2017 News

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

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 2017 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


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!


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:

Player Club Handicap Wins Games Position
Jon Diamond Tunbridge Wells 1 4 5 1
Andrew Dutton Woking 2 4 5 2
Paul Castell Sussex County 1 5 7 3
Chris Coull Sussex County 2 3 5 4=
John Daniels Purley Bury -0.5 3 5 4=
Edward Dymock Surbiton 3 3 5 4=
Jonathan Lamb Canterbury -0.5 4 7 7
Luc Berthouze Sussex County -0.5 3 7 8
Brian Havill Watford 1 2 5 9
Kevin Carter Surbiton 0 2 6 10=
Alex Jardine Tunbridge Wells 3 2 6 10=
Philip Windred Letchworth 2.5 2 6 10=
Phil Dunk Sussex County 3 1 6 13

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_1828Our 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


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:

Player Handicap Club Wins Position
Martin Lester 2.5 Tunbridge Wells 5 1
Richard Mann 7 Tunbridge Wells 4 2
David Haslam 12 Hunstanton 3 3
Ann Brookes 7 Colchester 2 4=
Henriette van Deth 18 Bath 2 4=
Eleanor Easom 18 Bath 1 6=
Tony Elliott 6 1 6=
Jane Collier 14 Colchester 0 8

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


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

Player Handicap Club Wins
John Greenwood 1 TW 4
Liz Farrow 1 Sussex County 4
Richard Brooks -1 Sussex County 3
Keith Webb 3 West Worthing 2
Andrew Stewart 6 West Worthing 2
Derek Heath 5 TW 0

Block B

Player Handicap Club Wins
Jon Diamond -1 TW 4
Mark Hamilton 2 Sussex County 3
Luc Berthouze -1 Sussex County 2
Lister Fielding 9 TW 2
Derek Crocombe 3 TW 2
Maggie Webb 3 West Worthing 2

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!


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:

Wins Net Points
John Hobbs 3 +17
Alex Jardine 3 +11
Martin Lester 2 +6
Mick Belcham 2 +5
Jeff Chapman 2 -10
Jon Diamond 3 -29

Thanks to Alex Jardine for managing the day.

4th June – National Croquet Day a great success


National Croquet 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


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.

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.