Libby (of course) started the member's Post-Christmas exercise regime today as she pulled the members together
on a rather cool New Year's Day to play the first game of 2020. Present were Libby Dixon, Will Drake,
Paul Dowdell and Peter and Gill Uglow. Roger Schofield also turned up later in the day and joined in the
After a cuppa we all went out for our first game of the competition - and we were all showing some good form - some more than others! Following the first game we retired for a lovely 'full English' (thanks Libby) before returning to the lawns for some serious play. Unfortunately bad light intervened before the competition was completed, but all agreed that it had been a great day.
Let's hope we can do this again next New Year's Day!
Wow, just wow! people travelled collectively a total of 352.5 miles to attend today’s club ‘coaching’ session.
Four ‘sort of’ played AC and four more played GC between 11:00 & 15:00. A bitter wind blew through but not a
drop of forecasted rain fell. A good winters day was had before the mileage had to be repeated to get all home...
Again venue of choice - The Alma Inn. This year, sharing the back room with about half a dozen other dinners - we can only wonder what they thought about being invaded by a huge gang of Croquet People. Our Chairman, humorously failed to bring along the Internal Trophies, but during his speech mentioned all members who were valiant.
The warm snap arrives, so mowed and Sorrel rolled ahead of another busy club session as eight members
wanted the courts back to have a winter knock upon.
This month Garry has also put the winter feed on the lawns last Tuesday. This is the last feed before we start the summer feeds as we enter the growing season.
Today was a day of rain, so the first thing was to repair the boom sprayer. Repaired! Those nice people from
the sprayer company have sent an extra cross nozzle body because it is what tends to break and now we have a spare.
It must have been the sobbing down the phone when I ordered it, that did it!
The sun came out, so the gutters around the clubhouse have been cleaned out, the gutter rejoined where it had come apart down the back and the entire gutter system checked and re-screwed to the clubhouse where necessary. Much longer screws this time, so it should be ok for a while, but it needs to go on the annual check list.
I acquired some external brown hardwood filler, so at the same time as the gutters, I have filled the three holes in the clubhouse rear wall.
Once we remove the redundant electric lights that don't work, we will be ready to paint the rear and sides of the clubhouse. All volunteers most welcome. I will give plenty of notice - Chair.
Pendle members seem to have mastered the work/life balance with three days of mass play this
week, some coaching was given & offset all that with a single 'work' day on the middle shelters.
The old summer houses and the two sheds in the centre of the lawns were cleared out of everything. Measured up and pegged out the bases for the lawn sand bunker and the top dressing bunker. Once this was done, the old sheds were 'up-cycled' with the walls/roofs used to create the storage bunkers.
Well not quite, The A Team of Roger, Paul D and Garry dismantled the first 'dropping to bits shed'.
They have pegged out the calculated area, (which will take both 20 tons of sand and 20 tons of top dressing)
sloping from 45 degrees. The back wall of the bunkers is now in place. Unfortunately they did not have enough
time to break down the other two sheds and put the three walls at right angles into place.. so we're hoping
that the construction withstands storm Ciara this weekend.
Storm 'Dennis' (why name them in such a wimpy way) raged outside and the lawns were a little damp...so ten members retreated inside for an evening of 10-Pin Bowling. Garry booked us again into the Matrix Superbowl in Skipton for a double session of Ten Pin Bowling (Matrix Bowling). Petra again ensured that we all had fun, loads of food & drink just a few steps away.
Just for the records, this year's top tally was from Riggey.
Against tightening restrictions and government guidelines,
March was a right-off due to Covid-19 Lockdown being imposed across the UK as HMG followed the rest of the world's example and shut the planet down! No Planes, no travelling, just stay inside & binge watch box sets on TV..
As was April, with the four day Easter Tournament being Cancelled - better to be safe, and practice
Social Distancing (the 'new' norm) than compete for Silverware and risk infection.
On the bright side, the lawns continue to be cared for, so resumption of play should be reasonable *if* restrictions are ever lifted. The atmosphere has visibly improved with a reduction in pollution, few cars/vans on roads and everyone walking locally again.
We are open(ish) again but please adhere to the latest Government and Croquet Association Advice from the Coronavirus Task Force that has published this guidance to clubs and players about re-opening in the light of the recent changes to the Government's lockdown regulations. (PDF Advice).
Obeying all Personal-Care precautions and using ‘extreme’ social-distancing (2/court)
members stepped out on the hottest day of the year to practice AC today as the season
Glad to be back.....
Officially the hottest day of the year so far, 33oC, with blue skys, blazing sunshine & fast parched lawns – what a day to chose to start the first of the club’s internal competitions, beautiful and enjoyable even if the hut was really out of bounds and all of us met with strict social distancing rules in play..
most avoiding to even ‘elbow bump’ their next opponent, instead just ‘nodding’ a greeting.
Twelve members were split into two blocks so that all could play all with each block. KO stages next week...
Glad to be back.....
After two days of rain, some green could be spied on our surface as it's colour returned (in part),
but none of the pace had been removed as all players returned to contest the KO & plate stages
of the Skelton Trophy (internal GC), run ths year as Level Play (?)
Main event; Won by Paul Rigge from Paul Dowdall
Plate; Libby Dixon from Graham Read
beaten Semi-finalist Karen Bamforth took third spot from Peter Uglow.
Peter Dewhurst Managed....thanks Peter...
Pendle were the *honoured* to be the first club to play a match post C-19 at Nottingham CC. that's as far
as the honour went - we travelled down (obeying social distance rules) easily (no traffic) in three seperate
cars to play on a very cold, windy and drizzly day but we played in a great atmosphere, we were made v.welcome
by our hosts on this competition resumption.
Doubles not completed - Ian Draper pegged out by Liz, Dave Gunn on penult, Roger on 1b
Paul Dowdall lost to Mike Hedge -26.
Peter Wilson lost to Alex McIntyre -19
Peter Wilson lost to Mike Hedge -25
Paul Dowdall lost to Alex McIntyre -25
Liz Wilson lost to Dave Gunn -13
Roger Schofield lost to Ian Draper -5
Graham invited last year’s stalwarts back to Test the ‘Visitors Allowed’ post C-19 system at
the club. So eleven U3A members set up three courts (with proper hoops), and played as if they’d
never been away. The pavilion was out-of-bounds but tea & biscuits could be taken on the veranda,
with all social distances being observed (even face masks were worn).
After all matches & ties had been resolved, the day’s victor was...John Mulligan.
The Club Opened for tournament play again; hosting the Federation's Millennium Hcp Fixture for 2020.
Clubs in our NW region sent two players each to contest the tournament, vying to take the title in their own right upon Pendle's four lawns under Gov & CA Covid guidance. The club laid on a outdoor marquee to shelter outplayers should the weather turn, but I'm happy to report that it wasn't required.
Three rounds were played on the Saturday, and the fourth round got off to a sunny start with the Sunday morning producing a clear leader as Anne and Chris Alvey played each other having both won 3 matches on Day 1. Anne knocked Chris all over the lawn to take the win by 17. David Cornes, Paul Dowdall, Philip Bass, Barbara Young & Steve Skelton also took victories in the mornings play.
The afternoon had the potential to make it a tie break situation for second place, but the final
standings were; Joint 3rd were John Henderson, David Cornes and Philip Snowdon all with three wins,
runner up Chris Alvey with four and tournament winner Anne Alvey having won all five.
Anne reduced her handicap to 18 whilst David Cornes had his handicap reduced to 14 by tournament handicapper Paul Rigge.
Tournament under-manager Liz Wilson and all of the players would like to extend their thanks to Paul Rigge and Pendle & Craven Croquet club for their organisation and hospitality, we all felt safe & secure - it's great to be back playing..
After last week's successful trial, the stalwarts of the U3A group braved the damp & drizzle today
and their numbers were augmented with four newbies (Wendy, Sue, Andy & Julia) who of
received Introductory coaching from Abdul before enjoying their first games intermixed with the rest.
This week’s winner – Margaret O.
Quiz time - What do you call a mix of four International players, four County Players, three members of the Junior
development squad, their youth development director and four other Tournament Hackers?...why the 2020 GC Lancashire Open,
In a year when *all* tournament play has been either postponed or closed down, Pendle Club were delighted to host it’s CA leg of the Ascot Cup Qualifier.
With only three qualifiers being held this year (out of a schedule of eight), the entry field was the strongest yet with the Current English Captain, two Current English Team members & a Scottish international heading up the seedlings, throw in a fourteen year old, a 21 & a 22 year old from the youth development program and it was always going to be an interesting weekend,
as well as a wonderful advert for this game;young & old, males & females all mixing it up together in
Format for Sixteen players; two All-play-All Blocks of 8. Top four Qualified for Bo3 KO Quarter Final in main event. Losing QF into Bowl KO to contest 5-8 places
None qualifiers played cross-block all-play-all Plate with KO option to resolve any ties
The Final couldn't have been any closer between the English Captain & his team mate.. one game all, 6-6 in third, so 'golden hoop' for the title... J-P Moberly held his nerve over Richard Bilton to lift the 'David Hopkins' bon bon dish.
Bowl - Paul Rigge from Callum Johnson and Plate lifted by Scotland's Lorna Dewer
Thanks are due to Gill for handing over a bug free environment, Paul D for mowing courts, Robin for same on outfield, PR for court creation, Abdul for managing, Richard Bilton for CroquetScore postings and every attending player for a creating a great atmosphere whilst ‘socially distancing’ during these ‘difficult’ times.... stay safe.
Before a ball was struck and with half the personnel requirement suggested in the ‘build notes’,
Paul D, Paul R & Abdul dropped & stowed away the Marquee used so successfully last weekend.
Another dull and overcast afternoon saw ten U3A visitors join three club members for their hoop and ball fun.
Abdul set up & broke down the courts used.
Only eleven today (8 U3A only + 3members), but on the plus side it ment that as soon as a game finished, the winner could start another right away!. After two hours of play.... John was the day's leader.
The 'Hard-core' ten turned out today (7 U3A only + 3 members), and all four courts were pressed into use, luxury! Bit of fun trying to work out the winner...after eliminating the club members..it was ..Sid! well done fella.
Could the 'Local Pendle' C-19 recent lockdown be affecting the numbers? only 6 plus two today. Much fun was had by those who did bother to show up... after all rounds were completed - Gail was the days winner.
Ten members were split into two blocks, with two from each group contesting KO stage, starting with Semis.
This year managed by Gill Uglow, who allocated each player a CA 1-Ball handicap & kept us all in order.
The four who broke out were Peter Wilson Vs Paul Dowdall & Paul Rigge Vs Peter Uglow
Winner; Paul Rigge from Peter Wilson
Drizzle for most of afternoon didn't spoil the fun for the 8 plus three today.... after all rounds were completed again - Newbie Andy was the days winner on count-back.
Sixteen players, sent by their clubs in the NW Federation to compete in this, the ‘Local Friendly Advanced Tournament’ against the people they meet in the local league teams...well that’s the idea anyway.
What we actually got was only fifteen competitors – one had to withdraw at 4am Saturday morning due
to Government Covid Lockdown being slapped onto his borough. The morning also brought another
surprise – Storm ‘Ellen’ had ripped & shredded the Marquee into a heap, it was going to provide
‘socially distanced’ C-19 cover to the entries, as well as two flooded lawns – plans of mice & men..etc.
With a mixture of multiple Cars & sheds, sufficient rain shelter was available on a wet first day to comply with restrictions in place for the out-players. Play in the two stage blocks (A & B) progressed throughout the day as all four courts were restored to playable condition before noon. Dodging the showers, by close 'A' flight had completed four rounds, with three credited to the 'B's.
Sunday brought brighter weather and the completion of the top flight's all-play-all collimating in
the ‘final’ between the two unbeaten contenders.
There can be only one winner and the ‘Neil Williams’ returns back to Bowdon in the happy hands of John-Paul Moberly this year.
After Five rounds in the 'B', the only unbeaten player...Lorna Dewar.
Thanks are due to the entire Pendle team for the successfull hosting; Gill, Peter, Abdul & Riggey on Thursday. Abdul, Robin, Paul D & Riggey on Friday and of course Abdul for managing the players over the weekend.
Most fun yet - to resolve a tree way tie after the afternoon's play, Gail, David & John had four shots at the peg... days winner - John M.
Roll-up Roll-up, another internal comp gets started; AC full lawn Hcp. Roger, Robin and Pauls D & R
turned up on time, with Garry joining the party after lunch.
Robin played (and won) his one game of the day so is therefore the only player (so far) on 100%. Roger & Paul D managed to play three, PR 2.
Still time to join in, shedule a game & grab a few bisques!
Ten U3A turned out into the steady rain today (8+2members).
John M defended 'his' title from last week by being today's clear winner.
Another two rounds completed today, Paul D has pulled clear of the field but can still be caught and even overtaken by the chasing peloton, of whom the chasing pack leaders are Robin, Roger & Libby. Next week should bring down the chequered flag with another internal winner resolved.
Eleven U3A turned out for the weekly session today (9+3members).
John M & Gail tied on top step, but John left early, so Week's honours to Gail.
Rigge again got invited to compete in the CA’s Level AC Eight, this year hosted by Parkstone Club,
down (way down) in Poole, Dorset.
He, of course accepted his place in this prestigious event, his appearance this year marking his fifth attendace at this level – could he win it this time? Well the odds were against that happening, since he started as only the sixth strongest in a field of eight this year.
As a tournament, the simple description is that it’s s all-play-all (twice), but the unique nuance
of ‘The Eights’ is that all the games are untimed in a set pre-drawn order (based upon Rankings) and even
the Courts & Coin Toss winner are pre-assigned - this is 'Real' AC Croquet in the way it's ment to be played.
Take your time and plan your way to victory....or not!
Trimmer (the very popular local lad) set his stall out showing how he intended to win by laying up in every round after only running six hoops using the so called ‘Ladies Sextuple’ leave – he dropped every attempt to finish from that start, since conditions were so tricky however it didn’t matter and he still won eleven rounds – fun to watch his play though.
About those conditions; the hoop settings (firm, narrow < 1/32”) were manageable but what caused the
most difficulty for mere mortals were the court surfaces – lush green areas that ran at a slow six seconds
teamed up with many bare areas, so balls would weave & bounce around. Made for concentration on every stroke
or suffer multiple break downs. A lower than normal finishing peeling turns were attempted – coincidence?
Weather? Five days of blue skys and sunshine with 28c+. Food? Wonderful – provided by Chef Andrew in the Club Cafe.
As a final nice touch – the Trophy was presented by Marion Ormerod (William’s widow), both of whom had taught Pete as a thirteen year old!
Bright sunshine brought out Ten U3A today (7+3members).
John M again cruised the day's title.
Took Three weekly sessions but all matches got completed ...Paul D held onto his lead and won this year's title with ease.
The gods smiled down upon their children this weekend (there were four Gods of the game in attendance all wearing their England Shirts) at Southport. The weather was perfect – clear blue skies and 20oC. The courts were the best your correspondent has ever seen (V.fast – cut to 4mm)
with ball stops surrounding each area of play – some hard clearances were clearly expected!
Because the Final was being hosted ‘oop north’, Riggey *had* to accept his offered place that he'd earned from the this year's Lancashire Open and was seeded 7th in the field of 16.
No surprises were forthcoming, the Gods and day one closed with the top seven ranked players achieving their predicted form but, they were joined by the fourteen year old Bolton wunderkind at the expense of the twenty one year old one from York in the eighth spot for the QF on day two.
Rachel Gee (UK’s top female) told me at 10:20 Sat that she’s “remembered how to play” – A comment that
was to prove prophetic (spoiler alert). Top four seeds brushed aside the mortals who’d dared to face
them (only Rigge offered any resistance but succumbed in three rubbers). The minors went on to squabble for
the inconsequential places.
In the final, teammate Vs teammate, man Vs woman or the two youngest (take your pick on how to describe the contest), was taken by Mrs Gee in imperious straight games.
Due to C-19 restrictions, the club had reduced spectator numbers, but we few enjoyed the show.
VP Colin Irwin presented the Ascot Cup to this year's champion.
Eleven U3A turned out for the weekly session today (8+3members) in the rain....
Gail won this week's honours, but Abdul calculated the total games won thoughout the U3A's sessions this year and John M can't be overtaken with still a meeting next week to go - well done to him!
Yes I Know! this has been contested this Year according to the items listed earlier, but this *is* the
real contest – played with full membership attending and under full handicap allowances available.
Two all-play-all blocks leading to Semi-Final Shoot-Out.
And the winner who spent his available extra turns the best...is Mike!
Brilliant to have new name on the board.
Thanks to Gill for managing & Paul D for groundworks.
Couldn’t be prouder of the club & it’s members (yet again), it stepped up to host (safely) the last
Federation Tournament of 2020 after another club back-heeled the opportunity citing the pandemic resurgence.
We have built quite an expertise over the last three months in ‘social distancing’, so big thanks to the team responsible for Fresh hoop holes on all the courts, tight match play hoops, stop boards, plus all the Covid paraphernalia (‘owned’ chairs, one way systems, hand/ball/clip wipes.....etc); Gill, Vince, Abdul, Paul D, Roger & Peter. – again setting the standard in preparation for which it is so well known now.
Well, so to the tourney report –Numbers *were* understandable down due to further C-19 lockdowns but enough did turn out to allow an All-play-All 19 pointer block to be formed and contested on a single day thus avoiding hotel overnight stays (C-19 again) played in great weather this deep into autumn, dry & sunny all day.
Mention must be made of two players, one from Fylde & the other from Westmorland – Both playing in their Very first Tournament; exactly typifying why these events are promoted by the NW Federation - to give a gentle ‘open door’ to this world with and against your mates. What a great fun day in bright sunshine was enjoyed by all.
The final podium finishing order; Paul Rigge, Malcolm Daines & Lorna Dewar.
Paul NOT holding the trophy – that is still in total Covid Lockdown elsewhere).
The only place in the country where competitive croquet was being played - yeap Pendle & Craven Croquet Club. With the pandemic raging again & infection numbers rising across the NW (and indeed the whole UK), players collected in Earby to contest the last tournament of the year.. well maybe..
The club was nearly at maximum capacity with eight half lawns laid in new holes for this single
day (reduced to such as a nod to C-19, no need for hotels).
Players split into two All-play-All blocks and then into KO for final placings.
It’s might have been a tournament, but the player atmosphere matched the weather; bright, sunny & cheerful, played in great humour & fun!
With all games being untimed, play started promptly at 9:30..and finished just before we ran out of light!
And that was only possible by eschewing the planned Semi-finals and playing the top block winners against each other in the Final with Block runner’s up facing each other for 3rd/4th slot.
New tournament = new winner; Neil Adams from Lorna Dewar with John Henderson taking 3rd from Tom Dewar..
One Player comment on the day; "It really was a fabulous day and so helpful and uplifting" - nuff said!
Despite lobbying by the CA and other individual recreational sports, the regulations for the Covid-19 lockdown that starts at 00.01 today, for 28 days, appear to require croquet clubs in England to close, along with other outdoor sports amenities and 'non-essential' outlets. In otherwords - back to those box-sets!
In the absence of any official support for a contrary interpretation, the CA's Coronavirus Task Force strongly advises clubs to cease play for that period. However, its understanding is that lawn maintenance, whether by employed staff, contractors, or volunteers, can continue.
Now we’re allowed again, Rigge & Dixon grabbed the first opportunity to practice and restore both muscle memory and great mental health by hitting balls about all over the place. Fortunately the weather played ‘nice’ to, by mid afternoon we didn’t have a single cloud to blot our perfect day.
Brrr...the very last Internal Competition got started today (now we’re allowed back into the club).
14pt short lawn, played to NW League rules; 90mins time limits, full bisques handicap.
Most members turned up on time (10am) and helped set out the four courts that would be required including string boundaries,
and so play commenced.
The stragglers joined in the fun and you could soon tell who was who, cause the late arrivals were the warmest - not saying it was a cold day...but gee did we miss the radiators in the pavillion...the whole hut being 'out of bounds' due to Tier 3 Covid regs currently in force.
And away we go again - day two of the last internals, this time on a beautiful cloudless day, but
it being Mid-December .. not a warm one (by any means).
Yet again, the short days got the better of us so another session will be required to sort our winner.
Vince leads with the Pauls in pursuit.
Six members turned out to play Alternative Shot AC 18point Doubles. The lowest handicappers being partnered with the highest with the idea of ‘teaching’ both establishing break-play and tactics. This worked ‘reasonably’ well given that the version being contested ended up being a hybrid Victorian Garden game with six balls in play, with an imposed restriction on which opponent balls ‘Croquet’ could be taken from.
Christmas now out of the way and the county back into (as near as dam it) total lock-down again, Croquet is still allowed but currently only 2 to a court (up here) from tomorrow, but today, Paul R with Sharon & Lesley had fun out in the snow and sunshine...with a tiny bit of coaching thrown in!
Comp wise, members didn’t quite finish the 2020 AC ADV or the AC Short internals - hope the new year
brings some relaxation to the C-19 regs and we can finish these before the new season overruns us.
It would also great if the club could get together for an AGM.. we ‘need’ to hold a physical meeting to
ratify the officers into their places.
Stay safe and have a Happy New Year everybody..