Stansted Tennis Club

Welcome to the new season!

Dear Member

Welcome to a new season of tennis!

It was lovely to see so many people at the AGM earlier this month.  Many thanks to Jan for hosting it and for running the proceedings so efficiently.  The Committee for 2014/2015 remains largely unchanged (see below for details).  The only changes are a new Membership Secretary in the form of Fiona Pye and a new Committee member without portfolio, Debbie Lane.  Catherine Hodgen has had to stand down from Membership Secretary due to work commitments.  In her year in post, Catherine made some changes to the processing of applications, so pretty much everything (apart from shoe tags and keys) is now electronic.  My thanks to Catherine for carrying out the Membership Secretary’s role for the past year. Jamie Alder has also stood down as a general member, although he will continue in his role of men’s team captain.  Jamie has been a member of the Committee for some years now, and we are very grateful for his support and contributions during that time.  There is still a vacancy on the Committee for another general committee member.  If you are interested in joining the Committee, please talk to me or Felicity.

2013/14 review
The last year has proved a successful season overall.  Our second ladies team won their division in the Small Clubs League winter competition, as did the first mixed team.  Both teams have been promoted and are currently in the First and Premier divisions respectively.

Ladies’ Night on the second Monday of the month has continued to be well supported, as has Martyn Taplin’s coaching on a Monday evening, and Chris Hollis’s on a Friday afternoon.

This time last year, I was bemoaning the problem of pigeon droppings on the courts.  The tree situation is unchanged, but we have now got a fake hawk, christened Gavin, in the form of a kite to act as a pigeon deterrent.  Additional spikes have been added to the floodlights, so the pigeons have no roosting spots on the courts.  These two measures (plus the occasional flying of a live hawk) have made a big difference to the amount of pigeon droppings on the courts.  We also have a programme of cleaning the courts twice a year with chemicals to stop the moss growing.  Hopefully these procedures, plus the occasional tree pruning when permitted, will ensure the courts are playable all year round.

Six lucky members were successful in the draw for Wimbledon tickets last summer. We managed to get two additional pairs after our first allocation, which was just as well as the demand was huge.

We were invited by the Parish Council to take part in the annual ‘Stansted in Bloom’ competition last summer. We purloined a small area of garden on the road-side of the Clubhouse. Sarah Hollis was instrumental in getting the project off the ground and, with the help of some bedding donations and conscientious watering, the hanging baskets and flower bed came to life.  Sarah’s efforts paid off, as the Club was awarded joint third place in the ‘small planted area’ category.  Sarah has kept the flower bed going over the winter, with some winter/spring flowering bulbs.

On the subject of the garden area, you may or may not be aware that this is Parish Council property for the enjoyment of the community. We are grateful to the Council for the upkeep of the garden, as it is mostly Stansted Tennis Club members who get the benefit of the lovely flower beds.

Please make use of the Club website, as this has become more up-to-date and interactive.  You can enter your details if you are attending an open club session, or just use it to see if other people will be there, so you don’t make a wasted journey. Please use this facility, as the more people who use it, the more effective it is.   The monthly enewsletters are also posted on the site, if you have mislaid your email.  Any ideas for improvement to the website are always welcome.

The Club tournament ran successfully during the summer, although entries were slightly down on previous years.  Chris Hollis ran three one-day tournaments, which were keenly contested and very enjoyable.  It was particularly good to see some new faces at these tournaments, which are open to all adult members.  Stansted Tennis Club was victorious in the Small Clubs one day tournament on the August Bank Holiday – a full eight points ahead of the nearest rivals.  No-one from Stansted Tennis Club made it to the finals of the inter-club Hospital Cup tournament, which was dominated by Thaxted and Grove in the finals.

We ran a Christmas social at the Clubhouse this year, with 18 or so members turning up to eat, drink and be merry, and play a bit of tennis.

2014/15 season
I do hope you will be re-joining Stansted Tennis Club this season.  Remember, as the Club is an LTA member, you can become a British Tennis member at no extra charge.  The main advantages of BT membership are discounts on tennis events and, most significantly, entry to the Wimbledon ticket draw.  For more details, see their website:  The more members who become BT members, the greater our allocation of Wimbledon tickets, so if you haven’t signed up, please do.  (You don’t have to sign up each year; membership rolls over each year, unless you either decide to withdraw or you don’t rejoin Stansted Tennis Club.)

We will be running the summer knock-out tournament again this year, along with some one day tournaments for adults, and possibly juniors, if there is enough interest.  We will try and run events on different days and at different times to enable as many people as possible to join in.  Dates will be notified via the Clubhouse noticeboard, enewsletter and the website.

Please consider getting involved in the running of the Club.  Either informally by helping out on an ad hoc basis, or more formally by becoming one of the ‘Friends of the Committee’.  This is a list of people who don’t want to be on the Committee but are prepared to help out with other jobs eg monthly clubhouse cleaning rota, maintenance working parties, etc.

Subscriptions 2014/15
As approved at the AGM, there will be a slight reduction to subscriptions this year, along with a small change in the fee structure for juniors.  Juniors will now be divided into two flat rates – one for up to 15 year olds, and one for 16 to 21 year olds.  This is to reflect the trend for most teenagers to stay in some form of full-time education until they are 21.  Instead of a 10% discount, we will be giving one month free for early payers.  See below for the new proposed fees.



Full price

Early bird rate



















Junior A

(16-21 years, as at 1/4/14)





Junior B

(15 years and under as at 1/4/14)





I’m sure you will agree that it remains excellent value for money; particularly with the early payment discount.  Please make sure you get your renewal in before 31st March, as the early payment deadline will be strictly adhered to.

A membership form can be downloaded here.  Please print off, complete and return to the Treasurer with your payment as soon as possible.  If you are having trouble opening the attachment, please let Fiona Pye (Membership Secretary) know.

Tennis Coaches
We are extremely lucky to have two excellent coaches: Chris Hollis (01279 319155) and Martyn Taplin (01279 816386).  Their contributions to the Club are very much appreciated.  Chris runs junior coaching sessions in groups, whilst Martyn runs adult coaching sessions on Monday evenings and Chris ladies’ coaching sessions on Friday lunchtime.  There is also a beginners group on a Tuesday afternoon run by Chris. In addition, there is limited availability for one-to-one tuition.  Martyn does racket restringing at very reasonable rates.

If you have any queries about Club matters, please contact one of the Committee.

With best wishes from
Daphne Lunnon


Officers and committee members for the 2014/15:



Janet Hollis

01279 812073

Honorary Vice-President

Richard Shervington

01279 812022


Daphne Lunnon

01279 817574


Chris Hollis

01279 319155


Felicity Shakespeare

01279 831771


Sarah Hollis

01279 319155

Membership Secretary

Fiona Pye

01279 815178

Publicity Officer

Chris Hollis

01279 319155

Website Organiser

Richard Portway

01279 261111

General Member

Debbie Lane

01279 864740





 Non-committee roles



Martyn Taplin

01279 816386


Chris Hollis

01279 319155

Tennis ball contact

Martyn Taplin

01279 816386

Hospital Cup rep

Daphne Lunnon

01279 817574

Small Clubs League rep

Sarah Hollis

01279 319155

Parish Council rep

Bridget Gott

01279 814440