Bear members, please contribute to this page! I have filled in as much as I can but I need pictures (I would like to have 7 for each place) and anecdotes from members. Also, please let me know of any errors. My thanks to those who have already contributed pictures. DLG
Dublin. I didn't go on this so need someone to supply some info.Thanks to Rosemary and Michael, I have some pictures but I need text to go with them.
Edinburgh. I didn't go on this either. Thanks again to Rosemary, I have some pictures but I need text to go with them.
The Budleigh end of this was organised by Cliff Jones, who also cooked us some superb lunchtime meals. Being Budleigh, there were plenty of lawns for play and as usual, time to sightsee. One of the evening pub meals was in the village of Ollerton. A lady who made sparkly jewellery was next to our table and we invited her to join us. She must have regretted it later when an apparition in a nurses uniform appeared! My lips are sealed as to who supplied the uniform and also who wore it. We were staying in a hotel in Budleigh where we found that the proprietor had been taking lessons from Basil Fawlty! He totally lost it when we opened our own wine in the hotel lounge. We combined the visit with a SWF Match against (?) which sadly we lost. I really need some pictures for this.
Our visit to Ryde, IoW was a departure from the norm in that we actually entered a tournament. It was an enjoyable time but we felt that it was better to just pay a friendly visit. The picture shows me taking part in the shoot-out for the peg to decide the winner. I cannot remember who won but it wasn't one of us!. Some of the team saw a carnival procession one evening in Ryde.
This was a most enjoyable visit but it had to be said that most of the enjoyment was due to sightseeing rather than croquet as the IoM only put out a few players. Indeed if Kevin Garrad had not flown over specially from Holland, there would hardly have been any croquet at all. One of our evening meals at a hotel in Ramsey was notable in that it was the worst meal ever. At one stage we were informed that the chef had walked out! The main lawns were just outside Douglas and were very nice. On day two we played at a private lawn north of Ramsey. The setting was pleasant but the lawn was very heavy going.
A Home visit this time to Ramsgate. Several players were delayed on Fri evening by heavy traffic on the M25. The lawns at Ramsgate are very nice but do suffer from the wind. Our hotel was quite nice but it was a bit disconcerting to find bouncers on the door. We had a very good meal at a pub on the outskirts of town.
We paid a visit to Busto Arsizio, near Milan. The first picture shows us and the Italians enjoying an enormous spread at a local restaurant. Unfortunately the only Italians who could play were their top players so we were not able to present too much opposition. The most memorable thing about the lawns was the getting to them! If the Italians had not lead us there I think we would still be looking! Once there, however, there were three very nice lawns next to a restaurant.
This year we went down to St Austell to play against the Cornwall croquet club. Once again we received wonderful hospitality. The weather was a bit breezy but otherwise kind and we had a good mixture of singles and doubles, plus some golf croquet. The two courts are on a hill just a short walk from a golf club, with which the croquet club shares facilities. The view from the golf club over the bay is stunning.
Report by Richard Way. A group of nine travelled by car, train and plane at the end of August to Wolkersdorf, 15km north east of Vienna in the Austrian wine region. Our energetic host Heinz Hackl kept us busy eating, drinking, sightseeing---and playing two days of croquet. The Wolkersdorf croquet club, one of only two in Austria, has two lawns on land at the local sports centre, which was a pleasant walk from the Hotel Klaus. The Bear players took some time to adjust to the unnerving accuracy of the local players as the results swung too and fro. In the final session both sides had wins leaving the match hinging on the last game --which the locals won to gain a well deserved 11-10 victory, although they paid the price as Don "adjusted" their handicaps. A splendid trip thoroughly enjoyed by all.
The 2009 trip was in our Silver Jubilee Year and pictures of this trip can be found on the Jubilee page
The web site for the club is at this location
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