Frank Gunstone dies

We’re sad to have to report that Frank died in his sleep at home earlier this week.

Richard Clark writes: “With the passing of Frank at the age of 86 this November, the Croquet Club has lost not just a valued longstanding member but a great friend, stalwart champion and ambassador.

As a young man Frank embarked on a successful career in aeronautical engineering, proudly working his way through the ranks learning on the job.  The Space Age promise of the 1950’s and 60’s brought fresh excitement to the aviation world while Concorde lifted its horizons and ambitions.  Frank was involved with the development of  and application of relays and their supply to the industry.   Sadly the excitement abated, Frank’s firm was bought out by an American company and later closed, leaving him to start a second career.

He and Carolyn moved to Crowborough and purchased Warren Drive which they developed and ran as a Care Home with a fine reputation which owed everything to their commitment and enlightened approach.   Carolyn’s nursing experience supplemented by Frank’s natural sociability and sense of humour ensured success. They were renowned for the touches such as their residents’  bar designed to help give a homely, but active backdrop to the declining years of their residents; at the time still a somewhat  pioneering approach.

Frank’s first love was sailing.  From his Club on the Thames He became a very proficient exponent of the art, making it to Olympic Trials.  His love of sea, sail and surf never left him and in more recent years, in addition to a sailing excursion to the Isle of Wight with some other members  he revelled in the luxury of tall-masted sea cruising in the Adriatic and Caribbean.

Like many of us, he came to Croquet late.  Introduced to the Club in about 2002 he was a stalwart supporter through a major phase of development.  Never a lover of Committees, he was a practical pair of hands in support.  He championed the cause of Golf Croquet at a time when it was undervalued by those skilled at Association and he will be particularly remembered for the charm with which he coordinated Wednesday Club afternoons, skilfully balancing playing groups and joining them to gently steer them to improvement.  No lingering spectator at the gate was safe from Frank’s explanations of the game and invitation to sample.  A mean player himself, his hoop running was spectacular at times, and he brought a keen competitiveness to the lawn.  He loved nothing more than a keenly fought match.  He lit up our social occasions where his conviviality and love of life came to the fore.

As a friend and as a RTWCC fellow member he will be missed.”

Our thoughts are with Carolyn and his family at this time.

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Lawns re-open for the Winter!

You’ll be glad to know that Chris and Alex have just drilled the hoops on lawns 1 and 2, so we’re open for business again! Ray will paint the lines in due course.

Lawn 3 has not been drilled yet, since it’s so wet, but will no doubt be sometime.

Please note our Winter Rules:

1. Flat soled shoes are required – no heels at all.

2. Use lawns in the following order – 3, 2 and 1, but

3. Look at the Notice Board to see if any particular lawn is closed (red sign).

4. Don’t play if it’s very damp or the ground is very soft.

5. Jump shots and hammer shots are totally prohibited, as any damage caused (cuts or deep indentations) won’t recover over the winter, as it’s too cold. Also be careful in shots around hoops.

6. If there’s dew on the ground please use the brush in the clubhouse to clear it before you play; this will minimise fungal growth.

7. The internal water system will be turned off sometime before the temperature gets below freezing again, with the taps left open, to avoid frozen/burst pipes; so please be aware of the signs. If they’re up this means that the toilets will not be in use and you’ll be unable to make tea/coffee and wash up crockery.

Enjoy: Our next scheduled sessions are the One Ball/GC on Sunday 1st December!

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Escape to the Perfect Town

Filming of this BBC1 programme about a property hunt in Tunbridge Wells took place in July. The programme aired on Monday 14th October and features quite a good four minute segment about croquet at our club (starting at about 37 minutes in).

They also managed to include some views of the backs of players in the GC Worlds too, including the new World Champion!

The programme is available on the BBC iPlayer for the next 30 days and we hope to get a copy of this programme for our own use in due course.

Thanks to Natalya for starring in our bit.

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Simon Manwaring wins our GC New Members Tournament

A bit belated to report: Simon Manwaring won our initial tournament on 28th September in good weather with three straight wins.

Trevor Houghton-Berry won two games and Dave Grimshaw won one, with Philip Osman, despite playing some very good shots, none.

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Finals Day success

We managed to complete seven finals in splendid weather on Finals Day with only the Golf High Bisquers. Golf New Players and Miriam Reader Association Doubles outstanding.

GC Doubles Final

See our 2019 Competitions page for full competition details.

Thanks, as usual, to Kate Sander for providing a delectable lunch and cakes for the players and the spectators.

Alex celebrated his birthday by winning the Spa Salver, but losing the Lustau Cup. Congratulations to him.

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Andy Dibben retains Honeygrove Cup

Just short of a full house of 11 players entered our annual Advanced Tournament, the Honeygrove Cup, with most of the usual suspects.

Our lawns were delightful and the fastest they’ve ever been.  The weather was a little cool with the wind, but held up until a rain shower after most people had finished at the end of Saturday.

Chris Coull seemed to be running away with the tournament, beaten undefeated after 5 games. However it was all up to the final game – Andy v Chris. In the end Andy ran out the easy winner as Chris only managed one hoop and won the tournament on a tie-break since he’d also got 5 wins and had beaten Chris.

Honeygrove Cup

Honeygrove Cup – with 5/6 Chris Coull (left), manager Alex Jardine and Andy Dibben, winner on tie-break (right)

Results are:

Flexible SwissClubHandicapGamesWinsWin %Results
Chris CoullSussex County-0.56583.3%D.H Boyd +8, C.Barham +21, K.Carter +5, J.Diamond +14, B.Havill +25, A.Dibben -25
Andy DibbenSurbiton-0.56583.3%B.Havill -3, J.Lamb +25, P.Castell +17, D.H Boyd +8, J.Diamond +2, C.Coull +25
Brian HavillWatford0.54375.0%C.Martin +26, A.Dibben +3, J.Lamb +21, C.Coull -25
David BoydRother Valley25360.0%C.Coull -8, K.Carter +1, C.Barham +21, A.Dibben -8, P.Castell +11
Jon DiamondTunbridge Wells06350.0%C.Martin -9, J.Lamb +13, P.Castell +17, A.Jardine +11, C.Coull -14, A.Dibben -2
Paul CastellSussex County-0.57342.9%A.Jardine +11, C.Martin +25, J.Diamond -17, A.Dibben -17, C.Barham +24, D.H Boyd -11, K.Carter -21
Chris BarhamTunbridge Wells85240.0%K.Carter +6, C.Coull -21, D.H Boyd -21, P.Castell -24, C.Martin +1
Charlie MartinRamsgate56233.3%J.Diamond +9, P.Castell -25, B.Havill -26, J.Lamb -25, K.Carter +12, C.Barham -1
Kevin CarterSurbiton06233.3%C.Barham -6, D.H Boyd -1, C.Coull -5, C.Martin -12, J.Lamb +12, P.Castell +21
Jonathan LambCanterbury-0.56233.3%J.Diamond -13, A.Dibben -25, C.Martin +25, B.Havill -21, K.Carter -12, A.Jardine +12
Alex JardineTunbridge Wells2300.0%P.Castell -11, J.Diamond -11, J.Lamb -12
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Barney Lewis almost wins!

Barney came second in the Area Final for the CA All England handicap event held at Surbiton last weekend, so qualifies for the Final being held at Hunstanton this weekend. John Knight from Reigate was the winner.

Unfortunately this means he may miss his potential Doubles Final this Sunday!

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SECF A league v Sussex County – lost 3:4

A decent match at last!

We were on average one handicap weaker than them, but came out of the morning session 2:1 up. This is the first time this has happened in an A league match for a long time (for ever?).

Unfortunately neither Jon, nor Jolyon, played at quite the same level in the afternoon as the morning and although Alex won in an exciting 3-ball ending, having pegged out one of Alan’s balls, John lost the final game narrowly to Lizdespite a number of chances and so we lost…

Jon Diamond (0) & Jolyon Creasey (0.5) beat Chris Coull (-0.5) & Paul Castell (-0.5) + 3
John Greenwood (2.5) beat Alan Cottle (-0.5) +2
Alex Jardine (2) lost to Liz Farrow (1.5) – 17
Jon lost to Chris -11
Jolyon lost to Paul -14
Alex beat Alan +2
John lost to Liz by a small amount 

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SECF Golf Level League v Merton – lost 0:7

A bad day at the office, the only saving grace being that we were on average one handicap difference worse off…

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