The project sub-committee-Shirley and Malcolm Beard, Peter Cracknell, Eddie
Pickering and Geoff Essex - were congratulated for their 'example and inspiration
that kept them going at a cracking pace from start to finish.' Anyone who has
experienced builders at work may consider this a major understatement! The
old pavilion was given over to the Juniors. Meanwhile the Mens 2nd team again
won the Essex Junior Cup and the Club again hosted the County Cup finals
The success of the Junior section continued into 1976 with Bea Low taking over
responsibility. Their coaching programme was carried through into the winter
months. Winter play generally was becoming more in demand and to meet
members needs, two courts at the Chelmer Institute in Sawyers Hall Lane were
made available every Sunday - these 'arrangements are on an informal basis to
avoid complications with E.C.C. so no fixed charge will be made' The Club made
a donation to their Sports Fund!
In these pre-breathalyser days the Bar profits at £1043 were comparable to 60%
of the senior subs.; so much in fact that fears arose that the VAT threshold of
£5000 might be reached. The solution was to split from the subscriptions an
amount representing loan repayments, which were tax exempt.
Maintenance of the courts became increasingly mentioned during 1977, with
Chris Essex said to be tackling 'the job almost single-handed.' The task was
extensive with four grass courts to be cut, watered and marked and four En
tout cas shale courts to be brushed and rolled; and all done without payment.
The standard of the grass courts was in question due to 'the previous year's
excellent summer' and resultant heavy use.
The Mens 1st team won the Essex Intermediate Cup.
The increased interest in winter play was helped by an agreement to use the
Brentwood Prep. School on Sunday mornings.
The old tennis pavilion had been passed to the Juniors as their own clubhouse,
however around the turn of the year a fire occurred in it and as a result it was
'locked up forthwith' but repaired and reopened for the start of the new season.
In 1978 the Club's tournaments were extended to include a Mixed Handicap and
a Men's Plate event, with the President donating trophies for both. There was
disappointment at a marked decline in the support of the various social events
organised and as a result little other than the annual Dinner/Dance went ahead
after June. On a brighter note, special mention was made of 'The Ladies 1 beat
Gidea Park for the first time in the club's history.' A telephone was installed in
the clubhouse on Monday 16th October.
Following a proposal from Barbara Powell, 1979 saw the introduction of 'the Tea
Rota' for weekend afternoon teas.
With the courts and pavilion paid for by the start of the year, members were
canvassed to determine what the next development at the club should be.
Geoff Essex produced plans for various options entitled 'The Way Ahead.' The
committee meeting minutes of 26th February however show that courts were
high on the list, with Peter Cracknell wishing to make clear 'that he wants the
grass courts to be used for the siting of the All Weather courts.'
There were heated exchanges in the County Ground meetings over the painting