Eaton Bray WI - December 2016
Posted on December 10, 2016
Our November and December meetings were held in the Memorial Hall. The first meeting took place on 8th November, when our speaker, David Mercer, spoke on the subject of, 'A Life in Tennis'. The name David Mercer may be familiar to many of the readers, particularly to those who enjoy sports because David is a sports broadcaster, specialising in: tennis, badminton and rowing.
David is a keen and gifted sports person himself who, when at school, won the Welsh Junior Doubles title in 1968 and captained his university tennis team in 1969. Having studied law at Nottingham University and acknowledging that he was not quite good enough to be a top level tennis player he did not take up sport for a living. Instead, he became a solicitor in Swansea, having qualified in 1973.
However, the love of sport and with tennis in particular never fading, David took up umpiring and from 1973 to 1984 he umpired at Wimbledon. In 1983 he was in charge of the Men's Double Final and in 1984 the Men's Singles Final between Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe. He has also umpired many other tournaments including Davis Cup ties.
Having won a competition organised by BBC Wales, David began broadcasting part-time in 1979 and in 1984 saw him broadcasting full - time when he became part of BBC Radio Sport in London. In 1990 he was appointed its tennis correspondent and two years later he moved from radio to BBC Television. Proudly he told his audience how much he has enjoyed being a member of the BBC's Wimbledon commentary team since 1985. There were numerous interesting, fascinating and anecdotal tales he told his audience, all of which were based on and around the subject of tennis.
David also informed his listeners that he not only commentates for the BBC but also for BT Sport, Eurosport and a number of other networks. He is a former Chairman of the Lawn Tennis Writers' Association, a member of the International Tennis Federation's Media Commission, a Buckinghamshire Ambassador and a former member of the Sports Council for Wales.
David was also interested in politics. In the 1979 General Election, David came within 401 votes for being the Member of Parliament for Swansea West and during the 1983 General Election he assisted in the Prime Minister's Private Office.
David was a very interesting and informative speaker. It is fair to say that all members of his audience gleaned plenty of fresh information. A very enjoyable evening was had by all.
The second Meeting took place on 13th December when we held our AGM and Jenny was re-elected our president. The AGM was followed by our delicious Christmas meal, which was provided by Jane and her team of Happy Helpers. Poems and anecdotes were recited by members of our meeting and the invited visitors from the three WI groups which Edlesborough WI is amalgamated, were presented each with a poinsettia.
The speaker on this occasion was Colin Oakes, who spoke on the subject of his 'career' - that of being Father Christmas in a garden centre. The title of his talk was, 'Eighteen Years in a Grotto: Santa Speaks'. The talk was very festive but also reflected the change in the public's attitude towards people working with children.
The evening concluded with a very successful raffle; with lots of donations.
To those ladies, who have never been to a WI meeting or perhaps you have but for some reason have not been to one for some time, our next meeting will take place in the Memorial Hall on 14th February at 7.30. Why not come along? You will receive a friendly welcome.
-- Jackie Flint
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