June /July Newsletter 2023

If like me, you enjoy both gardening and playing tennis, you’ve had mixed views concerning the recent spell of
weather. It’s been great for tennis, (although sometimes a little too hot), but a shower or two would have been
welcome in saving labour watering the garden. It seems that the Blackdown Hills have seen off what little rain
tried to get through.

Anyway, it’s got the season off to a cracking start and our league teams are grateful that no weather related
postponements have been necessary. Both our teams are doing well in their respective divisions in the West
Somerset Mixed Tennis League. Hemyock A recently played table topping Bridgwater B and triumphed 8-2,
and B are handily placed in mid table but just a couple of points away from the leaders. Well done to both

Numbers have been good at the social sessions too, so it’s great to see members take advantage of the fine

Thankfully, in April. we were able to find a window of opportunity to finally get the courts resprayed. The courts
were closed for a few days to allow the paint to dry thoroughly, but how good they look now!
The club is in good shape for now, and should have sufficient assets in our sinking fund for the likely cost of the
next respray and resurface.

In keeping with events of recent years, we’ll be holding our ‘Strawberries & Tennis’ afternoon at the end of
August - Sunday 27th. We need at least 16 participants (of mixed abilities) so that we can arrange the usual
tournament and we hope to be able to make it a lovely afternoon with tea, cakes etc., and some Prosecco to
go with the strawberries and cream. Look out for notices soon.

A few weeks ago, Rachel Bussell, our welfare officer, let me know that she wished to stand down from the
committee after this year. Along with the rest of the committee, I’d like to thank Rachel for all that she’s done
for the club, especially for her commitment and time when attending the various courses necessary for the
welfare role.

It means that from next April, we will need someone to act in order to fulfil our obligations outlined in our
safeguarding, diversity, and anti-bullying policies and indeed all the other policies listed under welfare. This is
most important in order to satisfy the requirements of the Lawn Tennis Association membership. The role
wouldn’t necessarily have to be filled by a playing member of the club, but could for example be served by a
parent of one of the junior members. If you think you could help in any way, or know someone who may be
interested, then please get in touch for further details.

At the AGM, I announced that I would be standing down as Chairman after this year, indeed standing down
also as a committee member. I expect to be away from home for long periods and feel it unfair to fulfil a role
that I cannot give sufficient time to, and perhaps it’s an opportunity for some of the younger members to bring
some fresh ideas and energy to the club. One other aspect that a fresh face might embrace is to improve the
club profile on social media, which I’m afraid has rather left me behind. Of course I realise that not everyone
engages in this way, but the fact is that the immediacy and instant exchange of information is part of daily life
for a great number of people now, and so just because something is posted on the club website, it doesn’t
mean that it will be viewed.
If you feel that you could offer some time, even if only for a limited period, then please do get in touch, or if
you’d like to talk to me or another committee member about what’s involved, then please make contact.

I’d also like to see the club make more use of Longmead pavilion. Aside from the occasional social event, and
gatherings for a ‘tea’ after matches, we rarely use the kitchen / meeting area and as we play tennis throughout
the year can’t help thinking that we could have a warm refuge to retire to during breaks in play where tea and
coffee could be available. Who knows, it may develop into a few cakes or snacks being brought along, with
some involvement from non tennis playing family and friends or perhaps some social members. Use of the
pavilion is almost as important for Longmead as it is for the club (if you don’t use it you lose it), and incidentally,
use of other local facilities are charged by the hour, whereas we have almost unrestricted access in return for
our annual fee. I’m not yet sure how to make this happen, but watch this space and look out for more details.
Finally, don’t forget that there is the opportunity to play midweek on Wednesday or Thursday mornings. A ‘four’
is usually arranged beforehand with one eye on the weather and the other on availability. a few of us have
played a very enjoyable set or two, punctuated by some interesting topics of conversation. Play when you can,
and if you’re not on the Whatsapp group let me know and I’ll sort it out.

Bob Hawkes
Chairman. or Phone 07540435149