June 9th Ember Croquet GC Fun Tournament

Despite another cold June day, Ember Croquet’s GC Fun Tournament went ahead as planned with twelve members and four guests taking part, making eight pairs.  The pairings were formed to balance more/less experience and were divided into two ‘Round Robin’ groups, A & B, with all pairs then to play a final according to their position in their respective group.  Everyone, therefore, had three half-hour games in the Round Robin stage (and a break for tea), followed by a final play-off.  Steve had freshly painted the boundary lines the day before and Roger S had prepared the orders of play, so we were all in good fettle to start. 

The Round Robin groups saw much good play, learning about the game, and some great shots!  At the end of this, the final games matched as follows:

Sue Matthew & Mike Read vs Peter Bramworth & Wendy Beaney;

Tom Eddy & Susan Gill vs Geraldine Dhalke & Lena Vantol;

Simon Charrington & Valerie Coleman vs Louise Russell & Belita Charrington;

And for 1st/2nd – Roger Stearn & Philippa Bond vs Pauline Bramworth and Peter Coleman.

The ever-reliable Roger S and newcomer Phil won the closely fought final, over the ever improving and accurate Pauline and newcomer Peter C, to secure official bragging rights til the next tournament.  The ‘official fun’ pairing of Louise and Belita won the third place play-off against chairman Simon and Valerie (valiantly stepping in at the last minute) securing bragging rights no doubt in perpetuity!

All in all, it was a most enjoyable afternoon event, giving all members and guests a chance to play games in a structured but informal and relaxed atmosphere.  Many thanks to Roger for keeping us on track, and to everyone for contributing on the day.

SECF AC ‘S’ League match, Ember vs Bromley – Ember win 4-0

Roger Stearn vs Adam Newbould:                                                                    26-15

Simon Charrington & Steve Edney vs Tony Besgrove & David Clemenson:   17-16

Simon Charrington vs Tony Besgrove:                                                               26-14

Roger Stearn & Hugh Stephenson vs Adam Newbould & David Clemenson:  18-14

The 4-0 victory to Ember belied the closely fought games throughout the cool but dry day.  First up in the morning round was Ember team captain Roger Stearn against Bromley’s low handicapper Adam Newbould.  With four bisques in hand Roger took an early lead but was then kept at bay for large parts of the game while Adam made inroads.  With time running down Roger made his move to progress his second ball and, using his final bisque, made sure of pegging out both balls for the win.  Simon and Steve’s doubles, meanwhile, went to full time (3 1/4 hours) with the Ember pair scrapping and scraping to a one point lead at the finish.  After lunch Bromley’s Tony took a commanding early lead over a seeming out-of-sorts Simon, who remained nevertheless patient (or asleep) for two hours playing necessarily defensively, while his opponent missed a few chances to get going with his second ball to kill off the game.  With less than half an hour left Simon woke up and found some form, taking blue to rover, and moving black to rover, too.  After an exchange of misses, Simon efficiently pegged out.  With Ember victory secured, Roger and Hugh (substitute for Steve) completed the fourth win of the day.  All in all, a very pleasant day of good competition and humour, with ‘home advantage’ perhaps making just the difference between two well-matched teams.

Sunday is Fun Day – for all members and guests

This Sunday (19th May), the Bowls section of Ember Sports Club are hosting a Funday from 2-4pm.
All members of the club and their families are invited to come along.
Children are especially welcome. There will be games suitable for all ages with prizes to be won.

Tea and cakes available and the bar will be open.

Please bring cash!

Croquet Taster Sessions in April

Tell your friends! Tell your family! Tell neighbours! Tell passers-by!

Come and try croquet, for gentle exercise and companionship. We are holding some taster sessions during April. Details in the link:


New shows added due to popular demand!

New show added on Saturday 10th February, 7.30pm due to popular demand for our not to be missed hit show “A Life of Galileo” at the Barn Theatre in West Molesey – get your tickets here:
phone 07801 943392

Last few tickets on sale now!

Tickets are going fast for the new Ember Players production, “A Life of Galileo” at the Barn Theatre in West Molesey from the 8th – 10th Feb – get yours here:

Croquet Internal Competition Winners 2023

The Internal Competition awards were awarded by Pauline Bramworth at the 35th Croquet Section AGM on Friday 3rd November 2023. Here is a slideshow of the winners.

Croquet Internal Competitions 2023


AC Open Singles KO: Simon (v Roger S)

AC Handicap Singles KO: Simon (v Roger S)

AC Handicap Doubles KO: Roger S and Pete (v Roger D & Tom)]

GC Handicap Singles KO: Simon (v Roger S)

GC Handicap Doubles KO: Tom and Pete (v Simon & Louise)


Ember Croquet – AC Handicap Singles Knockout Competition Final – 2023 Report

Simon wins the AC handicap singles trophy after two outstanding consecutive turns, firstly running 11 hoops to rover and secondly taking his partner ball from hoop 2 running the remaining 11 hoops plus a peel and pegging out. Congratulations to Simon. This is how it happened.

On a beautiful warm, sunny, late August afternoon, Roger S and Simon took to the lawn to compete the AC Handicap singles final, last contested pre-covid, Roger being the current holder.  Roger has the advantage of a single bisque.  Pete had dutifully mown the lawns in the morning, presenting them in pretty good shape, considering the effects of a variety of summer stresses, and now playing nicely fast and smooth.  Roger and Simon checked the width of hoop 3, which had become slightly too squeezed following recent nightly critter digging activity.  The new hoop clamp (funded by the Tesco grant) proved most useful in providing the necessary precision. 

Roger won the toss and elected to play first.  Simon chose the sunshine colours.  Roger, with the midnight colours, opened to the east boundary, Simon to the west, hitting in with his second shot – yellow to red.  At this point it was concluded that the boundary lines were too faint, having been largely washed out by heavy rain over the previous couple of weeks.  The string line was therefore employed to provide the clear definition needed. 

All now ready, Simon restarts, playing it safe by splitting up blue and black, and joining up with red …  But, not so safe! … Roger hits in, black to blue.  Black makes hoop 1 but slightly over-runs on the approach to hoop 2 so joins up with his partner ball.  Simon misses the consequent long roquet.  Roger gets going with blue, running hoops 1 and 2, but over-running at 3.  Simon hits in, yellow to red, on the west boundary by hoop 2, take off to blue and black by hoop 3, rushes black towards hoop 1, and runs it.  Take off black to get yellow up to red by hoop 2, but misjudges it, yellow running off the west boundary to leave a near-treble target for black.  Roger assuredly makes the long hit in on red but breaks down with a split roll taking black off the west boundary.  Time to take that bisque? … it’s early in the game … save for later … 

Simon sees a chance to get red going, runs 11 hoops to penultimate, leaves black and blue wired from each other at hoops 2 and 3, respectively, and yellow and red joined up south east of hoop 1.  Black shoots at blue, to join up, and a chance of a favourable rub of the green?  Not on this occasion.  Time to take that bisque?  There’s still a long way to go …

Yellow rushes red to pivot position, takes off to blue and black at hoop 3, gets an adequate rush for hoop 2, plays a long split roll and runs it, four-ball break is in place.  The break starts to become slightly out of shape from 1-back, as nerves, tiredness, or doubt creep in.  Simon manages to hold it together but can’t avoid putting partner ball red as pioneer at 4-back, instead of the preferred route to a peel finish, by rover.  The break continues, red is croqueted from 4-back towards peel position at rover.  Simon’s continuation shot after penultimate is slightly hampered by blue, over the better-positioned black.  The necessary improvisation works, getting blue to east side of rover, black to the south west of it, and a decent enough rush position on red.  Yellow peels red, runs the hoop, roquets blue, the croquet shot moves red clear of the hoop.  Roqueting black to get rush position on red is a formality, and pegging out of red and yellow quickly follows.  So, victory, 26-3, for Simon, a new AC Handicap Singles KO champion, his first honour in club handicap competitions.  Commiserations to Roger. 

The two finalists have improved their games markedly this year, having benefitted from the wider variety of play from competing in the SECF ‘S’ League, and from seeing some of the matches at this year’s AC World Championships in action.  Well done to both.

Bob Knox 1943 – 2023

Bob joined Ember Sports Club, Croquet Section, in 2003.  This coincided with his retirement from Kidsons Impey (now Baker Tilly) – Chartered Accountants, where he was a partner. 

Bob immediately became a very active member of the club, firstly as an effective low-teen handicap croquet player, lifting internal competition trophies for handicap singles and doubles on many occasions, and being part of the Ember Croquet team, winning the South East Croquet Federation ‘B’ League in 2009 and 2019. 

In true team-player fashion, as well as being handy with a paint brush for croquet sheds, benches, and stop boards maintenance, Bob volunteered his professional accounting, business and administrative skills, and experience to Ember Sports Club.  He was elected Honorary Treasurer in 2004 and served on the Management and Croquet committees right up to his death.  Through his dedication and scrupulous attention to detail Bob kept the Club’s finances in excellent health. 

Bob was a very affable gentleman, warm, friendly, always a spirited presence, bringing energy and enthusiasm to any occasion.  Our condolences go to Bob’s wife Sue, their daughters Katharine and Julie, and family. 

He will be greatly missed by all.

Golf Croquet Tournament August 2023

A blustery afternoon eventually turned into a beautiful tranquil evening. Similar conditions for the organiser too! But we had fun!

We had ten members and seven guests turn up for a GC tournament. Two guests (my wife Karen and my neighbour Jan G) had bad wrists so they got to share stalwart Tom. The two male guests (Adam and Steve G) are a right pair, so had to play together. Adam’s wife Jan D got the canny Roger S. Steve went into battle with daughter Hannah. Hugh and Gary had a great laugh last time so we put them together again. Sue joined former member Geraldine. Louise was paired with Oaklands Avenue neighbour Pat. Last but not least, husband and wife, Peter and Pauline, brought years of teamwork to the lawns.

As ever, there was some lively action. Shot of the day was Karen’s jump shot. Ask Tom about it! I captured quite a few photos from the play. Here are some of the pic(k)s:

Here are the results:

And to finish off, the winning shot by Jan D:

Sports’person’ship at its finest! Well done to Jan and Roger S! Well done everybody!