The month of August began with the Club’s hugely successful participation in the Rottingdean Village Fair on August 3rd. The Club’s involvement in the Annual Fair is something that had occurred in the past but, after a few years’ gap, it was decided to revisit this and invite the public to come and ‘have a go’ at playing croquet under the guidance of Club members.
A rota of volunteer members was arranged and approximately 100 visitors of many different nationalities called in and had short taster sessions of GC. Applications forms for membership were given out in large numbers and questions of all varieties were fielded and answered by the members who were there.
The date coincided with Brighton and Hove’s Gay Pride week-end and hence many businesses and organisations in the city were displaying the rainbow symbol in the form of banners, flags etc.
This became relevant when one of the visitors asked about the significance of the peg in the centre of the court showing the colours of the croquet balls in their correct order. After listening attentively to the explanation provided, they remarked that they had originally thought that it had been placed there as our way of showing support to the Gay Pride Event. On reflection, one can quite understand their reasoning!
Thanks must go to Derek who suggested the idea to the Committee and who worked hard to make the event such a great success. Congratulations to him for raising the profile of the Club within the village and for being instrumental in providing an extra dimension to its Fair. Additional thanks go to all members who volunteered their time to help on the day.
Visitors enjoying playing on the lawn of RCC
on what was an incredibly successful event
On Monday 5th August Ivan, Trevor, Avril and I travelled to Canterbury to play the third of our matches in the GC Restricted Level Play League. It was a long way to go to lose 5-2! Although by no means definitive, this defeat burst our bubble of optimism of winning this league at the third time of asking after coming so close on both previous attempts. However, all is not lost and a win in our final match later in the month might give us an outside chance of being in the frame. Thanks to Avril for captaining the team and for making all the necessary associated arrangements.
Another friendly match followed on 7th August when we were hosts to West Chiltington. On this occasion RCC’s team was Denis, Janet, John and Sue E who were beaten 4-2 by the opposition. Thanks go to them for volunteering to represent us in this match.
On Sunday 11th August a number of members took part in the one day GC Handicap Tournament at Southwick called Teams Day. RCC entered two teams in the event. RCC 1 – Avril, Derek, Richard and Trish RCC 2 – Isobel, Roger, Sally and Elaine. Unexpectedly, RCC 2 finished above RCC 1 in the final league table with Elaine performing particularly well on the day. There was additional involvement of the Club in the tournament with Mike acting as Referee.
Thank you to Ivan and the two team captains, Avril and Isobel, for all the administration work involved in the day. Thank you also to all players who represented our Club.
Smiling RCC Participants in Teams Day at Southwick
The following day, 12th August, should have seen the playing of the Club’s new GC handicap tournament, The August Challenge, to be played on the lawns of Sussex County CC, Southwick with the semi-finals and final being played in Kipling Gardens on the following Saturday. However, inclement weather conditions forced its postponement to the beginning of next month.
Our fourth GC Restricted Level Play League match was played on 20th August and involved another long journey; this time to Woking Tennis and Croquet Club. Woking was the team who dented our chances of winning this league in 2017 with a crushing 6-1 defeat, so we were determined that history would not be repeated. On the first sunny, warm day, following a two week period of unsettled weather, we managed to turn the tables and came out winners 5-2. This, the final of our fixtures in this league, gave us three wins out of the four matches played and we now wait to see how that compares with the other teams involved. The team members from Woking were most hospitable and everybody enjoyed a cordial day’s croquet on their excellent lawns.
A mention here to Avril who, after Trevor’s stepping down as Captain for this year, stepped into the breach and took on this role with efficiency and enthusiasm for which we are all most grateful.
Members of the teams from RCC and Woking at the end of a day’s croquet at their very scenic and hospitable club
An Association Croquet competition was included in the August Calendar with the Lees Salver being played for on Monday 26th August.
A short report by Ann follows:
The Lees Salver an Association Doubles Competition took a different format this year with teams including players new to Association as well as more experienced ones.
The Salver presented by Margery Lees was won by Audrey Hay and Denis Murphy, who was a winner for the second year running. Congratulations to them both.
Eight players had entered the Competition this year including long standing Members John and Frances Low, John Stephens, Richard and Trish Ellis and Isobel George who had organised the Competition so efficiently.
The weather was fine and sunny and everyone enjoyed a picnic lunch at the side of our croquet lawn.
It was kind of Margery to once again present the Salver as she has done for many years.
Margery presents the Lees Salver to the 2019 winners Denis and Audrey
The weather continued to be warm and sunny and the very next day we held our second Away Day of the season at Horsted Place, a venue to which we had made several previous successful visits.
This year’s visit, although excessively warm, did not disappoint with 34 members making the journey to this magnificent hotel. Play took place on two lawns within the gardens of the hotel which provided a stunning backdrop to the event.
A delicious lunch was taken in their large dining room and players had the opportunity to get to know other members of the Club with whom they were perhaps not quite so familiar.
After four rounds of enjoyable play the eventual winners were Alan and Sally who were presented with their prizes on court. Congratulations to them both.
Huge thanks must be given to Sheila and Sue for organising everything so thoroughly and to Trevor and Margery for their help with scheduling and scoring. Days like these help to bring Club members together in an informal and cordial social setting and what follows are few pictures to give you a flavour of the day.
What a spectacular venue!
Shirley and Trish seek the shade
Frances and Sheila keep our scorer, Margery, company
“Was that a Crush?” asks Jean
Barry takes position in what looks like a very crowded hoop
Stunning scenery whichever way you look
Lunch is served
One of our organisers, Sheila, looks pleased with her day and rightly so, as everything was meticulously organised
Sally and Alan on course for victory while Avril stalks her ball in the background………….
………and with victory come those winning smiles
The very next day saw yet even more croquet action as RCC took on West Worthing in Kipling Gardens in the penultimate of our friendly GC matches.
Representing RCC were Sally, Derek, Denise and Trevor who played very well and, despite dodging one or two showers, won the match 7-1. Congratulations to the team and many thanks, to Wray and Jackie, as ever, for arranging the match and hosting our visitors.
This photograph taken during the match against West Worthing looks like one of those from a ‘Spot the Ball’ competition!
The final day of the month coincided with a Saturday which meant that the August End of Month Competition was ‘exactly what it says on the tin’.
At the beginning of the afternoon the weather was set fair and members arrived wearing summer clothes in the sunshine. However, as the afternoon progressed, the temperature began to drop and clouds began to appear as if some superior being knew that tomorrow was to be the 1st September and would herald the start of the Meteorological Autumn.
Such was the contrast in temperature that the presentation to the winners, Isobel and Denise, was made in a crowded pavilion before members made their way home to warmth and shelter.
Thank you, Denis, for running this month’s competition and to Alan S for his overall organisation of these enjoyable monthly events.
How many smiling members can you fit into RCC’s pavilion?
Congratulations to our winners of the August 2019 End of Month Competition Denise and Isobel