avenue for financing the project via the County Ground Club 'would get.. .little
help at this time.' As a result a '99 Club' was formed with a Colour Television
as a star prize, which it was hoped would raise £450 for a 'New Court and
Tennis Pavilion Improvement Fund'. In reality the scheme did not come up to
expectations but did raise £100.
1971 saw the Ladies win the Essex Intermediate Cup and Division 2 with a
100% record. Mary Mendham dominated the Club Tournament winning the
Singles, the Ladies Doubles with Barbara Rosser and the Mixed with John
Tucker. Peter Sullivan won the Men's singles and the doubles with Geoffrey
Essex. The following year the Ladies reached the final of the Essex Senior Cup.
At the AGM held in February 1973 the Club voted to 'provide for the formation of
a junior section. Junior members shall be those under 18 years .... with £3 sub.'
Barbara Rosser took charge of the section. The initial membership was 63. Junior
singles cups were donated by Winnie Ketterer and Geoff Essex and presented
by them to Helen Whitcombe and Michael Beard, the winners, after the finals
which were held as part of the main Club Tournament finals day. The section
obviously proved a great success, as by November there were 71 members and
a waiting list of a further 59. The other innovation was weekend teas (organised
by Noreen Essex) to replace the shared arrangement with the Cricket Club.
In June the construction of two new En-tout-cas courts was put in hand at a cost
The Mens 1st team won the Essex Junior Cup, the 2nd team won promotion and
the Ladies maintained their Division 1 status. .
In 1974 the Ladies 2nd team won the Ladies Essex Junior Cup, with the
Mens 2 team narrowly losing to Southend in the Mens Junior Cup final.
In September the first minutes appear on the subject of a new pavilion, with
a sub committee formed. In November it recommended a 2500sq.ft. singlestorey building
at a cost of £10,000. Some debate took place over the use of the
building, with the Cricket and Hockey Clubs wanting part set aside as a 'Men
Only Snug Bar.' However the Tennis Club members decided that they preferred
to have their own self contained facility and therefore would fund the project
without the County Ground Club support. The Junior section played its part in
fund raising with a sponsored walk, with David Constantine receiving a tennis
racket in recognition of making the largest contribution - £40 out of the £400
1975 saw Peter Cracknell taking over the running of the Junior section.
Membership was limited to 120 with a waiting list needed due to demand.
Professional coaching was provided for those who progressed well and Junior
Discos became part of their social scene.
The architect Binns recommended a tender by Capri Construction for the new
building costing £10396 and this was put to an EGM on Monday 7th July. Funding
was by way of LTA, NPFA and members loans, with NatWest Bank providing a
commercial loan, as needed, up to £5000. The meeting voted unanimously to
proceed. Work commenced on 15th September and was completed before the
AGM in February 1976 - from first 'idea' to completion in little over a year.