You would have thought that with the onset of the darker evenings, the colder afternoons and the ever-increasing....
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Eaton Bray Lawn Tennis Club

Posted on November 1, 2009

This article was published in November 2009. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Eaton Bray Lawn Tennis ClubYou would have thought that with the onset of the darker evenings, the colder afternoons and the ever-increasing risk of aquatic chaos, winter blizzards, snowdrifts and subsequent general mayhem, our on-court tennis activities would have begun to slow down, in preparation for that much anticipated hibernation period. That period where the tennis racquets are lobbed into the attic to gather cobwebs until the first rays of spring sunshine peep through the curtains, usually around April, to entice us less devoted players back out onto the courts so that we can play wearing less than six layers of clothing. But no! This year things are different; and as I pen this, one dreary Sunday morning in mid October, there are no less than 24 members due on court to take part in the first leg of our new Winter League Ladder. The brainchild of committee member Glenn Wigley (although we all think he used his computer), the competition runs over a six-month period playing once a month, with players competing against one another in groups, to move up the 'ladder'. At the end of March there will be a declared winner who will be the proud recipient of the 'Mike Venn Trophy', named in remembrance of Mike, late husband and doubles partner of club founder member Judy Venn - still a regular player and a mixed doubles finalist this year!

Thus at EBLTC, tennis stays as a true year-round sport, and despite my protestations even I might have to relent and drag myself down to the courts one bleak midwinter Sunday morning in an attempt to move my peg a few places higher up the ladder. I'm also going to suggest a ladder for barbecues, but no-one else will be allowed to join, therefore I can't fail to finish top. Or bottom thinking about it...

As 'Focus' goes to press tomorrow, I can just squeeze in a report on last night's Quiz at the village hall, jointly organised by the village hall and tennis club committees. No less than 172 people battled in teams with names such as the 'Eggheads' and 'Braindrain' to answer questions on everything from atomic atmospheric elements to football players. At this point I wish it to be known that I said 'Argon' but no-body believed me. And no, that's not the footballer. I wasn't the only one - no-one believed Jane Wigley's 'Tufted Puffin' either, but somehow our team still came second to the 'Magnificent Seven' who took home a magnificent seven bottles of quality wine (or so the notice said in Aldi). 'Mary's Ladies', now re-named and down to seven following the sad passing of Mary French, took their usual 'consolation' prize of seven boxes of fine chocolate; I'm convinced those ladies are actually mega-intelligent with IQs to match that of Stephen Hawking, but use that intellect to purposely come up with all the wrong answers and come last, to purposely win the chocolates every time. Seems to work though, but beware ladies, I've seen through your crafty plan and next time my team plans to answer the question before last, just like the Two Ronnies did in 'Mastermind'. That way we'll have all the right answers, but not necessarily in the right order, and get to take home the chocolates. I'll keep that quiet until the next quiz though.

The change of usual compere to yours truly, was forced upon the unsuspecting audience by Ross Bagni's long planned holiday to Scotland with equally long suffering wife Shelagh. The holiday itself was briefer than planned, as whilst unloading their car, poor Shelagh took a tumble and managed to break her femur which has resulted in a fairly long enforced hospital stay there. Our thoughts are with Shelagh for as speedy a rehabilitation as possible; Ross has promised to encase her in bubble-wrap for her next outing. That said, we still managed to make a total profit of £1,300 to be split between the village hall and the tennis club; £431 of which was from the superbly supported raffle alone. Huge thanks go to Katrina Hurley and her team of helpers, Keith Blackburn our quizmaster extraordinaire, ably assisted/hindered by Glenn Wigley, EBLTC Chairman Bernadette Hillman, and everyone involved for making this such a successful evening. Put the next one in your diaries now - Saturday 24th April 2010 and book early!

For any further information about the club, including when we get together for our social tennis sessions up at the School Lane courts, or our various activities, you can visit our website at

Source: Focus, November 2009

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