First Aid Course

Following the odd accident over the years we thought it would be advisable if more of our members were actually trained to be able to provide First Aid assistance.
So we have organised a dedicated course by the Red Cross, on 10th March 10am-2:30pm at the Stables, Frant (where the AGM is being held) for up to 15 people.
Kate Sander will be handling registrations and providing lunch, at a nominal charge of £10 for this, coffee, tea etc. Although the Red Cross charge for providing this course, we are not asking for members taking part to contribute towards this, as it is clearly a benefit for the club in having more trained First Aiders.
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Data Protection

In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a new General Data Protection Regulation that comes into effect in May 2018. So the Committee has approved a new Privacy Policy to comply with this. 

The policy can be seen in this document.

It will be reflected in the Membership Renewal form which will be sent out shortly.

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Twelfth Night greatly enjoyed!

A Happy New Year was celebrated by a significant number of our club members at the home of Kate and Michael Sander, with a considerable sum raised for club funds, including nearly £40 for the donation of a special “Ice Queen” cake by Derek Crocombe!

IMG_2376 IMG_2377 IMG_2378 Ice Queen Ice Queen - Lovely fruit cake

Happy New Year to all our readers!!!

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Our new website

Now live, so ready for review!

Please report any errors.

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2017 News

13th December – Xmas lunch

A few late cancellations reduced us to 13 for our Xmas lunch at the Mark Cross, but everybody enjoyed the occasion.

1st December – Paul Gamba wins at Southwick

Paul won his handicap group in the final 2018 one day GC tournament at Southwick with 4 wins, 2 draws and one (narrow) loss. Congratulations!

21st November – Lawns Reopen

Alex Jardine won the One Ball, albeit with a small number of players, on a lovely sunny day.

27th October – Nigel Barton wins at Southwick

Nigel won his handicap group in the latest one day GC tournament at Southwick wins 5 wins and one loss. Congratulations!

13th October – SECF leagues final results

A league: 6th/6
U league: 5/15
GC Level: 4/10
GC Restricted: 10/10
GC Handicap: 10/17

28th September – SECF Golf Level League – loss to Sussex County 2:5

26th September – Lawns Close for Autumn Maintenance

15th September – SECF Golf Level League – beat Compton 6:1

14th September – Mick Belcham wins the Lustau Cup

12th September – SECF Golf Handicap League – beat Sydenham 5:3

11th September – SECF U League – beat Hampstead Heath 6:0

3rd September – Finals Day!

Better than last year, with 4 finals being contested (all Golf ones).

Golf Doubles: Jane Smith and John G beat Duncan Cox and Richard Smith   7-3, 7-4
Hunter Plate: John Greenwood beat Frank Gunstone 7-4, 7-4
Golf High Bisquers: Lister Fielding beat Adrian Gossage 7-6, 7-4
Kitching Rose Bowl: Bob Fordham Beat Duncan Cox by two games to none.

1st September – Derek Crocombe wins Howell Cup

Derek beat Adrian Gossage in the final game of the block to win it on net points over Jane Smith and Kate Sander, who all had 2 wins.

1st September – SECF Golf Handicap League – beat Caterham 5:4

31st August – John Greenwood & Elaine Houslop win the Miriam Reader Doubles

They beat Jon Diamond & Richard Smith in a rain affected match by +7 on time.

26th/27th August – Jon Diamond wins the Honeygrove Cup

honeygrove1 Honeygrove Cup - winner Jon Diamond (right)
Despite being in the middle of the handicap range for this Advanced tournament, Jon came through as winner on percentage wins and over Andrew Dutton on a who-beat-whom basis. He became only the third TW player to win this cup since it started in 2001!

honeygrove2 Honeygrove Cup players
This was the highest quality event that we’ve ever run at TW, with a full complement of 13 players in a flexible Swiss tournament, ably managed by Alex Jardine on the wonderful Bank Holiday weekend. It was perhaps a bit too hot and sunny as many players ducked out somewhat early on the Sunday.

We were also entertained by the, by now, regular free music concert in Calverley Grounds (whether we liked it or not). Actually, the quality of the music was really quite good with some outstanding young female singers – probably better than the quality of the croquet played…

Additionally Kevin Carter wrote for a CA report:
“It was especially good to see Paul Castell returning after a long lay-off during which time he had an extensive new undercarriage installed and he did well to finish third. One of the overnight leaders was Chris Coull, a third season fast-improver playing off a handicap of two but looking for all the world like a minus player in the making.
Given the relatively easy conditions it was a little surprising to see just two TPs, from Luc Berthouze and Jonathan Lamb, but both players were consistently inconsistent and never challenged for the lead. One might have though Brian Havill would be going for his gold badge, too. Not so; he didn’t have his silver until this weekend!
TW is a delightful place to visit, in a park just a short walk away from the centre of town. This year we were also treated to a free folk music festival, attended by hundreds, which featured some very fine singers, who competed effectively with Classic FM being pumped out of manager Alex Jardine’s clubhouse ghetto blaster.”

The final table is:

Jon DiamondTunbridge Wells1451
Andrew DuttonWoking2452
Paul CastellSussex County1573
Chris CoullSussex County2354=
John DanielsPurley Bury-0.5354=
Edward DymockSurbiton3354=
Jonathan LambCanterbury-0.5477
Luc BerthouzeSussex County-0.5378
Brian HavillWatford1259
Kevin CarterSurbiton02610=
Alex JardineTunbridge Wells32610=
Philip WindredLetchworth2.52610=
Phil DunkSussex County31613

25th August – Alex Jardine wins Calverley Cup

Alex beat Jon Diamond by +9 in a tight final.

18th August – SECF Golf Level League – loss to Rottingdean 1:6

Our last game in this league for the season was another loss, leaving us with only one wind out of four for the year.

15th August – Sander’s Swingers win the Fraser Tankard

With 6 wins and one draw Mike Sander’s team runs out easy winners of our Golf Teams competition, beating John’s Rollers in the final match to leave them a clear 3 points ahead of their nearest competitiors.

6th August – SECF Golf Teams Day

This year we again entered two teams, but sadly they didn’t perform quite so well as previous years – our first team cames 21st (out of 22) in the Singles and 8th in the Doubles and our second team came 17th in both the Singles and Doubles. Nevertheless, all our players enjoyed the day.

5th August – Summer BBQ

IMG_1822 Summer barbeque @ the Sanders
Our summer barbeque was hosted again by the Sanders, but the weather didn’t quite help, with intermittent showers, but as you can see from the photos they didn’t dampen our spirits.

Nevertheless some 20-odd members and partners attended and enjoyed the food and drink and the garden games (not including croquet!) which were provided.

Thanks to everyone who provided food, especially the lovely desserts, and to Kate for hosting again.

4th August – SECF GL League – beat Guildford & Godalming 6:1

A nice day for our first visit to the revamped G&G club, now with a new Clubhouse and an additional 2 lawns, making 4 decent lawns in total.

Lunch was taken with part of the second round completed and a win assured with a score of 4:1, but we completed the full match and also some friendlies for an early departure and a satisfying win, especially as congratulations are due to John Greenwood with his reduction in handicap from 1 to scratch!

3rd August – KMTV video released

The new TV station for Kent, part of the Kent Messenger Group, has released the video following their filming us on National Croquet Day earlier this year. You can see it here:

Too much of your chairman again… but you can see our new family members towards the end.

1st August – SECF A League – lost to Woking 1:6

Another not so quite good day at the office…

With Jeff Dawson in their team with a handicap of -2 it was always probable that we’d have 2 losses almost to start with, but our team seemed to have a death wish sometimes and most results were comprehensive losses.

However, John Greenwood managed to avoid the whitewash in the final game to finish to win by a very narrow margin, but both he and his opponent looked like they were trying to avoid winning.

29th/30th July – Martin Lester wins Pegasus Plate

IMG_1814 Martin Lester (right) wins the Pegasus Plate
Martin Lester, from Oxford University and TW, (pictured with the Manager John Hobbs) with a handicap of 2.5 won our AC Handicap Tournament for the third time!

The highest handicappers were two players from Bath at 18, so it’s a tournament for all…

The final table is:

Martin Lester2.5Tunbridge Wells51
Richard Mann7Tunbridge Wells42
David Haslam12Hunstanton33
Ann Brookes7Colchester24=
Henriette van Deth18Bath24=
Eleanor Easom18Bath16=
Tony Elliott6 16=
Jane Collier14Colchester08

28th July – SECF GC Level league – lost to Woking 1½:5½

On a grey and occasionally really miserable day we had a fairly consistent sets of games against Woking, with only John Greenwood managing a score…

23rd July – SECF U league – beat Surbiton 4:3

20th July – Our Chairman appears in Waitrose Weekend

Waitrose Weekend – 20/7/2017

The free weekly newspaper from Waitrose features our Chairman in its My Weekend column.

13th July – SECF GC Restricted League – loss to Medway 2:5

8th July – SECF U league – loss to Reigate Priory 3:4

After leading 2-1 at lunch and 3-1 at 3 pm, yet another 3-4 loss was recorded when the Reigate Priory B (weekenders) team visited on a warm and humid 8th July.

The morning games were shared until Barney won a protracted struggle on time, after everyone else had started lunch, giving us the initial advantage.  Fuelled by an excellent lunch, Alex raced round in under an hour, using no bisques, before Mick had his golden chance to seal the match. Having reached peg-and-peg, and ahead of oppo’s balls on rover, Mick suffered a “grievous”, rushing his front ball onto the peg (and thus out of the game) leaving him with only distant unsuccessful shots at the peg as Andrew made his remaining four points.  Barney was well beaten, so we all then had to wait till one minute from time before Richard eventually lost what had been a close decider until his opponent finally remembered his single almost-forgotten bisque.

3rd July – SECF A League – loss to Sussex County 1:6

2nd July – Penshurst Place

This event attracted a fair amount of attention with visitors from as far away as Sydney, Australia and as close as Crowborough! The weather was rainy first thing in the morning, but by the time we set things up it had brightened up. However by lunch time it was sunny and warm and many visitors came to try their hand, whilst several more watched and took photos. There were also a number of locals to follow up.

1st/2nd July – Southern Challenge

A seriously disappointing result this year – we were in danger of relegation, but just about managed to avoid finishing bottom by beating Canterbury 3:0 in the final match, after losing to them 1:2 in the immediately preceding round. In fact Canterbury were the only team we won against in the round-robin round.

Unavoidably some of our better players were unable to play, but our team of Jon Diamond, John Greenwood, Derek Crocombe, Sandy Smith, Mike Gentry and Sandy Smith underperformed overall. There were a considerable number of 2:1 losses, but sadly in reality only in a couple of them were we close to overturning this result.

Full details are reported on the SECF site.

Hopefully we’ll perform a bit better next year.

30th June – SECF GC Restricted league – beat Reigate Priory 4:3

29th June – Waitrose Weekend advertises our Penshurst visit!

Waitrose Weekend – 29/6/2017

Waitrose Weekend – 29/6/2017

16th June – SECF GC Restricted league – loss to Merton 1:6

14th June – SECF GC Handicap League v Dulwich B – lost 3:6

10th June – Liz Farrow wins the Montevideo Cup

IMG_1728 Liz Farrow wins the Montevideo Cup
Liz Farrow from Sussex County won our annual Open Golf Croquet level play tournament, beating our own John Greenwood in the 19 point final by the closest of margins. Some instruction was necessary about which hoops were 13-19, so no mistakes were made, but the golden hoop was the decider with John having chances to run the hoop, but Liz ultimately winning.

Notable was that none of the -1 handicap players made the final, despite the lawns being in perfect condition as was the weather.

Also notable was the play of our own Lister Fielding, which resulted in the reduction of his handicap from 9 to 6.

Full block results are:
Block A

John Greenwood1TW4
Liz Farrow1Sussex County4
Richard Brooks-1Sussex County3
Keith Webb3West Worthing2
Andrew Stewart6West Worthing2
Derek Heath5TW0

Block B

Jon Diamond-1TW4
Mark Hamilton2Sussex County3
Luc Berthouze-1Sussex County2
Lister Fielding9TW2
Derek Crocombe3TW2
Maggie Webb3West Worthing2

In the semi-finals John Greenwood beat Mark Hamilton 7-5 and Liz Farrow beat Jon Diamond 7-3. In the consolation event Derek Heath finally won a game against Maggie Webb.

9th June – John Hobbs wins!

IMG_1726 John Hobbs (left) wins our inaugural AC one day tournament
John won our inaugural AC 18-point one day tournament. This was organised as a 6 player all-play-all, with 1:45 hour time limits, so that 5 games could be completed in a single day. Games were all Advanced, but could be Handicap at either players discretion.

The winner was not determined by number of wins (all players won 2 or 3 games), but by net handicap points won or lost! Summary results were:

 WinsNet Points
John Hobbs3+17
Alex Jardine3+11
Martin Lester2+6
Mick Belcham2+5
Jeff Chapman2-10
Jon Diamond3-29

Thanks to Alex Jardine for managing the day.

4th June – National Croquet Day a great success

IMG_1704 National Croquet Day IMG_1708 National Croquet Day IMG_1710 KMTV cameraman IMG_1711 KMTV day
The weather was fine, so we had about 30 visitors throughout the day, including at least one who found us via the BBC website and we raised £20 for Parkinson UK from our simple competitions. At times all 5 of the lawns we set up (4 half-size ones) were full and everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves.

The hoop running competition was won with a magnificent 13′ 7″ effort by Keith Wilkins. Un fortunately, our hit the peg competition seemed a bit too difficult as nobody managed it! Maybe they need a bit more coaching…

Also wandering around the lawns was a cameraman/reporter from KMTV, which is a TV station for Kent to be launched next month. Hopefully we’ll see his resulting video shortly.

Thanks to our dozen or so members who helped and coached everybody who came. Some visitors even knew how to play already, so we’re pretty confident that at least 3 visitors will become members shortly. If so, then we’ll be at another new record membership.

Perhaps we’ll even be able to start a Youth Section if the families who seemed really keen come back.

A good day was had by all.

24th May – SECF U league – loss to Medway 3:4

15th May – SECF A league – loss to Dulwich 3:4

In our first SECF match of the season we didn’t do too badly.

After a long dry period some unwelcome cold rain dampened our morning, but the results against a stronger Dulwich team didn’t disappoint – the two singles resulted in one win each and the doubles was unfinished with our pair of Jon Diamond and Jolyon Creasey still having chances.

The afternoon brightened up a bit and the 4 singles were halved, meaning that we need to finish the doubles game after all. Jon needed to have good break and eventually picked it up with a chance of going to peg, but blobbed at 1-back and Simon Whiteley hit a long roquet to gain back control. Jon had several long shot opportunities, which narrowly missed, but Simon eventually finished the game off; so we had a narrow overall loss.

I’m sure we’ll beat Dulwich eventually…

6th May – Introduction to Croquet

Another successful completion for this course run by John Hobbs, together with Mick Greagsby and John Greenwood. Most of the course attendees decided to sign up for membership!

13th May – Kent Pod Coaching

7 people attended this Advanced Course organised by the Croquet Association on our lawns. The next session will be held at Medway.

22nd/23rd April – Jonathan Lamb wins the Kent Cup

IMG_1629 Jonathan Lamb (right) wins the (missing) Kent Cup
After a slightly chilly and occasionally damp weekend the winner with an unblemished record in this Association Croquet event at Tunbridge Wells was Jonathan Lamb from Canterbury and Montevideo (On the right in the picture with the avatar Cup – we know the previous winner will return it in due course!).

Runner-up was Robert Alexander (Medway)

Third placed was Philip Mann (Medway) and fourth was John Greenwood (Tunbridge Wells).

The Plate Results were:

5/6 Tobi Savage (Canterbury)
3/5 Jon Diamond (Tunbridge Wells), Trevor Longman (Ramsgate)
2/5 Alex Jardine (Tunbridge Wells), John Bateson (Medway)
2/6 Charlie Martin (Ramsgate)
1/5 Jolyon Creasey (Tunbridge Wells)
0/5 John Hobbs (Tunbridge Wells)
Thanks to the manager Alex Jardine (in both pictures!) for organising the occasion.

18th April – Golf Team League starts

The first match in our Golf Teams League was a resounding 6-0 win for Derek’s Dragons over John’s Rollers.

9th April – Mark Houslop wins our Opening Day One Ball

An excellent Opening Day for our season in glorious summer weather with our now traditional One Ball heat for the UK-wide charity event; this year supporting the Parkinsons charity and raising £140 for it.

The lawns had just been cut a little lower and several people remarked that they seemed to be as level and fast as they’ve ever known them, so that bodes well for the future.

mark_houslop Mark Houslop

14 players entered, which is a record, with Mark Houslop ending up the winner with 5 wins from 6 games. He now qualifies for the final at Surbiton in May.

Other results are:
Jon Diamond 4 wins from 6 games
Alex Jardine 4/7
Adrian Gossage 3/4
Richard Mann and Mike Sander 3/5
John Greenwood 3/6
Barney Lewis and Kate Sander 2/4
Steve Cooling 2/5
Derek Crocombe 2/6
Brian Kitching and Sonia Lawrence 1/4
Helen Cooling 0/4

A lovely lunch was provided by Kate Sander and enjoyed by all, with more players turning up in the afternoon to play Golf Croquet.

Let’s hope the weather remains as good for the rest of the summer!

18th February – AGM

  • Jon Diamond summarised the news and activities from last year (covered in these pages). The membership, at 65, was a new record.
  • Richard Mann reported on the accounts, which show a loss mainly because our groundsman was spending more time on mowing (3 times a week in the summer) and some other activities. Our new blinds had been capitalised, so the accounts showed only the depreciation.
  • Much work on fox preventation had been done (perhaps an electric fence should be introduced?); the electrics for the new blinds would be installed this Spring, with external painting following early in the Summer.
  • An Introduction to Croquet course would be run again and National Croquet Day, supported by an advert in the Index magazine. A Facebook page has been created and it is hoped that memebrs would support it by posting news to it.
  • Coaching in 2017 would be similar to last year.
  • The (unchanged) Membership Rates were approved
  • John Greenwood was elected as Secretary, replacing the retiring Bob Bruce, and John Skates was elected as a new Committee member, with the rest of the committee re-elected.
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2016 News

Additional pictures can be seen in our Photo Gallery and detailed match results/reports via our Competitive Play page

30th November – Mark Houslop wins the Calverley Cup

Mark has repeated his success in last year’s Calverley Cup and beat Barney Lewis +18 in the delayed due to injury semi-final and then Richard Mann in a very close final +2.

26th October – Jon Diamond wins the Hunter Plate

Jon beat John Greenwood in the Hunter Plate final 6-7, 7-3, 7-4, navigating around the fox holes!

12th October Hazel Moss-Davis dies

Hazel died recently after a short illness at the age of 87. She was a long-time member of the club and was a very generous backer, having donated the whole cost of the club house when we moved to Calverley Grounds in 1995. She was made a Life Member in 2004. She enjoyed playing very much and was sad to have given up playing.

30th September – SECF Advanced League v Dulwich – lost 2:5

4th September – Finals Day

A mostly grey and slightly windy day, leavened by the occasional sight of the sun, allowed a full days play. One final had been postponed, the Calverley Cup, due to the enforced absence of Richard Mann at the CA’s All England Regional Final, but we ran out of time for another one – the Golf Hunter Plate. So these will be played at a late date.

We had a good sprinkling of spectators watching the play, and some of them even complimented the players on their skill!

Kate Sander provided the lunch and also managed to win her final comfortably. The only really close match was the Golf Doubles which went to the final hoop of the third game and although Barbara Tasker was first to play and placed her ball just in front of the hoop, Jon Diamond cleared it from 13 yards and after a bit of toing and froing Lister Fielding clinched the match.

Congratulations to all the winners!

30th August – Derek’s Dragons win Golf Teams

Despite losing their last match Derek’s Dragons just pipped Michael’s Mighties and Reverend’s Rockets to win the Fraser Tankard.

27th/28th August – Luc Berthouze wins the Honeygrove Cup

3Our Advanced tournament was conclusively won by Luc Berthouze with a clean sheet of 6 wins on lawns we thought were fast, but which most of the visitors thought were slow, especially some bits on lawn 3! Due to a last-minute injury-driven withdrawal, the field was reduced to eleven, and played a flexible Swiss aiming for a minimum of five games each.

Rising star was highest-handicap Chris Coull from Sussex County whose only loss in five games was by “minus 1 on time” and whose performance earned him a merited reduction from 9 (bandit!) to 8 – we will hear much more of Chris in the future. Woking’s Andrew Dutton also had a 4/5 record, losing only to the winner and posting the only successful TP of the weekend.

Luc Berthouze 6/6
Andrew Dutton 4/5
Chris Coull 4/5
Jon Diamond 3/5
Steve Woolnough 3/7
Brian Havill 2/5
Alex Jardine 2/5
Jeff Rushby 2/5
Mick Belcham 1/4
David Mumford 1/5
Robert Upton 1/6

22nd August – SECF Golf Handicap League v Surbiton – lost 1:8

Ending our season in this league with 1 win, 1 loss and two draws due to bad weather…

22nd August – SECF A League v Surbiton – lost 2:5

20th August – John Moore wins our internal High Bisquers

A slightly disappointing entry of 5 this year for this AC event run by John Greenwood in his first outing as Manager, but definitely better than the last few when it didn’t run! Anyway John Moore ran out the winner, with George Bolland as runner-up.

17th August – SECF Golf Restricted League v Dulwich – lost 1:6

Ending our season in this league with 2 wins and two losses.

15th August – SECF Golf Handicap League v Cheam B – won 6:3

13th/14th August – Jon Diamond wins Pegasus Plate

Only 8 players entered our AC Handicap event, but luckily the poor weather for the last few years did not repeat. The lawns were quite fast by TW standards, but there a complaint about how slow they are from our Hurlingham participant!

John Hobbs, the Manager, managed to organise the draw so that the winners of 4 games played in the last round, with Jon running out the winner by just 4, after looking like he was well lost.

Full results are:

Jon Diamond1Tunbridge Wells5
Jeffrey Rushby4.5Sussex County4
Richard Lea8Medway3
Martin Lester3.5Oxford University/Tunbridge Wells3
John Greenwood1.5Tunbridge Wells2
John Hobbs5Tunbridge Wells2
Sally Hunt1Hurlingham/Roehampton1
John Bateson5Medway0

8th August – SECF Golf Level League v Sussex County A – lost 1:6

7th August – SECF Golf Teams Day

A total of 22 teams from 15 clubs took part, with a mixture of Singles and Doubles. The handicaps of all the players was gratifying high, with no-one below 1 and only 14 out of 94 below a handicap of 5.

The Singles event was won by Dulwich 1 on a very close tie-break and the Doubles by Sussex 1.

We sent two teams and TW1 came 19th in the Singles and 9th in the Doubles. TW2 came 15th in the Singles and 16th in the Doubles. So, no repeat of our wins a few years ago – must try harder…

30th July – Richard Mann wins Lewis Shield

After much email discussion of the possible formats,  Barney spoke and we played 2.5 hour 18-point games, with net points in the tie as decider, if needed!

Barney also started on form, nilling Alex in the first round but then going down to John while Richard got his second win.  In the final round, Richard prevailed over Barney by 3 on time, this being the only game that went anywhere near the contentious limit, while Alex broke his duck.

1.Richard Mann (8) 3
2.Barney Lewis (9) 1 (+12 net points)
3.John Greenwood (1) 1 (-3)
4.Alex Jardine (3) 1 (-9)

So Richard will represent us at the Surbiton semi-final, with Barney as reserve.

27th July – SECF Golf Level League v Sussex County B – lost 2:5

25th July – Summer Barbeque

Kate and Michael Sander hosted a very successful summer barbeque, despite Michael being a BBQ novice. 20 people enjoyed the food and the weather and even played a few games of petanque!

18th July – SECF Golf Restricted League v Surbiton – won 4:2

4th July – SECF Golf Level League v Compton – lost 2:5


2nd/3rd July – Ramsgate win the Southern Challenge

Despite the weather forecast very little rain dampened our team in this annual SECF GC tournament.

Day 1 gave us a good start and our team of Jon Diamond, John Greenwood, John Hobbs and Derek Crocombe won 5 of our 7 matches, beating previous winners Dulwich, losing to Canterbury and more understandably to Ramsgate.

Unfortunately having run at least one hoop from the boundary Derek was unable to play on the Sunday and, although Mick Greagsby is a good replacement, we weren’t able to sustain our performance and only won one of our 6 games, leaving us 7th out of the 10 teams, the same as last year. Our results were:

3Reigate Priory2:1
4Sussex 22:1
5West Worthing2:1
8Sussex 11:2
S1Reigate Priory2:1
S2Sussex 21:2

27th June – SECF Golf Level League v Dulwich – won 4:3

26th June – Penshurst Place visit

Despite the rather changeable weather we had a steady flow of visitors –  from France, Holland, Australia as well as several who were local from Frant, Tunbridge Wells and Penshurst all of whom signed the visitors book so we have some contacts to follow up.  All the local visitors were given our membership leaflet and the Golf and Association leaflets.

19th June – SECF Golf Handicap league v Ivychurch – draw 1:1

15th June – SECF U League v Ramsgate – lost 3:4

11th June – Richard Brooks wins the Montevideo Cup for the second time

Sadly a heavy thunder-storm terminated play early mid-afternoon for our annual one day level-play Golf Croquet tournament as the lawns were flooded and it was still raining…

Everybody managed to complete at least 5 rounds, but Richard was a clear winner by winning all 6 of the games he played!

Richard Brooks-2Sussex County6
Jon Diamond-1Tunbridge Wells3
John Greenwood1Sussex County3
Ian Cobbold1Cheam3
Mike Gentry2Tunbridge Wells3
Liz Farrow-1Sussex County2
Keith Webb2West Worthing2
Derek Heath5Tunbridge Wells1
Derek Crocombe3Tunbridge Wells0

6th June – SECF Golf Restricted league v Sussex County – lost 2:4

5th June – National Croquet Day

On Sunday the 5th of June 2016, we woke up to a beautiful day with a clear sky and the sun shining brightly! Just right for croquet on our beautiful lawns in the centre of Tunbridge Wells! And at the Royal Tunbridge Wells Croquet Club, volunteers started arriving from 9 am and quickly put out the hoops, banners, flag, notices and anything else we could find likely to attract the public eye. And – just after the start time of 10 am – our first visitors arrived. And the steady flow continued.

By 1 pm we had had 30 visitors and more followed in the afternoon. All the pre-event publicity efforts over the past 3 months were paying off. Curiously the visitors didn’t want to try to win prizes by hitting the centre post, or partake of our delicious free refreshments – they just wanted to learn and play croquet! Great! All our volunteers were kept very busy and at least 6 games were concurrently under way at all times.

Clearly the next month or so will tell us how many new members we will have as a result of this National Croquet Day event (Ray Stone signed up on the day) but the email comment at the end of the day from one of our Committee members nicely encapsulated the event – “Wasn’t today a great advertisement for the club and for croquet in general”. Hear hear!

25th May – Spa competition for 2015 finished (at last)!

Due to Mick being unable to play on Finals Day 2015 the final for this event took place between Jon Diamond and Mick Belcham took place today and the spectator was much appreciative. Jon won +16 in a very quick game, so obviously not too many mistakes made for a change…

16th May – SECF Golf Restricted League v Medway – won 7:0

26th April – Golf Teams League starts

After a slight delay of a week this year’s event started, but in some terrible snowy/hailey weather…

Michael’s Mighties beat the Reverends’s Rockets 4-2.

16th/17th April – Brian Havill wins Kent Cup

2 Brian Havill wins Kent Cup
On probably the soggiest set of lawns we have ever provided for a tournament, twelve of the County’s finest squelched their way through five games of Advanced croquet, leading to a win for our regular London visitor, Kent-born Brian Havill, bringing to an end to several years of Medway domination.

Managed ably by Alex Jardine the main event was the knockout for the Cup and for this we really needed an even number of players. Following the withdrawal of veteran Colin Prichard (broken wrist), a late press-ganging by the hoop-setter and the Chairman on the day before persuaded Mike Greagsby to fill the gap and he proved to be Tunbridge Well’s most successful player by a distance.

Playing with impressive accuracy, Mike accounted for Alex by 3 points in the first round and the multiple-times-winner Robert Alexander by an impressive 14 in the second. Trevor Longman from Ramsgate beat Jon Diamond in the second round after both had good wins over Medway opponents in the first, while John Greenwood lost to the eventual winner.

So, in the semi-finals, Jolyon Creasey lost to Brian by 9, while Mike staged an exciting late run to pip Trevor by just 3 points.

The Sunday was a bit drier (well, less wet, perhaps) for the scheduled Best-of-3 finals for 1st/2nd and 3rd/4th. In fact, both were settled in two straight games by almost identical margins, Brian beating Mike to the title by +13, +19 while Trevor took third from Jolyon by +14, +19.

In the meantime, the remaining eight had been playing through the Consolation event, which everybody seemed to be determined not to win, such that half the field ended up on 3 wins out of 5 games – no result but some good games had!

Kent Cup results: 1. Brian Havill; 2. Mike Greagsby; 3. Trevor Longman; 4. Jolyon Creasey

Consolation Plate results:
    3/5 Jon Diamond, Robert Alexander, Charlie Martin, Alex Jardine
    2/5 John Hobbs, Philip Mann

    1/5 John Greenwood
    0/5 John Bateson

10th April – Opening Day

At last some possibility of croquet, although it was still very damp underfoot, but it stayed dry and there was even some sun!

8 players turned up for the One Ball in the morning, which was won on a tie-break by Mark Houslop with 5 wins, closely followed by Kate Sander.

Kate also provided a great lunch and approximately another 8 turned up for some of this and some Golf in the afternoon, in addition to a couple of new members.

27th February – AGM

The following is a summary of the meeting:

  • Jon Diamond summarised the news and activities from last year (covered in these pages)
  • Richard Mann reported on the accounts, which show a loss because of the larger spend on Lawn Maintenance this Autumn as we didn’t do any in 2014
  • Given the healthy financial position the blinds were going to be replaced this year by motorised slightly heavier duty ones
  • Coaching would continue as last year, with an Intro to Croquet course in May
  • Planning and advertising for National Croquet Day was underway
  • The (unchanged) Membership Rates were approved
  • The existing committee were re-elected en-bloc.
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2015 News

Additional pictures can be seen in our Photo Gallery and detailed match results/reports via our Competitive Play page

15th September – SECF A League v Woking – lost 0:7

13th September – Mark Houslop is the star on Finals Day

Despite a late cancellation of the final of the Spa due to illness we had 8 Finals played, with Mark being the star winning all his three matches!

A great lunch ensured that all players and spectators enjoyed the day (we got up to 20 at one point and included many members who are struggling a bit to get on the lawns). This was thanks mainly to Kate Sander in her catering role – unfortunately she lost both her games…

10th September – SECF A League v Surbiton – lost 2:5

6th September – Brian Havill wins Honeygrove Cup

1 Brian Havill wins Kent Cup
Reduced from two days to just one due to some late withdrawals we had a great sunny day for some tight games between the six players. Alex Jardine has recovered his mojo and after winning two games contested the final game with Brian, but good manners dictated that the visitor should be the winner. Hopefully we’ll manage to get the trophy to him soon, or perhaps he’ll just have to come back next year to defend it.

5th/6th September – All England

Barney Lewis, who won our heat for the CA All England Association Handicap event, came third in the Regional Final at Surbiton with 3 wins and is now first reserve for the finals at Chester.

We wish him well!!

29th August – John Moore wins the Howell Cup

10 players were involved in our Association High Bisquers tournament this year and John ran out a well-deserved winner. Thanks to everybody who helped with the event.

22nd August – SECF U League v Reigate Priory – lost 2:5

19th August – SECF U League v Compton – won 4:3

17th August – SECF Golf Handicap League v Sydenham – lost 2:7

8th/9th August – Martin Lester wins the Pegasus Plate

On a lovely sunny weekend, so unlike the extraordinarily damp event last year, 10 players suffered in the heat, with Martin Lester running out the winner of our regular Open Association Handicap tournament. He won the tournament, having tied with Jon Diamond, by virtue of having beaten Jon +11 in their match in the fourth round.

Martin is a post-graduate at Oxford University, but his parents live in TW, so is a member of both clubs. Unfortunately we don’t seem to see him playing in TW apart from this particular tournament.

A lovely time seemd to have been enjoyed by all, with the lawns getting to almost glass-like in some spots, so quite tricky to play on!

Martin Lester4.5Oxford University & Tunbridge Wells4
Jon Diamond1.5Tunbridge Wells4
John Hobbs3.5Tunbridge Wells3
Richard Lea9Medway3
Jane Collier14Colchester3
Mark Houslop12Tunbridge Wells3
Ann Brookes9Colchester2
John Bateson6Medway2
Mick Belcham5Tunbridge Wells1
Alex Jardine3Tunbridge Wells0

7th August – SECF U League v Ramsgate lost 1:6

6th August – SECF Golf Handicap League v Dulwich won 6:3

2nd August – SECF Golf Teams Day

We did not cover ourselves in glory, and certainly did worse than last year, but the second team did come third in the singles – helped by Geoff Croxford winning all three of his singles. Lister Fielding also did well winning 2 singles and both his doubles.

Presumably the full reports will be available on the SECF website in due course.

27th July – SECF A League v Sussex County  lost 0:7

27th July – SECF Golf Restricted League v Woking won 4:3

25th July – Barney Lewis wins the Lewis Shield!

After a hard fought final and deciding game against Jeff Chapman, Barney Lewis won by +2 on time, making a clean sweep of all three games and qualifying for the Regional Final at Surbiton.

9th July – SECF Golf Restricted League v Medway won 6:1

4th/5th July – Southern Challenge

Division 1 of this SECF team tournament was held at Southwick over a mostly sunny weekend, with som unpleasant rain during the first game on Sunday. 10 teams took part in an all-play-all basis (each match is a doubles and two singles), with a further three rounds in a banded play-off basis. Dulwich, as has become usual, won again!

Unfortunately, a late withdrawal due to injury of John Hobbs, left our team of Jon Diamond, John Greenwood, John Moore and Geoff Croxford a little depleted and a bit weaker than we’d expected, with Mark Houslop being dragged in as a late replacement.

We also didn’t perform quite up to scratch, losing a couple of matches which we should nominally have won. Still, we didn’t get relegated and eventually finished up in seventh place (a bit down on our best placement of fourth in its first year).

Our results were:

Sussex County 12-10-3
West Worthing3-0
Sussex County 20-3

Full details can be seen here.

29th June – SECF Golf Restricted League v Dulwich loss by disqualification

15th June – SECF Golf Handicap League v Caterham won 5:4

8th June – SECF Golf Restricted League v Reigate Priory lost 3:4

6th June – Jon Diamond wins the Montevideo Cup

The manager wins at last!

A lovely sunny Saturday showed Tunbridge Wells at its best – the lawns were green, reasonably fast and flat and the Open Level Play Golf Croquet Singles was complete with 12 players on the three lawns.

Sadly, the chilly wind caused a bit of discomfort, but the players seemed happy with 7 rounds of play (2 blocks of 6 followed by a semi-final and final) and no game went to time.

Three Tunbridge Wells players qualified for the semi-finals: Mike Gentry beat Derek Crocombe 7-5 and Jon Diamond beat Richard Brooks (Sussex County) 7-3, leaving an all Tunbridge Wells final. So for the first time since the cup was presented in 2010 a Tunbridge Wells player graced the trophy, with Jon Diamond the overall winner beating Mike Gentry 7-4 in the final, despite having dropped a game during the block play.

Both Derek Crocombe and Derek Heath played well enough to have their handicaps reduced.

BLOCK AClubH’capRichard BrooksRobin WootonKeith WebbMike GentryFrank GunstoneDerek HeathWINS
Richard BrooksSussex County2 7-67-57-57-37-25
Robin WootonSussex County26-7 7-66-76-77-42
Keith WebbWest Worthing25-76-7 7-56-77-62
Mike GentryTunbridge Wells35-77-65-7 7-57-33
Frank GunstoneTunbridge Wells53-77-67-65-7 6-72
Derek HeathTunbridge Wells71-74-76-73-77-6 1


BLOCK BClubH’capJon DiamondJonathan IsaacsJohn HobbsJohn MooreDerek CrocombeMichelle DamonWINS
Jon DiamondTunbridge Wells1 7-17-37-26-77-34
Jonathan IsaacsSussex County21-7 7-67-46-77-13
John HobbsTunbridge Wells23-76-7 4-76-77-41
John MooreTunbridge Wells32-74-77-4 3-76-71
Derek CrocombeTunbridge Wells47-67-57-57-3 7-55
Michelle DamonSussex County63-71-74-77-65-7 1

17th May – SECF Golf Handicap League – beat Ivychurch 5:4

25th/26th April – Robert Alexander wins the Kent Cup

Despite the seasonal or unseasonal cold weather luckily it almost didn’t rain, so the annual Association Advanced event for players who were born or live in Kent or play for a Kent club went ahead without interruption. Alex managed the event impeccably as usual with a full house.

Lawn 3 was unbearably slow, but the other two were reasonably fast, causing problems for people trying to adapt between the lawns.

However, it was clear that Robert was the outstanding player, winning all 5 games, including the final 2-0 against our own Jolyon Creasey; Jolyon had beaten Robert in the Swiss earlier, but just couldn’t get going in the Final…

Jolyon’s handicap is reduced from 1.5 to 1, but sadly Alex’s increased from 1.5 to 2….

Detailed results are:

Robert AlexanderMedway41
John BatesonMedway23
Jolyon CreaseyTW32
John DanielsPurley Bury32
Jon DiamondTW32
John GreenwoodTW32
John HobbsTW23
Alex JardineTW14
Trevor LongmanRamsgate32
Philip MannMedway41
Charles MartinRamsgate14
Colin Prichard14

12th April – Opening Day

We had 25 people in total, more than half the club, playing during the day both AC and GC and welcomed two new members, George and Anne Bolland. A good time was had by all, especially those enjoying the great lunch provided by Kate Sander.

Special congratulations to the players in the One Ball – Barney Lewis was the winner, beating Jolyon Creasey in the final, and we raised £100 for the CA Charity (Bowel Cancer). Actually, this entitles us to another representative for the final at Surbiton on 10th May. Hopefully we’ll get a volunteer, as Jolyon can’t go.

8th March – Monthly One Ball

A lovely day brought out some of our not so hardy folk, with play on all 3 lawns, which are in excellent condition.

1st March – AGM report

Our AGM was held on 28th February with the main highlights being:

  • Committee unchanged (Bob Bruce elected as Secretary)
  • Our Accounts showed a healthy surplus last year, mainly because we had no significant Autumn Maintenance costs, but we are likely to have to replace one of our expensive lawn mowers in the not too distant future
  • Subscriptions unchanged
  • People who have outstanding Key Deposits need to reclaim them by 30th June, otherwise they’ll be treated as Donations
  • Jeff Chapman will be organising a date for Clubhouse decorating etc and members are requested to turn up
  • A new set of bisques and holders are been made by John Hobbs
  • Carolyn Gunstone will be organising the cleaning rota and a Spring Clean early in April
  • It was unanimously agreed that the Ladder games would now be included on Handicap Cards
  • A Coaching paper was discussed and agreed
  • It was agreed that the Club would vote in favour of the proposals submitted for the Croquet Association SGM

The full minutes are available here.

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2014 News

Additional pictures can be seen in our Photo Gallery and detailed match results/reports via our Competitive Play page

18th October

The full SECF league results have been announced and confirms our disappointing year, apart from our performance in the A league.

We’re 3rd out of 5 teams in that, 13th/14 in the U league, 9th/12 in the Golf Restricted league and 13th/16 in the Golf Handicap league.

Must do better next year…

14th September

A glorious Indian Summer day brought almost all the finalists together for a super Finals Day. Everything went to schedule and a great lunch and tea provided by Kate Sander (thanks Kate) went down really well. We even had a few spectators enjoying the weather as well as the play…

6th/7th September – Alex Jardine wins the Honeygrove Cup

honeygrove Alex Jardine, winner of the Honeygrove Cup, admiring his new beer glass.
A last minute drop-out due to back problems meant that only 7 players, with handicaps from 1.5 to 5, took part this year. Mick Belcham, as manager, played a blinder and managed to achieve an all-play-all event without any problems or people sitting out for a long time and ensuring it finished about 4pm on the Sunday!

Our own Alex Jardine achieved a clean sweep, so deciding the winner was a no-brainer.

The final table is:

Alex JardineMedway/Tunbridge Wells61
Jon DiamondTunbridge Wells52
John HobbsTunbridge Wells33
Paul MilesMedway24=
Trevor LongmanRamsgate24=
Mick BelchamTunbridge Wells16=
Charles MartinRamsgate16=

10th August – Susan Fulford wins our Pegasus Plate

The Pegasus Plate is our regular Association Croquet Handicap weekend tournament and this year we had a full turn-out with 12 players from as far apart as Colchester and Brighton. (Oxford University doesn’t count as Martin is also a member of TW as his parents live here.)

Saturday’s weather was bright and mostly sunny, if a little breezy towards the end of a long day of three untimed games, with strange bisque rules (Yorkshire?). However, Sunday produced the tail-end of Hurricane Bertha. We started playing quite happily with a little drizzle, but a sudden thunderstorm and heavy gusts of rain at about 11am sent most people scurrying for the clubhouse.

img_0876 Pegasus Plate - Lawn 1  img_0877 Pegasus Plate - Lawn 2  img_0878 Pegasus Plate - Lawn 3

After a wait of the best part of an hour the puddles were heavy on all three lawns and it was still raining (see pics right). The weather forecast was for rain for the next couple of hours and it was decided to abandon play, since it would take at least an hour for the lawns to recover to a playable state when it stopped raining…

img_0879 Pegasus Plate - Winner Susan Fulford with the Manager
This left John Hobbs with a decision as to how to award the trophy, since both Susan and Richard Lea had won all three games played and hadn’t finished their fourth round game. So, on the basis of net hoops, Susan was declared the winner. Hopefully she’ll bring her much stronger half next year, Robert who is an ex-World Champion, but I have my doubts!

Susan Fulford16Colchester3
Richard Lea9Medway3
Jon Diamond1.5TW2
Irmgard Tonolo16Purley Bury2
Chris Barham12TW2
Martin Lester7TW/Oxford University1
John Bateson6Medway1
Jeff Chapman12TW1
Barney Lewis9TW1
John Hobbs3.5TW1
Arthur Lindley4Guildford & Godalming0
Michael Pullen18Preston Park0

3rd August – SECF Golf Croquet Teams Day

Our team of John Moore, Jeff Chapman, Kate and Michael Sander performed nobly, but came up a bit short in the Singles event – finishing 15th out of 18 teams with 4 wins out of 12 games. They did much better in the Doubles, winning all four matches; however they lost out on tie-break to Cheam who got 12 points to our 11; shame…

28th June – Chris Barham wins the Lewis Shield

Our internal competition for the All England Handicap event was run as an all play all event, using 18-point games with a 2 hour time limit.

The final order was:

  • 1. Chris Barham
  • 2. Geoff Croxford
  • 3. Barney Lewis
  • 4. Richard Mann

7th June – Tudor Jenkins wins the Montevideo Cup

The Montevideo Cup is our one day Golf Croquet tournament. A full complement of 12 players enjoyed the weather, although a lively shower sent them off the lawn for 5 minutes.

Richard Brooks returned again to try and regain his trophy, but didn’t qualify from his block for the semi-finals and David Thirtle-Watts was unable to defend his title from last year. The final was a 19-point game, with Tudor running out an easy winner 10-3 against Ian Cobbold.

Block A

Ian Cobbold2Cheam5
Mike Gentry3TW3
John Moore4TW3
Richard Brooks2Sussex County2
Maggie Webb3West Worthing2
Irmgard Tonolo5Purley Bury0

Block B

Tudor Jenkins1Sussex County4
Jon Diamond1TW4
Keith Webb3West Worthing4
Jeff Chapman4TW2
John Skates7TW1
Valerie Cruse9Medway0

In the semi-finals Ian Cobbold beat Jon Diamond 7-5 and Tudor Jenkins beat Mike Gentry 7-6.

20th/21st April – Martin Lester wins Cheltenham Handicap

Martin Lester, who’s a member of our club when not studying at Oxford University, won his first tournament and a reduction in his handicap to 8!

12th/13th April – Robert Alexander retains the Kent Cup

For the second year in a row we held the Association Kent Cup at Tunbridge Wells with just a select total of 6 players, down on last year due to illness etc.

Our only home player, Jon Diamond, didn’t quite come up to scratch and Robert Alexander, clearly the best player, retained his title for the umpteenth year! I’m sure that there will be a year sometime soon when a Tunbridge Wells player will win…

For the first time in living memory there was a player from East Kent: Tobi Savage, who’s a member at Canterbury and Ramsgate, performed extremely well in his first AC tournament – he’s one of the top players in the GC world.

8th April – Golf Team League starts

The first match in our Golf Teams League was a draw – Frank’s Fancies v Brian’s Bullion.

6th April – Opening Day

Opening day was soggy and damp, but not as damp as in 2013! Still, the cold and drizzle and lack of Kate Sander’s splendid lunch did reduce the participation to a total of 8.

The CA Charity event was decided by a select bunch, including an itinerant Aussie currently serving in Kabul, but in TW for the rest of this month, whilst his girl friend delivers their first child. Unsurprisingly, or perhaps so, Derek Crocombe ran out an easy winner – of all his gamea, so will have the pleasure of going to Winchester for the final.

27th March – New Secretary

Bob Bruce has kindly volunteered to be Secretary to the Club.

26th March – Pub lunches

Our Winter Pub Lunch programme has now finished with 11 people at the Bottle House, despite attempts from the Kent County Council Highways to prevent us getting there. At the peak we had multiple tables at the Nevill Crest & Gun with 25 attendees, so thanks to Mike Gentry for organising us all.

22nd February – AGM

The full AGM minutes can be accessed here, but the following is a summary of the meeting:

  • Jon Diamond summarised the news and activities from last year (covered in these pages)
  • Richard Mann reported on the accounts, which show a loss because of the larger spend on Lawn Maintenance this Autumn as we failed to do any in 2012
  • Some changes to the Ladder Rules, reverting to the previous style were agreed
  • Given the healthy financial position a suggestion was made to the Committee to review the need for a Key Deposit
  • The (unchanged) Membership Rates were approved
  • The committee were re-elected
  • Roger Morris was awarded Life Membership in recognition of his service, especially for the Lawn Renewal Project and building of the Equipment Store
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2013 News

Additional pictures can be seen in our Photo Gallery and detailed match results/reports via our Competitive Play page

8th December – First Winter One Ball

11 people attending our first one of the Winter. We’re running a competition throughout the Winter (highest percentage with a minimum of 5 games), so please sign up and write the results of your games on the sheet.

1st December – Shirley Jones wins our Golf Ladder

Our Golf Ladder has now closed and there are four players who have played five or more games.

The winner with 4 wins from 5 games is Shirley Jones, with the other players being Duncan Cox 5/8, Bob Bruce 4/8 and Sandy Smith 4/9.

27th November – Pub Lunch

Our first pub lunch of the winter was a record: with 25 people attening – more than 50% of our membership! It was good fun too.

31st October – LAWNS REOPENED

22nd October – SECF League Results

We’ve come first in the Golf Restricted League, 4th and 10th in the Handicap League (East), 3rd in the U League and bottom in the A League.


15th September – Finals Day

We managed to stage just two finals this year on Finals Day – must try harder….

In the Lustau Richard Mann was in stonking form, going round without using any of his bisques, so ran out an easy winner against Jon Diamond +17.

After the Kitching Rose Bowl semi-final in the morning between Derek Crocombe and Jeff Chapman, Jeff beat Ray Meech 7-2, 7-6 in the afternoon rain.

13th September – SECF U league beat Surbiton 4:3

Congratulations to our U league team of Jon Diamond, Mick Belcham, John Hobbs, Richard Mann, Geoff Croxford, Jeff Chapman on a clean sweep!

12th September – SECF A league loss to Dulwich 1:6

7th/8th September – Paul Miles wins the Honeygrove Cup

Ten players, with handicaps from one to seven, played five rounds of a Swiss in our Autumn Advanced tournament. At the start of the fifth round there were four players with three wins, including Jon Diamond and Jolyon Creasey. But although Jon won his game he was the runner up, because the other player with four wins, Paul Miles from Medway, had earlier beaten Jon. The heavens opened just as the last game finished, so ending the tournament on a suitable note…

The final table is:

Paul MilesMedway41
Jon DiamondTunbridge Wells42
Jolyon CreaseyTunbridge Wells33=
Philp MannMedway33=
Alex JardineMedway33=
Howard BowronPenrith33=
Trevor LongmanRamsgate27
Sara AndersonWorthing1/48=
Jon BatesonMedway1/48=
Charles MartinRamsgate010

5th September – Michael Sander wins Golf High Bisquers

He beat newcomer this year Bob Bruce 7-5, 7-6.

16th July – SECF Golf Level league win over Medway 5:2

Congratulations to our team of Mike Gentry, Duncan Cox, John Moore, Frank Gunstone, Derek Crocombe and Derek Heath on a clean sweep!

3rd September – Jon Diamond & Sandy Smith win the Golf Doubles

The first of our internal competitions was played today, with Jon and Sandy running out winners over John Hobbs & Kate Sander 7-2, 7-6. Congratulations to them.

2nd September – SECF U league beat Canterbury 4:3 – with a perfect 3 wins record. Here’s hoping for a clean slate.

29th August – SECF U league beat Medway 4:3

22nd August – SECF Golf Handicap Team A league beat Canterbury 5:4

18th August – Martin Lester wins Pegasus Plate

Martin Lester, from Oxford University, and handicap 10 won our AC Handicap Tournament, with the previous holder, Ann Brookes from Colchester (handicap 11), second.

Richard Mann and two other were equal third, out of 8 players. Chris Barham was in contention at the end of the first day but “fell away” in the second.

The format of 18 point games, 2 1/4 hour time limit and working from a handicap base of lowest handicap person (Mick Belcham on 4) …. voted a success.

12th August – SECF Golf Handicap Team B league loss to Parsons Green 2:7

8th August – SECF U league win over Compton 4:3

2nd August – we win the SECF GC Doubles trophy

secf_winners Winning team!Our team 2 won all four of the doubles matches, so winning the trophy out of 22 teams – Duncan Cox and John Moore beat Guilford & Godalming (1) 7-3 and Angmering 5-4 (out of time), whilst Derek Crocombe and Sandy Smith beat Rother Valley 4-2 (out of time) and Reigate Priory 7-4. This was a good introduction to competitive play for Sandy and her confidence grew as the day went on!

The trophy is in the club house for you all to see.

Our team 1 came 5th out of the 22 teams in the Singles.

secf_winners_game1 Sandy and Derek


secf_winners_game2 Duncan


secf_winners_game3 John and Jeff


The photos are copyright Derek Heath.

31st July – SECF A league loss to Sussex County 2:5

22nd July – SECF Golf Handicap Team A league win over Cheam 7:2

21st July – Kent Cup (Golf)

For the first time we had a significant presence in this annual event held in Ramsgate, with 4 players – Derek Crocombe, Frank Gunstone, Derek Heath and John Skates.

In a very tough tournament, dominated by the English internationals with handicaps 0 and 1 from Ramsgate, Derek Crocombe did very well, coming 4th. Congratulations to him!

16th July – SECF Golf Level league win over Ivychurch 4:3

8th July – SECF Golf Handicap Team B league win over Ivychurch 7:2

7th July – We’re 7th in the Southern Challenge

10 teams from the South and South East Federations competed in this challenging Golf Croquet event. Our noble team were unable to repeat our performance of last year’s event, when we came fourth, as this year we had a slightly weaker team due to illness and holidays. In fact having lost the first 5 games we were extremely lucky not to finish in the bottom two and risk relegation to Division 2!

The Southwick lawns for this event were fast and uneven, so making it more of a challenge than some of the team desired and we were up against some tough teams, since this was a level play event. [Merton were a surprise with a team consisting of handicap 3 and 4 players.]

Dulwich won again (no surprise there), with Ramsgate the runners-up.

In terms of matches our results were:

7West Worthing1:2
S2West Worthing1:2

There were a mixture of Singles and Doubles for each player and the Singles results were:

Jon Diamond56
John Hobbs26
Frank Gunstone24
Duncan Cox03
John Moore13
Jeff Chapman12

1st July – SECF Golf Handicap Team B league loss to Woking 3-6

15th June – David Thirtle-Watts wins the Montevideo Cup

The Montevideo Cup is our one day Golf Croquet tournament. A full complement of 12 players enjoyed(?) the gales and lively showers of TW.

Richard Brooks had returned to defend his trophy, but lost decisively in the final (10-4 in a 19-point game) to David Thirtle-Watts from Hunstanton, who got his handicap reduced from 4 to 3 as a result.

Block results are:
Block A

Richard Brooks1Sussex County5
John Hobbs2TW4
Derek Crocombe4TW3
Maggie Webb3West Worthing2
Michael Sander7TW1
John Skates7TW0

Block B

David Thirtle-Watts4Hunstanton4.5
Keith Webb2West Worthing4
Jon Diamond1TW3.5
Frank Gunstone5TW2
Derek Heath7TW1
Sandy Smith9TW0

In the semi-finals Richard Brooks beat Keith Webb 7-6 and David Thirtle-Watts beat John Hobbs 7-3.

3rd June – SECF Golf Level league win over Merton 5-2

10th June – SECF Team B Handicap league loss to Caterham 4-5

31st May – SECF Golf Handicap league win over Surbiton 5-4

30th May – SECF A league loss to Surbiton 1-6

22nd May – SECF Team A Handicap league loss to Sydenham 3-6

10th May – SECF A league loss to Medway 3-4

20th/21st April – Kent Cup (Association)

Yet again our stalwarts have failed to get our club’s name on the Kent Cup!

Robert Alexander from Medway defended his title successfully, this time defeating Jolyon Creasey by two games to one in the best of three final on home turf.

Our other players were Jon Diamond, Mick Belcham and John Hobbs, with Mick Greagsby being hors de combat because of his shoulder.

Our lawns were extremely slow, which contributed to the poor play. Sadly, there’s not much we can do this season to improve things, except hope that the ground dries up a bit more…

8th May – Grant applications successful

We’ve been successful with some grant applications with the Gatwick Airport Community trust and Kent County Council, so we’re

  • adding some more club mallets, so that visitors can have something we find acceptable to play with, repairing the grips etc of some of the other ones and
  • some primary colour balls to replace the ones we regularly use, which are showing some signs of wear and also
  • replacing the flag which has worn out (it’s been flying too much)

14th April – Opening Day

Opening day started soggy and very damp – there were many calls in advance to see if we were still going to play, since there had been more than an inch of rain in the last few days. After a short delay it was decided that Lawn 1 was just about playable, but the other weren’t, so our One Ball was going to be a bit tricky to organise!

14 players turned up for the CA Charity event and everyone envied Barney’s sailing wellies on this occasion, since we all got very wet feet. Despite the late start and the mess caused by having 4 games going on at the same time (Mike Sander: please watch where you’ve going to hit a ball to as there might be other players already there…) Kate Sander managed to play and win four games and therefore gets the privilege of going to Winchester for the UK final of this event. John Skates also won 4 games, but lost his last one to Kate. We raised £115 for the Marie Curie charity – thanks to everyone who played.

The sun came out in the afternoon, so that the late comers could enjoy the play and the warmth (has spring arrived at last?) and even play some Golf after the tasty lunch provided by Kate (thanks).

13th April – Winter One Ball results

John Moore wins the One Ball event which ran over the winter period with 5 wins out of 6 games, closely followed by Barney Lewis with 7/9, Ray Meech with 4/6 and Michael Sander with 5/8.

3rd March – New Club Session

Although the AGM voted against moving the Wednesday club afternoon to Thursday, we’ve decided to add a Thursday late pm session from 18th April, primarily aimed at people playing One Ball or Association.

As part of this we’re introducing regular coaching sessions, starting at 4pm, during April and May at least, led by Jolyon Creasey.

23rd February – AGM

The full AGM minutes can be accessed here, but the following is a summary of the meeting:

  • The death of Peter Howell, our ex-chairman, was recognised with a short eulogy by John Hobbs
  • Jon Diamond summarised the news and activities from last year (covered in these pages)
  • Richard Mann reported on the accounts, which are healthy, but we must expect a much larger spend on Lawn Maintenance this Autumn as we failed to do any in 2012
  • For this reason Jeff Chapman has planned for a much earlier Lawn Closing (14th September) in 2013
  • A suggestion to change the Wednesday club afternoon to Thursday was rejected
  • Jon Diamond is the new Golf Croquet Handicapper
  • A constitution change was approved (to add Corporate Membership)
  • The first year’s membership rate was reduced from £75 to £50 and the Green Fees increased
  • The committee were re-elected
  • A presentation was made to Derek Crocombe in recognition of his services in 2012
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2012 News

Additional pictures can be seen in our Photo Gallery and detailed match results/reports via our Competitive Play page

2nd December – Winter Drainage

We’ve now drained down the water in the clubhouse, to prevent it freezing up over the winter, so please be warned that if you need it, e.g. for the toilets, then you need to turn in on in the Mens Toilet (and off again afterwards).

As an additional precaution, water to the Ladies cloakroom is turned off completely for the winter.

2nd December – Winter One Ball

13 of us congregated on the lawns on the first Sunday of December to try and play One Ball. Lawn 3 was too frosty to play at any time, but luckily Lawn 1 was thawed out sufficiently and Lawn 2 made it eventually. [I suppose we could have tried skating on the ice rink down the hill if the lawns had been too icy.] We had several newcomers to the game, so it was gratifying to have some of our members volunteering to help inexperienced players around. Thanks!

We’ve decided to have a single competition throughout the Winter Season, so that people can dip in and out on the various scheduled days. You can play anyone else on the list, but no more than 3 times, and the winner at the start of the April will be the person with the highest percentage, subject to playing a minimum of 5 games. This could be anyone, since we’re playing these games as handicap ones (Association handicaps divided by 3), so why don’t you come along any play next time?

The cross-table is on the table in the club house, so please fill it in when you’ve played your games.

1st December – Winter Warmer

More than 20 of us congregated at the Sanders’ house on the 1st December to enjoy what is now the traditional food and wine in the Winter (and it was wintry outside). We all had an enjoyable time, even those winning Derek Crocombe’s special prizes in the raffle.

30th November – Peter Howell

Audrey has let us know of the sad death of her husband Peter on 30th November at home. He had been suffering from cancer for the last few months.

Peter was Chairman of the club for 16 years, ending in 2001 shortly before they moved to Budleigh Salterton, and was a Life Member of the club. He was responsible for several moves of the club, following the catastrophe in Frant, ending up with our move to our current location in Calverley Grounds. He was an enthusiastic supporter of Association Croquet and the traditions of the game and won many competitions over the years, both in Tunbridge Wells and elsewhere.

9th November – Kitching Rose Bowl

Derek Crocombe wins another final; this time beating Richard Smith in two straight games.

27th October – Golf Doubles Final

Derek Crocombe and Barbara Tasker win the Golf Doubles, beating Mick Greagsby and Shirley Jones in a tight final.

16th October – Lawns closing for the Winter

Lawn 1 will be closed for the winter, except when the other two lawns are unplayable or fully in use. Jump shots are NOT allowed to avoid potential damage to the lawns. Please observe the Open/Closed notices on the Notice Board and do not play when water-logged or frosty.

? October – Association Doubles Final

Jolyon Creasey and John Moore win the Miriam Reader Memorial Doubles, beating John Hobbs and Ray Meech in a tight final.

30th September – Finals Day

An injury prevented Barney from taking part in his final, so with Derek Crocombe’s absence we had a fewer finals than expected…

The Calverley Cup final between Geoff Croxford [10] and Jeff Chapman [18] was in the balance throughout. Jeff started reasonably well and established a 7 hoop lead with the use of just one bisque, G recovered with a 5 hoop break before J nudged further ahead. Possibly the defining moment was when J had a moment’s aberration and left a ball near hoop 1 at the end of his turn – G hit in well and set up a 4-ball break which enabled him to start his second ball round and he looked to be surging into a lead but was unfortunate that the break finished when a delicate take off to set up the rush to 6 nestled against the peg, terminating the break.
Thereafter J re-established a reasonable lead with a mix of judicious and injudicious use of bisques and G, who was hitting-in well from medium range, clawed himself back close but was unable to set up another significant break. J, having run out of bisques, had a sequence of whisker missing long distance hit-ins before, with 7 minutes left and a lead of two hoops he eventually succeeded in making contact. The teachings of Mick Belcham were recalled [you see I was listening] – J ran for the hills [well the appropriate corners] and G was unable to make any further hoops. +2 [time] to Jeff.

The final of the Golf High bisquers was between Michael Sander [9] and Jeff Chapman [8]. Michael started like a train taking the first 4 hoops before Jeff adjusted to the change in thinking and lawn to give him a bit more of a challenge. Time per hoop increased and hoop was traded for hoop before Michael eventually ran out the 7-4 winner of the first game.
The second game was closer from the start, better approach shots enabled Jeff to take the first two hoops but Michael, who played well throughout, responded with a series of outrageous long hoops and back dribbles [a completely unbiased view of course!] to take the game to the 13th hoop. A poor approach shot left the door open for Michael who duly took the last hoop to complete the match win without the use of his bisque in either game. A well deserved 2-0 [7-4, 7-6] victory to Michael.

The Hunter Plate was a competitive contest between Richard Mann and Michael Gentry to be expected as there is only a difference of one in their handicaps. The first game was nip and tuck with never more than one hoop in it. Approach shots were accurate as was the hoop running. It all came down to hoop 13 and Michael had first shot at it. He sent his ball very long about 12ft past the hoop and Richard’s reply was short of the hoop. The same happened with the second shots of each player and Michael eventually manoeuvred into the jaws to take the hoop and the first game 7-6.
The second game started in similar vein but a couple of missed clearances enabled Michael to take a two hoop lead which he extended at the end to win the game 7-4 and the match.

11th September – SECF R league v West Worthing – won 5:2

Our final match of the season, so summing up: we’ve won two out of four in the Golf Restricted Level and the Association U Leagues, better with 3 wins in the Golf Handicap League, but were outclassed in the Advanced League winning no matches at all.

10th September – SECF A league v Woking – lost 1:6

8th/9th September – Honeygrove Cup

With the hottest September weekend for years forecast on 8/9 September, our Advanced B-level weekend was moderated to a gentle Swiss, enabling the dozen entrants to enjoy a relaxed five rounds, managed this year by Alex Jardine. Only Jolyon Creasey providing some local opposition to a full house of opponents.

Initial leader was straight-hitting David Mumford who was eventually pinned-down by Philip Mann, both finishing on four wins. In the pursuers on 3/5, CA Chair Barry Keen belied his current handicap with some good wins once he had the balls.

Three Parkins brothers competed together for the first time but, sadly, did not come up to the finish in line abreast, while Jon Diamond morphed into Mick Greagsby on the Sunday so his 3/3 on Saturday had to be discounted.

And the weather did indeed stay glorious for the entire two days.


Philip Mann 4/5 (Winner on who-beat-whom)
David Mumford 4/5
Barry Keen, Jolyon Creasey 3/5
Tim Russell, Neil Coote, Nigel Parkins, Paul Miles 2/5
David Parkins 1/5
Rodney Parkins 0/5


Jon Diamond/Mick Greagsby 3/4
Alex Jardine 3/4

4th September – Competitions update

The competitions are progressing well, with a few hiccups, and we’ve now got a number of the finals sorted out and a result too:

Congratulations to Jeff Chapman on winning the Howell Cup


  • Lustau: Richard Mann v Barney Lewis
  • Calverley: Geoff Croxford v Jeff Chapman
  • Miriam Reader Doubles: John Hobbs & Ray Meech v winner of other semi-final
  • Kitching Rose Bowl: Derek Crocombe v winner of other semi-final
  • Golf Doubles: Mick Greagsby & Shirley Jones v winner of other semi-final
  • Golf High Bisquers: Mike Sander v winner of Block A

3rd September – SECF A league v Medway – lost 2:4

29th August – SECF A league v Dulwich – lost 1:5

27th August – SECF H league v Ramsgate – won 7:2

25th August – SECF A league v Sussex County – lost 1:6

20th August – SECF R league v Reigate Priory – lost 2:5

5th August – SECF Golf Teams Tournament

We entered two teams for this event: Team 1 was Duncan Cox, Derek Crocombe, John Skates and Michael Sander and Team 2 John Moore, Derek Heath, Jeff Chapman and Lister Fielding.

The sun shone on the event but not particularly on our teams. None the less we enjoyed the day which, in contrast to other years featured a lot more lower handicap players such as Simon Carter.

The star performer for our club was Jeff Chapman who was undefeated all day winning and drawing in the doubles and winning 2 singles and drawing one. The doubles should have been a win, as at 5 all the hooter went to end the match – after 2 more shots each – Jeff was 12 inches from the hoop, but forgot the rules and shook hands on a draw; still an excellent days work.

Team 1 came 10th out of 22 in the Doubles and Team 2 came 4th. In the Singles Team 1 came 14th and Team 2 16th.

4th August – SECF U league v Purley Bury – lost 1:6

3rd August – SECF R league v Medway – won 5:2

27th July – SECF H league v Cheyney – won 5:4

23rd July – SECF H league v Ivychurch – lost 3:6

21st July – SECF U league v Reigate Priory – lost 3:4

16th July – SECF U league v Compton – won 6:1

7th/8th July – We’re 4th in the Southern Challenge

This is a new Golf Croquet event this year for clubs in the South of England, not just in the SECF, and comprises two divisions – the top 10 teams at Southwick and the other 6 at Surbiton. Each team consists of between 4 and 8 players, with each team playing each other and then the top 4 playing each other again to determine the final winner. Each match was a Doubles and two Singles and players had to play roughly the same number of Singles and Doubles. Our team in the First Division was Jon Diamond (handicap 1), John Hobbs (2), Mike Gentry (4) and John Moore (6).

Looking at the aggregate handicaps we were about 8th in the division, but we had a stonking event with all players playing really well and ended up 4th overall after the all-play-all, thereby forcing us to play the other top three teams again which was a real struggle. Nevertheless, we managed to beat a really strong team from Ramsgate again (aggregate handicap 3!), thereby justifying our finishing 4th overall. Congratulations to all the players!

Mike Gentry had a really tough time despite playing well and lost a few handicap points, but John Moore was outstanding and his handicap is now a well deserved 5. John Hobbs gained a few and Jon Diamond quite a lot but both without a handicap change.

Detailed results are: we beat Littlehampton 2:1, Phyliss Court (from Henley) 3:0, Ramsgate 2:1 (twice – amazingly), Woking 2:1, West Worthing 2:1 and lost to Compton 1:2, Dulwich 1:2 (twice), Ryde 1:2, Sussex County 0:3 and 1:2.

Simon Carter has presented a magnificent Cup for the event which was deservedly won by his own club Dulwich! However, his individual game against us wasn’t so good as Jon ran some outrageous hoops from up to 20 yards and so beat him 7-5…

A good time was had by all and many thanks to Bill Arliss as Organiser and the Sussex County club for their hospitality. Hopefully, this will run again next year and we can do even better.

3rd July – Chairmans Choice wins our second Golf Teams League

With one match still outstanding to determine who finishes 3rd and 4th the Chairmans Choice team of Jon Diamond, Richard Mann, Richard and Jo Smith has won the league with an unassailable 4 wins and 1 draw.

30th June – Richard Brooks wins the Montevideo Cup

img_1395 Richard Brooks wins our Montevideo CupThe Montevideo Cup is the name of the trophy for our one day Golf Croquet tournament, genrously donated by the 2011 winner Jonathan Lamb, who happens to live there! Luckily the weather was also kind to us, with no showers after play started and the sun countering the blustery wind. In addition Jonathan had persuaded another Uruguayan resident to play in his first GC tournament, so making up a full complement of 12 players.

Richard returned after his second place in our earlier GC tournament and turned out the winner this time, beating Jonathan 7-5 in the final game, having lost to him in the 6-round Swiss qualifier. In fact Richard was the clear winner, since Jonathan has lost to Keith Webb earlier.

Full results are:

Richard Brooks1Sussex County6
Jonathan Lamb1Uruguay5
Jon Diamond1TW4
Keith Webb2West Worthing4
John Skates9TW4
John Hobbs2TW3
Maggie Webb3West Worthing3
Gavin Taylor5Merton3
Ian Stanton6Uruguay3
Derek Heath8TW3
Stephen Harbron4Merton2
Louise Taylor7Merton2

John Skates did so well, following the GC Coaching session the previous day, that his handicap was changed to 7.

29th June – GC Coaching

10 members made it a pretty good attendance for our GC coaching day for the season organised, like last year, with Daphne Gaitley and Don Gall.

22nd-24th June – Jon Diamond wins Compton Open Championship

jon1 Jon Diamond wins at ComptonAccompanied by his Australian house guest, Stephen Howes who plays in New South Wales, Australia Jon won the Compton Advanced Open Championship on the much improved lawns in Eastbourne.

Jon hospitably lost his first game against Stephen, but fought back and in the final round of the all-play-all tournament played Alex Jardine, a sometime member of RTWCC, in the tournament decider. In an exciting (Ed: seems unlikely?) and slightly nervous match with more errors than both would have wished Jon turned out winner by 7 hoops and now holds the magnificent silver cup originally presented to Compton in 1903.

21st May – SECF R League – loss to Woking 2:5

12th May – Derek Crocombe at the CA Charity One Ball

Derek didn’t win, but did enjoy his day out in the final of this event at Winchester, winning 4 and losing 4 games – so a creditable performance for his first outing! He did find it a bit confusing at times when there were 4 games going on simultaneously on his lawn…

12th/13th May – Jon Diamond wins our 2-day Open Golf Tournament

Following 6 weeks of what feels like continuous rain, the sun shone (mostly) on the select bunch of players, from West Worthing, Hamptworth and Southwick, who wended their way to Tunbridge Wells last weekend. Sadly, 2 of the 3 lawns were water-logged at the start of play, so it was a bit of a squeeze playing on one lawn for the first day. However, the lawns themselves were in great condition, if a little slower than the players would have liked.

Everybody won at least 6 games, which shows how evenly matched the players were, but the surprise of the event was Duncan Cox, who although having a handicap of 5 managed to win 6 of his 13 games against players with handicaps 1 and 2. When he learns how to play jump shots he’ll be even more successful!

The winner was Jon Diamond (who also managed the tournament and ensured the fine weather as well as the cakes for tea), with 10 wins from 15 games.

Full results are:

(from games)
Jon Diamond1TW10/15
Richard Brooks1Sussex County8/14
Keith Webb2West Worthing7/14
Duncan Cox5TW6/13
Maggie Webb2West Worthing6/14
Victor Stillwell2Hamptworth6/15

6th May – Aaron Westerby wins the Bowl at the World Championship

Reg Bamford won the Wimbledon Cup for the World Association Croquet Championship title for the fourth time, beating the Australian youngster Robert Fletcher by 3 games to 2 in the final at Adelaide, Australia.

Aaron, a sometime member of our club, lost in first round of the Knock Out for the main event. However, he played outstandingly after that to win the Bowl Final in three straight games against Peter Landrebe from Australia.

Congratulations to both Reg and Aaron, as well as Mark Avery for winning the Plate and James Death the Shield.

1st April – Mick Greagsby wins April Fool One Ball

Only 8 players rolled up to enter our heat for the CA One Ball Championship, but all enjoyed a lovely day; despite some mutterings from Medway about coming no-one actually made it. Everybody managed to play 6 games in the super Spring sunshine and Mick ran out the winner, despite his damaged shoulder, being unbeaten! Kate Sander provided a welcome soup and ploughman’s lunch (thanks), so we raised £50 for the Breast Cancer Campaign.

Hopefully Mick will recover soon after his operation (the following day), to take up his position in the Final in Winchester. If not, then Derek Crocombe is in line as he won 5 of his game – he lost to Mick, not surprisingly because they didn’t realise this was a handicap event…

18th February – Mick retires as Secretary at AGM

img_1343 Mick Belcham receiving his retirement giftsMick Belcham retired as Secretary of our club after 11 years. He was presented with a number of gifts on behalf of the club and its members – a voucher for a brewery visit for 2 in recognition of his fondness for beer, 40 Handel CDs as recommended by Carolyn Belcham and a Photo Book containing pictures commemorating his time at the club and his many friends.

Sadly, we haven’t managed to replace him yet – volunteers please!

The headlines are:

  • Our finances are healthy, but membership subscriptions still don’t cover the lawn maintenance costs. Never the less the subscription rates are unchanged
  • Our lawns are in good condition, but have suffered slightly from our Groundsman’s absence due to his operation
  • We’re acquiring a dishwasher, spending some of Miriam Reader’s bequest
  • The Ball Store doors have been replaced, but there are still some final adjustments to be made
  • It was agreed that we should do something to recognise the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, as she is patron of the CA

27th January – Winter Warmer

30 members and partners came to our Winter Warmer supper evening at Kate and Michael Sander’s house. A lovely evening with the now traditional raffle, including Derek Crocombe’s special prize.

10th January – Lunch at the Spread Eagle

18 for lunch at the excellent Spread Eagle in Hawkenbury.

7th January – One Ball

A record number of 16 turned up for our first One Ball Sunday of 2012. So many, that despite what we said last year, we had to open Lawn 1. Great fun was had by all.

Sadly, someone’s been digging some holes, mostly of lawn 3, so please be aware of the potential problem and repair any holes you see.

1st January – Happy New Year

As usual the Council is putting up parking rates, by 10p or 20p per session though, not per hour, for example the daily rate in Crescent Road changes from £5.50 to £5.70. We publish a full description of where to park and detailed rates.

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