Annual Presentation Lunch

Members enjoyed a lovely end to the 2023 season when they attended the club’s annual presentation lunch at the Royal Oak, Broadwas.

Superbly organised by Paula Armstrong (the club’s new social secretary), the lunch saw 56 members and partners in attendance, who witnessed the presentation of trophies to club and external competition winners, as well a few special awards.

Just some of the happy lunch attendees

Addressing members, Club President John Steel said one of the club’s greatest attributes was friendship. He welcomed Fran Wall as the new club Chairman and paid tribute to former Chairman Stuart Smith, who held the post for many years. He said that during his chairmanship, Stuart had helped the club build from just two lawns, to the five the club has now, and from fifty members up to ninety at one point. John added that Stuart’s accounting skills as treasurer had helped finance the rabbit-proof fencing around the club grounds, as well as finance new lawn mowers. John also praised Stuart’s prowess on the croquet courts as well as his work in overseeing the mowing teams.

John Steel addresses members at the lunch

Fran commenced his address by announcing the delivery of the club’s new AED defibrillator. John Steel had been raising the £1500 to buy the essential piece of medical equipment since the start of 2023. Fran thanked John for his life-saving initiative.  The device will be installed at the club soon.

Fran thanked all members who participate in club activities and contribute to the running of the club. He said that one of the aspects of the club he enjoys best is that “We are a happy club.”  Fran said that despite the  late start and early finish to the season, the “We have managed to achieve a tremendous amount.”

Fran praised Paula Armstrong for her work in organising the lunch and the annual pig roast. He thanked her for stepping up to the job as club social secretary.

Paula Armstrong. The club’s new social secretary

Fran made a special award to Chris Croft for his bowls initiative introduced during the 2023 season, which gave members and Broadwas residents an opportunity to “try something different” as well as introduce more people to the club. Fran also gave special thanks to Richard, who maintains the club mowers throughout the season.

Fran gave a special ‘Chairman’s Award’ to Jean Faulkner for her work as committee minutes’ secretary. Jean will be stepping down from her role in the New Year.

Jean Faulkner on receiving her award from Fran

Also receiving a Chairman’s Award was Jon Carrington, in recognition of his achievements on the lawn, both in club and external competitions. Fran described Jon’s skill level as “Like a Saturn 5 rocket going up, up and away.” Jon now has a handicap of one after only taking up Golf Croquet just three years ago.

Jon Carrington – “Like a Saturn 5”

Fran took the opportunity to announce the forthcoming arrival of the club’s new online booking system, which will enable members to book lawns from home. David Harington will oversee the system, which is expected to be online from January. Fran assured members that help will be on hand when the new system is activated and that the system should be more flexible.

Fran reminded members that there are still opportunities for members to become first-aiders and that the club is looking for a Tuesday rollup coordinator. He said that Gill Richardson’s cleaning rota team would welcome further support, while volunteers will be welcomed in order to form a fourth mowing team. Fran also said that the club needs a minutes secretary before the club’s next AGM. Anyone interested in any of the roles should contact Fran or any committee member.

A big ‘thank you’ from Fran went to Club Captain John Guy. Fran said “We all admire his enthusiasm, his persistence, his big personality and his love of the game.” Fran joked “But woe betide you if you leave the gate open, fail to clean the balls, or refer to the thirteenth hoop as the the golden you-know-what.”

In his address to members, John thanked team captains Nick Reed, Eileen Holt and Stuart Smith for their help in running club teams. He welcomed new captains Billy Cooke and Paul Felton, as well as Jeff Faulkner, who is to captain a new team in a level play 5+ GC league. Jon Carrington will also be captaining a Broadwas team in 2024.  

John addresses attendees at the lunch

John also thanked members who helped run club competitions throughout the year. He thanked Jean Faulkner for running the Ryland Trophy and Janet Bedford, Josie Watson and Eileen Holt for their work in organising internal competitions. Jeff Faulkner received a special mention for organising the blocks competition and also B and C-Level tournaments. John said Broadwas’s hosting of the national tournament heats not only raised the profile of the club, but also generates income. John also announced that Gill Richardson has volunteered to organise tournaments in the 2024 season. He ended by thanking all members who had played in a team or entered tournaments throughout the year.

The first prize of the afternoon was presented to Janet Barber, runner-up in the High Bisquer’s Shield.

Janet receives her prize from Fran

Winner of the High Bisquer’s Shield was Billy Cooke. At the time of his win (the first time he had ever entered a competition), Billy had only been playing croquet for six weeks!

Billy Cooke – High Bisquer’s winner

Runner-up in the Ryland Trophy was Janet Bedford.

Janet received her runner-up award from Fran

Winner of the Ryland Trophy was Stuart Smith.

The first of the many prizes Stuart was presented with during the afternoon

Veteran’s Trophy runner-up was Gerry Stevens.

Gerry Stevens

Winner of the Veteran’s Trophy – Eileen Holt.

Veteran’s Trophy winner – Eileen Holt

John Barber Doubles Competition runners-up were Stuart Smith and Catherine Lane.

Catherine Lane
Stuart appears to be reading the small print

John Barber Doubles winners were Chloe Ballard and Jon Carrington. It was Chloe’s second success in the competition.

Chloe and Jon

Runner-up in the season-long Open Golf Croquet Handicap, played under Advantage rules, was Jackie Guy.

Jackie Guy

Rod Ellis was unable to collect his trophy as winner of the Open Golf Croquet Handicap competition.

Rod and Jackie pictured at September’s final

The Open Golf Croquet Handicap Plate runner-up was John Guy.

Fran gets cuddles from an elated John Guy

Winner of the Open Golf Croquet Handicap Plate, was Brian Humphreys.

Brian Humphreys

The runner-up for the most index points gained in the club’s blocks competition was Jean Faulkner.

The winner for most index points gained in the blocks competition, was Billy Cooke.

The second trophy of the afternoon for Billy Cooke

David Harington won the runner-up prize for most net wins in the blocks competition.

David Harington

The winner of the prize for most net wins in the blocks competition was Stuart Smith.

John Guy said that one of the club’s most successful players ever in external competitions, is Jon Carrington.

Jon receives applause as he goes to collect his external competition trophies

Jon won four B-Level competitions during the season.

Jon won so many trophies during the year, John Guy couldn’t figure out which was which

Fran Wall was the winner of the B-Level competition held at Broadwas.

Fran was on the receiving end, this time

Broadwas won the Robertshaw Trophy, competed for by the top four clubs in the West Midlands League, captained by Stuart Smith. On receiving the trophy, Stuart thanked fellow team members Fran Wall and Jon Carrington for their help in securing success.

Stuart received the Robertshaw trophy on behalf of team-mates Fran Wall and Jon Carrington

John ended by thanking members for their encouragement and for “backing me up.”

The ceremonies ended with the draw for the raffle prizes. The raffle was organised by Stuart Smith. The winner of the ‘gourmet delight’ hamper was Peter Lawrence.

The raffle raised £525.

But that’s not the last opportunity to meet up with other club members.  John Steel’s superb breakfast club continues throughout the winter. The next meeting is on the 12th December. Contact John for details.