A major event during the year was the opening of a Commemorative Garden, an area for reflection featuring a stunning glass croquet set created by Sandra Cornes. With a favourite hat left on a chair and the mallet propped up against a tree stump, this area depicts someone having left the croquet lawn and provides a space to remember those no longer with us. During this year, we remember with great sadness the passing of Peter Uglow who contributed a great deal to Club activities.
The Commemorative Garden was inaugurated in June as part of the Club’s 125 year anniversary. Thanks to David Cornes who spent many hours collecting information of the history of the Club from many different sources, a booklet has been published providing insights on how the Greenodd site has changed over the years. We think the booklet will be of interest to all members: copies are still available if you have not already purchased one.
Another part of our 125-year Celebration was for the Committee to award an Honorary Life membership of Crake Valley Croquet Club to Peter Wardle in recognition of his major contributions to Club activities over more than 30 years. In the Club history booklet, Peter wrote a fascinating and amusing account of some of the people and events he experienced during his time with the Club. Although he has had some health problems recently, I’m delighted that Peter has been able to attend our meeting today.
Club membership has increased to over 50 thanks to the efforts of many current members and to our improved facilities. Whilst dealing with thanks to members, I should also like to register the Club’s appreciation to all those who have volunteered during the year to help with the many tasks that are necessary to keep us running. This covers not only care of the lawns but also keeping the clubhouse and the grounds tidy. The past month has been particularly busy with a calculated 150 member-hours spent at the Club. One person that I would like to give special thanks to this year is Frank Sharps who has spent many hours mowing, spiking and general maintenance of the lawns and, without his hard work throughout the year, the club would not be able to boast such high-quality lawns.
I also want to thank members of the Committee for their work during the year. Perhaps the most important task addressed during the year was to formulate a plan aimed at ensuring the Club could look forward to a viable future. Clearly, financial sustainability is a major part of this plan, and we are grateful for the hard work of our Treasurer, Roger Coates, leading the development of this area: we shall be hearing much more on this topic later in this meeting. At this point, I should also mention the changes the Committee has made in membership structure which will be discussed later, but also in the procedures to be adopted for Visitors and Guests. As you will have noticed from the AGM notice, both these areas are now explained on the website posted as byelaw documents.
Our teams have done well in the NW Fed Leagues with the newly-formed Crake Lakes team winning the Advanced B-level AC trophy, beating Bowdon in the play-off Final. Crake Valley finished second in both the Handicap and Level-play GC Leagues and our teal finished mid-table in the Handicap AC League. Thanks to everyone who took part.
The facilities the Club provides continues to attract regional and national tournaments, culminating this year in a splendid 2-day Ladies Open GC at the end of the season which now seems to be fixed as an annual event. We are grateful to David and Sandra Cornes who have played the major part in organising and running these events.
There have also been many individual successes by our full members during the season. Just to mention a few, well done to Roger Coates on winning the block GC and to David Cornes for taking the knock-out GC trophy in the internal competitions. Frank Sharps won the Millennium handicap GC despite having to give a host of extra turns and Sandra Cornes has had a distinguished year lowering her GC handicap from 6 to 3 meriting her nomination this year for the Croquet Association award of Most Improved Ladies GC Player. David Cornes also has lowered his GC index but was disappointed that an injury prevented him from attempting to qualify for the GC World Championships and having recovered lost out by one hoop in a bid to win the National A-level GC Final. He is also moving in on AC players and done well as a last-minute replacement in the Cavendish Clock and has won the internal AC competition.