Chairman’s Message

Dear Fellow Members,
29th March is firmly in our sights as the date on which we expect to be able to reopen our Club. On behalf of the Board and management, I would like to thank all Members for your patience, enforced though it may have been, while we have been unable to use the Club.

Marc Newey and his team are busy preparing for the return of golf, tennis, croquet, swimming, and other forms of outdoor exercise as well as takeaway outdoor catering. Marc has written separately a few days ago with outline details of the permitted activities. He will write again next week, once guidelines have been firmed up by the relevant governing bodies and health authorities, with booking dates and procedures. Health and safety for Members and staff will remain vitally important as we reopen.

Meanwhile, there has been plenty of activity around the Club with work on maintenance and improvement projects which might otherwise have had to be done at some inconvenience to Members. I wrote about these in my Recorder letter of 18 February. Those projects are progressing well.

Most importantly our excellent team of staff have tried to actively engage with all Members in lockdown. Approximately, 1,000 Members per week have been taking part in exercise, bridge, art, and backgammon classes, enjoying superlative culinary creations or lectures and talks on a wide range of subjects. I would like on behalf of us all to acknowledge the creativity and commitment of all the different teams (gym, tennis, golf, F&B, Events and senior management), and of Members who have volunteered their time, to lay these things on for us to enjoy. I am confident that when life returns to normal the lessons of the lockdown will be learned and applied to enhance the services the Club offers.

Many members of staff have been on furlough. The Board decided at its recent meeting to continue to top up the salaries of these staff to 100%, beyond the 80% contribution received from the government, until the end of March. At that point, and in line with the Government’s roadmap, the vast majority of staff will return to work. Any future payments for any staff on furlough in April and May will be at 80%.

Marc and I continue to receive a small number of emails from Members inquiring about the possibility of a refund on subscriptions given the latest lockdown. As I have written before, most recently on 18 February, the Board will consider the Club’s position at its March meeting. I will write again on the 25th March with the Board’s decision. Meanwhile, I have nothing to add to what I have previously written on this subject.

As we approach the first steps in relaxing the lockdown, I hope that you all keep well and I look forward to seeing many of you around the Club from 29th March onwards. I can’t wait to play some golf and tennis with friends once more.
Best wishes