The NWFed have asked for offers to design a logo for the Federation to help promote croquet in the area. So if you have a spare moment or two during lockdown why not get your creative talents to support the NWFed. Details can be found on their website by clicking on this link
Chris Hudson, like many people, came to croquet by happy accident. He had bought a house near Crewe which had a croquet lawn/bowling green, so he joined the Croquet Association (“CA”) so that he could play in tournaments.
The Croquet Secretary at Bowdon, Neil Williams, found out about him and wrote to him in 1973 asking him to join the club, which he did. He quickly became heavily involved, becoming Croquet Secretary in 1974. Over the next 42 years of his membership he made an outstanding contribution to the development of croquet in the club, in the UK and internationally. He served as Bowdon’s Croquet Secretary from 1974 to 1980 and became chairman of the committee in 1981. Thanks to his recruitment initiatives, the club acquired an enthusiastic team of younger players, many of whom went on to play at the top national and international level or to serve on CA council or to become coaches and referees.
Chris was elected to the CA Council in 1982 and served as chairman of the Publicity and Development Committee until 1985 when he took on the role of CA Development Officer. During his 15 years in that role he stimulated many initiatives, not always without controversy, but it is fair to say that his time was a golden period for the development of croquet in the UK. The National Croquet Classic for garden players and the National Competition for Schools were two of his initiatives, national Junior Championships were started and Short Croquet, which could be played on a tennis court, was introduced. He edited the Croquet Gazette from 1985 to 1992, modernising the format to widen the appeal with less emphasis on tournament reports and more articles of general interest; many will remember the musings of his regular correspondent, Dolly Rush. Together with the then CA Secretary, Brian MacMillan, he worked to increase the sponsorship of croquet to the benefit of many major events.
In the early 1990s, Chris became an enthusiast for Golf Croquet (“GC”), which at the time was very much a poor relation of Association Croquet. GC soon became a major project for him, something not universally popular in some croquet circles.
Chris was heavily involved in the foundation of the WCF, which was initiated by the CA under Andrew Hope’s chairmanship in 1986, and was elected the first Secretary-General in July 1989. One of his first initiatives was an appeal to supporters worldwide to donate £100 to become a Friend of the WCF, the aim being to raise £25,000 as a reserve. The response was positive and ensured the future financial stability of the WCF.
Concurrently, Chris had linked with the GC enthusiast, Syd Jones, and they persuaded Samantha Curry at the Ripon Spa Hotel to use the hotel’s croquet facilities to promote international competition. GC brought a whole new cadre of players into the croquet world who became the economic base for many clubs with the result that GC is now a fundamental part of croquet’s vitality and development.
In 1996, Chris met General Ahmed Hamroush, the President of the Egyptian Croquet Federation. As a result, Egypt joined the World Croquet Federation, the world was shown a whole new way to play GC and the first GC World Championship was held in Italy in that year.
Chris retired from the WCF in 2001. During his 12 years of service, he had seen its international membership grow from 12 countries to 22 and assisted with the organisation of eight AC World Championships and four GC World Championships.
Chris was a quiet and self-effacing man. He just got on with things without any self-publicity and the full extent of his contribution to the development of croquet will probably never be realised.
Induction into the WCF Hall of Fame is a fitting recognition of his contribution to the sport.
The lawns will be open for play from Monday 7th December after easing of the recent lockdown and essential lawn maintenance.
Restrictions will be the same as those in operation before the current lockdown, namely no double banking, use of clubhouse is only for use of toilet facilities, social distancing to be maintained, washing of equipment to be done before and after play.
The CA guidance is shown on their website which can be accessed by clicking here.
There is a continuing requirement to book lawns in advance through the booking system, which is now open. In accordance with the user manual, members are reminded that lawns can only be booked up to 3 weeks in advance and only for 3 future games to give all members opportunity to play. The booking system can be accessed here.
Given the current restrictions on gatherings, the Committee have taken the difficult decision to defer the AGM until such time as we can physically meet together.
Before the “Rule of 6” was introduced, we had arranged to use the main hall in the Bowdon Rooms, rather than the Clubhouse, to allow a “socially distanced” physical meeting for up to 30 people, with others able to participate via Zoom, but we have now concluded that it is best to delay the meeting until the restrictions have been lifted. The Committee considered holding a purely virtual meeting, using Zoom, but felt that it was a) impractical for an organisation of our size & skills, and b) would disenfranchise those who were unable to join.
The Officers’ Reports, including the Accounts, will still be issued in October, as usual. Members will be invited to submit any comments or questions to the Committee for consideration at the November Committee meeting.
The Committee recognises that this is an exceptional decision due to the unusual circumstances due to COVID-19. It believes that complying with the Government imposed restrictions prevents us from following the requirement in the Club Constitution to hold the AGM in November. This decision will be reviewed each month at the regular Committee Meetings to ensure that the AGM is scheduled as soon as the situation improves sufficiently.