The club was founded in 2011 with just three members, Vaun Legerton (Chairman), John Gorrie (Treasurer), and Jean Healey (Secretary). They each put in £20 and opened a Bank Account in our new name. Maldon Croquet Club.
Maldon Council helped find us our first home playing at Drapers Farm Sports and Social Club. John Gorrie applied for a Sport England grant and we successfully got a Small Grants programme grant of £3871. The Croquet Association also gave us a set of Hoops and 4 Mallets on the understanding that if we were still in existence in 5 years’ time we could keep them. The croquet club quickly grew with new members and friends enjoyed playing 4 days a week in roll up sessions. We joined the East Anglia Croquet Federation and entered a team; our new Club Captain Georgie Clark coached us and we came 4 out of 7 entries in 2011. The first match played was against Southchurch, Maldon won 10 – 8. By 2013 we entered 2 teams, Lakeside, named after the lakes on the north side of our courts, and Pavilion.
Georgie Clark our first Team Captain who sadly died after our first season however she is remembered each year when we compete for the Georgie Clark Vase. First won by Jean Healey in 2012.
Our league teams have been very successful, Pavilion winning the Eastern area league in 2014 losing out to Hunstanton in the Regional semi final. Area final.
The 2014 team Michael Manning, Marion Manning, John Gorrie and Neil Grandy.
The teams came 1st, 2nd or 3rd during the following 6 years. Pavilion won the Eastern area league again in 2019 and went on to win the Regional Final by beating Enfield in a very close fought match earning the right to represent the East Anglian Federation in the Federations Shield. This Nation competition was delayed until 2021 thanks to the pandemic when Phyllis Court knocked out Maldon in a quarter final match played at Henley on Thames
The Maldon Team playing at Phyllis Court – Al Brown, Neil Clark, Jean Healey and Chris Joslin.
The All England competition is a national Handicap tournament starting at club level with self-organised competitions that produce a number of qualifiers to compete at the Area Finals at the prestigious Surbiton Club. Each area final produces a number of qualifiers to compete in the National Final.
Richard Waterman and Jean Healey reached the Finals of the competition in 2015 and travelled to Pendle in Lancashire playing for Maldon, Rich came 2nd overall and Jean 4th . Jean remembers it well as she beat Rich 7 – 4 in one of the early rounds.
In 2017 four members of the club put the Maldon stamp on the competition held that year at Ramsgate with Chris Joslin (2nd) Pete Howe (4th) Jean Healey (5th) and Henry Hamber (6th). That weekend was the start of a regular association with Ramsgate Croquet Club. The annual trip to Ramsgate over a weekend in May has become a firm favourite with member.
Henry Hamber, Chris Joslin Pete Howe and not pictured Jean Healey
In 2014 Vaun retired and Gill Stone became our second excellent Chairman. This coincided with our move to Forrester Park Golf Club. It had been clear from the beginning that sharing the courts with the rugby club at Drapers Farm would be very unsatisfactory. Jean wrote to all the Golf clubs in the area and Tim Forrester Muir quickly responded and the club moved over the 2013/2014 winter. Having seen the club into its new home Vaun retired, job well done.
Vaun and Eunice were both presented with Croquet Association Diplomas for their work in the club. Here pictured with Nigel French representing the CA.
A new era at Forrester Park: Tim welcoming Gill Stone
In April 2014 we started entertaining visiting groups many W.I.’s, U3A groups and many club visits. We even entertained a wedding party, great fun.
The club prospered each year with many internal competitions; they are played with good friendship and competitive rivalry.
In 2015 following John Gorrie’s death Richard Wallis took over as Treasurer continuing in that role till 2020.
In 2019 Jean Healey, the clubs founding secretary stood down Phillipa Hardy King joined the committee as Secretary continuing in that role until 2023 when Janet Woods became the 3rd Club Secretary.
In 2021 Gill stood down as our Chairman and Neil Clark stepped up to the plate. Neil had served on the committee for many years. Jean took over the role of Treasurer.
During 2022 Forrester Park was sold and unfortunately the club was asked to leave at the end of that season. Very quickly a sub committee was formed to find a new home. Chris Joslin, Neil Clark and Geoff Macro set to work visiting over 30 locations finally settling on Hatfield Peverel Bowls Club as a suitable alternative ready for the 2023 season and hopefully into the future.
A new chapter begins.