The good news was that for the first time in three years we had a full house for our B-Level tournament (in fact, over-subscribed: we had to disappoint three late applicants). The not-so-good news was that the BBC weather forecast for the weekend was pretty poor: dry, but a maximum temperature of only about 12 degrees (Celsius). The really bad news was that as we all arrived at the club on Saturday morning it soon became clear that on this occasion the BBC meteorologists had been unduly optimistic: a keen wind from the north, in fact direct from the Arctic, made it feel more like 12 degrees Fahrenheit.
But we are British. So we smiled and got on with it. Well, some of us smiled. For the morning, at least.
But to concentrate on the croquet: about half of the games on day one went to time, probably something to do with the cold conditions (there I go again . . . ), but the undoubted stars were the redoubtable Ian Parkinson, returning for the 100th time to play in this tournament, and newcomer (and local lad) Rich Waterman. Both won all three of their games, and Rich won his Silver award in his second game (I believe Ian won his some time around 1947).
The forecast for Sunday was similar to that for the Saturday, but as we all awoke there was not a cloud in the sky. The thermometer probably showed very little difference from the day before, but it felt like the difference between Summer and Winter. Ian's fine form evaporated in the sun, but Rich continued to shine, and in the game between the two of them he completed his first tournament triple peel to win his Gold award. Double congratulations to him. He also won his second game of the day to finish unbeaten and to win the tournament and the Roy Alford trophy. So that makes triple congratulations.