The 2012 National Veterans' Championship was held at Sussex County Croquet Club (Southwick) from 11th to 16th June. The weather on the Monday start was terrible with the rain causing considerable problems to hitting balls across the lawns; however all games were able to be finished before the lawns became totally unplayable. Despite poor forecasts, the club avoided most of the rain during the rest of the week, at least during the day, and play was not interrupted. The wind on the last day caused problems for players on unsheltered lawns, including our charming Australian Veteran who joined us for the class event. Entries were not good although similar in number to the previous year.
The Doubles were played on the Monday and Tuesday. Richard & Pat Jackson (Sussex) won the Sussex Trugs with Harry Bruford and Neil Chalmers (Hunstanton) the runners up. Quiller Barrett (Watford) and Richard Hoskyns (Hurlingham) won the Gilbert Spoons with Robert Bateson (Guildford & Godalming) and John Taylor (Sussex) were the runners up.
The Unrestricted Handicap Singles was played as a single life knock out with an Egyptian consolation. One highlight was the straight triple accomplished by Bob Stephens (Hurlingham) against Neil Chalmers. However Bob was to become another victim of Pat Jackson who went on to beat Richard Hoskyns in the final. Pat played beautifully, taking her first ball round to peg fourth turn with only two bisques and her second with four bisques, thus winning sixth turn with two bisques still standing, forgetting that the manager should not really be treated like that. Unfortunately he could not think of a suitable punishment. Pat certainly earned her handicap reduction. There was not enough time for players to play sufficient games in the consolation Egyptian, so no winner was able to emerge.
The Veterans' Championship (The Rothwell Cup) was played as an American block of six and was won by Dave Mundy (Cheltenham) with Alan Cottle (Sussex) runner up. Both had won 4 out of 5 matches but Dave won on the 'who beat whom' basis. The Over 75s Championship (The Pidcock Trophy) was played as a 5-round Swiss (10 players) and was won by Paul Castell (Sussex) with 5 wins out of 5, with Bill Arliss (Sussex) runner up with 4 wins out of 5. The Advance Play Singles (The Felixstowe Cup) was also played as a 5-round Swiss (12 players) and was won by Jonathan Isaacs (Sussex) with 5 wins out of 5, with Daphne Gaitley (Sussex) runner up with 4 wins out of 5.
The Sussex Club were excellent hosts and put on a Jubilee themed dinner on the Friday night which was much enjoyed by all those who attended.