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July Update

July was a very successful month for our various league teams.
In the Advanced B level Association Group B Crake Lakes had home and away victories against Pendle. If they win their remaining fixture (v Fylde on 14th August) then a place in the League Play Off Final will be secured.

The Weekend AC team had a resounding 6-1 win against Bury Peelers. The Level Play Golf team had convincing performances over Chester Chariots (15-3) and Culcheth (16-2). The Handicap Golf Team also won 13-4 (1 drawn) against Pendle & Craven.

During August, the league fixtures are due to come along thick and fast as we near the “business” end of the season. There is also the prestigious “Cavendish Clock” tournament on 6th & 7th August which will see some of the best players from the North West in action. Spectators are welcomed.

Great 125th Anniversary Celebration and a Fun Day

Tuesday 21st June was a significant day in the history of Crake Valley Croquet Club as a date representing the climax of our 125th Anniversary Year celebrations.

The special Club Day was transformed after lunch with a set of fun games testing croquet techniques, with the day’s highlight being the unveiling of the Commemorative Garden by our special guest, Liz Vaughan.

Before the unveiling, members and guests were welcomed by Club Chair, Simon Robins, who outlined the reasons for the Committee’s decision to commemorate anonymously all those who contributed to the Club but are no longer with us – the garden would be a celebration of their lives and love of croquet. The only name chosen for special mention in Simon’s introduction was that of Bob Vaughan who in the late 1980s and early 1990s had done a tremendous amount to save the Club from near collapse. It was fitting therefore that Liz Vaughan had agreed to inaugurate this commemorative space within the Club grounds.
Simon thanked all who helped preparing the Garden, but particularly Sandra Cornes who had developed the concept and created the stunning glasswork in the form of a croquet mallet and balls.

Members and guests were invited to charge their glasses and make their way to the garden where Liz Vaughan proposed a toast to the continued success of the Club, declaring the Commemorative Garden open by unveiling a plaque containing a poem which was read to all.

On returning to the marquee for improved acoustics, Liz gave a fascinating account of her time helping Bob at the Club, recalling some of the outrageous exploits such as the two 24-hour croquet sessions, still valid in the Guinness Book of Records, and mentioning many of the people involved.
After much pleasant reminiscing chat over a delicious buffet and more drinks, Simon thanked all who had helped in making the event such a success.

There was, however, one more surprise when Liz presented the Club with her own painting of the clubhouse and surrounds. This generous gift was admired by all and would take pride of place on the clubhouse wall.

Crake GC National Qualifiers 16th to 19th June

Thirty players from all over England played in three National Qualifying tournaments at Crake Valley this week. On Thursday, Giles Pepperell (Llanfairfechan) beat our own Chairperson, Simon Robins 7-5 in the final. On Friday, our 2nd club member Neil Adams (Westmorland) beat Marcia Henderson (Auckland) 7-3.


Over the weekend, Crake Valley’s David Cornes was consistent throughout, winning all his 11 games to take the trophy against a top-class field to earn a place in the National Final at Wrest Park in September. This follows David’s success the previous week in the Pendle Open Championship Series and sees a reduction in his handicap from 1 to 0. We wish David well in the forthcoming World Championship Qualifiers in July.

The Club is grateful to all who made the events a massive success including Susan Boxell, Helen Barbour and our members.

Final of the Cumbria Cup

Richard Harding receiving the Cumbria Cup from Crake Valley Chair, Simon Robins

Congratulations to Richard Harding on winning the Cumbria Cup beating Steve Skelton in the final held at Crake Valley. Richard dominated the lawn through most of the match which included a triple peel in the final game. In addition to receiving the Cumbria Cup, Richard was presented with a glass trophy which he retains to mark the occasion.

International Guests at Crake Valley

From the left, David and Sandra Cornes with Alison Sharpe and Morten Weaver

Tuesday 7th June was no ordinary club day at Crake Valley. Two international players who are in the UK for the GC World Championships came along. Alison Sharpe is the number1 female player in Australia (4th best player overall). Morten Weaver is Norway’s number 9. Both are on an extended holiday to see much of Britain and were visiting the Lake District.

Alison and Morten played 2 single games against David and Sandra Cornes with honours even at 2 wins each for the “Rest of the World” and Crake Valley.

Both International visitors were extremely impressed with the beautiful setting and quality of lawns. They are hoping to find time to call in again when travelling down from Scotland in a couple of weeks’ time.

We wish them well at the World Championships in Sussex.

Plans for June

June is a busy month for the club as we celebrate our 125th year anniversary. There are 4 tournaments to be hosted here at Crake along with our club teams playing 5 competitive matches.

The Club Celebration Day will be Tuesday 21st June. To mark the Anniversary, the Club has documented its history into a 108 page booklet available for just £10 (£13.95 inc P&P) – click here for details

May Update

The Club is now welcoming visitor groups on a regular basis and also holding Club Day each Tuesday.
The AC team had a 1-6 loss away to Westmorland in the Cumbria Tankard.
The Level Play Golf had a resounding 14-4 win against Bury Monarchs.
Individual performances were most impressive. Frank Sharps came 2nd at Pendle GC B level tournament with David Cornes also coming 2nd at Bury A Level the same weekend (14th and 15th May). The following weekend, David played in the National Doubles down at Budleigh Salterton winning his block on Day 1 with his partner, Neil Fillery (Taunton Deane). They were expected to do well in the knockout stages but Neil had to withdraw due to a family emergency.
The highlight of the month, though, was Frank Sharps winning through at Southport in the NW Federation Millennium Handicap GC tournament. Frank regained the title (he also won it in 2020) despite giving lots of extra turns to his opponents.

Crake Valley News

The league season is now underway. On Saturday 7th May the AC team travelled to Chester and recorded a 4-3 victory. The following day the Golf handicap team lost away to Bury South 8-10 and, two days later, the level play golf won at Pendle 11-7.
The photo is from Bury South v Crake.

Success in the USA

    David in action at West palm Beach



David and Sandra Cornes spent the winter months playing Croquet in Sarasota, Florida. They both enjoyed successful tournaments with David finishing 3rd in the USCA National Eight (top flight) and Sandra runner up in the Third Eight. Overall, both came home with much improved ranking grade.
In their Club Championships, David was runner-up overall and Sandra won her block of B level players.

Golf Croquet Friendly Against Penrith

On a bright and sunny Sunday 10th April, a team of 7 players from Penrith and North Lakes visited for a friendly, but competitive, GC match. Crake started strongly and were ahead at lunch, but Penrith rallied later in the day so that Crake finished ahead only by the narrowest of margins over the 24 games played. The day was enjoyed by all and made a very pleasant start to the season’s activities.

Crake Valley in the USA!

Sandra and David Cornes recently returned from several weeks playing in Sarasota, Florida.

Sandra with Lee Yielding

Both had successful tournaments with Sandra coming runner-up in the Shark Tooth GC tournament – 2nd flight (B level) and David reaching the quarter finals of the Florida GC Open (Championship level).

Sandra won the majority of her games but was beaten by rising star Lee Yielding in the final David played some of USA’s top ranked players (Jim Teal, Rich Dell, David Malouf, Helen Covington and Billy Harper) before losing, under floodlights, to Macey White 5-7, 6-7.

Both also learned how to play American Rules “6-wicket” and have brought a “deadness” board back to the UK helping teach Crake club members on club days during the season.

Winter work on the lawns and surroundings

The lawns had their first cut of 2022 recently and play has been ongoing on half lawns when the weather allows.

Off lawn we had storm damage with a tree falling off the lawn in November. We are grateful to the 9 members who came on Wednesday and Thursday 2nd & 3rd February, to assist Luscombes Plant Hire Ltd for their efficient clearance of the site. The wood from the tree has been broken down into chippings and spread by members upgrading our wooded walkway just off the lawns.