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The Worshipful Company of Horners

Horners’ Fourth Annual Croquet Tournament, July 2024

By July 8, 2024Croquet

The Horners own croquet “professional”, the Club’s president & Glovers’ liveryman, Jonathan Isaacs, explained what he had in store for us during the day.  After a short coaching session there would be a Swiss style tournament. Nothing to do with secret bank accounts more about a rolling tournament in which after an initial game winners played winners and loser played losers as games were completed.


The coaching session was split into two with those who had played before reminding themselves about blocking, clearing and stop shots whereas the beginners were told which way round to hold the mallet, the way round the hoops and the order of hitting the balls.


We had six lawns to play on which meant that there were two matches going on simultaneously on a lawn with two different sets of balls.  It made for some interesting situations but also meant there was someone else to check with as to which was the next hoop etc.  The games were the best of 13 hoops with a time limit.


After two matches everyone was ready for the excellent lunch prepared by Judith and her club helpers.  There was some concern as to the impact that alcohol might have on the afternoon games.  However most thought there was only one way to find out!  The lunch as well as the croquet was overseen by the Father of the Company P/M/E Jeremy Cartwright who also ensured the wine kept flowing!


In order to win the trophy we had to play at least four games so off we went again in the afternoon, this time the games were shortened to the best of seven hoops. In the morning games the experienced players were given a handicap of two hoops and in the afternoon one hoop.  A winner was quickly beginning to emerge when Upper Warden Rebecca was victorious against Denis to leave her undefeated, oh, and very happy!


Jonathan announced the following leading scores:

1st     Rebecca Joyce           5 Wins

2nd    Steve Bradbury         4 Wins  +11 Hoops

3rd     Alan Price                  4 Wins  +  9 Hoops

4th     Nigel Young               4 Wins  +  8 Hoops


Following which Master Barry, presented the fine Horners‘ trophy to Rebecca and thanked everyone who had contributed to an enjoyable day on the lawns.


It was good to see those who had been to previous croquet days and also some new faces. Everyone agreed they had enjoyed meeting other Horners and guests in a relaxed atmosphere with good food and drink whilst also appreciating that croquet is a fun game whether coming to it fresh or being an experienced player.


When Jonathan Isaacs asked if we would like to book again for next year, there was a resounding “yes please”.  I have asked the club if they can host us again next year on a similar date.


Alan Price

7 July 2024

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