New Surface Courts 1-3, repair Courts 4-6

The committee have appointed a contractor to carry out the following work:

  • Courts 1 -3 will be recovered with an Artificial Clay surface.
  • Courts 4 – 6 will have the root damage repaired and remove all trip hazards and remain as a tarmac surface.
  • A tree surgeon will remove some small trees affecting the courts and tidy up the boundary hedges.

The work to Courts 4-6 will be carried out first – probably before the end of March-15 (weather permitting).
The work to Court 1-3 will be carried out after the work to Court 4-6 and before the end of May.
So for a period of about 4-weeks between now and the end of May only 3 courts will be open for play. Please bear with us during this time.

Club session and matches will be unaffected. Some coaching and social tennis may be slightly limited for a time.

Courts 1-3 Artificial Clay

Before Court 1-3 were completely rebuilt in 2011 they were a “shale” surface – i.e. sand!
This needed lots of maintenance (watering, brushing, repairing, etc.) it was a right hassle, but it was a joy to play on as the bounce was slow (if erratic) and it is kind to the body.
When we replaced the shale with tarmac we said that our long term objective was to have some type of artificial surface in the future when we could afford it.
So now we have saved up for 4-years we can afford it!

The surface has been selected after a sub-committee of players went round various clubs and played on three different kinds of surface – one artificial-grass and two artificial-clay.
It was a unanimous decision of all the people who tested out the surfaces to select the artificial clay called Advantage Red Court.

This surface does not requiring watering at any stage.
However it does require that after playing on it everyone must use a drag-brush and smooth out the surface.
Additionally once a month a rota of people (volunteers required) will spend ½-hour re-spreading the artificial clay which has been pushed to the edges back onto the areas of most use.
Three times a year we will have a specialist contractor spend a day renovating and cleaning the courts.
So there is a bit of a hassle, but not much and it will be worth it.

If you don’t want to do any of this then no problem – play on the tarmac courts!

This artificial clay surface is laid on top of a carpet style matt, but the artificial clay (actually small spherical ceramic nodules of various sizes) completely covers the matt below. With good maintenance the surface should last up to 15-years (we have budgeted 12) and could be longer. The oldest one in the UK is 8-years old and shows no sign of wear!

If you have never seen any before it looks like this:ARC#1 ARC#2ARC#3

The long term plan it to keep 3 courts with an artificial clay surface.

Court 4-6 Tarmac

We also intend to keep courts 4-6 as a tarmac surface.
These were build a long time ago on top of what was a shale court without much in the way of proper foundations.  Exactly when is lost in the mists of time!
They had a second tarmac surface laid on top of the first – with some running repairs – in 2006.
It has been painted twice since then.

Some damage to the surface has happened as trees round the edge of the court have sent their roots seeking water and this has raised the tarmac in several areas affecting the bounce of the ball and is a bad trip hazard.
We are removing all trees that are more than shrubs along the south boundary (and having the hedge trimmed as it badly needs it) so this problem won’t happen again.
The root damage will be repaired locally by being cut out and new tarmac laid.
The new tarmac patches will be spray painted to match the existing once the tarmac has dried.
Until the tarmac has dried sufficiently there will be temporary white lines provided.
We will not be re-spraying the whole of the three courts.
It would of course look better, but each time you re-paint it reduces the rate at which rain water will drain away.

We intend to re-spray all three courts in a couple of years’ time.
That’s because we want to totally re-build courts 4-6 in 5 to 7-years’ time.
That is the only way we can make these last in the long term.

The intention is that they will remain as a tarmac surface.

The Club House

As a final word it is worth mentioned that we also anticipate that in 5 to 7-years’ time we could also have sufficient funds to do some significant rebuilding to the club house.
There are also funds available for general repair and maintenance now.

It goes without saying that all these plans and intentions depend on the continuing success of Elmwood LTC with a membership level about the same as now.
So please spread the word and recommend us to all your friends.

We remain a community focussed local tennis club.

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!


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.