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House and Grounds update March 2016

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Court Cleaning,

Previously the club used to get contractors to clean the courts once or twice a year. This came with a price tag of just over a thousand pounds a clean. Also we were not always entirely satisfied with the standard of cleaning. Last April we trialled cleaning the courts ourselves with some hired in kit and a small team of volunteers. This halved the cost and the consensus was that the court surfaces were cleaned to a higher standard. Having demonstrated the success of this method of cleaning we then looked at the hire/buy options for the kit for future court cleaning. In January the committee considered the options and decided to invest in purchasing our own court cleaning kit. It was felt that kit would have paid for itself after the first 3 cleans, in addition having the kit on site gives us a lot more control and flexibility on court cleaning. (i.e court 4 requires more frequent cleaning than the rest). Also some members may recall on the last contractor clean, the contractor let us down on the first appointmented clean only informing us the evening before.

The Wednesday House and Grounds crew have recently installed an outside water tap for court cleaning. This takes away the need to trail hoses through the clubhouse to together with the inherent risk of water escaping from the hoses in the clubhouse.

Maintenance of the Court Surfaces

The courts are in need of repainting this year but before we do so we will be seeking professional advice on the options to permanently repair the many cracks that have appeared over recent years and the channels cut to wire in the floodlights. I will keep you updated on developments.

Club House Heaters

The old heaters had served the club well but so many of their elements had failed that they took forever to warm the place up. Some new powerful fast warming heaters have now been installed (our thanks to Dennis for his efforts in acquiring and installing the new Heaters). The new heaters still work from the old timer buttons next to the Coaching Board. Their controls have been set to quickly warm up the bar area of the clubhouse. They run on thermostats and when the required temperature is reached they cut out. The Timer switches also switch them off after about 20 minutes. We have noticed that some members have been adjusting the controls. Could I ask you to refrain from this as the next member(s) using the clubhouse may not understand why it is taking so long to warm up (also they might not be able to reach the controls!) If you think it is getting too warm, allow the thermostats to cut the heat off and/or don't press the timer buttons again until the room has cooled down.

The convection heater in the passageway is just used for frost protection of the water pipes again please do not touch the controls or move.

Behind the Bar

The Wednesday House and Grounds Crew have done a lot of tidying and re-organising behind the bar including the repositioning of the bar fridge and wine cooler on a plinth at the back of the bar. A couple of years back Sandy Bartlet kindly donated a nifty wine cooler to the club. Trouble was that it was located behind the bar in a position that only the bar staff could see! It is now located in full view adjacent to the bar fridge. The plinth brings the contents of both devices into better view and saves the backs of the volunteer bar staff!

Club House Repairs and Maintenance

The last few months has seen the Wednesday House and Grounds crew busy on a number of essential repairs.

Just before Christmas the roof started to leak over the Ladies Changing Room with rain water starting to run through the light fitting. The crew had to install two new sections of roofing felt at the end the clubhouse to address the very poor state that that part of the roof was in. The light fitting was also replaced, together with a number of failed light bulbs through out the clubhouse.

The only effective way to repair a leaking tap in the gents loo was to replace it which involved dislodging the tiles behind to gain access which again have been recently replaced.

Clubs Spark

We are preparing to begin a trial of a new on-line court booking system provided free of charge by the LTA. This would enable remote viewing of court availability and the booking of courts subject to the normal club rules. Access to the system can be via, PC, Laptop, iPad, iPhone and Android phone. The trial would run in parallel to the current paper system. If after the trial the consensus is that this provides a superior service then it will be implemented permanently.

Doug Pell
House and Grounds officer


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Meet our coaches









Nick Peckis currently the Head Coach at St Neots Tennis Club in Cambridgeshire working as the Club Coach and managing their Community Tennis Programme...
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Scott Martin - Is the Clubs Performance Coach. A vital member of the coaching team with 30 years coaching experience at the top level behind him as well as a formidable playing background. Scott works with Nick on the Aces & Performance side of the programme, working with our Top Juniors to progress into the club or outside tournaments. He plays in the clubs 1st Team.
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Dennis Vincent- Dennis is the Clubs Junior Coordinator, he has been at the club for over 37 years and has been working with the juniors for 30 years giving a wealth of coaching experience. Dennis runs the coaching for the clubs junior members as well as our Adult Beginner sessions on Sunday mornings.
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