spectating a game

Bristol Croquet Club Chair's Newsletters Archive

15 July, 2021

Dear Club Member

A Coaching Clinic will be held on Saturday 14 August - members can come along at any time 10 am-1 pm and ask a coach to help with any aspect of their game or technique.

Hopefully, everyone knows about the forthcoming Summer Fun Event on Sunday, July 25 at 4 pm and the Social and American Supper at 4 pm on August 15 and have signed up by email to Chris Frew.

This weekend, we are spoiled for choice: some of the best AC players in the country are playing at the club in our annual A-Class tournament - do pop in and see how the game can be played. Over at Nailsea, the GC Home International will see top-level play from the stars of the home nations nailsea-croquet.org.uk.

Please re-read the "Lawn Booking Guidance" Play.htm#Booking - in particular, lawn bookings must show AC or GC, and doubles should not book both lawn slots.

From Monday, the COVID-19 Rules will be relaxed in line with government policy and we will return to locking things away in the clubhouse - where many members will appreciate you covering your nose and mouth whilst inside. This does not mean that the threat of the virus has gone away but that responsibility for protecting our fellow club members now lies with each of us.

Club sessions will return fully to roll-up - no need to book a place and no one is appointed by the club to manage the sessions - so it's time to say a big "thank you" to the organisers who fielded your calls and diligently recorded your names in the DBS, and to make clear that each session needs an organiser to step up on the day and organise everyone.

We are aware that there are two generations of beginners who have no idea what club-normal looks like. Longstanding members should be ready to explain anything to a puzzled-looking newbie. For those who joined post-COVID, full details are in the Club Guide online, but the key differences are:

Please let me know of anything you can't find in the guide (or in the clubhouse!).

Tea and coffee can be made in the kitchen and biscuits, snacks and ices are available in the cupboards and fridge: a price list is on the wall and a moneybox in the cupboard beside the fridge.

Personal mallets may be kept in the changing rooms,

The coaches are now talking about offering "assisted games" at all levels - the idea is that you play a singles game against another member and a coach will discuss tactical options with one or both of you, intervening if you wish during your turn - a bit like you having an experienced doubles partner who doesn't play a stroke.

Finally, a website search feature has been added to the club guide.

Enjoy your Croquet!
Dave Kibble
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

18 June, 2021

Dear Club Member

The gate has not been properly locked on several recent occasions. Most commonly, the padlock is secured in a position that makes it very difficult to unlock. Please take a moment to look at the photo on our website, which shows the correct way to do it. ClubGuide.htm#Security

Remember to lock the gate on leaving if no one else is on the premises, even if someone else is expected soon.

Lawn bookings must identify the form of croquet being played (AC or GC), and since you can't double-bank AC and GC, you must book a double-banked slot with a compatible game before booking a vacant lawn.

Please be familiar with the "Lawn Booking Guidance" Play.htm#Booking

We have a new section of the website now for team results, where reports received from the team captains are published ClubResults.htm - some offer more colour than others. There's clear evidence there that our two Short Croquet teams are misnamed!

The Club is keen to develop its players, and to encourage club members to take part in team matches - don't be shy - that means you too! Teams.htm

Please give feedback about the new website: what do you think is missing, or not explained well enough? What do you think there should be more of, or less of?

The COVID-19 Rules have been relaxed a little:

Remember that you must wear a mask when inside the clubhouse - just as you would in a shop.

Please refresh your memory of the rules COVID-19.htm

Finally, a badger or fox has been having fun digging up our lovely lawns - if you have knowledge of effective deterrents, please contact Wayne or Mike Salisbury.

Enjoy your Croquet!
Dave Kibble
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

20 May, 2021

Dear Member

In line with the lifting of some government restrictions and CA guidance, we are making the following changes to our COVID-Secure rules:

You may use the toilets without following the "mallet on top step" protocol and may close the door, otherwise maintaining the regime largely as was. Please bear in mind the risk and leave as long as possible between occupancy (5 mins minimum, 30 mins better).

There are no restrictions on double-banking.

Club sessions no longer need to be pre-booked but the organisers remain in charge and, for everyone's safety, you must follow their instructions. You can arrive at the club up to 10 minutes before the scheduled start and must record your name via the organiser (some will ask you to sign a sheet, others will do it for you). If there are already 30 people present at the club, you must not enter the grounds.

Up to 6 people may shelter in the clubhouse keeping the main door fully open and wearing a face covering, except when eating or drinking.

Having in mind inter-club matches, any number of people may eat lunch in the clubhouse if seated and in groups of 6 or fewer at tables with people at adjacent tables at least 2m apart.

One person at a time may go into the kitchen area to make tea and coffee or to wash up - please follow good hygiene practices.

Please arrive ready to play, but you may use the changing rooms if unavoidable.

Thanks to Anne, Pat and Chris for a thorough spring clean of the clubhouse.

Remember that all visits to the club must be recorded in the online DBS to facilitate NHS track and trace.

The precautions on balls and ban on handling club equipment remain - do not remove bisques, clips or mallets from the clubhouse without Wayne's express agreement.

That's it, the online regulation have been updated in line - please make sure you are familiar with them COVID-19.htm Issue 16.

Dave Kibble
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

Advice to Players from The CA:

  1. Do not go to the club if you are experiencing any symptoms of a cold or flu, in particular a cough or high temperature. Use the NHS helpline and seek advice. For your own protection, follow the advice about self-isolation if you are, or are living with, someone in one of the vulnerable groups.

  2. Familiarise yourself with your club’s rules and respect its risk assessment.
  3. All players should observe social distancing at all times unless they are in the same household or support bubble. Do not shake hands before or after a game, nor congregate indoors in groups of more than six. Particular care should be taken in all doubles, including alternate stroke Association Croquet and in Golf Croquet games.
  4. Maintain strict hygiene standards by washing your hands and wiping down, particularly after touching internal surfaces such as toilets or door handles.
  5. Wear face coverings when indoors, except when eating or drinking.
  6. Use the court booking system if your club provides one.
  7. If possible, dress appropriately prior to travelling to the club, rather than changing there.
  8. Car sharing is now permitted, but is a matter of individual choice.
For further information relating to croquet and COVID, please see the CA news item.

10 May, 2021

me again!

I got the date wrong for our rescheduled Fun Day - it will be on Sunday 25 July (4PM).

Also, Wayne's team reset lawns 1 & 2 to full size (2 yards on each boundary) today - beware that lawn 2 now has the first hoop at the opposite end of the court, and so corner IV is at the far left walking from the clubhouse.


7 May, 2021

Dear Club Member

You will be relieved to know that the toilets are now open for use (and there's no need to tell Derek when you do), but you must follow the strict protocol described in our COVID-Secure rules COVID-19.htm#toilets

We will follow the national guidelines as other facilities, such as restaurants, open up.

Please note that you must not turn up at the club without having booked a place - see below about club afternoons.

We are very grateful to Mike Chan who made a donation to pay for the new gate - he was going to leave a legacy to the club in his will but thought it better to do it now in order that we can collect an extra 25% in Gift Aid from the Government!

The Committee maintains a capital projects inventory that is available online. Management.htm#Management

Remember to update your handicap cards as you play in the club competitions and note that you must have a separate Short Croquet card. This is particularly important if you might play for the club in a SWF league as cards must be presented at matches. You can download and print handicap cards from the CA website - details and links in the handicapping section Play.htm#Handicapping

The Club Website has had a facelift to accommodate the club guide the Committee has put together. It covers the rules, guidance, and etiquette relevant to enjoying life in our Club. It started as a guide for beginners and combined with the writing-down of all the unwritten rules that people might not know they are contravening, and then lots of useful information to boot.

Please make sure you are familiar with the etiquette section and in particular the rules about lawn bookings. ClubGuide.htm

Some have had problems finding how to report results - refer to the Competitions section.

Let me know of anything that should be covered and isn't.

We are now working on role descriptions and want it to be complete so if you do something for the club, however small, please let Linda know what you do so she can include it.   Note that you must lock the gate when you leave if no one else is present - even if someone is booked in soon. If you've had trouble with the gate, do take a look at the security section.

Club Afternoons: You may only turn up if you have a confirmed place booked with the organiser and the organiser has told you which lawn to play on and who you are playing first. Players must phone the organiser by 6pm two days before the session (i.e. for Wednesday afternoon play, phone by 6pm Monday). The organisers will allocate places by giving priority to those who will not otherwise play, then first-come first-served each week COVID-19.htm#ClubAfternoons

Ann Fraser has been running Sunday afternoon AC sessions, and Pam Jenkins and Marylyn Phillips will organise GC Club afternoons on Saturdays from 15 May.

Monday GC club afternoons: Vicky Stocks
Wednesday AC club afternoons: Gill Hathaway
Saturday GC club afternoons: Marylyn Phillis & Pam Jenkins
Sunday AC club afternoons: Ann Fraser

Thursday evening club sessions should have started but need an organiser to manage the registration of places - please get in touch with any committee member if you think you might be able to do this.

We are looking for a member with knowledge of contract law to help us avoid mistakes (e.g. when we renew our lawn maintenance contract next year) - please get in touch with Chris Frew if you are willing and able to help. We have recently reviewed our trustees' liabilities given our CASC status.

Our team lost the delayed national Inter-Club final a resounding 7-1 to holders Surbiton, but the result doesn't tell the whole story CA Website

We want to organise some AC B-League friendlies against nearby clubs and so 16-24 handicaps are needed - give Ann Fraser a call if you might consider playing.

Entries into club competitions are down and we'd like to understand why - are you simply taking care during the pandemic or has the switch online left you behind - please let any committee member know your thoughts, or email Peter.

We have cancelled the June Fun Day because of the current restrictions, but we hope to hold it on July 24. see later note

Many of you will have known former member Lesley Reed but may not know she recently passed away. Our thoughts are with her family.

Finally, croquet has been in the news:

Daily Mail
westburyontrymmethodistchurch.org.uk page 8

Enjoy your Croquet!
Dave Kibble

21 March, 2021

Dear Club Member

We had a record AGM attendance last Saturday so most of you already know that we will open for play on March 31 (Boris willing). You'll find the club looking spick and span, and resplendent with new gates and security fencing.

Please check out the COVID-Secure rules where there's a new illustration of the 2m rule (using our club's two best-looking members) and details of club afternoons.

AC Club Afternoons: Wednesday 2-5pm (from 31st March) - book with Gill Hathaway, you can't just turn up.

GC Club Afternoons: Monday 2-5pm (from 5th April) - book with Vicky Stocks, you can't just turn up.

The Committee has authorised GC sessions on Saturday afternoons and AC on Sundays so volunteers to organise them are needed.

The club competitions are open for entry (via online forms) and the online-diary booking system (DBS) is now open for use - remember that you can't go to the club without booking a court first. Please contact Ray if you have any problems accessing the DBS or competitions.

See the website Members' page for links

The "Winter Rules" no longer apply (they run until the AGM).

If you drive to the club and park inside the grounds, please don't reverse out, either reverse in or turn around at the top of the drive (and don't block the turning space in front of the garage) - follow the Highway Code: [201] Do not reverse from a side road into a main road. When using a driveway, reverse in and drive out if you can.

Fancy becoming a Cub-Level coach? It's not difficult if you like people - it's all about wanting to help others to play better croquet, you do not need to be a brilliant player yourself. Please get in touch with Roger Mills (Federation Coaching Officer) who is planning basic training to start soon on Zoom.

There are new Laws for Association Croquet, and an explanatory Zoom session organised by the SWF happening on Wednesday evening. For a summary of the changes, or to read the Laws, go to the CA website

If you have an old mallet, the club would welcome it to help beginners learn the game - please donate it to Wayne.

As we can't pin minutes on the noticeboard at the moment, you can ask to be emailed copies of meetings minutes - please contact Chris Frew.

These newsletters are now archived and available on the club website.

Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility, but we seek to appoint a Safeguarding Officer, who need not be a member of the club, as an administrator of the system and point of contact - please have a look at the role and consider volunteering yourself or a family member if appropriate https://www.croquet.org.uk/?p=ca/schemes/safeguarding/roles#LSORole

At the AGM, Derek Stanley, David Enticknap and Vicky Stocks stood down from the Committee, and Neil Purchase, Ann Fraser and Peter Kirby were elected to fill the vacancies. I thank those retiring for their hard work over their period of service, and welcome the others.

I'm delighted to say: Enjoy your Croquet!
Dave Kibble
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

22 February, 2021

Soon we'll be able to return to enjoying our sport in a socially-distanced manner, of course - I imagine most club members will by now have had their first, if not second, vaccine dose. When I think about how fast scientists and administrators were able to provide a safe and tested vaccine, and then the NHS and volunteers getting it into so many arms so quickly and in such a well-organised fashion, It feels like I'm living in a science fiction novel.

To create extra parking, the Cyprus tree stump has been ground down, leaving a very large pile of chippings. Club members are welcome to take what they want - pop along with a few bags and a shovel. We took a large load and spread it under our trees - a great mulch and the fragrance is divine.

The Committee has been thinking about how to improve club afternoons, particularly the now much-less-popular AC afternoon. Your thoughts are welcome.

The club AGM will take place in just over a couple of weeks and we'd like to see as many of you attend as possible. Please visit the Zoom website if you need guidance. It would be nice to start promptly, so please please join a few minutes before the start to make sure everything is working correctly.

Whilst Zoom is a subscription product, you do not need to pay them anything to join a meeting. You'll find it easier if you download the software onto your machine in advance of the meeting.

Take a look at their help videos: support.zoom.us/hc/en-us

News from elsewhere: the WCF has launched a new website, and with it a library of videos of top-class play to whet your appetite and inspire you to greatness youtube.com/channel/UCeyP1BjtSwyDF3A5n142ff - you'll spot club members in many of them.

The AGM can be joined by following this link {zoom link removed}

There are new Laws for Association Croquet, which can be seen on the CA website croquet.org.uk/?p=games/association/laws and there's an online (Zoom) training session available too croquet.org.uk/Calendar/4062 - referees will receive a copy of the new Laws book as soon as it is printed later this week.

That's all for now folks - stay safe and unmuted...

Dave Kibble
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

24 January, 2021

Dear Club Member

I interrupt your busy life to bring you news from the Croquet Club. I bought a new mallet days before the latest lockdown and remain itching to give it a tryout. Enough about me though, I promised news about the club... read on Macduff...

The Committee has decided to bring an end to the winter competitions since we won't get back on the lawns until it is near time to start the programme for this year. Winners will not be declared and trophies will not be presented - sorry if that disappoints, it's been a weird year.

The South West Federation runs a High-Handicap Golf Croquet competition, which is a great opportunity for those learning the game to get some competitive experience so please let me know if you'd like to play in it. If there are enough of you then we'll enter a team and find a team manager.

We won't be holding an Open Day this year as we have a waiting list from last year and most members have already paid or have indicated they will renew. We are such a healthy club and remain amongst those with the highest ratio of members-to-lawns in the country.

For obvious reasons, we won't be having a season-start fun-day, but the lawns will be ready for use on schedule and only pandemic precautions will stop us playing.

The AGM will take place by Zoom on 13 March at 10.30 - the call for nominations will be with you soon. Three Committee members retire, so please think about standing for election. We would particularly like to see more women on the Committee, and people who have only recently joined the club will have useful contributions to make about improving how we integrate people into the club. Those who have been on the Committee before only get one year off before they can stand again - arm-twisting might be necessary and we know who you are! As a Committee newbie last year myself, I have to say that I have been impressed with my Committee colleagues - they really get on with stuff - it's not just a talking shop. We have been meeting by Zoom.

If you are not familiar with Zoom, stand by and we'll help you get familiar.

Members should advise the Secretary in writing before the end of January of any business to be moved at the AGM.

Last plea to those who took club mallets from the clubhouse last year: please let Wayne Wiseman know you have one, there are still seven unaccounted for.

Finally, Bristol beware vaccine-related scams such as a text message purporting to be from the NHS or a GP asking for payment to provide the vaccine. There is no charge for the real thing - I can't wait!

Dave Kibble
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

5 January, 2021

Bristol Croquet Club is Closed

Dear Club Member

Following the government's announcement last night, we are advised by our governing body, The Croquet Association, that croquet clubs must close until the lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Therefore, Bristol Croquet Club is now closed and you should not attend to play.


Happy New Year all - let's hope the vaccine helps to make it just that!

Dave Kibble
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

30 November, 2020

Dear Club Member

The really good news is that we can resume play at the club this week - bookings are open for play from 2pm on Wednesday. However, we are not back to where we were and we will have to tighten up a bit. Thanks in advance to the team preparing the courts and for keeping the lines painted through lockdown.

With effective vaccination just around the corner, we just have to follow the rules for a few more months to stay safe.

Linda Shaw has been appointed our Membership Secretary after three very strong candidates stepped forward, for which I thank them. She's hit the ground running and you will already have had your membership renewal invitation! Margo and Bob made sure of a very smooth hand-over for which we are all grateful.

I was very impressed with the capabilities and willingness of all three volunteers. Their enthusiasm and skills have encouraged me to stop wallowing in COVID-19 problems and to kick-off the club-improvement programme the Committee backed in March just before lockdown. This will allow us to be more in touch with our members and to develop the club as the members want it to be. If helping the club on his improvement journey whets your appetite, please get in touch with me - we need a wide range of members to take part, though there will be open surveys in due course.


Bristol has a very high infection level. COVID-19 is real and we're in tier 3 for a reason - please don't wreck it for everyone else: just follow the rules - remember that if you can hit someone with your mallet they are standing too close (and maybe you should!).

The COVID-secure rules page has been updated to include club afternoons amongst other things, please make sure you are familiar with it. Enter the clubhouse only to use the toilet and then only in an emergency: you must now wear a mask indoors and please don't forget to report it to Derek for track and trace. Allow at least 5 minutes if someone went before you and follow the clear hygiene process. bristolcroquet.org/COVID-19.htm

The "club afternoons" will take place as follows but under stricter rules. Our key concern is people turning up and mingling before starting play, this being quite distinct from two people who have organised to play each other on a particular booked court. Please read the COVID-secure page and do not turn up without knowing which lawn you are playing on

- Vicky Stocks is organising COVID-secure GC sessions on Monday afternoons;

- We have a slot for a GC session on Saturday afternoons, but no one to organise it until we are at least out of tier 3 (any volunteers?);

- Starting 9th December, Jill Hathaway will organise Wednesday AC "Club Afternoons" commencing at 1.00 pm. Those members who want to be included should email or ring Jill beforehand by 7.00 pm on the previous evening. Remember numbers will be limited.

Thanks to the Vicky and Jill for organising these and I'm sure we all look forward to being able to just roll-up as before.


Winter Rules still apply bristolcroquet.org/WinterRules.htm


There have been a few additions to the club's coaching page, including Stephen Custance-Baker's Jump Shots 'Playing to the Rules' session, and a link to AC World Champion Paddy Chapman's excellent new coaching website: bristolcroquet.org/Coaching.htm


Roger Mills has been appointed Federation Coaching Officer, succeeding Richard Jackson who retired on health grounds after several years in post - both are Bristol members. We wish Richard a rapid return to good health and welcome Roger with best wishes and support.

The SWF's monthly Zoom meeting is on Coaching. All players are welcome at the 1-hour discussion on December 8th at 1900 {zoom link removed}


Whether you are playing AC or GC, if you are on the court at the same time as your opponent or partner and near the same hoop, take care to think about your distance from others - it's very easy to be too absorbed in the game - after all, that's why we play it!


Enjoy your Croquet
Dave Kibble
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

12 November, 2020

Dear Club Member

The club remains shut through government restrictions and I'm sure we are all gazing out on these sunny days and wishing... Still, I'm sure you are all getting plenty of exercise, and this week's news showing a vaccine is indeed possible is very heartening.

Whilst we've decided that no club trophies will be presented for competition wins this year, I'm very pleased to announce the Most Improved Player this year is Brian Bassett, who has improved both his GC and AC capabilities. Well done Brian, and hard luck to those snapping very closely at his heels. The trophy will be engraved, but there will be no presentation whilst COVID-19 remains a threat.

Margo Soakell has served as Membership Secretary for nigh-on six years, as Secretary for six years and further years as an Ordinary Committee member. Thanks go to her for all she's done for the club as she stands down. We are looking to co-opt a Membership Secretary to take over with immediate effect and I invite you to contact Chris Frew if you have an arm that could be twisted.

Richard and Pat Jackson have organised the coaching in the club for a couple of years - and this year more than ever! They mobilised the coaches to provide individualised introductions for 12 new members, as well as a programme for all club members. Thanks to them (and of course the coaches). Richard and Pat are standing down now and Bob Whiffen will coordinate AC Coaching and David Enticknap GC.

We want more coaches in the club, and especially for GC - if you'd like to join the coaching team, please get in touch with David or Bob who will be pleased to explain the qualification process.

The South West Federation of Croquet Clubs (SWF) is holding its AGM online on Sunday at 10am and all are welcome, but you need to register by Friday evening to get a link. Club members won't be able to vote (clubs get two votes each), but you'll hear about what's happening in the region and have a chance to ask questions. To get an invitation and details of how to join, mail the SWF Secretary (our very own Linda Shaw) at lindawithani@hotmail.com

There remain six club mallets unaccounted for - please get in touch with Wayne if you have one he doesn't already know about.

Have a great Diwali - stick some candles in your window - and I hope to see you at the club soon.

Dave Kibble
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

3 November, 2020

Bristol Croquet Club will Close on Wednesday

As per the government's announcement, the club will be closed and no play permitted from Wednesday evening until at least December 2nd.

I remain hopeful that the government will allow our naturally socially-distanced sport to continue for the exercise and mental health benefits it gives but I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently our club is closed.

If we get a go-ahead, I am sure there will be strengthened COVID-Secure rules to take into account and I will let you know promptly when play can commence.

with much sadness

PS. my last email was understood by some to be critical of GC players, for which I apologise - such was certainly not my intent.

1 November, 2020

Dear Club Member

You will be aware that cases of COVID-19 in Bristol increased by almost 50% in the last week, putting Bristol onto the "top 30" English local authorities (in a bad way). Yet I still see people at the club not following the simple guideline to keep 2m apart at all times. If someone is in your way, ask them to move, don't go close - THINK.

Take special care when moving to or from a lawn and of course whilst in play, especially in GC where everyone is gathered around the same hoop. There's not much space in front of the clubhouse so don't gather there for a chat as it obstructs others from arriving or leaving. bristolcroquet.org/COVID-19.htm

We do not yet know if we will be allowed to continue playing croquet through the lockdown starting on Thursday through to December: I am hopeful, and will let you know as soon as it is certain. Lawn 1 might not be brought into use tomorrow due to weather conditions, and if so bookings for Tuesday onwards will be cancelled - we will let you know direct.

Our booking system is working well and a number of people have commented on what a welcome thing is it - well done Ray!

However, a number of people are not turning up for sessions they have booked and others are exceeding the one-hour practice booking allowed. Please cancel as soon as you can any booking you know you won't use.

One more request: if you book a one-hour slot, please don't do it in the middle of a morning or afternoon as that prevents anyone else booking a full game for two or three hours.

The Winter Rules seem to be working OK. After a number of comments initially, we changed them and have received no feedback since - please keep us informed about what you think. bristolcroquet.org/WinterRules.htm

Several of you attended Stephen Custance-Baker's Golf Croquet "Play to the Rules" online coaching sessions on Wednesday evenings and I urge all GC players to review the video recordings of these presentations. I've put links to those available in the coaching section of our website and will add others when they are available too. bristolcroquet.org/Coaching.htm

The next session goes out at 7pm on Wednesday via Zoom, when Stephen will be taking us through Faults {zoom link removed}

Finally, please find attached the latest SWF newsletter, Cygnet.

Enjoy your Croquet
Dave Kibble
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

26 October, 2020

Revised Winter Rules

The greatest plans do not survive meeting the battlefield, and so it proved with our Winter Rules.

Thank you to all who corresponded with questions, suggestions for improvement, and for inspiring us to make a video to help make things clear.

First, I apologise to new players for using terms that made no sense and I have now explained them on the web page - I'm glad you were not afraid to ask!

We have revised the rules sufficient to make it worthwhile that you read them again in full bristolcroquet.org/WinterRules.htm

As before, please get in touch if you don't understand anything or have suggestions to improve the rules.

Remember to use control-R to make sure you are looking at the latest web page, which is headed "V2 Revised 26 October 2020" refreshyourcache.com/en/home/

The main changes are:

- for AC: jawsed balls need not be moved - it changes the tactical balance too much and jawsed balls are seldom hit further than a yard or two so present minimal risk.

- when you move a ball from the jaws, push it with a flat mallet to avoid any downward pressure on the ball.

- don't play a hard-hit hoop stroke if the hoop is near-certain - agree with your opponent and play from alongside the hoop and in the direction of the hoop-run.

- winter-rules games are not recorded on your handicap card.

Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

23 October, 2020

Bristol Croquet Club Winter Rules

Greetings fellow members

The lawns are now open for winter play and we have extended our winter rules, linked from the Members' section on the website bristolcroquet.org/WinterRules.htm to include:

- Do not play jump shots.

- A ball that stops anywhere in the jaws must be moved immediately as described

If you see anyone not following the winter rules, please exercise your duty as a club member to remind them.

When we removed the hoops for maintenance, it was incredible to see the deep rabbit runs on lawns 1 & 2, but none on 3a/3b. It's pretty obvious that jawsing balls and then playing from that awkward position, a frequent tactic in GC, is the most likely cause.

Having decided to ban jump shots while the lawns are soft and damp, the solution to stop playing from the jaws we hope will redress the tactical balance, as well as protecting the jaws area.

We'd be interested in your feedback on how these rules play out in your games.


5 October, 2020

Dear Club Member

Thanks everyone for helping to make our club COVID-secure - remember to keep your distance (an outstretched arm plus mallet) - bristolcroquet.org/COVID-19.htm

Coaching is kicking off with vigour - Pat and Richard have organised a great many sessions for our coaches to deliver, which are eagerly awaited and with hope of fine weather!


Top Golf Croquet coach, Stephen Custance-Baker, will present a series of short online sessions to help ordinary GC players play to the Rules - I encourage every Bristol Croquet Club member to attend. The sessions will be recorded and available as a permanent resource but there's nothing like being there live and being able to ask questions if needed.

They'll run weekly for six weeks starting on Wednesday Oct 14 at 7pm.

This is under the auspices of the South West Federation using Zoom:

{zoom link removed}

If you've not used Zoom before, don't worry it's really easy: just follow the link but allow a little time to get set up before the meeting starts.

The SWF account has a limit of 100 people so make sure you check-into the meeting early to grab a place!

There will be an intro by Paul Francis at 7pm, 20-25 mins of presentation by Stephen (including photos and film clips), followed by questions.

The first session will cover:

- understanding when a fault is likely to occur
- how and when to call for a referee
- how to mark the position of a ball

The week after will look at the wrong-ball rule.


Calling all (roughly) able-bodied members: Your club needs YOU!

From time-to-time, Wayne organises the moving of hoops on a lawn (or sometimes other very specific, time-limited tasks). Mostly, he gets an ad hoc team for an hour or so to come together in a well-managed, COVID-secure way. Some volunteers can't kneel, some can't hammer, but all can follow Wayne's simple instructions and get satisfaction from helping out.

Please let Wayne know if he may include you in each of his "call for volunteers" (email address in copy).

This latest call is: "The plan is to re-install hoops on Lawn 2 and 3 on Weds 21 and Thurs 22 Oct in new, winter positions, which will take a bit longer than usual. White lines will also need to be redrawn, possibly in different positions to now to avoid damaged areas."

If you are able to assist in any or all of the slots below, please let Wayne know. Weds 21/10 @1000-1300 Weds 21/10 @1400-1700 Thurs 22/10 @1000-1300 Thurs 22/10 @1400-1700

Enjoy your Croquet
Dave Kibble
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

23 September, 2020

To all Bristol Croquet Club members: Maintain Social Distancing.

You must at all times be more than 2 metres away from anyone outside your household. If you don't understand or think it does not apply to you, do not visit the club until we have spoken.

Besides the health risk, your failure could shut-down the club. No one will be able to play croquet until the pandemic is over. You don't know who is watching or taking pictures.

I ask every club member who sees someone not following the rules to remind them - repeatedly. If the club is shut down and you could have said something but didn't, you will feel very guilty. Please tell me if anyone is unreceptive.

If someone speaks to you about your failure, accept their comments with grace and thanks - they are helping you to avoid being responsible for shutting us down.

It's very clear, it's very simple - just do it, always.


Dave Kibble
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

21 September, 2020

Congratulations to our Inter-Club team who won a tight match at Nottingham to reach the national final where they will play Surbiton once again - the fourth time the two clubs have met in the final this decade. Bristol has won the trophy three times this century.

Please find attached the South West Federation newsletter, Cygnet

Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

13 September, 2020

Dear Member

Please KEEP YOUR DISTANCE - you must remain 2m away from others - that's a mallet in an outstretched hand - if you can hit someone with your mallet, do so - they are standing too close!

Our COVID-secure rules remain in place - you can only enter the clubhouse to use the toilet if you have to and make sure you report the time and date of your entry to DerekStanleyUK@gmail.com for our track-and-trace system. This is now a mandatory government requirement - please be sure to do it.

There is no change to our procedures as a result of the new government rules coming into force tomorrow. However, there is an emphasis on no more than 6 people being in a group and keeping your distance - take special care when moving to or from a lawn and of course whilst in play, especially in GC where everyone is around the same hoop.

There's not much space in front of the clubhouse so don't gather there for a chat as it obstructs others from arriving or leaving.


Thanks Ray for supplying and maintaining the technology to enter and manage our competitions and for coaching registration.


The informal competitions have drawn to a close and we've embarked on a set of formal competitions that are out of the starting gate at high speed - it's great to see so many people enjoying playing competitively.

Several of us watched the very high-quality and finely-balanced best-of-three final of the "informal" handicap GC between Brian and Dominic - at the 13th hoop in the third game, Brian took good position first and triumphed with that ball.

Ed Morris won the 14+ handicap competition with Annie Frew as runner-up.

Peter Kirby sealed his victory with 127 B-level Egyptian points despite his handicap reducing during the season from 12 to 8, then again from 8 to 6. The runner-up was Mike Salisbury on 115 - just pipping Erica Malaiperuman who made a late charge to 113.

Linda Shaw scored 111 to win the handicap One-Ball Egyptian, just ahead of David Enticknap on 110 and Mike Chan on 109.

Mike Salisbury will play Brian Bassett in the C-level final on the 16th, whilst Ed Morris beat Anthony Rackham in a close Plate final.

One of the reasons to start the formal competitions was to make sure handicapping does not get left behind as people improve. We've appointed a chair of each handicapping Committee to keep things organised and to inform the main Committee. bristolcroquet.org/Management.htm#Handicappers

Note that the time-limit for the One-Ball has reduced to 50-minutes so it fits into a 1-hour booking slot.

When you play a match, set your time limit to allow for the 10 minutes you might need if the scores are level at time. You must not continue to play if someone who has the court booked is waiting.

Stephen Royal continues to do the amazing feat of organising dates for all us competitive GC players to get our block games played, so you will see in the diary many blocks in his name - these are replaced with the four names of people playing on the court to facilitate the track-and-trace.


GC pseudo-club-afternoons have extended to include Saturday afternoon (I say pseudo because you must pre-book and cannot just turn up). Register with Vicky Stocks if you want to join in. There's a limit of eight who can play on the two lawns reserved due to our COVID-Secure rules and priority is given to those who don't otherwise play.

No one has asked for an AC club-afternoon but it's easy to organise one if there is a demand - just let me know if you want it.


Now it's April 1st, SWAN (the SW Federation Area Newsletter, mother of Cygnet) is available. It was ready for distribution just as the pandemic hit and obviously contains much that has been cancelled - but it's still a good read. This is the last one that will be published on paper, so it could become a collector's item! Just help yourself to one from the box in the equipment shed.


We received a substantial government grant in May to help us through COVID. With our losses resulting from COVID-19 then projected to be just over £3,000, we thought that the rest would be given back to members to offset the loss of amenity.

For those members who will not be playing at all this season, or who abandoned an attempt to play because they felt unsafe, we offer a very substantial discount off next year's subscription. There are probably fifteen such members, so if you qualify for this discount please register with out Treasurer (Bob Whiffen) before the end of September so that the Committee can consider how to use the remainder of the grant.

Vulnerable members who would like to play but cannot with so many people around, please contact DerekStanleyUK@gmail.com and, if needed, we will arrange a weekly session where only those people will be allowed at the club and will be able to enjoy a single-banked game.


Beginners coaching has now concluded with 12 deciding to join the club - welcome to them. We have another 7 on the waiting list for next year. This has been a strong factor in improving the club's financial outlook, so thanks again to the coaches.

The coaches announced a new programme with online sign-up that is looking very popular - so don't miss out. Details can be found via the new coaching page on our website bristolcroquet.org/Coaching.htm


When we re-opened, I asked anyone without a mallet to take one from the clubhouse and to use it as their own, I omitted to ask you to inform the club's equipment manager. So, please tell wayne.wiseman@tiscali.co.uk if you are holding a club mallet that he did not issue to you.

If you don't want to take your mallet home, you may store it in the equipment hut with the balls - make sure your name is on it. Any mallet left in the clubhouse or unlabelled in the store will be adopted as a club mallet.


The club is actively looking for a sponsor - a local or national organisation interested in promoting their business at the club. If you have a contact, or want to help out with following-up leads, please get in touch with DerekStanleyUK@gmail.com who is responsible for sponsorship.


We have now cancelled the 10-11 Oct John McCullough Challenge Trophy and made the lawns available for members to book.

The winter activities (Table Tennis, Bridge, Scrabble, etc.) will not take place.

We have also cancelled the club Christmas lunch, a staple of the calendar. I know that many enjoy it and I thank Betty and Alan for organising it as well as Louise and Tony (and others?) for helping out - let's hope we can do it next year.

You will know that the meal raises money for Betty's school charity. She writes: "Things in Nigeria are pretty bad: people are starving and with the pandemic, it's even worse. The price of food has gone up, and markets are only open once a week. Like us, the school is about to go back, and that is bound to make things worse for many. Whatever donations we make, they appreciate."

Please think about making a small donation by bank transfer to Lloyds Bank, Yate, Sort code: 30-84-20, Account: 22282160, Account name: Egbogidi Village School Nigeria, or send a cheque to Betty payable to Egbogidi Village School.


All the time I can remember being at the club, Jill Hathaway was at the club's prize-giving ceremony calmly telling the Chair who to present which trophy to and for what. As a winner of some, she reminded me to return it engraved, cleaned and on time. After 20 years she has passed the baton back to the Secretary - so thank you Jill for doing such a good job for so long.

Thanks also to those who help to maintain the grounds and equipment, set the hoops, mark the white lines, and do the many other things that make it easy for me just to turn up and play.


And finally: the club website has had a few updates (note that to see recent changes you might need to refresh your local copy with shift-F5):

- Coaching resources bristolcroquet.org/Coaching.htm
- Download a handicap card
- What happens with the toss in a best-of-three bristolcroquet.org/Etiquette.htm
- Club Handicappers bristolcroquet.org/Management.htm#Handicappers

Enjoy your Croquet
Dave Kibble
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

19 August, 2020

Dear Bristol Croquet Club Member

As you read from Ray earlier, club competitions are being set up to start this weekend so your very prompt entry is needed - details: {link removed}

Some details have changed since Ray's note (mainly time limits). Enter online as directed, or contact Ray if you can't. As this is an extraordinary year, if playing in deepest-darkest winter seems unappealing, feel free to enter and then withdraw from the competition if you need to by letting the organiser know.

Our COVID-secure rules remain in place - remember to keep your distance and that you can only enter the clubhouse to use the toilet. bristolcroquet.org/COVID-19.htm Make sure you report the time and date of your entry to the clubhouse to DerekStanleyUK@gmail.com for our track-and-trace system.

Always put the balls back into the bucket when you finish a game to ensure their cleanliness, do not offer to leave them out for the next players - you wouldn't offer to leave them a used teacup, I hope!


The beginners' coaches have been very busy and diligent in bringing on a dozen or so through to full club membership: welcome to our new fellow members, and thank you to the coaches who have operated in difficult circumstances this year.

The coaching group would like to pair each new member with a "buddy" who started in the last year or two to help introduce them to club life - something that's much more difficult in these pandemic times. You know how much you appreciated the help you got, so please volunteer to Richard and Pat richard.jackson@yahoo.co.uk patjackson273@gmail.com

The coaches are also well on the way to completing a refresher course for last year's beginners and will be offering an Improvers' course to members with handicaps of 20 and above, comprising three 2-hour sessions, which will be arranged for pairs of members wishing to take part. Please contact patjackson273@gmail.com if you would like to join in.

For all club members, the coaches offer coaching in pairs on topics of their choice, e.g. improving control of the four-ball break, cannons, etc. Please contact richard.jackson@yahoo.co.uk or one of the other coaches bristolcroquet.org/Management.htm#Coaching

This year's new joiners include Ray and Frances' daughter and son-in-law, Richard & Pat's grandson, Eric's neighbour, and friends of long-standing members - this demonstrates that the richest seam for new members is your contacts - so never miss a chance to evangelise and enthuse about your love of our sport!


Our only team competing in national events is the Inter-Club Championship, where Ed Duckworth, Richard Smith, and Robert Wilkinson won a high-quality match 5-2 at High Wycombe - well done to them, and especially Richard who achieved a career-first by winning on the sixth turn in both his games with a perfect score of 26TP. For those who have difficulty appreciating that: In both games, with the fourth ball played onto the lawn, Richard hit and made a break to 4-back with a leave that the opponent missed on the fifth turn, and then Richard completed a break on the sixth turn with 12 hoops, three peels and a peg-out. Croquet doesn't come much better.

The squad now play away against Nottingham, where they will meet a very strong team, which could include two world champions.

Although the National and SWF Short Croquet competitions did not go ahead, Kington Langley hosted Bristol in a "friendly" - run on the format of the national one, and Bristol won 8-7 in a great day's croquet. This could be the only match played anywhere in the SWF this year!


Some members have reported difficulties in double banking AC and GC so please make clear on your court bookings which code you will play to inform prospective double-bankers.


I was asked to ensure that the courts are marked to indicate the half-way points for GC. This has proved impracticable because the hoops and peg are moved periodically. Post-pandemic we will think of having stakes in the ground (white-painted big bisques).


The Committee is aware that some of our members have been affected more than others by the pandemic. Anyone who has suffered particular financial hardship as a result of the pandemic will be considered for a discretionary 'distress refund' - please contact me or Chris if you are in need.

Finally, I've been busy behind the scenes of the CA website and have recently added a GC Rules quiz to complement the longstanding AC Laws quiz (thanks to Tim King for providing the questions) - have fun with them, it's a great way to improve your knowledge of the game:

croquet.org.uk/?p=games/golf/rules/RulesQuiz croquet.org.uk/?p=games/association/laws/LawsQnA

Enjoy your Croquet
Dave Kibble
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

4 August, 2020

William Ormerod has died

Dear Bristol Croquet Club Member

I'm saddened to be the bearer of this news to those who have not yet heard. Anyone who knew him will tell you of a warm, entertaining and genuinely friendly man who just made you feel good being with him.

He was a longstanding member of our club in its early days, I hesitate to say a founder member, even though William was born at about 50 years of age. It's likely that Ormerod Road near the club is named after his family. Our club history reports his father being very instrumental in our survival bristolcroquet.org/History.htm - his mother and father have each been club presidents.

You can read of his croquet-playing exploits and international influence on the CA website croquet.org.uk/?p=press/news&NewsID=7063

I'm sure there will be an obituary in the next Croquet Gazette, but those of you who have a personal anecdote to share are encouraged to send it in time for the next SW Federation newsletter.

A unique, great, yet humble man, who will be very much missed.


28 July, 2020

Bristol Croquet Club: toilets now available!

It is with much relief that I can tell you that the toilets are now available for use subject to a very strict protocol that you must follow. This is described in detail on the COVID-secure croquet web page bristolcroquet.org/COVID-19.htm and notices in the clubhouse will guide you through the steps. Make sure you report the time and date of your entry to the clubhouse to DerekStanleyUK@gmail.com

If we think there is a local disease spike we may close them immediately.

Do not enter the clubhouse other than to use the toilet and then only if there is no mallet on the top step, which indicates someone else is in there - only one person at a time and a two-minute gap.

The cleaner now does a thorough clean twice a week, but you are expected to help maintain a very high standard of cleanliness as described.

Using the toilet carries a much higher risk than playing croquet so you are advised not to.

Double-banked singles and single-banked doubles is now permitted for both GC and AC. No more than 4 people can be allocated to a lawn at any one time. Single-banked singles is permitted from 5pm for those who feel too vulnerable for double banking - book both primary and secondary slots. Take care to remain 2m apart throughout your game.

You may now book courts for as long as you need them, up to 3 hours maximum (1 hour for practice).

If you book a lawn first and find an opponent second, please cancel with two clear days if you don't find one - otherwise you're being an antisocial hog!

Remember social distancing is in force at all times: 2m apart when outside, and if two are sharing a hut (advised against), the doors must be fully open and both facing the opening and no closer than 1m apart.

Don't be afraid to pull someone up if they get too close to you or someone else: 2m separation means you should not be able to touch anyone with your mallet on an outstretched arm. If you can hit someone with your mallet, they are too close!

Take special care in the lawn change-over period when lots of people are passing in front of the clubhouse.

You may now handle the balls, but touch only your ball - replace with your feet an opponent's ball that left the court.

After a game, always return the balls to the bucket (which should be beside the court), do not offer to leave the balls out for the next game on.

GC clips must not be used (see the FAQ section for why).

AC clips may be used, but you must bring your own and handle only your clips.

Remember that in inclement weather, you can shelter in your car, or bring a golf umbrella.

Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

24 July, 2020

Please find attached the latest South West Federation newsletter, Cygnet. Previous versions are available on the SWF website swfcroquet.org.uk/cygnet-newsletters/


Track and Trace - really important

Ray has been busy and has extended the online Diary Booking System to allow spectators and guests to be recorded so there is now no need to contact Derek when you pop into the club to watch, just add your name online.

booking system

As usual, I'd be very happy to receive your views about the present arrangements and if you'd like changes or have ideas.

Have a great weekend.

Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

21 July, 2020

Dear fellow club member

Almost all members have now started playing croquet this year, which is great to see, and there's an initiative to get a few more out to play:

We will have an 8-person GC "club afternoon" on two lawns each Wednesday afternoon from 2pm to 4pm organised by Stephen Royal and Vicky Stocks. Normally, those interested should let Vicky know by 6pm on the Monday before each Wednesday but there may be a place or two still up for grabs this week if you are quick off the mark - normally priority will be given to those who have not otherwise played croquet since lockdown, then first-come first-served each week.

We can't have more than 8 at the moment, 4 per lawn, and social-distancing must still be strictly observed along with our club rules relating to being COVID-secure.

The "informal" competitions are coming to an end and have proved very popular - so well-done and thank-you to those who stepped up and organised them. The Committee will follow-on by licencing a series of competitions (details to come) that will all be competitive events and recorded on your handicap cards. Thanks also to Ray who has not only masterminded the lawn booking system but has made every competition recorded online, which gives us a really good platform for future events - including the possibility of ongoing ladder competitions. The pandemic really has helped to move the club into the 21st century. We know some struggle to keep up - just ask for help if you need it.

A dozen or so prospective members are being taught to play by our coaches, some of whom have already paid-up for full membership!

It is very important for conforming to the government track-and-trace rules that EVERY player at the club is recorded in the online booking system, and all guests, spectators and people trying out are registered with Dr Derek Stanley, who should be contacted by anyone who finds they have COVID-19 symptoms and he will confidentially inform anyone affected. gov.uk/guidance/maintaining-records-of-staff-customers-and-visitors-to-support-nhs-test-and-trace

For security and certainty, use your first name and surname initial (unless you are the only Pat, Sam, or Terry).

Where club afternoons or GC block bookings have been made, make sure that the name of every player is substituted for the block booking within 24 hours of play (and ideally before). This is YOUR responsibility if you play - if you don't know how or have problems, contact Ray. If you cancel due to bad weather and then re-book, make sure you update the diary. Failure to do this puts us at risk of being shut down.

The club's coaches stand ready to work with any member who wants to improve or refresh their knowledge of the game - if you want to take advantage of their free service please get in touch with lead coaches Pat and Richard Jackson who are keen to help you and will put you in touch with an appropriate coach.

There's no change to our COVID-secure policy at the moment, but I would like to stress that double-banking of AC singles is now the norm and single-banked bookings are only permitted from 5 pm. Please make sure you are familiar with the rules bristolcroquet.org/COVID-19.htm

The Committee met by Zoom last week and found it difficult at times because of slow Internet speed, probably due to the success of NetFlix - apparently, our summer meetings are in the evenings because of how busy the clubhouse is during the day! It takes time to adjust to circumstances.

We have withdrawn from all CA competitions (Mary Rose and Longman Cup), except the Inter-Club, where we will play a quarter-final at High Wycombe on Saturday 25th July, our team being Richard Smith, Robert Wilkinson and Ed Duckworth.

The South West Federation has cancelled all competitions for this year, though clubs are of course free to organise "friendlies".

We have cancelled or postponed the Open CA tournaments we were due to host, except the Barbara Evans B-level weekend (15/16 Aug), and the High-Handicap in September, about which we will decide soon. Likewise, the Fun Day and American Supper will not take place in August as planned, but we hope something similar may be possible nearer the end of the season.

There's now a list of the Committee and officers on our website bristolcroquet.org/Management.htm#Committee

Last time I asked if anyone would pick up the challenge of being publicity officer - to write-up brief monthly newsworthy items and email them to local publications - not much work but needs doing routinely and will help ensure the survival of the club. Sadly none of the people who rushed forward proved worthy of the role so I thought you might grasp the opportunity and volunteer.

As part of learning as we go, the first aid kit is now in the white-lining (ball) shed and accident reports should be notified to Derek Stanley (thanks Derek) rather than written in the accident book in the clubhouse.

Our club rules say that we post Committee meeting minutes in the clubhouse, which we do, but you are not allowed to go in to look at them (any Hitchhikers' Guide fans out there?). Online copies of minutes may be ordered from the Secretary and must be treated as 'Club confidential' - if you register with Chris, he'll send you a copy after each meeting until you ask him to stop - simples!

Finally, I mustn't forget to thank the people who do so much unnoticed and make sure that when I turn up to play my game, the lawn is perfectly ready - I know about MikeS, Bob and MikeC, but there are there too.

That's all folks - enjoy your croquet!

Bristol Croquet Club Chair

10 July, 2020

Dear Member

Details of our rules for using the club have been revised - please familiarise yourself with them bristolcroquet.org/COVID-19.htm

I'm sorry to say that we still cannot open the clubhouse or toilets.

Double-banking is now allowed for AC singles games, but not for doubles.

All GC games must be single-banked.

You can book a lawn for single-banked AC from 5PM.

When single-banking, make sure you book both slots in the DBS.

Please do not book both slots just because you'd rather not be disturbed - only do so if you feel unsafe or are required to single-bank by the rules.


We now welcome guests and spectators with strictly limited numbers. We are also taking on beginners and allowing public try-outs - contact: Richard and Pat Jackson if you have a friend or neighbour who you can persuade to give it a go!.

Spectators should give seating priority to players and so will need to bring their own chair. Players are advised to bring their own seats to avoid any problems.


IMPORTANT: Please use fir cones, sticks, leaves etc. as bisques/extra stroke markers rather than coins. We've found several coins on bench arms lately and some have fallen into the grass where they could badly damage a mowing machine causing a huge repair cost.


Club Sessions

If you would like us to organise some 2-hour multi-play GC session for which eight people can register and will play 2 or 3 games against different opponents. We do not believe this necessary for AC because of the competitions organised. Please let us know if you think otherwise.


Tip on Marking Balls: place a marker next to the ball and the other side from the peg - then move the ball. Moving and replacing it is easy without touching the ball and you don't need to remember what you marked it against (hint: it was the peg!).

Enjoy your croquet

Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

4 July, 2020

Hi All

Details of our rules for using the club are updated on the website - please familiarise yourself with them bristolcroquet.org/COVID-19.htm


Use of Lawn Shelters

As it is not possible for two people in a shelter to be 2m apart, and touching any surface carries a risk of transferring contamination, using the shelters next to lawns 2, 3a and 3b is advised against, but is now permitted as follows:

- Both doors must be fully open and pinned back

- People inside a shelter must be more than 1m apart and must not face each other (face the entrance)

- Sanitise hands after touching the doors or any surface inside

- The main clubhouse remains closed


Using Clips

You are now permitted to bring your own clips to mark the score, but please avoid touching the hoops with your hands.


Other News

We have a few new members who are experienced players, please welcome them into the fold.

The coaches are planning to run some try-out sessions for potential new members with the full beginners' course to follow. Please get in touch with Richard and Pat Jackson (our lead coaches) if you want to be included in a refresher.

It's now difficult to book a lawn within the coming days so we are considering permitting double-banking on at least one of the full-size courts and permitting doubles (single-banked), Please let me know if you have a view (one way or the other) on these or other topics.


23 June, 2020

Hello, fellow club members!

Please find attached the latest SW Federation newsletter, Cygnet, which is packed full of interesting and fun stuff and is also available online at swfcroquet.org.uk/cygnet-newsletters/

Thanks to our excellent grounds management team, hoop-setters and white-liners, our lawns are in fabulous condition and in good use with the informal competitions keeping people busy - if you've not joined in yet, all levels are catered for - plus Andrew Wise is launching a One-Ball competition so get in touch with him to register for that andrewjwise@aol.com (thanks Andrew)

Quite a few people have commented on how a 14-point game and 2-hour time-limit work well so it might be a permanent fixture when we eventually come out the other side.

bristolcroquet.org/Comps.htm - for details of all the competitions


Thank you for your continuing patience and observance of the COVID rules. I'm sorry to say that the clubhouse and toilets remain off-limits until we are past the risk of a second spike. We are taking a very risk-averse position on protecting our members and workers.

If you are keen to play but there's an obstacle, please get in touch with me or another Committee member - we can only make decisions using the information we have. Please have your say! I think particularly of our members who live further away - is the clubhouse closure preventing you from making a visit you'd otherwise make? If so please get in touch.

If you have particular problems you don't want to shout about, Committee member Derek Stanley is an ex-GP and has agreed to treat member correspondence confidentially - so please get in touch with him by email (or phone). I'm very keen to be inclusive.


Tracing: make sure that your name is in the diary booking system when you play (forename and initial). Please contact Derek if you have visited the club and have symptoms that could be COVID-19 - your name will not be given out, only that "someone with symptoms used the club at the same time". We believe that this affords us an adequate track, trace and alert system. This is in addition to any government tracing scheme.


Croquet has been very much in the news recently as one of the eight sports people can get back to - it is even named in the government rules.

Local news, Points West, gave us a specially-edited version of their end-of-May coverage of Bristol Croquet Club youtube.com/watch?v=qpi_N4dBASA

The CA has been busy promoting "get back to croquet" and it's been picked up by TV, radio and newspapers in many of the regions - take a look at the videos on the CA Facebook page and/or YouTube channel:




And finally, we are keen to appoint someone as Publicity Officer to capitalise on the very responsive media coverage of croquet - have a word with a Committee member if you'd like to help out with that. We are told that "little and often" is the thing to do - just regularly providing a short, interesting, story (and maybe photo) to the newspaper and local publications gets you published.

Enjoy your croquet and stay safe.


31 May, 2020

Thank you for your patience and observance of the COVID rules bristolcroquet.org/COVID-19.htm

From tomorrow, Monday June 1:

- You may park inside the club grounds as was normal. If you are handling the gate and padlock, be aware that they might be contaminated and take appropriate precautions - you could transfer contamination from them to your car or croquet equipment. Washing with soap is effective.

- We are monitoring the usage of courts and members' concerns but single-banking remains on all courts.

- Court 3b (half-size) will be available in addition to 1, 2 and 3a

- Doubles may be played (single-banked) and all players must keep 2m apart at all times (unless they live in the same household).

- The clubhouse remains out of bounds. We are looking at mitigating the risks associated with allowing emergency use of the toilets.

Please remember that you are responsible for your own safety and the safety of others around you - stay aware, stay safe.

Thanks to Stephen Royal, we will have a handicap Golf Croquet (handicap) tournament underway soon - please email him to register your interest and he'll organise something appropriate. Stephen_Royal@hotmail.com


27 May, 2020

Hello Croquet Players!

I attach the latest Cygnet (the South West Croquet Federation newsletter), which is also available at swfcroquet.org.uk/cygnet-newsletters/ - its editor (and Bristol Croquet Club member) Linda Shaw writes: "Things may be quiet on the lawns at the moment but Cygnet is full of interesting items about support for clubs, coaching ideas and news from around the clubs – oh yes, and some amazing puzzles. There is also a separate attachment – an intriguing article by Ivor Brand on decision-making in GC." - Linda also asks for your contributions to the next issue, due out soon - maybe a paragraph on your personal response to croquet in the lockdown?


A great many of us have been making the most of lockdown croquet and the lovely sunshine. The lawns are as good, or better, than I can remember at this time of year. Just a reminder that you can practise alone or play singles but must book and follow the rules bristolcroquet.org/COVID-19.htm - we've recently updated the rules, notably by adding an FAQ section to explain the reasoning behind some of them. Please feel free to ask for clarification or make suggestions.

I have noticed that the same names keep cropping up on the booking sheet, so a number of you are not playing, perhaps for want of an opponent? I am well aware though that some of our members are shielding from the virus and many others only came to the club on club afternoons, which remain some way off I'm afraid.


A couple of our members have taken the initiative and want to organise some "informal" competitive play to give more varied opposition - well done and thanks to them.

If you want to play, please contact the relevant organiser - they will publish the competition details - and I hope to put them on the website with a regular update of results. I think they intend also directly emailing members with the relevant handicaps but you can jump the gun!

B-Level Advanced-play AC (0-8 handicap): Andrew Wise andrewjwise@aol.com

C-Level Advanced-play AC (7-14): Mike Salisbury salisburymike@hotmail.com

Handicap AC (12+): Bob Whiffen bob.whiffen@virgin.net


I want to stress that no one should ever feel pressured into playing if they are avoiding, or think they are carrying, the virus - please keep away.

It would be great if someone volunteered to organise some GC (handicap or level play), or fill in another gap you can see - please contact me if you are willing and able.


The CA's PR machine has gone up a gear - such a shame we can't welcome prospective new players croquet.org.uk/news/6982


Treasurer, Bob Whiffen, writes: "We recently received £10,000 under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Scheme as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. I have estimated that our finances will suffer by around £3,100. If it continues through the winter it will not only affect our income from members rejoining, but also our ability to attract beginners next year.

With the balance, the Committee is considering three options and is taking views from members (this is not a vote):

1. a one-off discount of around £60 to full membership renewals for 2021 (less for country and second-club members), or a refund in advance of 2021 to those who will not renew.

2. fund some long-term lawn improvements that otherwise we would find difficult to afford. For example, levelling the west boundary of court 1, now that the Monterey Cypress has gone or to install a watering system for all three courts.

3. Hang-on to the money, since 2021 is very much unknown territory regarding renewals and the public behaviour situation.

If members have any strong feelings for or against any of the options, please let me or your favourite Committee member know.


News from the World Croquet Federation: "We have created a new section of our website, 'Global Resources' at which the fruits of various new developments can be accessed. In this initial launch we have a Court Booking systems, Swiss Management Software, information on developing a croquet club and an index of YouTube videos. The details can be found at worldcroquet.org/index.php/croquet-information/global-croquet-resources


Some of our club's coaches have been running online sessions for several groups ranging from refreshing last year's beginners to GC and AC tactics - if you didn't sign up initially, let our lead coaches Richard and Pat Jackson know what you would like to do.

If you are interested in improving your performance, I strongly recommend you read croquetworld.com/Game/quantifying-golf.asp and especially note "Because more than half of the game (GC) is about taking position, a significant amount of time should be spent practising this simple closed skill. No opponents are needed, and a player determined to improve can endlessly work on controlling their power and direction. However, from years of coaching and talking to Golf Croquet players, it is very evident that discipline is needed to prevent a well-intentioned session of position-taking practice evolving into one that involves shooting at long hoops and trying to hit long clearances. Hitting powerful clearances in the middle is an activity which gives immediate positive feedback, while position taking can feel mundane and irrelevant. However, as the most commonly played shot in the game, it should be a player's most accurate stroke."


Finally, if you are still reading, do you fancy a club quiz?


Enjoy your Croquet, Stay Safe, Stay Alert!
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

30 May, 2020

Croquet was featured on BBC Points West (South West UK local news) @ 23 minutes in


The link probably expires @ 7PM today 30/5


In other news, many of you know Hamish and will have seen him in an excellent Channel 4 programme on loneliness in 2017 - here's a recent message from him twitter.com/St_Monica_Trust/status/1264188330981363712?s=19 even though I'm sure Hamish would disapprove of tweeting :)

stmonicatrust.org.uk/our-expertise/news-and-blog/2017/improving-older-peoples-lives-is-childs-play stmonicatrust.org.uk/our-expertise/news-and-blog/2017/friends-reunited


14 May, 2020

Bristol Croquet Club is Open Tomorrow (Friday)

Well, almost - there are some strict conditions that you must follow if you want to use the club, which we've tried to make as safe and as fair as possible.

You must not just turn up - government rules strictly constrain the number of people in one place.

Please read the web page thoroughly and abide by what it says - we'll update it as things become clearer and if the advice changes.


Thanks are due to the Committee for formulating a way forward and to Mike, Wayne and Bob for getting the lawns and safety equipment ready, and of course Ray for setting-up the online booking system.

Remember that Bristol Scrubs might still occasionally use the clubhouse - please do not go close to them.

Enjoy your Croquet, Stay Safe, Stay Alert!
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

8 May, 2020

Dear fellow member

I hope this finds you well and fit and I'm sure eager to get on and play some croquet in this unseasonally fine weather. It will be some time yet before we can return to gathering for club afternoon and celebrations, but I hope some of us will get some play in soon. The lawns are looking in great condition and are ready for us.

Many of you will know that golf clubs are prepared for a limited resumption of play as soon as the government permits it, and you'll probably also know that special rules will say no touching of communal equipment such as flags, or touching someone else's ball. Whilst there may be no evidence that this virus persists on surfaces, that's a technicality of scientific language because all similar viruses are known to do so, and for different amounts of time depending on the surface material. It's simply too early to know specifically about this one, so we must assume that it does remain active until we have definite evidence otherwise.

When we do return to play, in the absence of a successful vaccination programme, to remain safe we will need to sterilise everything touchable and ensure no two people touch the same thing without it being sanitised - that's not only balls, but clips, bisques and extra turn tokens - and then there's the equipment store handles, washbasin tap handles, kitchen work surfaces, benches, etc.

Social distancing is effective, and a game of croquet is possible whilst maintaining it, so we have that on our side. I remain optimistic that we can work out a way. This could even be the threshold of a marketing opportunity for the smaller clubs to pull in more members.

You might be interested in what the younger elements in the CA are up to trycroquet.co.uk/

The club Committee will meet (virtually) on Tuesday morning to discuss what is possible and whether Sunday's government announcement, and any subsequent guidelines from the CA's Coronavirus Task Force (which meets on Monday croquet.org.uk/?p=press/news&NewsID=6949 ), gives us enough room for manoeuvre, but don't hold your breath ... yet.

On the plus side, Bob Whiffen has received £10,000 from the Leisure and Hospitality Grant Funds to help the club and we will be discussing what to do with it: our losses are projected to be over £3000 and the rest will be most likely be offered to members to offset the loss of amenity. For details, see croquet.org.uk/?p=press/news&NewsID=6983

Last time I wrote to you, I highlighted how important it is that as a club we watch out for each other, and I asked you to email or phone for a chat the three people above you on the membership list - I know that many of you have done so and I thank you for it. Please continue! If you or anyone you contact needs help, please let me or another Committee member know.

Happy VE Day!!

The author of an article in memory of VE day to be published in the Croquet Gazette contacted us for photographs and War stories from our club. Chris Frew obligingly spent many happy hours researching the club's archives and penned a very good read that is most apposite - I urge you to read it on our website, I found it quite inspiring bristolcroquet.org/HistoryCF.htm

Chris delighted in pointing out that the club never shut during the War, and I'm the first Chairman to both inherit Winter opening and to shut the club in Spring! Just my luck.

I'm an avid podcast listener and very much enjoyed the Bletchley Park 'It Happened Here' podcast (108) covering Victory in Europe - not yet on their website, but available at player.fm/series/bletchley-park/e108-victory-in-europe - well worth a listen. Linda and I visited Bletchley Park just after Christmas and found it a very fascinating and full day, but we had no time to use the croquet lawn there!

Last time I told you about Amanda George (Frances & Ray Ransom's daughter) leading the effort to make scrubs for our local doctors and nurses - they reached a point where they had hundreds of pieces of material cut into the various sizes, which needed to be put into sets and distributed to the volunteers doing the sewing. Des Wakely suggested our clubhouse would be a very useful space, and so it proved. Please consider donating gofundme.com/f/scrub-hub-bristol-uk

A Cygnet (SW Federation newsletter) is planned for early next week, which I'll circulate as soon as we receive it.

Meanwhile, stay safe and follow the government's advice and rules.

Dave Kibble
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club


PS - I'm sure the opera-lovers amongst us will enjoy youtube.com/watch?v=uL52AuF4QzY

10 April, 2020

Hi all

Please find attached a new Cygnet, packed with interesting snippets, and hot on the heels of the last one (for which I must apologise delaying the distribution of for several days) and hotter off the press! Linda assures me there won't be another for quite a few days now :) - you can also find it on the Federation website swfcroquet.org.uk/cygnet-newsletters/


Have you heard about "The Scrub Hub" making scrubs for our local NHS staff? A Bristol group has been set up by Amanda George (Frances and Ray Ransom's daughter, who runs We Make Bristol in the village) facebook.com/ScrubHubBristolUK/ - watch Amanda on The One Show explaining the idea (scroll to 05:35) bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000h493/the-one-show-09042020

They, of course, need money to buy the fabric so please consider donating gofundme.com/f/scrub-hub-bristol-uk


As the lockdown continues, I hope you are all keeping well and have the supplies you need. This is perhaps a particularly bad time for some of you expecting to see family over this holiday weekend. It's important that as a club we watch out for each other, so I ask you to email or phone for a chat the three people above you on the membership list and to do that every week unless they ask you not to. A quick phone call can mean a lot to someone and we really don't know the personal circumstances of any of our club-mates. If anyone needs help, please let me or another Committee member know.


Are you on the croquet chat email list "The Nottingham List"? If you are, you will know there's been a 25-minute online quiz for croquet players around the world running three evenings each week (8:05PM) - anyone with a web browser connected to the Internet can join in. Linda and I had great fun on Wednesday, though we didn't trouble the leader board. Details of the chat list nottingham-lists.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/croquet


Richard and Pat Jackson led a meeting of your club's coaches to come up with some ideas to keep our croquet-enthusiasm and learning going - details will be with you shortly - please make sure you register your interest or suggest any further ideas.


Nailsea CC has already had a club quiz by email - would you be interested in something similar? Do please get in touch with me if you have any ideas for our club.


I'm sure you will forgive the repetition of thanking our members who are on the front line of this pandemic: THANK YOU!


Stay safe.

Dave Kibble
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

2 April, 2020

I hope this finds my fellow club members in fine fettle.

The latest issue of the Federation's newsletter, Cygnet (attached or swfcroquet.org.uk/cygnet-newsletters/ ), prompts me to email you so I thought I'd add a few words of my own. Please note when you read Cygnet that it was written before the sensible restrictions on gatherings came into force.

I'll add my congratulations to two of our members who played in the World Championship recently in Australia: Richard Smith and Robert Wilkinson - a great achievement to get there and Richard almost got his hands on some silverware; I expect he left a scratch on the trophy's base. Bristol really is a club to be proud of - consistently one of the best over many years.

Work Day took place just before the lock-down and finished well before lunch thanks largely to great organisation in managing the routine tasks week-by-week. I turned up less than an hour after the advertised start of the work day to find the stalwarts finishing all the jobs and a coffee break being called - I shall know better next year. Thanks to all who turned up (on time!).

Kathy Wallace (Nailsea) wrote recently to the Nottingham list (an international croquet-related bar-room-banter email list) "I thought you might like to see the results of an initiative from John Hancock of Nailsea Croquet Club. He contacted the North Somerset Times knowing that they would be short of Sports copy. edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&pubid=111bb1ff-b940-4136-bc60-332bc0bf4c0e - Go right to the back then back one to page 55.

Though social isolation means we can't get together in the real world, we are still a club, and we can keep in touch online. I'd encourage any club member who needs help, particularly for life's essentials, to get in touch. Most of us croquet players are pretty gregarious so staying away from others is quite a strain. The CA has published links to a number of interesting apps that are useful for keeping in touch, some of which I'd never come across. Linda and I had a virtual drinks party last week with some friends who were due to come to lunch - we set up a Zoom call and sat with our drinks and chatted through the video link as if together. It was of course not as lunch would have been, but fun nonetheless (and much less washing up, though not much less wine!). croquet.org.uk/?p=press/news&NewsID=6968

I've been scratching my head for something the club can do together online and I'd welcome any suggestions.

Don't forget that the best source of new beginners is your address book, so while you are chatting with friends and family, don't forget to tell them about our great club, how much you enjoy playing, and how you can't wait to get out there and hit a ball or two.

Our grounds team, led by Mike, continue to do their work whilst staying safe so our courts will be in tip-top condition when we are allowed out to play again. Bob, our treasurer, has assured us that, despite the loss of income from tournaments and catering, we can just about meet our commitments as long as we can safely get back into playing in the summer. The costs of keeping the lawns and surrounds maintained is over £1,000 per month. Our recruitment day was planned for this coming weekend so there'll be no income from beginners' courses or new memberships this year.

Personally, I've been very busy updating the CA's IT systems to cope better with all the tournament cancellations and adding a facility to allow people to donate their entry fee to help the host club rather than be refunded - many players have been generous in recognising that the clubs still have bills to pay even though not hosting tournaments.

We've decided to hold the Charity One-Ball heat as soon as we can play together safely. One-Ball is great fun and quick so I hope we'll have a record entry for it when it happens. This year’s charity is Macmillan Nurses.

Federation and CA-national inter-club matches are cancelled until June, and we'll know by the time we get near there whether, and if so how, the leagues will be played. When we get underway, we want to strive for better performance from our teams and have published a new Team Managers Charter bristolcroquet.org/Teams.htm - don't wait to be asked - please put yourself forward to the appropriate team managers.

Not having been closely involved in club affairs for many years until being elected to the chair this year, I have already been very impressed with our Committee. They have been very effective and efficient. Many actions arose from the first Committee meeting back in March and most were closed within a few days. Now can be a time for planning: why not challenge us with your ideas for how the club could be better or more fun. What can we do that we are not doing - what should we stop doing that we are not - what should we do more of? This is your club, we want you to be proud of being a member of it.

Finally, several of our members are on the NHS front line, for which I am sure we are all profoundly grateful and wish them well; I sincerely hope that none of us adds to their burden.

Stay safe, follow the rules, and I hope to see you on court before too long.

Dave Kibble
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

24 March, 2020

Dear fellow member

In line with current government advice, though it strangely lacked specific guidance for croquet clubs, Bristol Croquet Club is now closed and no one should visit the club without the express authority of the Grounds Secretary, Mike Salisbury.

Mike will continue to do the best possible in the circumstances to protect our investment in three of the best croquet courts in the country, but we should not expect miracles.

This restriction applies for three weeks from today and I will update you when we have more information and updated guidance.

We have cancelled the Latham Cup tournament, due to take place 2-3 May croquet.org.uk/?p=tournament/entry&calBaseID=3366 and say thank you from Mike S and the rest of the Committee to those who had volunteered to do the many jobs that make a tournament work.

Please keep safe and support the government's tactics for the good of us all and join me in looking forward to getting out onto the lawns and bashing some balls about in the lovely sunshine soon.

Dave Kibble
Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

17 March, 2020

With much regret, all organised club activities are cancelled until further notice.

This includes the opening event on Saturday, the open-day recruitment drive, club roll-up sessions, and all coaching. This means there will be no club afternoons or mornings until otherwise notified.

The club remains open for members who wish to take the risk upon themselves to play alone or with others. You would be wise to use the booking system

You should be familiar with the government guidelines nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ and certainly wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, and maintain a distance from others of at least three paces.

If you feel ill, have a cough or sneeze, you must stay clear of club premises.

Please wash your hands immediately on entry to the clubhouse, every time.

We hope to have further news w/c 6 April.

For those of you entered into tournaments, you should be aware that all CA-organised tournaments have been cancelled until at least June. croquet.org.uk/?p=press/news&NewsID=6949

I think Ray's timing was exemplary.

Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

16 March, 2020

Dear Club Member

This is in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The opening day on March 21 will go ahead, though you should bring your own lunch if you wish to eat at the club. The organisation may be rather more ad hoc on the day than originally intended but games will start at the notified times. There are spaces available still for anyone who wants to join in.

The organised lunch for the opening day is cancelled so that no one feels obliged to spend time indoors close to others whilst cooking or eating.

Please make yourself familiar with the Government guidelines gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

You might also want to bring your own flask of tea or coffee, though the club facilities will be available as normal.

Anyone who is feeling ill in any relevant way is asked to stay away and follow the guidelines.

We recommend that club members consider their own circumstances and take necessary precautions for their own health and well-being.

Those in at-risk groups, or who wish to stay separate, must make their own decision without influence from others. You should not feel obliged to turn up, even if you have notified the organiser of your intention to do so, though a note to Bob would be appreciated.

These comments will apply equally if you have scheduled a match or friendly with another club member in the coming months.

Shaking hands is not expected at the beginning or end of games and you are encouraged to follow the hand-washing guidance.

I had hoped that my first email as chair of the club would be something more of an introduction, but it was not to be.

regards Dave Chair, Bristol Croquet Club

For more information, please email Chris Frew, who will be happy to help.