Chairman’s Message

The Board had its regular monthly meeting last week. Some important matters were on the agenda:

Membership category changes

Last October changes were announced for 2020 onwards to the discount given to Members aged over 70 with 30 continual years membership (the 70/30 discount) and to the terms of Five Day Membership. Several representations were made in relation to the changes which were followed by an informal meeting of affected Members with Charles Shiplee, chairman of the Membership Committee, Marc Newey and me. Following that meeting, three Members were invited to meet the Board last week to put their points of view across on behalf of the group as a whole.

Having taken account of the representations, the Board recognises the upset that the change caused and regrets this. It nevertheless believes that a discount for long membership related to age is no longer appropriate and its decision to move away from that arrangement remains correct. A new structure will therefore be introduced from 1st January 2021, as follows:

Members pay full fees from the age of 35 and therefore those who have achieved 35 years of continuous membership from that point will benefit from a reduction of 12% against the Member’s subscription then prevailing. 

After achieving 40 years of membership the reduction will increase to 15%.

In addition, the Board reaffirmed its commitment to the existing Honorary Membership category conditions. This means that the Board may, in its discretion, award Honorary Membership to Members who have attained 50 years of continuous adult membership (from the age of 18) in good standing or for some other exceptional reason. An example of the latter was its decision to offer Honorary Membership to Joe Salisbury to mark his becoming the first Member to win a grand slam tennis title.

Members currently benefiting from the 70/30 discount scheme will be moved on to the new structure receiving either the 12% discount as the current policy or 15% discount if they qualify under the above criteria.

 The Board also looked at the Five Day Membership changes again as well:

The policy of Five Day Membership allowing access to sporting facilities Monday to Friday only will remain but the Board recognises that it increased the cost of this membership category for 2020 while at the same time reducing some of the benefits i.e. access to Health Club, croquet and squash use at weekends. 

Therefore, as a transitional step the Board is offering all Five Day Members the chance to upgrade to Restricted Full Membership for the remainder of 2020 at no extra cost. This membership category allows access rights for all sports including tennis at weekends except for golf.

If you have already paid to upgrade to Restricted Full membership, we will credit your membership card with £300 as Top Up Levy to be spent on Food and Beverage or Club Events whenever you wish. If you wish to remain as a Five Day Member, we will also credit your card with £300 as Top Up Levy. 

An email / letter has been sent to all Members affected by the 70/30 discount and Five Day Membership changes so that the Membership Office can administer the necessary changes.


Further to my piece last month on this subject the Board has approved the creation of a Senior Member Forum so that Members aged 60 and over have a specific channel to express views related to their interests and wishes. This is in addition to the valuable contribution that many such Members already make through their elected positions on section and group committees.

At the same time, the Board recognises that it needs to work on retaining the membership of younger people, especially in the 18-35 age group. Their needs and wishes are not well catered for in any of the existing channels and accordingly the Board also approved the creation of a Young Member Forum.

In each case, we would be pleased to hear from Members within each category who would like to take part in such forums, which will be run along the same lines as the Family Forum and the Health Club Forum. To be effective, the forums should be limited in size and comprise a mix of Member representatives and a small number of Board Directors and management.

Interested Members should please write to  giving a brief explanation of their interest and what they would hope to contribute.

Redevelopment plans

The Board has appointed Naismiths as Project Manager to work alongside ADP as architects and LUC as planning consultants. Steps are now in progress to appoint other Members of the core design team, including Mechanical and Engineering Consultants, as for our future plans we need to survey the condition of all Clubhouse services and their adaptability to any scheme designed. 

Risk register

The Board carried out its six-monthly review of risks which was timely in light of the Coronavirus threat. Members will have seen emails and notices around the Club and the Board urges all Members to please follow the guidance displayed and all other advice from the health authorities. Our management team will pay close attention to emerging advice and guidance and communicate as required with Members.

Car parking

Please follow the direction of the arrows in the car parks. It has been reported that people are ignoring these directions and the No Entry signage which may result in collisions, damage to cars and injury to pedestrians and children.

Alan Jenkins | Chairman |