Club News



Here is the report from the AGM by club Sectuary Jeremy Toye.


Minutes from Wiveliscombe Tennis Club AGM held on Friday, February 17th 2023 at 7.00pm

1. Present: Noel Binding, Maggie Andrews, Helena Trump, Elaine Linter, Stephen Linter, Rachael Sharland, Teresa Eaton, David Face, Andrew Disney, Jeremy Birchall, Derek Greenway, Richard Pilcher, Martin Keane, Lucy MacLeod, Claire Fisher, Mary Hughes, Kate Rees, Bev Norman, Emma Quick, Ivor Griffiths, Jeremy Toye

2. Apologies: Barry Eaton, Sue Lincoln, Liz Jay, Nick Guttman, Christine Field, Rainer Schiedel, Sara Dove, Pam McBratney, Paul Calnon, Eddie East, Sue Courtney

3. Election of Chair: Maggie Andrews was re-elected unopposed as Chair.

4. Election of Secretary: Jeremy Toye was re-elected unopposed as Secretary.

5. Election of Treasurer: Noel Binding was elected unopposed as the Club’s new Treasurer. David Face, stepping down as Treasurer after completing the maximum three years, was thanked for his services by AGM attendees.

6. Committee members. The following committee members were re-elected unopposed alongside the positions of Chair, Secretary and Treasurer: Andrew Disney, Paul Calnon, Derek Greenway, Rachel Sharland, Teresa Eaton, Barry Eaton, Bev Norman. Martin Keane was elected as a new member of the Committee.

7. Chair’s report of club’s activities 2021 (see separate full report) Maggie Andrews reviewed significant events during a very busy 2022, starting with: “We spent a lot of money.” First the clubhouse was refurbished, externally and internally. Then the club was closed on October 24th for the resurfacing of the courts, repair of walls and laying groundwork for new lights. The courts were reopened seven weeks later on December 12th . The year began with 230 members (120 adults, 110 juniors. It is currently at 190 (100 adults, 90 juniors), hopefully to increase with the newly refurbished courts and clubhouse. League teams did well, with the A team promoted to Division 2. Members were introduced to Triples and played in Ivor Griffiths’ triples tournaments at Blackbrook. A fund-raising event was held at the Club for Ukraine, and a Quiz hosted by Ivor supported both the Club and the Dan Maskell Tennis Trust. Club merchandise can now be purchased through the website. The courts now await repainting in the Spring, but our aim of having the courts fully floodlit will have to wait for more funds, with grant applications now in hand. Maggie noted that with all the activity mentioned above, the club’s funds had been considerably depleted. It was now necessary to start a new sinking fund to save for the next re-surfacing in 10-15 years’ time as well as an eventual conversion of the floodlights to LED. Membership fees have not been increased for five years. Due to increasing costs and need to replenish funds, membership fees will increase by 10 per cent with immediate effect. (Full details of the new rates have been sent to all members). Finally, Maggie concluded, “Play more tennis!”

7.1. Comments/questions on chair’s report: A suggestion was made for a leafletting campaign at Elworthy Place, Wiveliscombe: plans are already in hand. A question was asked about whether we were required by law to switch the floodlights to LEDs. The answer was no, but it was now difficult to find replacements for the existing fittings, and bulbs could soon be in short supply. Replacement of all the lights with LED bulbs and fittings would cost a quoted £25,000, which the club does not have available. An LTA loan is a possibility, but if it requires repayment after three years, that would not be possible. A question was asked about painting of the courts. Maggie explained that the two coats of paint due to be applied in Spring would not affect drainage, and coloured courts as opposed to plain black were said to attract new players.

8. Treasurer’s Report/Accounts (See separate full report) David reported that regular income and expenditure was in line with previous years, and that the Club’s finances were in a stable position. The Treasurer’s work had been eased by an increasing number of transactions now taking place online. The Club’s electricity rates are frozen until May 2024.

8.1 Comments/questions on Treasurer’ report Questioned about the decreased overall cost of balls in 2022, Maggie said the Club had taken a more frugal approach, including utilising ex-match balls, and we also had stock brought forward. In addition, the full price of a can of balls has now increased to £10 per can. Efforts were being made to source cheaper options at the same quality. A refund of £120 in the accounts was explained by a resigning member overlooking an automatic renewal and asking for reimbursement. A recommendation was made to seek out increasing rates of interest for surplus funds: it was noted that better rates were now being offered, although associations such as ours find it harder to get them than individual savers. It was recommended that the existence of the Pay & Play facility should be communicated to members even though they did not qualify. An anomaly that three member’s guests would pay £15 for a game compared to four non-members paying £6 was being resolved in that a member could now take three guests for £5 in total. This would be advised to members at the same time asking them to publicise Pay & Play for their friends and acquaintances.

The formal AGM concluded at this point, with one member praising its efficiency in lasting under half an hour. Following the formal AGM, a general discussion raised the following topics:

a) The prospect was raised for serving wine at the end of events or sessions, with an honesty box. The idea was greeted favourably, although a wine cooler would have to be in a locked cupboard away from juniors’ access. As an alternative, members bring wine down to drink rather than have drink left on the premises in a locked cupboard.

b) The return of a singles tournament was considered, with options ranging from a series of matches arranged by players themselves to an organised event with a final. It was agreed that singles should be revived in some form this year, and that members should be asked on application forms if they were interested in taking part.

c) The possibility of reviving barbecues was discussed, to be considered this year.

d) A league or event for juniors was suggested, to be examined for this year. Ivor recommended that efforts to involve juniors at county level or similar should be considered, either with exhibition games or taking part in matches with club players. Ivor also mentioned that if disability access could be provided at some point in the future, it would both enhance the club’s reputation and be taken up with enthusiasm by wheelchair users in the area.

e) Entertainment. A repeat of the successful Club Ball was considered, with the prospect of using the marquee being set up for the Rugby Club’s centenary celebrations to be explored. The Club will be celebrating 100 years in 2026 and should mark the occasion accordingly. Ivor offered to host a second Quiz, with October or November to be considered for this year, with a view to raising funds for the conversion of the floodlights. Efforts to increase the number of participants from the club and also outside the club should be borne in mind.

The meeting concluded with Jeremy Birchall offering congratulations on the management of the Club during the year, a sentiment supported by everyone present.