Camerton & Peasedown Croquet Club

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News Archive


8 September 2019

Posted by: Brian Wilson

Turning to Croquet

Over the past few weeks Camerton and Peasedown Croquet Club (CPCC) have welcomed many visitors. Some were having their first ‘experience’, others wanted to return to this fascinating sport. One thing was clear – whether our visitors were new or experienced croquet players, everyone enjoyed themselves – many asked about membership of the club.

Ladies from branches of the Somerset W.I. enjoyed a series of competitive games while beginners, after a short period of coaching, had their own experience. The sun shone, the grass was green and cream teas were served. It all got the ‘thumbs up’ and they have already booked for next year

CPCC has entertained two of our local Rotary Clubs - Frome and Radstock. For many it was a return visit, for others, it was a first time to CPCC. For both clubs it was a warm sunny evening and, after a welcoming Pimms, the competition between the returning players soon got going, while beginners were introduced to croquet by CPCC’s experienced coaches before they to took part in their own hard-fought games. Then, as the sun sank in the West, it was time for a buffet meal – much appreciated by everyone. Croquet must have got under people’s skin for, after the meal and in the twilight, many of our visitors played again until ‘light stopped play’

The facilities at CPCC are some of the best in the area – that’s why they host many regional and national competitions. On 3rd September, players from many other clubs travelled to Peasedown to take part in CPCC’s GC Open Doubles competition. In the morning there were a series of hard-fought games in mixed-handicap groups, where matches were won or lost by just 1 or 2 hoops. In the afternoon, pairs were reorganised and battle continued, to complete a complete rank order for the 15 pairs. The Final came down to Brian and Graham McCausland (Nailsea) vs Karen Cromey and John Knowler (Weston super Mare/Nailsea). As all other matches had finished, everyone was transfixed watching this nail-biting match. It was ‘nip and tuck’ until Karen and John eventually won on the 13th hoop. This is croquet’s equivalent of a penalty shoot out!


6 August 2019

Posted by: Brian Wilson

Croquet, Countryfile Live and Pudsey Bear

Yes, they all went together at Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace from 1st to 4th August. There were attractions to suit the thousands of visitors and croquet was proud to be there. The Croquet Association had arranged for croquet players from a wide range of clubs, to demonstrate croquet and encourage visitors to take part.

Over the whole show some 380 people came and tried croquet. OK, the lawn was not full size and there were a few ‘bumps’, but everyone enjoyed themselves – and that is the name of the game.

On the Friday two members of Camerton and Peasedown Croquet Club – Mo Boys and Brian Wilson were part of a team of 8 croquet players who welcomed visitors and introduced them to this fascinating sport. Last year Anita Rani (one of the Country File presenters) tried her hand at croquet -– she must have enjoyed her experience as she visited us again in 2019.

Mo Boys showed Anita some new shots, but then another image in yellow arrived – Pudsey Bear. You may ask ‘can a bear play croquet’? The answer is Yes, as both Pudsey, Anita and Mo vied with each other to score hoops.

Who won? Well, croquet won – for everyone enjoyed themselves. Remember: - Think Friends, Fun, Sport – Think Croquet’

After the 4-day show there were over 200 requests from the public to find their local croquet club – croquet is certainly ‘on the up’.


27 June 2019

Posted by: Brian Wilson

Croquet – Competitions, Sport and Success

It’s roughly half way through the year, so at Camerton and Peasedown Croquet Club (CPCC) members have been taking part in a range of competitions against other clubs.

There are competitions for beginners, improvers and more experienced players so there are always opportunities for everyone to take part.

Some of this year’s beginners are taking part in the High Handicap Competition and have already got a number of wins under their belt. CPCC coaches and team captains keep their eye on players – free coaching and ‘fine tuning’ is available and everyone is encouraged to try competitive croquet – they soon ‘get the bug’!

So far this year CPCC has won a number of matches. The High Handicap Team, including some of this year’s beginners, are on a winning streak. One match was won by 13 to 7 and the other by 11½ to 8½. Both matches took place in the recent hot and humid weather, but that did not stop the CPCC team from playing some of their best croquet. The team had to hold their nerve as our opponents started to ‘pull back’, but our steadfast play won the day. In both matches every member won a game – some won them all!! It is certain that handicaps will tumble and other members will have to improve their skills!

The Club also takes part in National Competitions – a team of four travelled to Nottingham to compete in the Murphy Cup against players from Durham CC (pictured here with members of the CPCC team). This match of singles and doubles brought out our best play and many games were won or lost by just 1 or 2 points. Eventually CPCC won by 4 games and we are looking forward to meeting our opponents in the Semi Final – watch this space!


29 October 2018

Posted by: David M

No Half-Measures at the Autumn Quiz Night

The start of the autumn Quiz Night was delayed by road closures on the approach to the venue but when proceedings finally got under way eight teams were ready to compete. We had been warned from the outset by Peter, our quizmaster, that in the case of disputed answers his decision was final and as the evening continued it became clear that he is not a man who does things by half. You will not find him sitting on the fence or hedging his bets. Fifty shades of grey? - black and white will do. So no half-marks.

But let’s face it: there are some questions that require a more considered response. As key members in the gathering would confirm, quiz nights are a serious business. After a closely-fought contest the “Answering Machine” emerged as the winning team.

Assisting our deceptively affable quizmaster on the night were Dea who kept score (whole numbers only) together with Alison and Jean who organised the half-time refreshments.


17 October 2018

Posted by: Brian Wilson

Never mind the rain - Croquet continues!

From Saturday 6th to Sunday 7th October, Camerton and Peasedown Croquet Club was the venue for the National Final of the ‘B’ level series - a Croquet Association tournament for up-and-coming players. Players came from all over the UK including Edinburgh, Wales, East Anglia … not forgetting players from local clubs and CPCC’s own home-grown talent.

On Friday, club members made sure that everything was ‘tip-top’ for this prestigious event, but on Saturday, when the 16 players arrived with their supporters they were greeted with rain and cold winds.

Such weather does not put off Croquet players so, once they had put on their ‘wet-weather gear’, play started on all four lawns. Spectators enjoyed the first day’s play (from inside the club house and marquees) and saw many long clearances and hoop scoring when everyone thought it not possible. Games were hard fought so much so that, at the end of the first day, 67% of matches had been won/lost by only two hoops.

Sunday brought better weather - some sunshine, but the wind was cold, so everyone wore layers of clothing. The top eight players from Day 1 started to do battle for the trophy – the other players fought hard for honour and reputation. We enjoyed and were amazed at all these games – impossible shots seemed to become possible. ‘If only I could play like that!!’.

The final, the best of three games, was between James Galpin of Nailsea and Lorna Dewar of Edinburgh. Even though James is only 17 and Lorna has only been playing for 3 years we were entertained by some outstanding play and it was nip and tuck all the way. Game 1 to James 7:6 – Game 2 to Lorna 7:6 – then deciding Game 3 went to James 7:4.

The Tournament Manager, Mo Boys (Chair of CPCC) congratulated all players for giving spectators so much to enjoy over the two days. She thanked the myriad of CPCC members who had set up the lawns and provided the lunches, tea and cakes. Brian Wilson (CA Council Member) presented the Trophy to James Galpin (pictured here), who, in turn thanked everyone at CPCC for their excellent hospitality and the quality of the lawns.

Croquet is a competitive sport – so after the presentations two players were determined to finish their match and continued until the light faded and a result was achieved.


5 September 2018

Posted by: Malcolm Evans

CPCC’s Successful End to a Long Hot Season

After a difficult season, Camerton & Peasedown Croquet Club’s two AC teams were determined to finish on a high. The Federation League team took on East Dorset in Poole. Colin Britt beat their captain 26:6 with an hour to spare, while Ros Key-Pugh ground out a 21-16 win. The doubles match went to full time as well, being won on the golden hoop. The afternoon was a different story. Two singles were lost, before Colin, trailing, took his ball almost round the lawn to peg out in one turn just as time was called. CPCC finished 5:2 up.

Earlier Kington Maurward had come to Peasedown with a strong team that included Jonathan Powe who is selected for the England AC World Championship team. Although, Colin held him to a 24:21 win, overall the team lost the match 2:3.

On the hottest day of the year, CPCC’s inexperienced ‘B’ League AC team played their last match against Lym Valley. Tied at lunch, their determination to break their string of defeats was rewarded with a 3:2 win and revived confidence for their second season.

The Federation Level Play GC team struggled in their final two matches. There was one compensation for defeats by a very strong team from Nailsea and by Dyffryn; the latter was played on the stately lawns of the National Trust’s Dyffryn House, Glamorgan.

Dyffryn was also the venue for the Welsh Dragon Level “B” Trophy Competition won by CPCC’s Ros Key-Pugh (pictured here receiving her trophy from Kevin Ham). Sadly, it was the last croquet to be played there since the NT has made it untenable for the club to continue. No longer will NT visitors be entertained or coached there, unlike at Peasedown.

42 guests from the MSN Rotary Club, followed by 36 from regional Women’s Institutes enjoyed learning and playing croquet, imbibing drinks and food until the sun set.


27 July 2018

Posted by: Malcolm Evans

Camerton & Peasedown Croquet Club Rejects Aunt Emma

Today croquet is played on stubble bedded in concrete. Clearances turn into jump shots as the ball hits the rough, pirouettes around what tufts of grass remain, or skates away like a curling stone. Knowledge of the conditions is paramount. Unfortunately, most of CPCC’s home matches were played earlier in the season when grass was greener.

The only recent away match to buck expectation was against Kington Langley, in the GC Central North League; it was the first match to be played on their two new lawns. Equal at lunch the home team came out revitalised racing to an 8:4 lead. After the fifth round, the score narrowed to 9:7. CPCC had to win the last four games. They would have if the jump shot on the thirteenth and final hoop had succeeded. The match ended in a draw.

The SWF GC High Handicap league home match against Dowlish Wake was played in the baking sun; even the electronic timers gave up. One ahead at lunch, the home team, after recovering in the shade, ran on to win 11½:8½. The most successful player was David Christie (pictured here) who won three singles and drew his doubles game.

The GC Level Play team, playing away at Bristol, was overwhelmed by the home squad and their lawns, winning only one game and drawing another. The Central South team faired only slightly better under a relentless sun that baked Dowlish Wake’s sloping lawns.

Armed with more enthusiasm than expertise, CPCC’s newcomers to association croquet, their new ‘B’ League team, bravely took on long-established opponents. The team ventured to play positively, rejecting a style of defensive play, known in croquet circles as Aunt Emma; a gruesome tactic designed purely to bore one’s opponent into submission. As a result, they inflicted heavy wins on their opponents and narrowly missed two whitewashes.

Oh, let the rain reign.


8 July 2018

Posted by: Malcolm Evans

Spare a Thought for the Croquet Player

On days like these, croquet players wander parched lawns in search of games, knowing it can only lead to frustration, for croquet is an intimate contact sport between the grass and ball.

Camerton & Peasedown Croquet Club’s GC Level Play team took on Weston-super-Mare in the searing heat. The speed of the grass left balls racing for shade. Up 2 games by lunch, CPCC, taking advantage of their knowledge of its lawns, completed a 12:8 win; Colin Britt (pictured here) winning all 3 of his games. Sadly, this was CPCC’s only chance with this advantage.

The SWF AC Federation (Central) match at Bath was lost; two games to the closest scoreline 24:25. Both were against Folke Pope. In the first Colin Britt led throughout only to lose control at the end. In the second it was Tony Brooks who trailed but just failed to equalise. Two more fortunate shots and CPCC would have won.

At Bristol, the lawns were, as always, true, but lacking water, brown and perversely like ice. Both teams complained that balls just rolled on and on, limiting the length of breaks. No game ended within the allotted time. The home team won this frustrating AC Federation match 3:2.

Nailsea’s recently re-laid lawns also inhibited the making of long breaks. Last autumn’s bad growing season and recent dry weather left the surface unpredictable. Two hoops ahead when time was called, Colin Britt missed a roquet giving his opponent an easy start to score her required 3 hoops. Ros Key-Pugh won both her games in the 2:3 defeat where once again no game was completed.

CPCC also hosted two Croquet Association Tournaments. The first, a C-Level Tournament initiated this year to encourage high handicap players to venture from their local club, was won by Michelle Leanard of Kington Maurward. The second, an All England preliminary round AC Tournament, was won by Colin Britt of CPCC who goes onto the National Final where hopefully lawns will be more predictable.


11 June 2018

Posted by: Malcolm Evans

The Bells Ring Out

If the bells of St Mary’s and then Bath Abbey ringing out for the first hour of the GC Level Play (North) match against Camerton & Peasedown Croquet Club were to celebrate the home team’s expected victory, it was somewhat premature. As they fell silent it was one all. By lunch, it was still even, 5:5, with most games very close. After lunch, the match swayed gently to and fro, eventually, CPCC coming out winners of their first level play match this season, 11:9.

The following Sunday, the bells rang again when the two clubs met in the GC High Handicap (Central) League. CPCC’s lead of one game through the mounting heat of the morning evaporated after a lunch of too many carbohydrates and in one case, sunstroke. Bath’s revenge for their earlier loss in the HH league was a 9:11 defeat for CPCC.

The day before, CPCC had met Abbey on Peasedown’s sun-drenched lawns in the GC Central (North) League - another evenly matched encounter. With only four singles to play it was 8:8, even though Jeremy Key-Pugh fluked a shot the full length of the lawn to take his game. Then the last four games all went CPCC’s way bringing them a 12:8 victory.

In the GC Central (South) Handicap League match against Weston-Super-Mare, the scores swung more like Big Ben. After the initial four games, it was a tie. W-S-M won the next four before CPCC evened it at 6:6. The following four all went to the home team. Though in the last four, the visitors fought valiantly, CPCC came out victors at 11½:8½.

CPCC’s AC match for the Murphy Interclub Shield was against the holders, Watford. Watford won all the morning’s rounds. In the afternoon the match swung violently. CPCC drew level. It came down to the last game, the last hoop, and the narrowest of gaps. CPCC came that close but lost 3:4. Quasimodo would have been proud.


7 June 2018

Posted by: David M

All-England Golf Croquet

The Club play-off in the first round of the CA Golf Croquet All-England Handicap Tournament took place at CPCC today. After a full day of closely fought games, Nigel Wulcko and Patrick Knight emerged as overall winners and will go forward to the Area Final on 12th August.


31 May 2018

Posted by: Malcolm Evans

First matches of the season

Camerton and Peasedown Croquet Club played their first-ever SWF AC Federation League match on 23rd May, having come runners-up in the Federation’s AC Intermediate League last year. The first match was against Weston-super-Mare (see photo), who, three days before, had beaten East Dorset 6-1. In the initial game, Weston edged ahead after coming from behind by the time the game’s limiting three hours ran out.

It was left for the home pairing of Mo Boys and Tony Brooks to even the match, with a 13-7 win at the time limit. After lunch, Colin Britt’s decisive 26-7 win put CPCC ahead for the first time. Weston’s Brian Robinson (caught practising his pole-dance routine in the photo) evened the match score with a 23-13 win before Mo Boys won the final game 22-15, giving CPCC the match. So all augurs well for the team’s season in their new league.

Colin Britt also had unexpected success in the Latham Cup, an AC Handicap Tournament in Bristol, beating Bob Whiffen in the final, 26-16. This year, with CPCC’s rejuvenated interest in AC, they are fielding a new second AC team playing in the SWF’s B League (central). They won their first match 4-3 against Kingston Maurward from Dorchester.

Meanwhile, CPCC’s more numerous Golf Croquet players, unlike last year, had a mixed start to the season’s league matches. The Central South team lost to East Dorset, but won 12½ - 7½ against a much stronger Nailsea side in a close-fought handicap match.

Following their earlier win at Nailsea, CPCC’s Central North team drew against Bristol in spite of being two up at lunch. After a slow start, the High Handicap team in the Central League won 11½ - 8½ against Bath, winning their last four games. Unfortunately, they lost their next match to Weston-super-Mare.

The GC Level-Play team’s first match was cancelled.


26 May 2018

Posted by: David M

Spring Quiz Night

CPCC quiz nights are always popular events and this was no exception with eight teams competing. Peter, the organiser and quizmaster, kept everyone amused with his gentle humour and feigned world-weariness while Dea kept score.

As ever, the competition was keen but the “Internationals”, a strong family team, led the field from the outset with a number of clear rounds. Close behind them were several teams including the oddly-named “Four Little Hens” who, under a different moniker, won the previous quiz. Thanks to Jean and Alison who prepared a splendid “ploughman’s” supper for everyone to enjoy at half time. Perhaps as important as anything, the event raised a substantial amount for club funds. Another quiz night is planned for the autumn.