This article originally appeared in print in 1998, and is part of our RPCC History Series.
Finals Weekend was held on July 18th and 19th, and for once the weather was glorious. The croquet was exciting with some close games being fought out. On the social side, we had a barbecue on the Saturday evening and tea on Sunday afternoon and both were as successful as we have come to expect. Thanks to all those involved.
After the tea on Sunday, trophies were presented to the winners by Rosamond Vulliamy who is seen in the photograph below with all the winners. A list of results can be found overleaf.
The results of the various tournament finals were as follows :-
Ladder – Won by Ron Farr
Rosamond Trophy (Novice) – Denis Noyle beat David Moore (+14)
Frances Payne (High Handicap) – Alan Slade beat Ron Farr (+5)
Creed Memorial Cup – John Knight beat John Criddle (+14)
All England Handicap – John Criddle beat John Cosier (+4)
Fuller Buckley Cup – John Criddle beat John Knight (+7)
Alan Grant Candlesticks (Doubles) – Alan Slade and Frank Burch beat Ron Goldby and John Taylor (+6)
Vulliamy Salver (Advanced Play) – Rex Davis beat John Taylor (+2)
From John Prior
The second Alternate-Shot doubles of the year was played on September 9th. for the most part in heavy rain, although the sun did appear later to provide a dry end, at least, to the proceedings. However, the participants did not let the weather dampen their spirits and some close games ensued – with several going to ‘time’.
The clear winners were John Hyde & John Knight with three straight wins, and both received a bottle of wine for their valiant efforts.
My special thanks go to Doreen Taylor who provided another one of her splendid teas and to all those who helped to wash-up and clear away afterwards.
In the evening, there was a social at the Caffe Uno in Reigate which was thoroughly enjoyed by all those who attended. Again, my thanks to Doreen for organising the event.
1st: John Hyde & John Knight; played 3, won 3; +32 points.
2nd: Margaret Murphy & Wilfred Friend; played 3, won 2; +6 points.
3rd: Tim Hazell & Alan Slade; played 3, won 2; +4 points.
4th: David Connah & Ron Farr; played 3, won 2; -8 points.
5th: Mike Bottomley & Joan Welch; played 3, won 1; +4 points.
6th: Ron Goldby & Frank Burch; played 3, won 1; -1 point.
7th: Denis Noyle & Harry Brooks; played 3, won 1; -10 points.
8th: Gwen Bottomley & John Taylor; played 3, won 0; -17 points.
Although it is so late in the season, we have gained another three members; Jenny Currow, Christine Edwards and Tim Hazell. I am sure you will all join me in welcoming them and I hope they will quickly be drawn into the life of the Club. Both old members and new, don’t be shy about ringing up to fix a game -that’s what the List of Members is for.
Roger Tedstone, the groundsman, was invited to be an Honorary Member of the Club a couple of months ago, and despite his busy schedule has got keen and managed to make some time to have some coaching – we hope the bug really bites and we will see him in some tournaments and matches next year.
It really is great to see so many of our new members getting involved with the game, but for those who are still a bit shy we hope to have a special New Members’ Club Day early next season to encourage as many old and new members as possible to meet each other.
Finally, a sad warning! We were recently left with our legs crossed because the loo key had been locked inside! Fortunately Mike Bottomley came to rescue with a screwdriver to take the lock off. However, you will notice that I have since put up a reminder, so it doesn’t happen again. Please do take care to ensure that the key is put back in the Clubhouse.
75th Anniversary Short Croquet Weekend Tournament
From Joan Welch
Fourteen entrants, including three visitors, enjoyed fine weather, good food and keen competition during the 75th Anniversary weekend at the beginning of August.
The lawns were looking in fine condition and the Manager was able to play all the games at the Priory, which gave everyone the chance to be social as well as competitive.
The Egyptian format allowed ‘odds and ends’ like me, to compete in just a few games, get a flavour of the tournament and still be able to do my part in the catering, while the keener players were able to play as many as 13 games.
All the competitors were given good lunches and teas, and John and Freda Knight put on a magnificent barbecue on Saturday night. Sadly, the weather was not too kind that evening, but the rain held off long enough to cook and eat – what more can you ask! The Football Club loaned us their brand new barbecue for the occasion; a magnificent beast giving out enough heat to roast an ox!
We were delighted to welcome our visitors, Pauline and John Davey from Dulwich and Terry Burge from Surbiton. Terry was a particular coup as he is a Minus player – his challenge was to make two compulsory peels during each game; with only six hoops and the peg, plus numerous bisques against him, he had to play magnificently to win his games. To come out as the winner of the trophy was even more remarkable and meant playing superbly all through the two days. We were delighted to present him with the unique trophy and keepsake, appropriately enough a short mallet named The Smasher.
Pauline Davey played very steadily throughout the two days and came a very fine second. She then went on to win the Walpole Cup, Ealing Croquet Club’s Open Short Croquet Tournament, the following weekend. Her husband came fourth overall, so if we are to hold a similar event again we should get our Short Croquet act together at Reigate.
The tournament weekend made a net profit of £160 for the Club, and was a very successful experiment in spreading our wings and drawing in the outside world.
Thanks to all Club members who took part and helped to make our guests so welcome.
Croquet In Germany
From Joan Welch
Following the successful introductory weekend Ron conducted in Hamburg last year (the Germans call it a ‘sniffer’!), and a follow up visit to Leipzig in July, Ron and I were invited to Germany in August to help run the first German National Croquet Championship.
There is a small but very keen group of Hamburgers who have set up the German Croquet Association, and despite being novice players, have made enough contacts to hold a tournament. Players from Hamburg, Friesland and Leipzig met to play a weekend on two sites 30 kilometres east and west of Hamburg, with a Welch in attendance as manager and referee on each site.
There were two blocks of four on each site, with the winners and runners up in each block going on to a quarter, semi and final on the second day. The President of the Association, Joern Vinnen, had commissioned a wood carving of a croquet player, which a well known artist had fashioned using illustrations from croquet books for his inspiration. The trophy is quite delightful, really capturing the concentration and stance of a player – the artist’s talent being such that he had achieved this without ever picking up a mallet himself, or even seeing anyone play.
Many of the players were very much beginners, so there was quite a lot of coaching going on during play; not quite the done thing in the UK! However, although inexperienced, several of the players are showing real promise and all are full of enthusiasm. One of the players told me he had set off at 5.30 a.m. that morning to get to the tournament. When I remarked on his early start he said stoutly “NO start is too early for croquet”! Definitely made of the right stuff! On the evening of the first day we were canoeing (yes you read that right) on the Alster, and he was one of the party. By this time he had been up since about 4.30am, helped set hoops, played four, admittedly short, games, cycled into the centre of Hamburg from his campsite (about 40 minutes), canoed for a couple of hours and was about to cycle back, arriving back at morning, and was only beaten in the final by Joern Vinnen.
It was very fitting that Joern should be the first winner of the trophy as he has given so much time and effort to get croquet moving in Germany. If his enthusiasm has anything to do with it, there will be great things happening there in croquet in the future.
Ron and I have been doing our best to persuade some of the better players to come over to England next year and enter at least one tournament. It would be marvellous experience for them. We are hoping to finalise plans early in the New Year, and, of course, Reigate will be one of the Clubs they will want to visit. I hope we can make them welcome and draw them into the croquet world.
The AGM will be held on Saturday November 28th. starting at 3.00 p.m. for 3.30 p.m. It will be followed by a supper (see enclosed form) at which we shall be entertaining two guests from the CA. This is your chance to have your say about the running of the club and we particularly want to demonstrate to our guests that the club is thriving. Please come along.
From John Prior
Some members are of the opinion that the current range of competitions are biased too heavily in favour of those players with a high handicap. Their contention is that while the Rosamond Trophy and Frances Payne Cup are (rightly) aimed specifically at those with a high handicap, it is made too easy for the high-handicap player (especially a fast-improver) in the Creed Memorial and Fuller Buckley competitions – because when they meet players with significantly lower handicaps they gain too many bisques.
The suggestion is that for the Creed Memorial and Fuller Buckley competitions, handicaps should be capped above a certain limit. For example, if a competition was capped at 12 bisques, a player with a handicap of 18 would play off 12 if he/she entered that particular competition.
I agree with the suggestion and suggest the following changes for the 1999/2000 competitions:
- Creed Memorial Cup: Capped at 14 bisques. Handicap singles, advanced play.
- Fuller Buckley Cup: Capped at 10 bisques. Handicap singles.
I think this would provide a fairer structure to our competitions and give everyone – no matter what their handicap – a better chance of progressing in at least one of the competitions. Please have a think about these proposals and let me have your views at the forthcoming AGM.
Winter Social Programme
There has been an exhibition on the history of croquet at Wimbledon L.T.A. Museum which we had hoped to visit last winter. Unfortunately we could not fit this into the programme at the time. The exhibition finishes at the end of November. John and Doreen Taylor plan a visit on Sunday Nov. 22nd. The entry fee to the Croquet and Tennis exhibition will be £3 for adults (£2 for concessions). We shall leave Reigate about 1 p.m. Parking is free and there is a tearoom. Please ring Doreen Taylor on 780XXX if you wish to join us.
Once again this will be held at the Seven Stars, at Leigh and will be on Saturday Feb. 20th.
There will also be a car Treasure Hunt sometime in March. More details of both these events will be given in the future.
Last winter some members of the croquet club went on one or more Sunday walks. The idea was to try to keep some social contact between members during the ‘closed’ season (and, of course, to enjoy ourselves). The format was simple: a circular walk somewhere local starting at 10 a.m. and finishing at noon. The starting and finishing point was chosen to be near a suitable pub. These walks were arranged by a volunteer from the club.
We would like to do the same again this winter and we have arranged for the first walk to be on November 29th. It will be led by Ron Farr and we shall meet at ‘The Running Horses’ at Mickleham at 10 a.m. Punctuality is important because experience shows that if we arrive late for lunch there will be no seats and possibly very little standing room. For this reason we do not wait for latecomers.
I hope you will be able to join us on this walk and a particularly warm welcome is extended to new members who will find it a good way to get to know other members off the croquet lawn. Friends or partners of members are also welcome. If you intend to come will you please contact Ron sometime during the week before the walk and let him know how many will be coming.
We anticipate having another walk on January 3rd. which will be led by David Connah. On this occasion we shall meet at ‘The Cricketers’ at Westcott also punctually at 10 a.m. Please put these dates in your diary.