Whilst the rest of Europe were celebrating record summer temperatures, our Federation had its own record to celebrate – the 25th year of the North West Festival of Croquet – record number of competitors, new competition with Level Play Golf introduced, Southport lawns best ever, we even hired mobile loos for the first time!
Manager Ivan Wheatley produced a strict schedule of matches to fit everything in and for the first time, games were ended as soon as the ball stopped moving when the timer ‘pinged’, much to the chagrin of the croquet heroes who like to come from behind to snatch a win with their last turn.
The Southport micro climate gave us a mixture of blue skies, dazzling sunshine, bracing sea breezes, grey skies and the odd shower – all adding to the colourful spectacle as up to 100 people filled the lawns with a kaleidoscope of club team colours. Margaret Flemington and her team produced another catering triumph enabling everyone to indulge in a fabulous lunch, afternoon tea and copious light refreshments. Players mingled and renewed friendships and rivalries – it seemed as though everyone knew everyone producing a wonderful atmosphere, so typical of our Federation.
After two days of competitive croquet Pendle set another record by winning the Advanced and the Handicap trophies for the first time, Chester retained the Short Croquet shield, Llanfairfechan won the Golf Croquet event and Southport became the first winners of the new Level Play Golf Croquet trophy. When all the points were calculated, Pendle were declared Festival Champions for 2019.
report and photos by Tony Thomas
|2019 FESTIVAL PLACINGS||ADVANCED AC||HANDICAP AC||SHORT AC||LEVEL PLAY GC||HANDICAP GC|
|1st||Pendle & Craven||Pendle & Craven||Chester||Southport||Llanfairfechan|
|2nd||Bury||Fylde||Southport||Crake Valley||Crake Valley|
|3rd||Bowdon||Bowdon||Westmorland||Pendle & Craven||Culcheth|