Twenty-two hardy folk from the North were joined on Good Friday by one each from the Midlands and the South to do battle with each other and the elements on the lush lawns of the Pendle club. Despite a period of heavy rain and being surrounded on three sides by raging torrents, not to speak of the geese who were observed grazing on lawn 2 one evening, the courts were in remarkably fine condition, and play began on schedule at 1.30.
The format of the tournament was modified Egyptian, a system understood by the Manager, John Beech, and possibly his assistant, Roger Schofield, but probably by no one else. There was no doubting its success, however, and all competitors were able to play as many games as they wished. Games were played with full bisques to a base of 6, and with handicaps ranging from 1 to 24 a number of forests were to be seen, but all games were played in a good spirit. The RoT., Syd Jones, was only called for once, when a player attempted to jump through a hoop from a position almost completely wired from his opponent, but failed, with the ball bouncing back into an open position. He then noticed that his mallet had damaged the court, and faulted himself. The question then arose whether his opponent was entitled to condone the fault, or whether the ball had to be replaced in its wired position. Syd ruled that the ball should be replaced, but justice was done when the opponent succeeded in making the roquet nonetheless.
Winner of the tournament was Brian Medley (Bowdon) with123 points; trophies were also awarded to Syd Jones (Belsay Hall) for the highest rating (119) for a player with handicap under 10, and to Geoff Young (Bury) for the highest rating (120) for a player with a handicap of 10 or over. The Croquet for Leisure Cup for the most games played was won by Derek Old (Belsay Hall), who completed 11 games in three and a half days, and also qualified for his Bronze Award. The Wooden Spoon was retained by last year's holder. And the elements? A mixture of sunshine, light rain, heavy rain, hail, thunder and lightning was, I suppose, par for the course, but failed totally to mar our enjoyment.