History of the previous club

This information is subject to current research, so will be updated from time to time.

This research was inspired by Mike Bottomley from Reigate Priory Croquet Club finding this medal from 1923 on sale on eBay. Unfortunately he didn’t win the auction … the medal went for £31.

As you can see this medal is from the first year that the Croquet Association ran the All England Handicap event (1923), but E.H. Cartwright was not the winner, so it’s assumed he was just one of the finalists.

We do know that a croquet club (prior to our formation in the mid-1960s) existed in Tunbridge Wells called the Tunbridge Wells Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, based at the Nevill Ground, because there is a reference to it in Pelton’s Illustrated Guide to Royal Tunbridge Wells in 1912.

The current Lawn Tennis club no longer includes Croquet in its title, but since it is in the Nevill Grounds, it’s a fair assumption that it’s the same club. This club was founded in 1899.

In 1923 the local newspaper the Courier reported that an annual open Croquet Tournament was held in the Nevill Ground for 5 days in its 22nd and 29th June issues: “is gaining in popularity, as evidenced by the increased entries and the fact that more Class A players have entered”. About 40 players entered, being divided into 4 classes – Class A was for the Latimer Cup (Dr H.A. Latimer was President of the tournament), had 13 players and was won by C.S Wentworth-Reeve. E.H. Cartwright won the Class B event. There were also Handicap Singles and Handicap Doubles events.

By 1931 the croquet lawns had been replaced by hard tennis courts.