2023

Friday 24 November

A lovely gathering at The Chequers, Wimbotsham for a very tasty Christmas lunch. Lots of gruesome cracker jokes.

Sunday 8 October

Apple Day

The season closed on a beautiful sunny day with the last of the good weather welcoming large crowds of visitors to the gardens for Apple Day. Several came to try their hand at croquet and we all had an enjoyable time ( and bought loads of tasty apples from the walled garden’s trees).

Saturday 2 September

Barrett Pot

A good turnout of ten competing in the final tournament of the season. It was all very close with two pairs on two wins and another two on three. The latter group had a shoot out for Hoop 1 ( the ‘Hemming Shootout’) with Colin and Judy beating Franki and George ( competing in their first tournament).

Thursday 31 August

Stow Pan

Ian T and Jonathan had a good, close match with the latter winning +8.

Tuesday 22 August

Golf league match v Sudbury

The intrepid team of Gill, John and Lucy took on the leaders in their final match of the season, losing 2-8. Downham finished 3rd in the league. Well played everyone!

Saturday 19 August

Egyptian

John, Jonathan and Martin competed in the warm sun with Martin the winner.

Tuesday 15 August

Pirate Party

A fun day with children ( and grown ups) invited to don suitably piratical attire whilst pilfering points from one another in time honoured fashion. Tea and cake concluding as usual.

Sunday 13 August

Twinning Club visit


Downham/ Civray Twinning Club paid their annual visit, enjoying a sunny afternoon’s play followed by suitable refreshment.

Tuesday Social – 8 August

A mere trifle…

Saturday 29 July

Hipgrave Shield

This Assn tournament aimed specifically at beginners was well supported and contested by four new members – Carol Lindsey, Alison Ravnkilde, Ros and Ian Metcalfe. All doing their best to come to terns with the process of playing AC. It was a very close finish with Alison and Ian on two wins but the latter took the shield on the basis of who beat whom.

Friday 28 July

Golf League match v Gt Dunham (away) & Anderson Shield match v Pinchbeck (home)

A busy weekend begins with both Golf and Assn teams playing on the Friday. The Golfers had fun over on Gt Dunham’s immaculate lawn and drew 5-5. The AC team lost 1-3 to Pinchbeck in the Anderson Shield. The winners move on to the next round playing opposition from the southern part of East Anglia.


Saturday 22 July

Champagne Tournament

Awful weather but David Haslam, Jonathan Toye and Martin Russell stuck it out with Martin the winner of the bottle of bubbly.

Tuesday 18 July

Golf league match v Bury St Edmunds ( home)

A good, close match with Downham the final winners, 6-4. Tea was taken inside the clubhouse owing to a sudden downpour.

Thursday 13 July

Assn league match v Norwich (home)

A close battle with our visitors from Norwich with Jonathan just being pipped by 1 on time…so our standard result of 1-3 rather than a draw.

Thursday 6 July

Assn league match v Peterborough (away)

The team of Ian Thompson, Martin Russell and Jonathan Toye travelled together to Central Park to play on Peterborough’s excellent lawns. Martin was the only one to manage a win so the final score was 3-1 to the hosts. A good day’s play none the less.

Wednesday 28 June

Watlington Wednesday Club

The Wednesday Club paid their annual visit for an afternoon’s fun on the lawns, topped off as usual with tea and delicious cake at Church Farm.


Wednesday 7 June

Assn league match v Pinchbeck (away)

Ian, Jonathan and Martin travelled to play on Pinchbeck’s lovely lawn ( in Mike Bowser’s garden). There were some close calls but only Martin, playing in his first match, managed a win. The final result a resounding 4-1 win to the hosts.


Sat 27 – Mon 29 May

Inter- Counties, Brighton

The new Norfolk/Lincs team had a wonderful time playing in the Assn Inter-Counties tournament at Southwick, Brighton. Members John Reddish, Sarah Barley, Jonathan Toye (Norfolk) , Gordon Mills, Charles Ostler, Peter Hanley (Lincs) had gathered for a get together at Stow on 11 May then set off for the event two weeks later. The Counties is a great social gathering. All Doubles matches and some of the best players in the world. We won one match (v Wilts) and the Wooden Spoon ( again…after a break of 16 years). We all had a great time and will be back.


Thursday 18 May

Golf League match v Pinchbeck

Our visitors enjoyed the beautiful setting at Stow and we had an entertaining and competitive session with the very fair result of a draw – 5 games all – with just one hoop point between us. Tea of course allowed for reflection on the day’s events.


Saturday 13 May

Peggy’s Plant

A pleasant day’s croquet, using the new Advantage system for the first time, battling away for the eponymous trophy to install in one’s garden. Colin was once again the victor and will take great care of the dianthus from the Stow Gardens’ plant store.

Thursday 11 May

Counties get together

Three players from Norfolk and three from Lincolnshire will be taking part in the Inter Counties tournament in Brighton at the end of the month. We gathered for a get to know your potential partner session ( it’s all doubles play) and general bonding session in the pub.


Tuesday 9 May

A friendly gathering for our first Social Day. A game or two followed by a very tasty shared lunch accompanied by cider produced by Jonathan’s son, Jack. Then the second coaching session…coaching always goes better after a glass or two…

Saturday 15 April

Kathleen Butters Trophy

A pleasant day’s play in the morning sunshine for five of us playing Oneball. Ian and Colin each had three wins but as the former beat the latter he became the holder of the attractive painting. Funds were raised this year for UNHCR.


Sat 1 April

A chilly wind blowing so everyone wrapped up well. A few hardy souls ventured out on to the lawns.

2023

The season opens on Sat 1 April. Details of tournaments are on the Calendar page. There will be new ‘Social Days’ on Tuesdays at the beginning of each month when we will play and have a shared lunch (see Calendar). Sunday afternoons will be the new Club Days. Coaching will begin in May.

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Tournament winners 2022

Kathleen Butters Trophy : Bryan Saddington

Peggy’s Plant: Colin Spencer

Barrett Pot: Gill Dobson and Colin Spencer

Hipgrave Shield: Colin Spencer

Egyptian : Bryan Saddington

Stow Pan: Ian Thompson

Champagne : Jonathan Toye

Stow Vase: Don Butters

Weds 16 November

A lovely gathering for lunch at the Hare to chew over the season and wish one another well till the new season.

Monday 31 October

Colin and Jonathan spread a ton of topsoil over the Bermuda Triangle at the southern boundary to try to level it up. Later reseeded and compost put on top.

Sunday 9 October

Apple Day

A suitable day to close the season. Lots of visitors to try out croquet as well as many fun things going on around the gardens.

Thursday 15 September

Assn league match v Norwich ( home)

A very close match with the doubles pairing of David Haslam and Jonathan Toye beating Nick Harris and John Reddish + 10 and Bryan Saddington losing -7 to David Wicks. So all square before lunch. In the afternoon however, the visitors prevailed with the final score 3-1 to Norwich. An excellent tea in the sunshine capped a fine day’s play.

After tea…Nick Harris, John Redddish, David Wicks, Bryan Saddington, David Haslam, Jonathan Toye

Weds 14 September

Champagne

Bryan and Jonathan contested another tournament postponed from earlier in

the season. It was a close match with Jonathan winning +12.

Weds 7 September

Stow Pan

Jonathan and Ian played the postponed tournament with their normal hard battle.

This year’s winner was Jonathan +12.

Tuesday 6 September

Social and barbecue

A gathering of a good sized contingent enjoyed Golf and Association in the morning

followed by a tasty barbecue and convivial shared meal ( during which Jack’s cider

was sampled and enjoyed).


Celia sizes up her shot
Awaiting hoop 4
A toast to an enjoyable day

Saturday 20 August

Egyptian tournament

Bryan Saddington and Jonathan Toye battled away for three hours

with Bryan the eventual winner +16.

Saturday 30 July

Hipgrave Shield

Colin Spencer and Noelene Wood-Davies played an enjoyable match in the

morning with Colin the winner, +11.

Wednesday 27 July

Watlington Wednesday Club paid their annual visit for a couple of hours’ quickfire Golf

croquet. Everyone was very pleased to be back in the swing after a two year Covid-related gap. John and

Barbara Church emerged victorious and were presented with the trophy. We repaired to Church Farm for

delicious tea and cake.

John and Barbara Church receive the trophy
Action on the lawns
Members of Watlington Wednesday Club

Tuesday 26 July

Golf match v Gt Dunham (home)

The visitors (Roger Woolford, Andy Demetriades and Jim Hitchens) narrowly prevailed

in this match with the scores level in the morning. After lunch however they drew ahead to win 6-4.

A good day’s play in friendly spirit topped off with the standard scrummy tea in front of the clubhouse.

Ruth Cole, Cliff Clifford, Gill Dobson, Roger Woolford, Andy Demetriades, Jim Hitchens
Teatime!

Sunday 24 July

Assn match v Norwich (away)

The Downham team of Colin Spencer, Bryan Saddington and Jonathan Toye paid a successful visit to Norwich to play them in the EACF Association Croquet league.

In the morning spell, Norwich’s Sarah Barley beat Bryan Saddington +9 whilst the doubles team of Jonathan Toye and Colin Spencer beat Jonathan Sisson and David Earl by +6. After lunch ( and an enjoyable ride on the model railway in Eaton Park) both the Downham singles and doubles teams prevailed winning +12 and a stunning +23 respectively to seal an overall 3-1 victory for the visitors.

In the picture:

Jonathan Toye, David Earl, Jonathan Sisson, Sarah Barley and Bryan Saddington enjoying tea after a hard day’s play (Colin Spencer took the picture)

Friday 22 July

Assn league match v Gt Dunham

The Downham team travelled to Gt Dunham for a very close match in the Association Croquet league. Ian Thompson had a good win over Terrey Sparks in the morning whilst Bryan Saddington and Jonathan Toye were just pipped by one point in the Doubles, playing Duncan Hector and Roland Bergan. After lunch it was a different affair with the Dunham team securing wins to finish 3-1. As is always the case, the day concluded with a good chat over a very tasty tea.

In the picture:

Bryan Saddington, Ian Thompson, Jonathan Toye (Downham), Duncan Hector, Roland Bergan, Terrey Sparks ( Gt Dunham).

Thursday 30 June

Golf league match v Newport

We hosted Newport for our second match in the Golf league with the visitors proving successful, winning the fixture 7 – 3.

Monday 27 June

Downham Guides visit

Noelene Wood – Davies and Roger Pratt introduced the Downham Guides to the fun of croquet on a sunny evening.

Sunday 26 June

Twinning Club visit.

Downham/Civray Twinning Club spent a sunny afternoon knocking balls around ably supervised by David Haslam.

Thursday 23 June

Assn league match v Peterborough

A visit from the extremely talented Peterborough team of Ian and Debbie Lines and Adrian Kirby ( whose respective handicaps are -2, -1 and -0.5) led to an unsurprising loss of 0 – 4. Ian Thompson, David Haslam and Colin Spencer ( 5, 18 and 20) battled away but could not prevail. An enjoyable day’s competitive play punctuated by lunch at the pub and a friendly tea together.

Saturday 18 June

Barrett Pot

A hard fought match between last year’s winners Colin Spencer and Gill Dobson v Derek and Ruth Cole. They played a best of three match with Colin and Gill winning 7-3, 7-2. The weather had changed drastically from the preceding day with a drop to a more bearable 20C and the occasional drop of rain.

Thursday 16 June

Anderson Shield match v Pinchbeck

The intrepid trio of Bryan Saddington, Jonathan Toye and John Wells travelled to Pinchbeck for

this match in the recently re- introduced Anderson Shield. Sadly we were completely outplayed by

a strong team of Mike Bowser, Charles Ostler and Peter Hanley, with the result being 4-0 to the hosts. Despite the outcome we all enjoyed ourselves and entertained our canine spectator Trigger .

Thursday 2 June

Jubilee Jumble

On the first day of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Holiday we played an enjoyable mix of Oneball, Golf, Ricochet and Pirates, interspersed with lunch in the sunshine under the cedar tree ( from which Judy’s knitted bunting was suspended) and topped off with a tasty tea in front of the clubhouse where we toasted Her Majesty and croquet.


Thursday 27 May

Assn league match v Pinchbeck

We hosted our first league match of the season on a breezy but dry day and Bryan, Ian and John had some close finishes, playing Mike, Gordon and Charles from Pinchbeck (all lower handicap). The format is doubles and singles either side of lunch. In the morning spell we lost both by 3 and 5 points respectively. In the afternoon, Bryan lost the singles to Mike by 2 and Ian and John beat Gordon and Charles by 11. We all gathered for the normal tasty Stow tea in the sunshine.

Saturday 14 May

Peggy’s Plant

The weather gods shone down on a beautiful sunny day’s play with the perfect number of eight competing for the iris from the Stow plant stall in the eponymous trophy. Colin Spencer put his name on the pot for the first time with four clear wins.

Play in action on Lawn 2

Saturday 7 May

Bryan enjoyed himself in the national finals at Nottingham,

ending up in sixth place with four wins.

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Saturday 16 April

Kathleen Butters Trophy

Quite a contrast with the previous entry, a fortnight earlier. Nine of us enjoyed an enjoyable day’s play in the warm sunshine. Shirt sleeve – as opposed to woolly fleece – weather. After a competitive session, Bryan Saddington was victorious with 5 wins out of 6 and will go through to the national Oneball finals at Nottingham in May. We raised £70 in the process for this year’s charity, MIND.


Saturday 2 April

Opening Day

An interesting start to the year’s play with hail, sleet and finally sunshine heralding the new season.

2022

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Tournament winners 2021

After an enjoyable season’s play, the list of club tournament winners:

Kathleen Butters Trophy: Colin Spencer

Peggy’s Plant: Cliff Clifford

Stow Pan: David Haslam

Barrett Pot: Gill Dobson and Colin Spencer

Champagne: Jonathan Toye

Egyptian: Don Butters

Stow Vase: Don Butters

Wednesday 23 November

A very enjoyable gathering of eighteen members for lunch

in the Coach House at the Hare Arms. A good time for a chat.

Saturday 4 September

Egyptian

Don, David and Jonathan had a very enjoyable match on a warm September day with Don the winner after victories over his fellow competitors.

Wednesday 25 August

League match v Gt Dunham (Assn)

Bryan, David and Jonathan had a fine battle with the visitors from Gt Dunham. Bryan won his singles match before lunch but Dunham prevailed in the remaining games with the final score 1-3.

Saturday 21 August

Barrett Pot

The postponed Golf Doubles tournament finally took place – and we managed to dodge the rain, finishing just as it began descending in slightly larger doses. There were ten participants with the new pairing of Colin Spencer and Gill Dobson winning three out of four and thus taking the eponymous pot.

Thursday 19 August

Golf league match v Newport

For our final match in the Golf league, Cliff Clifford, Gill Dobson and Don Morris had a good battle with the visitors from Essex (who arrived early and helped put up the new gazebo for the first time). After an enjoyable day’s play, honours were even with a 5-5 draw. All topped off with a tasty Stow tea.

Wednesday 4 August

Friendly at Gt Dunham

The quartet of Colin, Lucy, Don and Celia spent an enjoyable afternoon playing a Golf friendly, kindly hosted by Duncan Hector. There were reports of a good lawn and excellent cake.

Monday 2 August

Assn league match v Peterborough (away)

Jonathan, Ian and Colin played well in this match against some very skilled opponents in Adrian Kirby (-1/2), Debbie Lines (-1) and Stephen Cornelius (11). After the morning’s play of a doubles and singles we were level. In the afternoon, Ian beat Debbie and Jonathan beat Adrian, with a final result of 3-2. Our first win in the leagues!

Friday 30 July

Golf league match v Meldreth (away)

Derek, Ruth and Colin battled through increasingly soggy conditions and achieved a creditable 5-5 draw. A good performance from Colin, winning all his games in his first Golf league match.

Saturday 24 July

Champagne Tournament

Bryan and Jonathan fought an interesting battle with Bryan looking destined to win by a large margin for most of the morning until Jonathan finally got his act together in the final twenty minutes and scraped through by two points.

Wednesday 21 July

Association league match v Norwich (away)

Jonathan, David and Bryan travelled to Eaton Park for the away fixture v Norwich. The hosts had two minus players in Nick Harris (-1) and Sam Murray (-2) so unsurprisingly we did not fare very well. The final result was 4-0 to Norwich.

David Earl, Nick Harris, Sam Murray (Norwich), David Haslam, Bryan Saddington, Jonathan Toye (Downham)

Thursday 15 July

Association league match v Norwich (home)

The team of David, Jonathan, Ian Thompson and Jonathan Jackson battled away against a good Norwich team of Sarah Barley, Jonathan Sisson and Robin Farman. Both of the morning’s games of singles and doubles were resounding victories for the visitors but after lunch things were a bit closer with Ian winning his game by 4 and the two Jonathans losing by the same margin – not bad considering that it was J Jackson’s first match. All topped off with an enjoyable tea in the sunshine.

Tuesday 6 July

Golf league match v Newport (away)

Derek, Ruth, David and Jonathan travelled to Newport on the Herts/Essex border for a very friendly battle with one of the Newport teams. They proved far more competent and won easily (16 – 2) but it was an enjoyable day on good lawns with only one brief interruption of a passing shower.


Saturday 26 June

Stow Pan

Saturday 26 June

Six entrants playing in the sunshine…Colin, Jon, Vickie, Bryan, Jonathan and David. We had an enjoyable day’s play with Bryan, David and Jonathan all finishing with three wins. David had the highest points score and was awarded the trophy.

Zen and the art of mowing…

Mon 24 May

Golf match v Peterborough

A very close contest which ended in an equitable draw, 5-5 after ten games. The weather was reasonable until lunchtime when there was a dash for cover but the sun came out after lunch and battle resumed. David and Ruth won the doubles and Cliff and Ruth each won two singles. The day topped off with an enjoyable tea and friendly chat.

Sat 15 May

Peggy’s Plant
Awful drizzly weather but we ploughed on regardless. A good sized entry of 14
with Cliff winning the eponymous plant (a pink) for the first time with 4/4 wins.

 Weds 12 May
Assn league match v Pinchbeck (away)
The intrepid Downham Allstars visited the lovely lawn and garden of Pinchbeck for a very close tussle.
Playing in his first match, Colin did well as a doubles partner to Jonathan and Bryan. We won the
morning’s two games but lost the afternoon’s. A 2-2 draw was a fair result.

Below: Bryan, Jonathan, Colin, Peter Hanley, Mike Bowser, Gordon Mills

Weds 5 May
Golf league match v Letchworth
The first of our league matches. A bit chilly at times but the rain held off. Letchworth were a good team, winning 9-1,
but Gill D, Nick and Ruth played well. Tea in the sunshine in front of the clubhouse. Lovely! (Below : the players…
Ruth, Stuart, Sheila, Gill, Nick and Sue).

Sat 17 April 2021
Kathleen Butters Trophy
Our opening event was this One Ball tournament, part of a national series raising funds this year for the British Heart Foundation.

Ten of us battling away for the Kathleen Butters Trophy in the warm sunshine at Stow. After six games there were two players with five wins, Don and Colin, neither of whom had played the other. The contest was resolved with a thrilling shootout for Hoop 1, clinched by Colin. He (much to his surprise), as well as taking home the lovely painting of the clubhouse, will be off to play in the national finals at Surbiton on 9 May.

Well played everyone!