organisation of social play at the weekends, that the weather had 'dampened
a lot of enthusiasm' !! and that the club's finances had been too dependent on
dances and jumble sales.' To encourage new members the annual subsription
was reduced to £4.4.0. For the ladies however there was the prospect of a
shower being provided by the County Ground Club!
1964 saw a surge of new members to the Club - 25 by mid July - taking the total
to 83; also the repayment of £200 by the County Ground that the Tennis Club
had loaned it to help finance the building of the main pavilion. Bruce Martin
proposed that the Club should build two more courts and by January 1965 the
planning application had been submitted. By September estimates to include
moving the pavilion and repairing the car park had been obtained of £3325. The
courts proposed were En-Tout-Cas shale courts and would cost half of the overall
amount. Doubts were raised 'in view of Government financial restrictions'
however a loan from the LTA for £1000 provided the means and work commenced
on 16' June 1966. Financial pressures were no doubt eased by another surge in
applications for membership. It was reported that 93 applications had been
received by May and that 33 had already been accepted.
1966 also saw the first mention of professional coaching at the Club. Following
a request from the Club Captain Alan Robinson, Peter Thompson was booked
to provide Wednesday evening sessions at £3 per session. Alan also sought
agreement to enter two teams in the Essex League in 1967, but objections were
raised and only one was permitted 'on condition that (home) matches finished
before 2.30pm whenever possible.' However six friendly matches were agreed
for a second team. On September 10th the Club hosted the District Tournament
1967 saw the introduction of three further features of the Club's current
the start of the Mid-Week Ladies section at a £3. 3. 0. subscription, the Wednesday
evening club night and the introduction of match fees at 2/6d (The originator
of this idea was not recorded!!). The playing membership had grown to 'about
135', whilst 'it was agreed that we should continue with the minimum age limit
of 16 years, making exceptions in the case of particularly promising youngsters.'
It was agreed that the professional coach could use the all weather court to
teach members' younger children.
The Essex League mens' team were congratulated on winning promotion in their
first season, while in the Club's tournaments there were new singles champions
in both ladies and mens events - Diana Wadsworth and 'Derick Sanders.
The committee accepted a request from Pam Whitcombe that the Ladies should
enter a team in the Essex League in 1968 (they came third with equal points
to the two higher teams) and also one from Noreen Essex that a 'formal dinner
and dance be held during the season' which Malcolm Beard organised at the
Heybridge with tickets at 37s 6d.
With the membership limited by the Club to 150 playing members, Geoffrey
Essex raised the suggestion that additional space be sought for another En-tout-
cas court. The County Council indicated support for the space but the then usual