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Winter 2011-12

December 2011 Wrest Park Newsletter (PDF 711 kb) John Bevington

Summer 2011

October 2011 Wrest Park Newsletter (PDF 584 kb) John Bevington

October 2011 Leighton Linslade Newsletter ( 2,356 kb) John Cundell

October 2 2011 Colchester B Level Golf Croquet tournament

Dick Strover presenting the Laeticia
Atkinson Trophy to Tony Lee with
runner-up Adrienne Strover looking on

Tony Lee (Hcp4) won the Colchester B Level Golf croquet on Sunday beating Adrienne Strover (Hcp8) in a thrilling final, which went to the very last hoop possible. It couldn't have been closer, but Tony edged in with some magnificent jump shots to win 7-5, 5-7, 7-6. It was level play for the 16 players with handicaps 3-10 and both weather and play were sizzling.

The two finalists came from the same initial group which had been won by Terrey Sparks (Hcp4), who eventually came sixth, with Adrienne second in the group and Tony third. It was a really hot day for the finalists to play a total of 9 games and everyone else to play 7 games.

The consolation doubles was won by Pam Hopper and John Skuse, who narrowly defeated Zandra Cardy and Anne Skuse.

Detailed results ( 10 kb).

Dick Strover

October 2 2011 Surbiton Colchester beat Bristol 7-0 to win the national Inter-Club Championship

October 1 2011 Surbiton Wrest Park lost 3-4 to Woking in the national final of the Mary Rose

October 1 2011 Colchester Chelmsford & Bentley won the EACF Chairman's Cup

September 12 2011 George Collin awarded a CA Diploma for 27 years of outstanding service to the EACF

The EACF received a communication from the CA which included the following:

I am pleased to advise you that the EACF's nomination for Croquet Association Diploma for George Collin has been approved by the Management Committee.

Please convey the Croquet Association's congratulations to George, together with an invitation to attend the Annual General Meeting at 11 am on the 15 October 2011 at the Hurlingham Club, to be presented with his diploma by the President of the Croquet Association.

The text of George's nomination by the EACF can be found here.

September 11 2011 Bury St. Edmunds Enfield (E) won the East Anglian Golf Croquet League

September 2011 Wrest Park Newsletter (PDF 714 kb) John Bevington

August 13-14 2011 Ipswich Peter Allnutt won the August Weekend Handicap Tournament

Peter Allnutt and Jill Waters

The Suffolk Bowl

A small but keen band of players joined in friendly combat for the August weekend handicap tournament in Christchurch Park. Play began in the misty morning murk of the arboretum but gradually moved to shafts of brilliant sunshine. There were some interesting turnarounds in some of the games. One in particular between David Haslam and Jonathan Toye in which each player seemed intent on handing over the initiative at the last minute. In the final instance of this altruistic approach, Mr Haslam carefully pegged out one of his opponent's balls and then efficiently wired the remaining one from everything, presenting an easy lift for a grateful opponent to finish. At the end of the first day's play there was a clear leader with Jonathan Toye on 3/3. Unfortunately the optimistic banter from other competitors went to his head and by the end of Sunday's games Peter Allnutt had moved firmly into pole position to take the Suffolk Bowl.

Other highlights of the tournament were the fashion statement of Simon Riley's low slung shorts (was this an attempt at distraction?) and the excellent lunches with very tasty pickle provided by Celia Pearce in absentia whilst hosting a visitor from Tahiti (obviously one would need to have a break somewhere pleasant after enduring life on that island).

A joint player/management team of Martin Leech and Jill Waters kept everything running smoothly and were so efficient that they finished as runners up.

Cliff Daniel (in the midst of a hectic week of croquet), Philip and Lorraine Hellen completed the line up. The latter was allegedly competing on the understanding that this was a doubles tournament but she took it all very well in her stride.

This was the final tournament in Ipswich's 100 years at Christchurch Park. In a bid to avoid the fate of other clubs who depend on the whim of their local council's financial straits they are moving to the nearby Fynn Valley Golf Club where they have negotiated a reasonable hire fee for two new lawns and the use of excellent facilities. I wish them the best of luck with this brave, pre-emptive shift after a century in the Park.

Report and photos by Jonathan Toye

July 22-24 2011 Hunstanton David Maugham won the Eastern Championship (yet again)

July 13-14 2011 Letchworth Terrey Sparks won the July B-Level Tournament

Derek Watts (left) receiving
the runner-up's prize

Terrey Sparks (left) receiving
the winner's prize

Letchworth Croquet Club staged its first ever B Level Advanced tournament on 13th and 14th July 2011. Ten players took part, from as far away as New Zealand.

The first round was played in two blocks of 5, all play all. As a semi-final, the winner of each block then played the runner-up in the other, and then the two winners competed in the Final with a consolation Egyptian for those who wanted to continue playing. All games were played with a time limit of 2 hours plus 6 Wharrad turns. That said, only 4 games out of 23 went to time.

The rain held off for both days. It was quite chilly on the Wednesday; Thursday though was bathed in sunshine. The lawns attracted a lot of favourable comments for their excellent condition, a tribute to the hard work that had gone in to their preparation.

Everyone took advantage of the very good ploughman's lunches provided in the Lawn Tennis and Social Club pavilion adjoining the courts, and several competitors then enjoyed a local Pub meal on Wednesday evening.

After a number of close fought games, Terrey Sparks beat Terry Mahoney in one Semi-final, and Derek Watts beat Mark Homan. In the Final, Terrey Sparks beat Derek Watts, and so received the silver cup, Derek having to be content with the runner-up's bottle of wine.

Report and photos by Ian Mantle

June 2011 Wrest Park Newsletter (PDF 533 kb) John Bevington

June 25 2011 Wrest Park John Cundell won the GC B-Level Tournament

At the end of 2010 Richard Keighley suggested that a Croquet Association B-Level tournament be held in the South Bedfordshire area, either at Leighton-Linslade or Wrest Park. It was considered that Wrest Park would be a better venue in view of their six lawns and therefore Richard went ahead and arranged a competition for Wednesday 22nd June. A number of entries were received from various clubs around the country plus a small contingent from Leighton-Linslade. Then came the early Spring news that weekday events were not possible for much of the season at Wrest Park which meant that the date had to be changed to Saturday 25th June, and unfortunately some of the more distant competitors could not make that date. Another participant then had to withdraw as his handicap had dropped below the 4-8 limit prescribed for this competition. And finally, competition manager Richard then had the news that his knee operation was to take place on the 22nd June! Richard finalised the pre-match details, a number of LL members came forward to take part, and Geoff Strutt of Wrest Park stepped up to manage the competition on the day.

L-R: finalists John Thorp, John Cundell

So twelve participants arrived at an overcast Wrest Park and play commenced at 10.00am. The twelve were divided into two blocks and played five games each. The longest travelled competitor was John Edwards from Broadwas (near Worcester), closely followed by Richard Jenkins and Janet Trueman from Hamptworth in Hampshire. Geoff Strutt from Wrest Park took part to make up the twelve, and Leighton-Linslade players were David and Jean Ball, Eve Buckingham, John Cundell, Tom Miller, Judith Pengelly, Judi Priestley and John Thorp. Judi, who is also a Wrest Park member, looked after the refreshments as well – a sterling effort.

The first three rounds took up until lunchtime whereupon the sun emerged and the temperature climbed rapidly. Two more rounds finished off the block play and the results were as follows:

Block 1       Block 2    
1st John Thorp 4 wins   1st John Cundell 5 wins
2nd Judith Pengelly 3 wins   2nd John Edwards 4 wins
3rd David Ball 3 wins   3rd Janet Trueman 2 wins
4th Geoff Strutt 3 wins   4th Jean Ball 2 wins
5th Richard Jenkins 1 win   5th Judi Priestley 1 win

Eve Buckingham 1 win   6th

Tom Miller 1 win

The Final was a hard fought yo-yo match between John Cundell and John Thorp until hoop 12 where John T had a good chance of taking the win, but nerves set in and so the 13th hoop came into play. Both players enjoyed some fine clearances and some nervous hoop runs until after about 15 minutes John Cundell squeezed the win.

An enjoyable day for this first B-Level event at Wrest Park. Thanks to Richard Keighley for the idea and pre-management, Geoff Strutt and Judi Priestley of Wrest Park for their work on the day, and the players from near and far.

Report by John Cundell

June 20 2011 Hurlingham Oxford beat Cambridge 9-0 in the 2011 Varsity Match

May 28-31 2011 Essex are promoted to join Hertfordshire and Suffolk in Division 1 of the national Inter-Counties Championship for 2012 after winning Division 2 with a clean sweep. Bedfordshire remain in Division 2.

May 2011 Wrest Park Newsletter (PDF 633 kb) John Bevington

May 14-15 2011 Colchester Norfolk won the 2011 Anderson Shield, and Essex won the Naff-Little Trophy

May 9 2011 Watford Ian Mantle won at the GC B-Level Tournament

May 7-8 2011 Colchester Terrey Sparks wins at the B-Level Advanced Weekend

Manager Colin Hemming...

When the sun shines and the weather is balmy there is no better place to be to play croquet than at Colchester on its superb four lawns. This year proved no exception and the ground staff under the supervision of Peter Kenward are to be congratulated on all the improvements carried out over the last winter. Replacing the ball protection boards around the lawn edges and in particular cutting back the hedge on the east boundary not only opened up the light but improved the swing area. Not to mention time saved searching for lost balls. Despite the drought the lawns were in good condition, with an exceptional covering of grass proving the value of an automatic pop up watering system. The new hoops set by Jonathan Hills as expected proved to be fair but challenging to say the least.

Attracting a full entry of 16 players, the tournament was run as a flexible Swiss in which the overall winner would be determined on the greatest percentage of wins. The Manager Colin Hemming, as can be expected, came up with a format that produced an exciting and closely contested tournament right to the end of play. Under this format winners played winners of the same number of wins, and at the end of the first day the leading group consisted of mainly the lower handicap players. Despite managing, Colin was in the lead on 3/3 (100%), closely followed by Ken Pickett and Nick Steiner 3/4 (75%), who were being closely chased by the pack consisting of Ian Parkinson, Ian Mantle, Mark Homan, Terry Mahoney and Terrey Sparks all on 2/3 (66%).

Winner Terrey Sparks

After the first round of games on the Sunday things became even more confused when Ken beat Colin, Ian Parkinson beat Nick, Terry Mahoney beat Ian Mantle and Terrey Sparks saw off Mark Homan, resulting in Ken taking the lead on 4/5 (80%), closely followed by the ever-closing pack now consisting of Ian Parkinson, Colin Hemming, Terry Mahoney and Terrey Sparks on 3/4 (75%). After the final round of games with Terrey Sparks stopping Ken's run, and with Ian Parkinson beating Terry Mahoney, and with Colin running out the winner against Nick Steiner, things became even more confused when a three-way tie emerged: Terrey Sparks, Ian Parkinson and Colin Hemming all finishing on 4/5 (80%).

...presenting the trophy to Terrey Sparks

This resulted in the manager invoking the Nottingham Tie Break, which went to three rounds. First to play was 'in form' Terrey Sparks followed by 'steady eddy' Ian Parkinson and 'the redoubtable' Colin Hemming. In the first round all three players made three hoops before breaking down, leading to a second round re-run. Terrey and Ian made two hoops, but Colin made a hash of his croquet shot, broke down at hoop 1, and was therefore eliminated. In the third round Terrey again broke down after making the second hoop after being hampered. Ian however, making a poor first hoop approach, was unable to correct his position and set up a decent approach to the second hoop which he blobbed, leaving Terrey the overall winner.

In addition to all the improvements to the outside of the club, changes have been made to the running of the inside of he clubhouse. Colchester, always famous for the excellent cuisine, unfortunately lost the services of their popular caterers. Not being deterred they have managed to attract the services of two new ladies whose 'fayre' was excellent and well up to the club's normal high standard. Where do you find them? Not to mention the afternoon teas provided by the club members, the range of homemade chocolate and cream cakes may not do much for the waistline, but on the social side is much appreciated. A special mention must go to the manager's other half Georgeen who on special request the night before produced some superb home made rock cakes as well. Where else can you get this standard of service?

Report by Terrey Sparks
Photos by Nick Steiner

April 17 2011 Wrest Park Nick Mounfield, Nick Steiner and Geoff Johnson won at the Club Champions Tournament

March - August 2011 Wrest Park Weekday play restrictions

English Heritage is carrying out extensive works in the gardens starting in March and continuing until August. As a result no weekday daytime play will be possible during this period. The May and July Association tournaments will now be two-day events on 21-22 May and 2-3 July (entry fee £12.50), and the golf croquet tournament planned for Wednesday 22nd June will now take place on Saturday 25th June. Our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. If shortening the AC tournaments to two days means that you are now in a position to enter we look forward to hearing from you, and we would also welcome entries for the rescheduled GC tournament.

John Bevington

Winter 2010-11

March 2011 Leighton Linslade Newsletter ( 152 kb) John Cundell

February 2011 Wrest Park Newsletter (PDF 482 kb) John Bevington

January 2011 Leighton Linslade Newsletter ( 531 kb) John Cundell

News archive