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The 2019 AGM for Crake Valley Croquet Club held at Greenodd Village Hall on Tuesday 5th November was well attended. In addition to dealing with the routine business of the Club led by Chair, Jim Allcock, the meeting was an opportunity for David Cornes to give an update on Club Development. David, who has been instrumental in driving the fund-raising effort for the new Clubhouse and expansion of playing facilities, reported that the Clubhouse should be completed by early December, quite an achievement since work to demolish the old hut was not started until mid- September. In expressing the Club’s gratitude for all the work David has put into the project, Jim said that “without David’s input, the Clubhouse would not have been built”.
Earlier in the meeting, Chair, Jim Allcock, had the pleasant duty of presenting trophies for the Golf Player of the Year to Frank Sharps, and for AC Player of the Year to Dave Williamson. The elegant glass trophies were designed, created and donated by Sandra Cornes.
Work starts on New Clubhouse Development Project
From Monday 16th September the lawns are closed whilst work continues on the demolition and re-build of new club facilities.
The pictures show progress made less than 48 hours after hosting our final ever league match in front of the original structure.
Visitor Draw 2019
At lunch on Sunday members of Bury South drew the winning tickets in respect of our popular visitor raffle held to raise funds towards the costs of our Croquet redevelopment project. 12 prizes were on offer and all had to won by a visitor or opposing player from the 2019 season.
All those who bought a ticket will be notified of the winners in the next week and arrangements to deliver the prizes will also be made soon.
The 1st prize winner was R Leach from Bury North. A total of over £250 was raised from the raffle – thanks to all who bought a ticket.
Successful Climax to the Golf Season
The Golf Handicap Team welcomed Bury South to our lawns for the title decider on Sunday 15th September. As expected, a close match ensued with no more than 2 games difference all the way through. In the end a strong finish ensured a 10-8 victory and brings the title to Greenodd in only our 2nd season in the league. Ten players represented the club in 2019 and all made a valuable contribution.
The picture shows the Crake and Bury players in front of the clubhouse which is due for demolition and replacement over the coming weeks.
Please note that, owing to closure of the lawns for building work, finals of the internal knockout and block competitions have been postponed until April 2020.
NEW CLUBHOUSE / CROQUET DEVELOPMENT UPDATE – 4th SEPTEMBER 2019
The total estimated cost of demolishing our current clubhouse and constructing a new build with electricity coming to site along with new concrete lawn store unit is £55,000. We are also working hard to ensure a previously disused area is brought back into play, as lawn 3, for next season.
We have applied for and received grants totalling £48,360 towards the costs. This working total has been increased by using pre-existing club funds and the proceeds of current fundraising activities, together with some members’ pledges to enable the BUILD & FIXTURES elements of the project to go ahead from 16th September 2019.
We still require further funding for highly desirable items to ensure the overall project is completed this coming winter. Examples include improved landscaping and access to allow more parking, internal furnishings such as kitchen essentials and equipment. We also need to finance the cost of new club mallets to ensure better equipment is available for those attending our planned “croquet for all” sessions in 2020.
How can you help?
• Simply give some financial help to assist with achieving fully our projects goals. Any donation you can make (from £5) would be much appreciated. You will be invited to play our lawns “free of charge” next time you visit the Lakes.
• If you email firstname.lastname@example.org we will send you details of how to donate and send a gift aid form (if appropriate). Emails are checked regularly.
August Golf Update
The golf handicap team was busy in August. The handicap team lost 8-10 to Southport in extreme weather conditions but won against Bury North 14-4 and Culcheth 10-0. With one game to go we are sure to finish in the top 4. A great achievement in only our 2nd season.
The level play team drew at Chester 9-9 and lost to Bury Sovereigns 8-10 to finish mid table. A great debut season with David Lloyd winning 27 out of his 36 games and David Cornes winning 23 out of 36.
The club internal finals day is to be held on Thursday 5th September and the final handicap game on 15th September v Bury South.
July Golf Update
July was a busy month with 6 visitor groups enjoying “taster” sessions of croquet.
Our level play team drew with Bury Monarchs whilst the handicap team beat Fylde Falcons but lost to Llanfairfechan. Both teams are towards the top of the table as we enter the final few weeks of the season.
David Cornes won the National B level qualifier at Bury against very strong opposition but, due to holiday, he is unable to attend the final at Gulidford in September.
Dave Williamson Wins Fed Millenium AC Handicap
Congratulations to Dave Williamson on winning the Federation Millennium handicap AC tournament which was held over the weekend of the 13th/14th July hosted by Pendle & Craven Croquet Club. With 8 contestants from Bowdon, Bury, Crake Valley, Fylde, Pendle and Westmorland and with handicaps ranging from 3½ to 22 taking part, the event comprised 5 rounds of 18 point handicap AC played to a time limit of 2½ h per game. The lawns were in excellent condition, running both true and consistently, and the weather forecast was for good, dry days so all looked on course for an enjoyable weekend of croquet.
Initial pairings were based on matched handicaps as far as possible with subsequent rounds determined using the Swiss format. This brought some interesting encounters with the overall ranking changing with each iteration. As late as round 4 there were still three of the competitors in contention for the title but by the final round this had reduced to two with the final result hung on the last game to finish. At the end of the tournament three of the players were tied on 3 wins out of 5 and the end placings were determined by net hoops. However, the overall winner, being the only player with 4 wins out of 5, was Dave Williamson from Crake Valley (who earned a handicap reduction from 22 to 16). Second place went to Paul Dowdall of Pendle and third place to Tony Phillips of Bury.
Thanks to Pendle CC for hosting the event and for providing their customary excellent hospitality and to Robert Essler of Pendle who presented the trophies
Golf Croquet – June Update
June was a very busy and productive month. The action has seen Peter Uglow qualify for the National C level final and the North & Midlands Regional All England handicap qualifiers. Sandra Cornes has won through to the National Grass Roots final.
The level play team played exceptionally well to beat Pendle 12-6 and narrowly lose to the reigning Champions Chester Centurions 8-10.
The handicap team beat our closest rivals, Westmorland, 10-8.
At the NW Federation Festival both the handicap and the level play teams came 2nd in each strand. Picture shows David Lloyd scoring a hoop at the festival.
As a result of good play handicap reductions include David Cornes (3), Peter Uglow and Elaine Newman (6) and Sandra Cornes (9).
We’ve also had social groups from U3A and Grange Promenade Gardener and a practical coaching session on the key rule changes in 2019.
Progress with Club Development
Crake Valley Croquet Club has to date received money / pledges towards our planned “croquet for All” development plan from the Croquet Association, Walney Extension Community Fund, Sport England, Hadfield Trust, Frieda Scott Charitable Trust, Eric Wright Charitable Trust, ENMO Parish Council, ASDA and Aviva Community Funds.
A further 7 applications for funding have been submitted with decisions due over the next 3 months. If sufficient monies are raised the project will start with the demolition and replacement of the clubhouse from mid-September 2019.
Golf Croquet Update
The golf croquet season is well underway and during May we won both handicap games at home against Bowdon (13 games to 5) and away at Fylde (10 games to 8). 6 players represented the side over the 2 matches and all contributed to the end results. As a consequence there are handicap reductions for David Cornes (now at 4), Frank Sharps (6), Sandra Cornes (10) and Peter Uglow (11).
The month also saw 3 of our players travel to Watford and the Isle of Wight for national B&C level competitions.
On the social side we held a coaching session for 14 of the local primary school teachers. An enjoyable time was had by all with some huge improvements in a very short space of time from the teachers. At the end a fish and chips supper was enjoyed in the clubhouse.
National Croquet Day
National Croquet Day 2019 on Sunday 12th May was a great success for Crake Valley. Not only down to the excellent weather, but the teamwork of members in preparing for the day. From mowing and setting out the lawns to hand-baking some delicious treats for our guests, which included an enthusiastic group from Allithwaite Bowling Club, everyone played their part.
The day saw the first usage of the third lawn, currently under development, after falling into disrepair a few years ago. Guests were given a short lesson before teaming up with a club member to play a full game. After lunch guests played a game against each other with a club member on hand to advise of the alternative shots available to them.
All agreed it had been a great day and club Chairman, Jim Allcock, thanked everyone for attending and contributing to the success of the day.
There are two forms of croquet and taster days will take place in the future for both strands of this interesting game.
Update on funding
The club continues to receive information / decisions regarding potential funding for our project to replace the clubhouse and introduce a “Croquet for All” development programme from 2020. The club are working with funders and expect to be able to convey exciting news in the form of a press release in the next few weeks.
Crake Valley Golf League Team Win Their First Level-Play Match
David Cornes, David Lloyd and Elaine Newman represented Crake Valley in our first ever Level-Play Golf League Match on Friday 26th April. All 3 players played well. Visitors Southport and Crake both deserve great credit for playing out the games in extremely difficult weather conditions. Crake won the match 13-5.
Crake Valley Compete in NW Federation (Millenium) GC Event
David Cornes, David Lloyd and Frank Sharps represented Crake Valley in the NW Fed Level Play competition held at Bury on 17th April.
Against a very strong field all our players showed their skills with good play but just failed to qualify for the finals.
Our highest placed player was David Cornes who finished with 4 wins out of 6. His 2 losses went all the way to the 13th and final hoop against Libby Dixon (Pendle Handicap 3) and the eventual winner David Walters (Bowdon -3).
The photo shows some of the competitors. Our thanks to Jean Hargreaves and her colleagues at Bury for a great day.
Winning Start to the Season
The 2019 Golf Croquet league started with a visit to Chester on Sunday 14th April. On a blustery and cold day some close games were played in a good sporting manner. There was never more than 1 game difference between the teams before a very strong finish ensured Crake Valley came away with a 10.5 to 7.5 scoreline. Player of the Match was Peter Uglow with 3 wins and a draw in his singles along with a doubles win at the outset.
The picture shows from left to right – The 4 Chester players then Crake Valley’s Peter Uglow / Frank Sharps / Sandra Cornes and David Cornes
Alternate Stroke Doubles Tournament
On a beautiful, warm and sunny day the competitive season started with sixteen enthusiastic players from across the NW Federation gathered at Crake Valley Croquet Club for the annual Alternate Stroke Doubles Tournament. The players were from Bury, Pendle, Keswick and Penrith as well as Crake, and the tournament lived up to the expectation of high-low partnerships allowing practice for the pairings in a friendly but competitive environment. The ninety minute/14 point games were generally decided by a couple of hoops and everyone got plenty of lawn time allowing for both break-building skills and winter rust to show.
Play was organised into two seeded blocks of 4 pairs on an all play all basis. The block winners went through to the final with an additional game to decide 3rd and 4th places.
The strong partnership of Barbara Young and Margaret Eccles from Bury decisively won Block 2, but the news of the day was from Block 1 where Simon Robins paired with David Cornes (in his first attempt at AC) representing Crake. The results were impressive with 3 wins out of 3, setting up a highly competitive final.
From the off the game swung first one way then the other with the lead changing hands several times, as time went Robins and Cornes were leading by 2 hoops, but the result was still in the balance during the final turn for Eccles and Young, with one misplaced rush that could have proved decisive and set up a 3 ball break for the final hoops, just nine inches out – the margin between first and second.
The third and fourth place play-off was between the top seeds, Gary Wilson (Pendle) paired with Steve Skelton (Keswick) against John Henderson and Robin Swindells, both of Penrith, this match also exceded expectations and produced a Golden Hoop finish with Wilson and Skelton emerging victorious.
Many thanks must go to all the visitors who made the event so enjoyable and to Crake members whose efforts made it possible.
Further funding Success
Crake Valley Croquet Club has been awarded 2 further local community grants towards our lawn and clubhouse development plan.
The Eric Wright Trust has approved £500 and ASDA Barrow in Furness £1,010.
The Croquet Association has also approved 50% towards some major parts of the renovation including the provision of electricity to the site, demolition of existing building, concrete base and a metal storage shed.
There are still significant funds to raise but we hope the project can be financed and completed during 2019.
The picture shows Committee Member David Cornes receiving a cheque from ASDA’s Gill Gerish.
The next internal fundraiser is our Spring Lunch to be held at Holker Hall on 20th March.
Aviva Winners & Parish Council Donation
Crake Valley have been notified that we have been awarded £1,000 by the Aviva Community Fund. We are grateful to all who supported for us in this public vote. The money will be used specifically to help us renovate land to almost double our available playable lawn space.
We have also had notification from our local Parish Council that they fully support our “Croquet for All” development plan and they have committed to giving a £500 contribution towards the costs.
Internally the club has continued fundraising by hosting a New Year Raffle and we are planning further functions during 2019.