of the main and tennis club pavilions. The Cricket and Hockey Clubs wanted
to paint the main pavilion themselves, which the tennis committee obviously
thought would mean an inadequate job leading to a rapid decline in the building
- resulting in extra expense to all three clubs. Finally agreement was reached
for the tennis pavilion to be professionally painted - the outcome of the main
pavilion arrangements is not recorded, but it still stands!
At the AGM in February 1980 agreement was unanimous that two All Weather
courts should built, but on the question as to which of the existing courts should
be resurfaced, a 'good deal of heated discussion took place.' The real issue was
between converting two of the 'grass' or the 'shale' courts. By 20 votes to 19
votes it was decided two grass courts should be taken. Despite this decision a
sub-committee was formed 'from the floor of the meeting' being Tony Galley,
Roy Rosser, Ted Barnard and Bruce Lemmon. They produced a detailed report
covering maintenance costs, wet weather, evening and winter play, and the
likelihood of obtaining permission for floodlighting at a later date. The main
Committee put certain reservations forward over the costing of their analysis.
The EGM held on 7th May ended in stalemate, failing to achieve a two-thirds
majority for any change but with marginally more in favour of replacing grass.
With no major project agreed, attention was turned to improving the watering
system for the shale courts. After a drop in Junior membership, Peter Cracknell
reported numbers had risen to approximately 120 by June and that they now
enjoyed a refurbished junior pavilion complete with electric light!
The February 1981 AGM saw a return to the court replacement question as a result
of high estimated maintenance costs required for the shale courts. Sufficiently
high as to make All Weather resurfacing of them a viable alternative which
course the meeting approved by 25 votes to 1 vote. Quotations were obtained
and funding arranged, but by May several committee members suggested that
the general feeling of the Club had changed, and that at the EGM fixed for 29th
May, a clear majority would want the new courts to replace the grass courts.
The Treasurer advised that by retaining the shale only two new courts would be
possible, given the continuing costs of the former. To anticipate any proposals in
this direction an alternative estimate was obtained.
The change of opinion was almost total - by 45 votes to 3 votes to keep the shale
and unanimous to convert two grass courts - and the order was placed with Doe's
of Ongar to commence work in the autumn.
1981 also saw the introduction of the performance awards - Player and Most
Improved Player of the Year, together with a 'Personality of the Year' award.
Player of the Year went to Martin Hodgson, the Improved Player to Simon
Narroway, and the Personality award to John Francis (the intention of this last
award was uncertain and was dropped a few years later).
After such a turbulent period it was nice to see that the end of season Dinner/
Dance was 'a remarkable success in spite of earlier pessimistic expectations.'
Undaunted, in 1982, the Club applied for planning permission to floodlight
the new All Weather courts. It also entered a team in the newly formed Essex
Veterans League. Mid-week Ladies were given a four-vote entitlement at General