Work to Courts 4-6

After much debate, hard work and saving up for seven years, we are embarking on a major upgrade of the hard courts (4, 5 and 6) starting on Monday 1-October and opening again by the end of November.

These courts have always suffered from subsidence and have an uneven surface.
They were refreshed with new tarmac back in 2006 and they were also patched up to repair root damage a few years ago.

Every year the club ring-fences a portion of the income as a “sinking fund” to be only spent on renovating the playing surfaces, lights and fencing. This reached £65,000 last November.

We are now going to have three areas of subsidence excavated and replaced with proper foundation stone. Then the whole surface (after being pierced and the holes filled with fine gravel for drainage) will be covered with a further 125 mm of foundation stone.
The whole surface will be covered with a 32 mm tarmac finished surface.

This surface will have temporary lines painted and remain in this state until the spring of 2019.
We must wait until the temperature is high enough for final painting. There will be four red court markings on Court 4 and orange court markings on courts 5 and 6: this is to support and encourage junior tennis and to allow us to host LTA junior events.
While the court surface is awaiting the final paint, tennis balls will get dirty quite quickly from the raw tarmac.

This work will mean that courts 4-6 will be stable and secure for the foreseeable future and puts the club on an even better footing than now.

The work will start on approximately Monday 1-October and will take six weeks, plus an extra two weeks before the temporary lines can be applied as the raw tarmac has to ‘cure’.
There is no allowance for inclement weather, so the likely court availability will be mid-November.
The courts will again be out of commission for one week in spring 2019 when they have the final paint finish.

There is going to be quite an impact on everyone only being able to use the three clay courts.
We obviously want to maximise the court time for members, but also accommodate the coaches as this is their main livelihood.
All club matches during this period have been arranged to be played away from home.
There will not be any coaching at the same time as Friday and weekend afternoon club sessions (as now) and the coaches will leave one court free for members’ use.
Some flexibility, sharing and compromise on all sides will be necessary for a short while.
Here is the current coaching schedule of court usage – so you can plan your time to play:

There will also be some disruption to the grounds while the work progresses.
Deliveries will arrive through the double gates in Holland Road and be transferred in dumper trucks across the grass to courts 4 – 6.
Safety measures and traffic marshalling will be in place to maintain access to the courts and keep everyone safe.
During this time can I ask parents to be extra vigilant in monitoring their children to keep out of the working areas.

If you have any questions ask a member of the committee and we will of course keep you updated as new information is available.

This is the final piece of major work needed to put all the playing surfaces at Elmwood on a stable footing for the indefinite future.

Floodlights …

The floodlights work by a coin token which you slot into the meters (to right-hand side at the top). The meters are located in the light-grey boxes next to the courts and Trainers hut for Courts 4-6.

The meter boxes are unlocked, but please make sure the lids are closed to protect them from the worst of the English weather.

The tokens are only on sale at the bar on a Friday evening (19:30 – 22:30) so plan ahead!
Each token lasts for 30-minutes and cost £2.00 – so it costs £4.00/hour. We have to set a cost that covers the electricity, but also be sufficient to replace bulbs, etc. and eventually the whole installation in 20-years time!

There is a short period at the start while the lights “warm up”. There is a “protection circuit” that helps to maintain the life of each of the light bulbs, so if you try to turn them on immediately after they have gone off there will be a short period needed for them to “re-set” which can be up to 5-minutes. So we suggest that if you are keen to “continue play” immediately after someone else has finished playing, that you “feed the meter” before the lights go out, so that there is no interruption in the lighting.
5-minutes before the lights are due to go out you are warned by the red/ green lights on the posts by the club-house fence coming on.  There is no audible warning, but this would be a sensible time for the next players to feed the meter to enable continuation of play with no interruption to the lights.

The lights automatically go off at 22:00 regardless of if there is any time left on the meter. It is therefore obviously helpful and somewhat “socially responsible” for players to start their floodlit playing time slots “on the hour” or “on the half hour”. Otherwise the last players for that evening could end up paying for 30 minutes and only getting 12 minutes because someone started playing at twelve minutes to six that evening. Please remember, one day it could be you!

Enjoy!

Box League

A Box League is where you sign up to a list of players.

These players are grouped in Leagues of 4 or 5 initially by the club captain’s judgement on ability.
Each player plays all the others in their “box” and the winner is promoted and the lowest position is relegated.

In this way you can find people to have competitive games with and after a few months the boxes will settle down to similar ability groups.
In this way you end up playing people who are a similar standard to you.

The box league is open to  men and women over 14.
If you would like to join the Box League please email the membership secretary and they will pass your details to the Box League organiser to be included when the next Boxes are set.