Executive Summary of the Federation AGM – 16th November 2019
Federation Chairman Paul Rigge welcomed over 30 members (representing about 10 clubs) to the March Federation AGM at Culcheth on Saturday 16th November 2019. Before the formal Agenda commenced, Paul led a tribute to former Culcheth member and Federation Treasurer, Bob Connop, who passed away last season. Paul also highlighted a forthcoming attraction at Bowdon on 23/24 November where the international squad of GC players will be in action.
In the Chairmans Report, Paul Rigge reminded members of the new CA management structure, thanked Colin Irwin for his many years of CA service. The CA have also announced National Croquet Day for 2020 will become National Croquet Week (11-17 May). A new version of the AC Rulebook is under discussion and your committee have been active with their suggestions. Secretary David Walters highlighted various decisions needed during the year – purchase of shield for new LPG Festival event, funding of “Event Style Toilet Units” for Festival, (requested not to use the term “portaloos” on website!). Your committee have responded to a national review of the Inter Club Short AC competition, the final in 2020 to be played at Bowdon. Treasurer Liz Wilson presented a very healthy set of Accounts for 2019 showing an increase in the bank balance compared to 2018. Subscriptions for 23020 will remain unchanged.
CA Representative, John Dawson updated the meeting on the new CA management structure and informed clubs new club survey to assist future planning. His involvement in the BBC Countryfile Live was again a successful marketing activity. Development Officer, Sarah Andrew informed the meeting of successful award to Tattenhall (Townsend Award) for exceptional progress in Lawn Development, whilst Crake have received CA Grant funding for their new Clubhouse and Craig-y-Don have also applied for development funding. The CA can help club with hire of Laser measuring equipment and provide computer software to analyse the data too identify ‘bumps and hollows’ in the lawn surface. Safeguarding Officer, Jean Hargreaves reminded members of new documentation (on the website) clarifying club safeguarding procedures.
League Manager, Ivan Wheatley reported on a very busy season involving 48 teams, the new B League worked well and all league titles were decided on the lawns with some being decided by very close margins. He reminded team captains that dates of fixtures could be changed provided both captains agreed but captains are also allowed to refuse requests. In response to questions, it was clarified the sequence of games in a LPG league match could be changed (provided both captains agree) but the scoresheet submitted must reflect the actual sequence used. There was a discussion about procedures when a player cannot complete a game during a match, the proposed change to League Rules was accepted sympathetically but the wording will be clarified in the Rules for the next meeting.
The Flying Circus Coaching events continued in 2019 with courses at Keswick, Pendle and Fylde. A Course for new Club Coaches has been launched very successfully, being oversubscribed, so far seven members have achieved Club Coach status.
Ivan Wheatley, Festival Manager, reported on another successful North West Festival, the new LPG event was deemed worthwhile, however, the experimental ‘triple banking’ will probably not be repeated. Pendle and Craven were the overall winners.
Club Reports for 2019:
Bowdon: Won two national inter-club competitions – Mary Rose and Short Croquet. Recruitment focussed on Taster Days followed by one day Beginners Courses, attendees were provided with temporary membership, resulting in 13 new members .
Bury: Have had record year in recruiting 15 new members, National Croquet Day was used as the main ‘taster’ activity. An additional two teams were entered in the Federation Leagues and Lawns have improved dramatically.
Chester: Have won three league trophies this year and reached a Final Secretary Shield) and Semi final (Longman) in national inter-club competitions. Several members have won regional and national competitions.
Crake: The old clubhouse has been demolished and a new building should be in use for the start of 2020 season. Hopefully two new lawns should also be available next year.
Craig-y-Don: Had an excellent season, entering Festival for the first time, increased membership, installed a lawn irrigation system, and are planning a new Equipment Store. Been very active in Community work raising over £1500 for a local Hospice. Have won various competitions involving other north Wales clubs.
Culcheth: Membership has increased, however there have been difficulties in fulfilling league matches due to member illnesses. Continue to run avery active social programme.
Fylde: Have increased membership by 14 and a new lawn drainage system installed. Three members have been awarded Club Coaches badges.
Llanfairfechan: Membership increased to 56 and the club maintains a full programme all year round. Plan to enter extra League teams in 2020 and the club continue to improve the lawn facilities via grants from local industry and government.
Pendle: Won the Federation Festival anb hosted three national tournaments in 2019. The lawns have received extensive work in a programme of improvements. A new Equipment Shed has been installed and new Spectator Pavilion planned. A new Car Park has been developed at the northern end of the lawns.
Southport: Held a successful ‘Come & Try’ event followed by two successful Beginners Courses generating 17 new members. Despite heavy rainfall, the lawns have been maintained in excellent condition.
Tattenhall: Had a successful season and been awarded the CA Townsend Award for great improvement in club facilities. Have been very active with corporate events.
Westmorland: Have increased membership in 2019 and undertaken major work on the lawns.
CA Townsend Award was presented to Sheila Marsden and David Boyd of Tattenhall.
CA Diplomas were awarded to Jean Hargreaves and Tony Thomas.
League Trophies were presented to Chester (B Adv collected by Gerry Guest); Chester (w/e Hcp AC collected by David Boyd); Pendle (m/w Hcp AC); Bury Crusaders (Short AC collected by Vi Richards); Chester Centurions (Level GC collected by Alan Clare); Crake Valley (Hcp GC collected by David Corns).
Future Meetings: Spring Meeting – 7th March 2020; Autumn AGM – 14th November 2020
(The above Executive Summary is a personal view written by Tony Thomas, please see the official Minutes when issued for the definitive version).