35 Years Young in 2020 – A Brief History
Swindon Croquet Club was formed in 1985 by Joe Jackson and Brian Hewitt, when a lawn was created in front of Lydiard House. The opening ceremony was performed by John Soloman the President of the C.A. a leading English player, and the subsequent report in the Adver attracted one Cliff Cardis – who became Secretary for over twenty years. John Airey joined soon afterwards eventually taking over as club secretary and is the only original member still playing.
Initially the club had a wide age range of players, some experienced and some new to the game. They soon became expert and in 1987 three players entered the Open Level Tournament at Cheltenham – and all finished top of their groups – including our Cliff!. The next year Cliff won a Silver Medal at Cheltenham. Three teams were regularly entered into the SW League competitions with great success. In 1990 the A Team finished top of the Northern Section but lost to Dyffryn in the final, and the Intermediate Team also reached the final, only to lose to Plymouth. In 1991 the B Team got to the final but again they were not successful, this time losing to Bristol. But in 1993 the Federation Team won the SW League Final, with two of our current members – John and Di – playing. One match this season even inspired Cliff to write a poem! (see Our Blog)
Press report from the time
Swindon Croquet Club members entered an Open Tournament at Cheltenham, and all three finished top of their groups.
Cliff Cardis topped a 33 ring ladder (handicaps 11-18), earning an additional prize for the player making the most progress.
Francis Landon won Section A (handicaps -1 to +2) and Mike O’Flynn headed section E (handicaps 7½ to 10) both with 5 wins