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The 2020 Thornton Trophy was held over the weekend of 17/18th October (in a socially distanced format to comply with Covid guidelines). There were a total of 32 entrants for the Thornton Trophy, with 16 people playing on each day. This is a doubles Golf Croquet event with a new partner in each game. The pairings are worked out so that more experienced members play with less experienced to create a reasonable balance.
The final on Sunday afternoon was between the highest scoring two players from Saturday, Vernon Gibbs and Mick Abbott, against those from Sunday, Jim O’Keeffe and Alistair Calder. Jim played with Mick and Vernon with Alistair, the winners being Jim and Mick.
Mick only joined the club during lockdown having had no previous experience of croquet so it was gratifying to think he had been able to gain enough experience to not only take part in the tournament but also win through to the final.
The Thornton Trophy was originally donated by Robin Thornton in 2011. Sadly Robin died in July and his widow Shirley kindly agreed to present the Trophy to the winners on Sunday.
Before his death at the end of last year, John Sim had been a keen, long-standing and successful tennis and croquet player and for many years he also devoted his seemingly boundless energy to maintaining and improving the grounds and buildings at the club. Thursday 9 July would have been John’s 82nd birthday, so it seemed an appropriate day for Pam Sim to be opening our new, revamped Summer House, dedicated to John in recognition of the invaluable work he did for this club and all our members.
Vernon, Tom, Lesley, John and Joan have transformed the Summer House into a fantastic addition to our club, an area that will afford members great pleasure over the coming years. We are still uncovering the numerous tasks that he undertook quietly on our behalf and hope that the transformed Summer House will serve as a fitting reminder of all John’s efforts. He will be missed.
To help meet with track and tracing requirements the pay-and-play facility for non-members is currently suspended until further notice. However members may now invite guests to play with members, subject to a charge of £6.00 (adults) and £3.00 (juniors) per visit for maximum of 4 visits or a weekly membership of £25.00 (adults) and £15.00 (juniors). Members are responsible for booking courts and collecting the relevant guest fees, which should be passed to the membership secretary with a list of guests.
Over the last two years the club has spent £140,000 on resurfacing all 6 Astroturf courts. Mud brought on to the tennis courts can reduce the life expectancy of the Astroturf by up to 2 years from the initial 10 years – a potential cost to the club of over £25,000.
Please help us to ensure that we maximise the life of the courts by not walking across the croquet lawns or other grassed areas to reach the courts. Please keep to the footpaths and use the shoe scrubbers adjacent to the courts before entering the compounds. Thank you all for your help in this.
Following the announcement by the AELTC that they will be making a decision next week on whether this year’s Wimbledon Championships will be going ahead we have decided to postpone the club’s ballot until we know more. If the championships do go ahead and you are successful in our ballot, there will still be plenty of time to purchase the tickets from the LTA online system which remains open until 15th May.