News

Monday 15th April 2024

Unfortunately court preparation planned for this week has been disrupted by excessive rain and the season start date has now been estimated to be 4th May 2024.

Thursday 4th April 2024

We are planning the 2024 season will commence on Saturday 20th April.

It is hoped that the weather and courts preparation will be completed in the preceding week. Confirmation of the opening date will be communicated to all members around the 15/16th April.

Thursday 9th November 2023

The club Annual Dinner and Presentation of Trophies was held at Ponteland Golf Club with some 25 members, special guests Peter & Margaret Lowe (Peter is chair of Tyneside Croquet Club) and 3 English Heritage staff – Charlotte (Head of the Belsay Hall Castle and Gardens site), Ben a senior custodian and Debbie the Head Gardener.

The presentations were made by BHCC Chairman Colin Chun. All present then enjoyed a wholesome 3 course meal.

Eddie Wilson receiving his ‘Most Improved Player of the Year’ trophy from Colin Chun

Sue Caygill receiving her GC Division 2 winner trophy from Colin Chun

Eric Nixon with his GC Doubles KO trophy

Phil Errington receiving the AC Champion trophy from Colin Chun

BHCC Annual Dinner and Trophy Presentation at Ponteland Golf Club

Sunday 17th September 2023 – Last Day of the season.

The weather on the final day of play for the 2023 season was not particularly warm, but thankfully dry, for some 20 members to play competitive and very friendly games of golf croquet on short courts in 30 minute timed sessions. English Heritage had kindly erected a good size gazebo which performed its task of keeping the threatened rain at bay! (Note:- point for future)!

A picnic lunch at 1.00pm helped keep members energy levels up and the full court occupation made quite a spectacle thoughout the day for the many visitors to Belsay Hall & Castle.

Saturday 16th September 2023

Belsay Hall CC One-Ball competition took place on a dull but dry day with eight members taking part in an all-play-all league. Sue Furness had, for her first time, planned and organised the playing schedule but most unfortunately was unable to take part due to injury. However, owing to the completeness of Sue’s planning, the day was virtually self-programming – many thanks to Sue!

The ‘field’ comprised of 4 AC+GC and 4 GC only players using their lowest handicap between AC h/c or 2.5 times their GC h/c with the played handicap being a sixth of the difference between opponents. (normal rounding of fractions being employed).

To avoid double banking, all games were played on short courts and most games were won before the 30 minute time limit.

Two contestants finished on 6 wins and, using the first decider of who-beat-whom, Phil Errington was declared the winner with David Millener the runner-up.

From left – Maggie, Brenda, Jacquie, Margaret, Derek, Arnie & David with Phil on his knees! (Photo – Margaret)

Thursday 31st August 2023

Belsay Hall GC Div 2 team played Alnmouth Blues away at Alnmouth and Alnmouth won 11.5 games to 6.5 games.

Saturday 12th August 2023

Belsay Hall GC Div 2 team played Tyneside at Belsay the result being a 9 – 9 draw.

Friday 11th August 2023

Belsay Hall entertained Bamburgh CC in a friendly mixed-mixed doubles of golf croquet on full courts. Each player playing with various partners from the opposite club carrying their personal wins forward through each of 8 x 30 minute rounds. Fun for all! Congratulations to Pauline for so successfully organising her first tournament at Belsay Hall.

The winners (pictured below with their prizes) were, on the left from Bamburgh, Peter, and on the right from Belsay Hall, Robert. The organiser and master of ceremonies Pauline is in the centre.

Monday 7th August 2023

On a welcome return to proper summer weather Belsay Hall CC hosted 24 players from a number of Croquet North clubs to play the annual tournament of 8 rounds of Golf Croquet Progressive Doubles. Players from Auckland, Backworth, Durham, Tyneside & Belsay were all represented.

Expertly managing the event for his thirteenth and final time Belsay’s Eric Nixon even managed to play a couple of rounds himself as one participant had to withdraw at the last moment. The winner of the senior group was Don Morton (Backworth CC) and Jean Hattersley (Auckland CC) was winner of the junior group who were each awarded a prize.

The day ended with the players and supporters having the traditional tea and cake administered by Belsay’s wonderful helpers.

The Progressive Doubles players and helpers after their refreshments.

Saturday 5th August 2023

In the CN GC Division 2 Belsay Castle played Durham Cuthbert at Chester-le-Street and won 11.5 to 6.5 – Well done Belsay!


Saturday 1st July 2023

On a mostly sunny and occasionally blustery day Belsay’s annual Ricochet tournament brought 12 members to the challenge.

Utilising 4 short courts to avoid double banking allowed 8 players to play their six singles matches in each of nine 30 minute rounds.

Only one player managed to win all six rounds so there was no need for a total hoop count comparison and David Knowles is our Mr Rick O’Shay champion for 2023.

Everyone expressed their appreciation to Sue Furness for so successfully managing her first croquet tournament. Well done Sue!

Winner David Knowles receives the Ricochet Trophy from Chairman Colin

Friday 30th June 2023

All internal club competition charts AC & GC (and results where available) are now in the Members Section of the website.

Saturday 2nd June 2023

In the CN GC Division 2 Belsay Castle played Alnmouth ‘B’ at Alnmouth and lost 5.5 to 12.5.

Results:-

Saturday 27th May 2023

In the first CN GC Division 2 match of the season Belsay Castle beat Alnmouth Greens 11.5 to 6.5 at Belsay Hall.

Results:-

Sunday 14th May 2023

Belsay Hall’s second round match in the GC Inter-Club national competition against Chester CC was played today at Belsay Hall and Gardens in pefect croquet weather.

Whilst the morning doubles and two singles games went 2-1 in favour of Chester the afternoon four singles games gave Chester an overall win of 5 games to 2.

Chester CC move forward into the third round.

BELSAY HALL CC

A – Phil Errington (h/c 1 DGrade 2062)

B – Derek Johnson (4 – 1747)

C – Robert Nixon (3 – 1674)

D – David Knowles (6 – 1596)

A + B 7-6, 3-7, 3-7

C 7-6, 5-7, 7-2 Win

D 3-7, 5-7

A 7-5, 7-5 Win

B 6-7, 3-7

C 5-7, 2-7

D 5-7, 5-7

CHESTER CC

A – John Hampson (h/c 3 DGrade 1893)

B – Mark Lloyd (2 – 1882)

C – Tom Grievson (2 – 1813)

D – Rick Davies (6 – 1437)

A + B 6-7, 7-3, 7-3 Win

D 6-7 , 7-5 , 2-7

C 7-3, 7-5 Win

A 5-7, 5-7

B 7-6, 7-3 Win

C 7-5, 7-2 Win

D 7-5, 7-5 Win

Tuesday 2nd May 2023

Belsay Hall’s first round match in the GC Murphy Shield national competition against Branston CC was played on neutral territory at York.

The result was as close as possible to a drawn match with the teams level on 3 points each. The final match went to the third game which was won 7 – 6 by Branston, who then took the match 4 – 3.

Monday 1st May – Charity Fun Day Tournament

On an occasionally sunny and occasionally wet very cold Monday Eric Nixon once again ably managed his umpteenth annual Chartity Fund Raising tournament at Belsay Hall CC .

Some 24 hardy club members each played, in pairs, six out of eight half-hour rounds of golf croquet, one ball (alternate stroke), alternate hoop GC & AC and ricochet croquet. Four short courts were in use with no repeated pairings of players.

The ‘level’ play games all consisted of high & low handicap partnerships resulting in a winner for each handicap category at the end of the day.

The high handicap winner was Brenda Johnson and the low handicap winner Derek Johnson.

The day finished in the tradtional manner with tea and cake kindly provided by both playing and non-playing club members.

A sum exceeding £120 will be donated to a deserving charity in due course.

Saturday 22nd April

Start of 2023 season today.

Saturday 22nd April

👏 Derek Johnson has qualified as a Golf Croquet referee. Congratulations Derek! 👏

Friday 21st April 2023

The (Middlesbrough) AC Special ‘B’ Advanced Play tournament took place at Tyneside CC this year involving nearly 9.0 hours of play and comprised of two blocks, each of four players, decided by handicap. The winner of the B block was David Millener (Belsay & Tyneside) with two wins out of three games having won a ‘Peg Shoot Out’ against Eric Nixon (Belsay & Tyneside) who was also on two wins out of three games.

As a result of these wins David’s AC handicap improves to 7.0 Congratulations David.

Tuesday 15th November 2022

Club Awards Lunch at Rialtos

In a change to the past few years the awards for the various club competitions of the 2022 season were made by our chairman, Colin Chun, before a mid-day meal for members, at Rialtos in Ponteland.

Colin Chun (l) presenting David Millener with the AC Belsay Hall League Trophy
Colin presenting Arnie Clegg with the GC Singles Knock-Out Trophy
Colin presenting David Millener with the GC League Div1 Trophy
Colin presenting Sue Caygill with the GC League Div 2 Trophy
Brenda Williams & Arnie Clegg being presented with their GC Doubles Knock-Out Trophies
Arnie Clegg receiving his Charles Topaz Tankard Trophy for winning the club One-Ball Competition
….and the club’s Victor Ludorum, Arnie, with his Most Improved Player of the Year (John Grant)Trophy
Members at the Awards Lunch
….more members at the Awards Lunch….
….and a few more…..
……that’s it folks!……

Tuesday 31st May 2022

Belsay Hall played Pendle in the first round of the GC Inter-Club Murphy Shield at Belsay.

Derek Johnson reports – Pendle came away victors in a closely fought match which went down to the third game of the top singles match as Paul Dowdall built up a commanding 5-1 lead that proved too much for Eric Nixon to come back from.

Belsay Hall team:- Eric Nixon (2), David Millener (3), Chris Wood (3) & Derek Johnson (4)

Pendle team:- Paul Dowdall (3), Libby Dixon (3), Mike Bradbury (6) & Karen Bamforth (9)

Doubles:- Eric Nixon & David Millener v Paul Dowdall & Libby Dixon 2-7, 4-7 Pendle win.

Singles:- Chris Wood v Karen Bamforth 7-5, 7-5 Belsay win.

Singles:- Derek Johnson v Mike Bradbury 7-6, 7-6 Belsay win.

Singles:- Eric Nixon v Paul Dowdall 5-7, 7-5, 4-7 Pendle win.

Singles:- David Millener v Libby Dixon 1-7, 5-7 Pendle win.

Singles:- Chris Wood v Mike Bradbury 0-7, 5-7 Pendle win.

Singles:- Derek Johnson v Karen Bamforth 7-5, 7-6 Belsay win.

Belsay lost 3 matches to 4 and now exit the competition for this year.

Sunday 15th May 2022

Charity One-Ball Competition.

There were 11 competitors for Belsay’s contribution to the national Charity One-Ball (Charity Funding) Championship which was very ably managed by Derek Johnson on a glorious May day. The format of two blocks, all playing all, was used. The finalists and runners-up in each block ‘cross played’ in semi-finals where David Millener played Derek Johnson and Arnie Clegg played Phil Errington. This produced a grand final between Derek Johnson and Arnie Clegg. Arnie triumphed 13 points to 11 and is our club One-Ball Champion for 2022! Very well done Arnie!

Thursday 12th May 2022

Belsay Hall played Durham in the preliminary round of the GC Inter-Club Murphy Shield at Belsay.

Belsay Hall Team:- E Nixon (2), D Millener (3), D Johnson (4) & D Knowles (6)

Croquet Durham Team:- R Carpenter (3), N Martin (3), W Steadman (5) & D Barron (6)

Doubles:- E Nixon + D Millener v R Carpenter + Nigel Martin 7-6, 6-7, 7-3 Belsay win

Singles:- D Johnson v D Barron 7-2, 7-6 Belsay win

Singles:- D Knowles v W Steadman 2-7, 5-7 Durham win

Singles:- E Nixon v R Carpenter 7-6, 3-7, 7-5 Belsay win

Singles:- D Millener v N Martin:- 5-7, 6-7 Durham win

Singles:- D Johnson v W Steadman 4-7, 7-4, 3-7 Durham win

Singles:- D Knowles v D Barron:- 7-2, 7-3 Belsay win

Belsay won 4 matches to 3 and meet Pendle & Craven in the next round – well done Belsay!

Storm Arwen (November 2021) – Damage at Belsay (Photographed Sunday 23rd January 2022)

A few conifers now missing behind wall with the stump of one still visible.

Thursday 18th November 2021

Annual Dinner & Prize Giving at Ponteland Golf Club

Over thirty members and guests enjoyed a 3 course meal at Ponteland Golf Club in a return to some normality after a pandemic restricted playing season. Only three Golf Croquet League competitions were played this year.

Chairman Colin Chun hosted the event which had been superbly organised once again by Brenda & Derek Johnson.

Past chairman David Millener presents Val Knowles with her GC Division 3 League Trophy

Golf Croquet League Winners –

Division 1 – Derek Johnson (centre)

Division 2 – David Knowles (left)

Division 3 – Val Knowles (right)

Saturday 18th September 2021

Racing Croquet Event

The Winners!
On 18th September 27 club members took part in the very first Racing Croquet event at Belsay.  Although a few members were apprehensive at first, everyone soon got into the swing of things with the competitive spirit in evidence.  The event was designed to be a social event with fun croquet involved and was aimed at bringing members, old and new, together.  With plenty of time for sitting out there was time for members to chat and get to know one another. This certainly seemed to work with members mixing, watching play and cheering the winners on.  With lots of members helping out on the day and many members bringing cake along it was all in all a great club day.

Singles Winner: Robert Nixon
Doubles Winners: Jacquie Errington and Sue Furness
Fewest Strokes Winner: Robert Nixon (13 strokes)
Fastest Round Winner: Robert Nixon (1:12)

Saturday 28th – Monday 30th August

Belsay ‘Stay and Play Weekend’

Colin and helpers entertained dozens of visitors in the ‘joys/rigours’ of croquet.

Saturday 21st August 2021

Croquet North’s Bamburgh Team Event was held once again on the cricket field beneath the Castle on a very wet Saturday. Seven northern clubs were represented each fielding a team of six players from which any four played in each of 6 rounds.

Again the organisation by Jamie and his Bamburgh CC members was superb. The playing time scheduled was adhered to and there was a constant supply of hot drinks, sausage rolls and cakes for all.

The winning team was Alnmouth CC who took away the Alice Fleck trophy for yet anther year.

PLAY IN PROGRESS
STILL RAINING!
LUNCH TIME – and oh so dry!

Saturday 14th August 2021

From Sunday 15th August play on full courts can re-commence. Care should be taken to avoid walking unnecessarily on the re-seeded areas to give maximum opportunity for the seed to germinate.

If half court play is preferred please use half courts 2 & 3 in the first instance.

Friday 6th August 2021

Following significant rain and partial re-seeding of short courts 1 an 4, play can re-commence from Monday 9th August on short courts 2 and 3. This allows the scheduled ‘New Members’ GC Tournament to take place on the 9th August and normal GC & AC sessions from the 10th August but only on short courts 3 and 4.

Care should be exercised in not walking on the re-seeded areas of short courts 1 and 4 for the following week.

Thursday 29th July 2021

Alnmouth Croquet Club have extended an invitation to all Belsay members to join them to play croquet on any of their Tuesday or Friday club afternoon sessions during 2021. The club session starts at 1.00pm but visitors may turn up anytime from 12 noon. (There is a very nominal charge of £1.00 for the afternoon).

Thursday 29th July 2021

For a second time in a week Belsay’s GC Team played Alnmouth Reds – this time at Alnmouth – in the CN Northern League and again drew 9 games each.

Tuesday 27th July 2021

All club play suspended for the time being owing to very dry grass and the damage which may be caused to the courts. (Ref:- Chairman’s email on the subject).

However, the Croquet North GC Progressive Doubles Tournament on Monday 2nd August will still take place.

Saturday 17th July 2021

Belsay’s GC Team played Alnmouth Reds at Belsay in the CN Northern League and drew 9 games each.

Friday 9th July 2021

Belsay’s GC team played Bamburgh (away) in the CN Northern League and lost 5 – 13.

Saturday 3rd July 2021

Belsay CC’s GC Team played Alnmouth Blues (at Belsay) in the CN Northern League and won 17 games to 1.

Thursday 22nd April 2021

The April 2021 Newsletter is now available. To view click here and then double click the text.

Monday 19th April 2021

Club opens for the season on Saturday 24th April.

Two full size courts or four half size courts available for booking.

Tuesday 13th April 2021

Covid protocols issued by chairman for compliance from 24th April 2021 until further notice.