Introducing a Beginners Group at HHCC!
Just like learning any sport or language, it is rather nicer to do it as a group! It is quite intimidating for new players to be thrown in with the high caliber players in our club. So we would like to give the possibility for our beginners club members to learn to play together and progress as a group. This group is to be free for our members. This group will meet every week for one hour (ﬁrst at GHP, then at PH) and be coachedby one of our more experience member. This group is also be open to new players who are not members. They would pay £10 per session, redeemable if they join the club. The best time to do this is ﬁrst thing on Saturday morning and start as soon as the season opens. We believe it is a great way to get new players, increase members’ conﬁdence in the game and bring a collegial feeling to the club.
A beautiful and very jolly summer evening on the lawn at Parliament Hill! Everybody is wondering and thinking what the next move might be.
Rick, Catherine and their son spend a beautiful sunny day playing in Central Park, NY!
Sandy Nairne is our 2015 champion!
Sandy was the winner of the club handicap singles knock out competition. He beat Leo Hawkins in the final. In the picture, Janet Harrison is giving Sandy his salver at our annual New Year’s dinner.
Summer 2015, Hampstead Heath “Race for life”, Cancer Research UK
“Catherine and I were successful yesterday in completing the run, Catherine’s first and my 14th!! Once again thanks so much for supporting us. Together we have raised over £800 for Cancer Research UK in memory of Ian Harrison.” Sue Kirby
The Croquet Association Mixed Doubles Championship Results
2009 Keith Aiton & Gabrielle Higgins,
2010 Keith Aiton & Gabrielle Higgins
2013 Keith Aiton & Gabrielle Higgins
2014 Keith Aiton & Gabrielle Higgins
2015 Keith Aiton & Gabrielle Higgins
2016 David Maugham & Gabrielle Higgins
Gabrielle Higgins (AC), Our President
Gabrielle discovered croquet the old fashioned way, on a vicarage lawn. She eventually progressed to club croquet and then competitive croquet, winning the Mixed Doubles Championship with Keith Aiton in 2009, 2010, 2013, and 2014, the Women’s Championship in 2010, 2013, and 2014, the Easterns and Southerns Plates in 2011, the Open Doubles Plate with Christian Carter in 2012 and Nigel Polhill in 2014, and the Spencer Ell trophy in 2013. 2012 saw her first foray into international croquet, playing at the World Championship in Adelaide and in London the following year.
She is currently the highest ranked woman in the UK and second highest in the world. Her main club is Southwick, and she is also a member of Bygrave and Hampstead Heath, which she co-founded in 2008. She is the only person to have been awarded the Steel Bowl for the most improved female player twice, in 2009 and 2010.
James Gilbert wins the Ian Harrison Salver
James Gilbert was the convincing winner of the club handicap singles knockout competition, beating Toby Vacher in the final. Club chairman Rick Weinstein presented him with the Ian Harrison Salver. James earned a handicap reduction to 20, and is expected to reduce his handicap further rapidly.
BBC Local Radio interview
Listen to Gabrielle Higgins and Ian Harrison discuss Hampstead Heath Croquet Club on BBC local radio.
Click here to play
HHCC plays first international friendly
To mark the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the World Croquet Federation, HHCC played – and won – a friendly match against Uruguay on 14 July at Parliament Hill. Uruguayan captain Jonathan Lamb is a former HHCC member and it was good to welcome him back to the club for the evening. The Uruguayans kindly treated the home team to a meal at the Bull and Last after the match, and we look forward to returning the favour at a repeat match next year.
HHCC’s run of victories comes to an end
Despite valiant efforts from the HHCC team, the third SECF U-League match of the season ended in a 5-2 defeat by Caterham. Many of the games were very close and could have gone either way, but Caterham pressed home the advantage at the end. The real nail-biter was Toby v Rolf: with Toby on rover and peg, Rolf missed the peg-out with the front ball and pegged the back ball off, and a miss or two later, Toby finished the game off to gain Hampstead a game win. Full results (Caterham names first) Jeff Rushby (5) and Tony Roade (14) beat Richard Hilditch (4.5) and Julien Hofer (16) +5 Rolf Krenzig (6) lost to Tony Vacher (14) -1 Alan Rew (11) beat Gabrielle Higgins (-1.5) +8 Jeff Rushby beat Gabrielle Higgins +26 Rolf Krenzig beat Richard Hilditch +2 Alan Rew lost to Toby Vacher -6T Tony Roade beat Julien Hofer +5T
Club mourns its founder
Ian Harrison died suddenly on Tuesday 1 July 2014, after a long illness. Ian founded the club in 2008 after a chance meeting with Gabrielle Higgins gave him a fellow player to help realise his decade long vision of introducing croquet to Hampstead Heath. He served on the committee from the club’s foundation until his death, including a period as chairman, and both the committee and the club as a whole will be much the poorer without his enthusiasm, his organisational skills, his diplomacy and his good humour.