Club news & events
Update: After 5 days of the new regime, we feel we need to remind you of how important it is to keep to the new rules at the club. These rules, of course, come from the LTA and are for your safety and for the safety of other court users and it is our job to implement them and so we would ask you to abide by the following:
- please don't come through the main access gate until the time of your booking (i.e not 15 minutes early) and leave the court 5 minutes before the end of your booked time so as not to overlap with the next booking. Please use the hand sanitiser on arrival and departure
- club members cannot borrow balls from the club and must provide a minimum number of their own balls which have been marked with their name or with some other means of identification. If you need to buy balls please contact Mike Lee by emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have changed the booking system to allow bookings to be 1.5 hours long on Courts 1 to 3 only. By default, the booking system will still only offer a maximum booking length of 1 hour. However, if you click the black button at the top right of the booking screen and select 'View as Max' rather than 'View as Member', the system will allow bookings to be 1.5 hours long on Courts 1 to 3 only. You need to choose 'View as Member' again to make any bookings on Court 4. Please try to avoid leaving 30 minutes empty court space between bookings. We have removed the priority for juniors on Sunday mornings as parents and juniors have ample time to book on other days and courts. One other change is that non-playing parents of juniors can no longer book in the parent's name: they can book in the junior's name only (by selecting the junior's name in place of their own in the black bar at the top of the screen). We would also ask with the new booking arrangements in place that the regular users of court 4 should also book courts 1-3 to give equal use to all courts. 20 May
Reopening the club: The good news is that you will be able to play tennis again at the club, and to have one-to-one coaching, from Friday 15 May, but with considerable limitations in order to comply with the guidance from the Government and the LTA and to provide the safest environment possible for all of us. Please take note that the responsibilities for maintaining social distancing and for observing everything necessary to minimise risk are not simply the responsibility of the committee: they are the responsibility of each and every member.
- Please read the guidance to players issued by the LTA with which you must comply - click here>>
- All play must be pre-booked using the Clubspark booking system. Do not come to the club other than for a pre-booked session with a pre-agreed partner or for pre-booked one-to-one coaching, and leave the club and estate immediately after. Socialising on club and estate premises is not permitted and the estate gardens beyond the area of the courts are out of bounds
- Please bring your own protective items such as sanitizer, wipes, gloves etc. You may have to open the access gate which will be cleaned regularly but cannot be made Covid-safe; the club is providing sanitizer just inside the gate. The access gate may be kept open during play, but the gate must be closed if the courts are unoccupied when you leave. Again please take precautions.
- Please be particularly careful and considerate to ensure two-metre distancing at all times, particularly at court change-over, and do not linger particularly around the entrance gate to the club, along the side of the clubhouse, or at entrance gates to the courts. The main gate to the estate has to remain locked, so access to Courts 1 and 2 is via the entrance gate to Court 2.
- For most of us, only singles play is permitted; doubles can be played only amongst four members of the same household as advised by the LTA. All club sessions and other group activities are suspended.
- The booking system is now operational. Until we can gauge demand, you will be able to book and play for only one hour in a day, to make one booking every other day, and to make bookings only four days in advance; please try to avoid leaving 30-minute gaps wherever possible when making bookings. Sunday mornings remain priority for juniors and families who can book 4 days in advance; other members can book remaining time 2 days in advance. No individual member should play more than four times in a week, irrespective of who has booked. Courts booked but not needed must be cancelled well in advance
- The club is providing sanitizer at two points outside the clubhouse, but please try to avoid touching court gates (use your racket!), net winders, court brushes, benches etc and follow the LTA guidance at all times. For example, remember to bring your own drinking water; no handshakes; no high-fives etc
- Every individual must bring and use their own marked tennis balls as advised by the LTA and must not handle balls belonging to another player. Changing ends is permitted: it is best to rotate clockwise so that players pass on opposite sides of the court. If play is interrupted by rain, members must abandon play and leave the club: players must not congregate anywhere on the estate.
- We cannot provide a Covid-safe environment in the clubhouse at present, so the clubhouse must remain closed for the time being, even for hand-washing, changing, making refreshments, or even for use of toilets. Access is permitted only by the coach and in the case of an exceptional medical emergency. Floodlights will have to remain out of use.
- you can book for one hour every other day (even if a bug in the booking system currently may allow you to book more frequently); please try your best to avoid 30-minute gaps between bookings
- you should arrive at the Club no earlier than your booked start time
- you must vacate the court, not simply stop playing, no less than five minutes before your booked end time
- no individual member should play more than four times in one week irrespective of who has booked
- guests are not allowed for the time being
If you do not have a login to the Clubspark booking system, please request one by emailing email@example.com.
If you need tennis balls, you can buy them for £5 a tin by emailing Mike Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org) and collecting them by prior arrangement from his house, or at the club when Ian Jeffries is there. To pay, you will need to make a bank transfer to the club account.
Finally, please also be aware that the club will remain open only if all members follow the rules diligently. We are confident that all our members will take these instructions seriously to protect themselves and each other, but we will not hesitate to suspend memberships of members who don't abide by the letter and the spirit of the rules, regulations and guidance laid down by the Government, the LTA, the estate and the club. 13 May
Work goes on: This is the time of year when major work is done in order to prepare the courts for summer. On 1 April, all 4 courts were sprayed with moss killer. On 1 May, Courts 1-3 were decompacted, which revives the pile and aims to restore the surface to its original state. All 4 courts were power brushed and new infill was applied – rubber granules on Courts 1-3 and sand on Court 4. So when we return, the courts should be in tip-top condition.
The grass bank which was remodelled last autumn is looking better and new grass is growing. The gardeners have said they will rake it in due course and if necessary add some more seed.
Before the clubhouse was closed down, the fridge was duly emptied, defrosted and cleaned - a job well worth doing.
A new clubhouse door has been ordered and should be fitted in the next few weeks, so hopefully no more problems of sticking. The same locks will be reused, so no need for new keys.
And we have a new postbox at the entrance gate for when life gets back to normal. 18 Apr
Joe's tennis tips: Joe has posted three videos on the club's Facebook page to keep us connected with our tennis during the lockdown. Click here >> to see them. 20 Apr
Club membership renewal: Our Membership Secretary Nigel Fox and Treasurer Mike Lee have received a total of 198 renewals - 148 adults and 50 juniors. Thank you to these members who have renewed. However, if you are intending to renew and are able to do so please send in your form as soon as possible as we still have a waiting list for the remaining places. If the courts are unavailable beyond April we will offer proportionate refunds or a discount of next year's membership. 21 Apr
League matches: Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Middlesex Tennis have confirmed that both Winter and Summer League Competitions are cancelled, and no more matches will be played. 26 Mar
Claire Unwin's report: Read our Club Captain's report to this year's AGM here >>
Mini-tennic coaching programme: Some 18 months ago, we established a mini-tennis programme at the club for young children aged from 4 to 8, to complement the established junior and adult coaching provided by Joe Anan. The mini-tennis coaching has been very ably led by Angie Dean of LDNTennis, who has proved to be very popular with the children, around 140 of whom have taken part in the coaching programme in the last year. Sadly, Angie and LDNTennis have decided not to continue coaching at MHMLTC after the end of March. The good news, however, is that we have secured the services of another excellent coaching team, led by Maria Lauren Wisdom, to take over the mini-tennis coaching programme. Maria and her colleagues will start with the Easter holiday courses (Monday 6 April for 3 days, and Tuesday 14 April for 2 days) and, from 22 April onwards, with regular coaching for 4 to 8 year-olds after school on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and on Saturday mornings. Although the weekdays are changing, the prices remain the same. All of the details about the coaching programmes can be found here>>. While we will be promoting the courses to local primary schools, we do hope that as many children of members and family friends will participate to continue the programme's success. 24 Feb
New Singles tennis ladder: We have started a new Singles Ladder for all members, all ages, ability and gender. Please click here >> for details. 13 Oct
Club Sessions: A reminder that in the interest of fairness, club session players are not allowed to pre select pairings for a set. We try to make the sets as balanced and fair as possible but have become aware that some members seem to be unwilling to comply with the spirit of our club sessions. 26 Sep
Supervision of Juniors: When children attend formal coaching sessions or holiday camps, they are supervised by the coaches concerned. However, when junior members and their guests use the club's facilities at any other time that is permitted by the club, parents and guardians must understand that there are no staff on the premises to safeguard, supervise or assist children, and at times there may not be any adults present at all. Parents must therefore accept complete responsibility for their juniors and guests when using the facilities of the club and the neighbouring North Bank estate, and either arrange for their play to be supervised or knowingly allow them to play unsupervised. 19 Nov
Safeguarding & Diversity: The LTA have asked us to make all members aware of their responsibilities when it comes to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. There will shortly be a new noticeboard in the clubhouse with guidance and details of our Welfare Officers who will deal with any issues. In the meantime, you can find advice on what to do if you have a concern in the 'Emergencies' section of the Membership area of the website, and full details of the safeguarding, diversity and other polices in the 'Club policies' section. 20 Aug
Clubhouse Security: If court 4 is the only court being used and there is no-one in the clubhouse, in the interests of security please lock the clubhouse. 19 Nov
Court 4 bookings: Since October 2018 it has been possible to book Court 4 at times that were previously reserved for the North Bank Estate. Court 4 is still a shared resource with the estate, but we have removed the restrictions on booking for both parties: club members and the estate can now book Court 4 with equal priority at any time when the court is not being used for priority events such as coaching or club sessions. However estate users are not able to book Courts 1 to 3. We know that Court 4 has now become very popular, and in order to give estate users fair access to Court 4, club members are encouraged to try to book Courts 1 to 3 in preference to Court 4, especially at weekends. 16 May
Volunteers needed for working parties: A couple of times a year we get together a working party to do some maintenance work round the club, e.g. leaf clearing, weeding, cutting back foliage, clearing the gutter. Ian Jeffries keeps a list of volunteers that he calls upon when needs arise (no compulsion if you are unavailable!), so please email Ian at email@example.com if you are willing to be added to the list. Working parties usually take place at 10am on a Sunday and last a couple of hours. 19 Apr
Parking outside The Paddock: We have had an arrangement with The Paddock for many years allowing club members to use the sheltered housing parking providing we leave a minimum of two spaces for visitors to the residents. Please keep this in mind when you are using these spaces. 29 Aug
7 game rule for busy weekend club sessions: As the club sessions are now so popular, we have introduced a 7 game rule at busy times. This means:
When all the courts are in use and there are 8 or more people waiting, we’ll change to just playing 7 games. In exceptional circumstances a committee member may use their judgement to introduce it earlier.
The rule applies both to people about to go onto court AND sets currently in play. So if you are on court when the change is applied and you are already over 7 games, it means your set ends.
The 7 game rule carries on until the numbers of people waiting reduces and a committee member rescinds the rule - at which point we revert to normal sets. 13 Jun
Facebook page: The club now has its own Facebook page. You can access it from the foot of the homepage of this website (click on the F logo). We have already uploaded some cool videos and we look forward to our members contributing to the site. 25 Apr
Adult play on Sunday mornings: Up until now, our agreement with the North Bank Estate has restricted the use of the courts on Sunday mornings to juniors playing against other juniors or family members, and the booking system accepts bookings only from members in those groups, up to 14 days in advance. Although the estate prefers that juniors have priority for play on Sunday mornings, they have now agreed to allow adults to take advantage of the remaining available courts that are not being used by juniors. So the club rules have been amended to allow the use of the courts on Sunday mornings by adult members if not previously booked for use by juniors. The booking system has been modified to allow adult members to book courts on a Sunday morning from the preceding Thursday (i.e. 3 days in advance). Adult members should see a new black button at the top right of the booking sheet which says 'View as Member'. To make a booking on a Sunday morning, the view must be changed using this button to 'View as Sunday Adult'. In this view, one booking of up to 90 minutes can be made on a Sunday morning up to 3 days in advance. The view button needs to be reset to 'View as Member' to make bookings at all other times. Family and Junior members should see no change in the booking system, which will continue to allow them to book on Sunday mornings up to 14 days in advance. 28 Jan