worthington and Robin Tasker turned out to be the draw specialists of the competition losing only to Bowdon and Fylde and in both cases with just seconds left on the clock..

And so no trophies for Chester but a weekend of great fun and entertaining croquet, strengthening existing friendships and making new ones.

If you didn’t make it to Southport this year then please do get the 2023 edition in your diary!


Report by Jayne Taylor

The weekend just passed, 25-26 June, was the Southport Festival weekend.  Chester had teams in the Golf Croquet Handicap event, the Level Play event and the Short Lawn AC event.  Sadly we were unable to provide a team to take part in the Advanced AC or the Handicap AC events.

For several GC players it was their first appearance at the Festival, and whilst we did not bring home any silverware,  it proved to be a very enjoyable and fun event, with very variable weather involving sunny hot spells, cold windy spells and sudden downpours of rain with thunder and lightening (lawns vacated promptly and play suspended) and collapsing shelters  (no-one hurt). All very exciting.  I know that all the members new to the competition this year want to attend next year, and hopefully that will encourage others to take part also.

The GC handicap team had the greatest success, coming second in their event, behind Fylde.  Out of the 14 matches played over the whole weekend, they won six, lost four and drew four.  Two of the draws were in fact against the actual winners of the section, Fylde. So  very well done the team of Sandy Grievson (captain), Sarah Clements, Arnie Banford, Rick Davies and Brian Hussey.

The GC Level Play team of Jayne Taylor, Tom Grievson, Rick Davies and Brian Hussey, were rather less successful, wining six games, losing seven and drawing one, ending up joint fourth out of 8 clubs  in that event.  The winners were Bowdon with two rather brilliant players that gave us all some exhibition play to admire.

The Short Lawn AC team of Robin Tasker, Nigel Worthington, Robert Jones and Val Sanders faced some difficult games but all were great fun and the team thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, strengthening existing friendships and making new ones.

It was a pity that we could not field enough AC players to provide teams in the AC Advanced and Handicap events, and hopefully next year we will be able to increase AC numbers to enable the more experienced players to take part in the advanced section, and to enter a handicap AC team, as well as a Short Lawn team.

The overall winners of the Festival Cup were Bowdon, who also won most of the sections !   Ah well, sometimes that happens, though usually a wider range of clubs win trophies.  Next year maybe we can come back with one or two.  But even if we do not it still makes a fun event where old friends are met, and new ones made. And much is learnt !

It is usually held on the last weekend in June (barring things like pandemics…..) so make sure you do not book anything for that weekend in 2023 just in case you fancy a challenge !

Meanwhile there are lots of opportunities to play at Chester, and hopefully the rain will improve the chances of the grass surviving the summer.  We certainly cannot rely on the Council to fix the water supply so that we can properly water the lawns !

All the best

Jayne Taylor

Hoops for Guides

There were over 25 guides, rangers and leaders who attended a social fun introduction to croquet at the club yesterday evening, Wednesday, 22 June. They were from the 4th Chester St Mary’s Guides. Everyone was given a mallet, split into groups to learn the basic shots, then had a game. Some of the games were very competitive, going by the whoops of excitement!

All enjoyed the evening.

Thanks especially to the volunteers who gave up their evening to assist. Helen Brophy and Richard Smith managed a group of seven teenagers with skill and were still smiling by the end. David Johnson, Paul Taylor, Chris Slater, Jill Foley, Doreen King, Sarah Clements all made the evening fun and interesting for the young people.

Maybe we have potential croquet players for the future?

CA Special General Meeting

You should have received an email from the Croquet Association (CA) inviting you to attend (via Zoom) and vote at a Special General Meeting (SGM) on Monday 18 July at 6pm.

The purpose of the SGM is to pass two resolutions that will allow the modernisation of the CA to take place.

Specifically this is about becoming a charitable incorporated organisation to limit CA liabilities, and to align the CA with Sports England and it’s governance (and funding opportunities).

It is important that these resolutions succeed and to that end please do take the time to vote.

Voting is easy!

To cast your vote electronically

Log on to the CA website as a member at croquet.org.uk

Go to the Members’ Area

Select Surveys & Voting and click on “SGM July 2022 Voting”

Or you may instead vote on the motions at the meeting,

Or you may send for a ballot paper  from the CA Operations Manager at The Croquet Association, Old Bath Road, Cheltenham, GL53 7DF. Your vote must be returned to the CA Office no later than 8th July.

Many thanks

Robin Tasker

Chester Croquet Club and
North West CA Council Member

For more information
see the Croquet Association flier and their e-mail circular to members

Social Sunday

Prosecco and strawberries plus lovely flapjack and cookies were the order of the day at this month’s Social Sunday. Over 15 people came, not bad for Father’s Day and cold weather, including 15 month old Freddie who is the grandson of member David Booth. 6 guests joined members for an afternoon of fun croquet.

It’s June … the hottest week of the year and parched lawns were followed by grey skies and a distinct chill for this month’s Social Sunday … but the sun did come out later
The club is always looking for younger members … but, hey, you do need a mallet!

Two up one down

In a Snowdonia Cup golf handicap match on Thursday, 16 June, Chester won 10-4 against Llanfairfechan on very difficult lawns that have become severely dry and bare and unpredictable. Edward Baskerville was captain, with Ian Shaw, Sarah Clements and Arnie Banford. Ian and Sarah both played well, winning all four of their games and Arnie outplayed their captain.

On the following day, Friday, 17 June, Chester won 5-2 against Bowdon in the North West Federation association handicap league. David Boyd (captain) and Robin Tasker stole victory in the morning’s doubles by coming from 14 hoops behind in the closing stages to draw and then win at the golden hoop. In the afternoon 3 out of the 4 singles games were won by Chester. The other members of the team were Sally Slater and Nigel Worthington.

On Saturday Chester hosted an on-form Bury team in the Short Lawn league. Sally Slater (captain), Robin Tasker, Nigel Worthington and Jayne Taylor fought well but eventually lost 11-5.

 

 

Snowdonia Cup

Unfortunately the short lawn home match against Tattenhall next Friday, 24 June, has been cancelled as they cannot provide a team. We hope to reschedule, possibly in early August

Please can you reconfirm or advise me of your availability for August and September by e-mailing me using the link below.

Thank you

Val Sanders

16 June 2022


I am looking for players who would like to take part in the Short Lawn section of the Snowdonia Cup.

Players of any standard from beginners to experienced are very welcome.

The three matches are scheduled as follows:

Chester v Tattenhall Friday, 24 June
Chester v Craig-y-don Saturday, 20 August
Llanfairfechan v Chester Saturday, 17 September

Please let me know your interest and availability by e-mail using the link below or by phone/text on 07739311161

Many thanks

Val Sanders

24 May 2022

Chester hosts Millennium AC handicap tournament

On Saturday, 11 June, Chester hosted the annual NW Federation association croquet handicap tournament. Reflecting national trends about minimising travel costs, the event attracted a field of only four competitors. However the quality of play was very high on the Chester lawns which had been specially cut and which sun and gusty wind had made exceptionally dry and fast – keeping a long distance take-off on the lawn was a nightmare.

In the first round Chris Alvey from Bury scraped an 18 -17 win over his wife Anne (apparently a first domestic victory!) whilst the rapidly improving Ged Smolskas, also from Bury, comfortably beat Paul Taylor of Chester. In the second round Chris turned up the heat for a big win over Ged whilst Ann had a solid win over Paul.

The final round produced dramas. Against Chris, Paul ended a steady break by burning through his remaining bisques. Victory should have been easy for the lower handicapped Chris but Paul steadily ran hoops whilst Chris spent his energies on marginally missed roquets or blobbed hoops. The result was an 18-3 win to Paul. The final game between Anne and Ged was for high stakes. Any win by Anne would give her the tournament whilst Ged needed a big win to take first place. When time was called the scores were level but Ged kept his nerve to score the final winning hoop.

The final outcome was that Chris Alvey, who won two of his three games, took home the trophy his wife had won last year and Ged Smolskas, who also won two of his three games but with a smaller difference in hoops run, gained the runner-up trophy, a magnificent seventy year old memento donated to the Croquet Association by the CA of Australia.

Overall, some great croquet in very tricky conditions.

Competitors in the 2022 Millennium AC handicap tournament at Chester, left to right: Anne and Chris Alvey, Ged Smolskas and Paul Taylor
Winner Chris Alvey, centre left, and runner-up Ged Smolskas, centre right, receiving their awards from club chairman, Jayne Taylor, far right

CA legal status and new consitution

You may be aware that the CA has for some time been reviewing its legal structure. We are close to decision points and to this end the CA is offering to all members an online Zoom meeting to bring members up to date. Please feel free to join the meeting if you wish.

Robin Tasker and I (as the successive NW Federation representatives) have been heavily involved in the proposal. Our views are clear. The current CA structure is badly out of date and carries significant legal and financial risks if we do nothing. Adopting a modern legal structure is a must and incorporating charitable status at the same time offers new financial opportunities (with no downside that we can see).

Robin and I would have opted for a different legal route (CCLG – Charitable Company limited by Guarantee ) but Council voted for a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) as the preferred route. However, Robin and I consider this a sound decision and think that further debate carries major risks of “getting stuck in the status quo”.

Croquet England is a modern title which aligns with other major sports. It makes complete sense to manage the changes to the legal status and name in an integrated way.

Best wishes

John Dawson

Secretary
Chester Croquet Club

See the Croquet Association flier and their e-mail circular below

CA – Members’ Forum – via Zoom

The CA Council has decided to propose:

(i) that the Chairman of the Council and the Honorary Secretary should be authorised to make an application to the Charity Commission to register Croquet England as a new Charitable Incorporated Organisation; and

(ii) that, if the application is successful, the Executive Board should be authorised to transfer all of the assets and liabilities of the CA (by stages) to Croquet England so that Croquet England CIO will eventually replace the CA completely.

This major change has been under consideration for some time. Members are about to be asked for their approval.

Members’ Forum – via Zoom

Monday 13 June 2022 at 6 p.m.

For details of the Zoom meeting link see the e-mail circular sent to all CA members or ask the club secretary, John Dawson.

Find out the facts.

Ask questions.

Get answers.

Three important documents are available for perusal via the website.

Just click on the links below.

Background to the Proposal to change the status and name of the CA

Guide to the Draft Constitution

Draft Constitution of Croquet England

Fun and games in Jubilee week

Chester Deva Rotary Club visited Chester Croquet Club for a fun social evening on Tuesday, 31 May. 15 Rotarians were shown the basic skills and then played competitive games in a progressive doubles, which was great fun. The evening finished with refreshments. The croquet club are always willing to host local charity groups and introduce them to croquet. This season there is a girl guides visit, Chester Rambling Club and Mensa all planned.

On the following Saturday, 4 June, Chester Croquet Club put up a small lawn at the Westminster Park Jubilee Picnic and invited children and adults to have a go at croquet and see how many shots it took to get round the sixhoops. Many people participated. The winning child, with the least number of shots taken, was Georgia Folks, aged 8 from Cheadle. Matt Sargent was the best adult.

On a very wet Sunday, 5 June, the Chester Senators handicap golf team played at home against Bowdon. Chester won both doubles games with Edward Baskerville (captain) and Sarah Clements managing a tense 5-3 victory and in heavy rain Kerry Dadson and Pat Wheeler played exceptionally in a well matched game to make 6-4.The singles games went 8 to 6 in Chester’s favour with two games drawn 5 all and 6 all. A total of 98 hoops were run by Chester against 77 by Bowdon and an overall scoreline of 10-6 to Chester. Notwithstanding the inclement weather, the teams enjoyed after match strawberries and cream and chocolate cake, joining in the nation’s celebrations.