Staff Association
Sports &
Lawn Tennis
BMB Lawn Tennis Club: 1975
Reports of Club's Activities in staff magazines

CONTACT - Spring 1975

The first Club evening of 1975 is to be held at Stechford Hall Park on Tuesday 29th April at 18:00. The park, which is situated by the Beaufort Cinema at the Fox & Goose, has a car park and dressing room accommodation next to the courts. It can be reached by travelling on any of the following 'bus routes: 11, 14, 28, 55 or 56 with the main entrance on Coleshill Road.

The Club will be active in 1975 as previous seasons with Singles and Doubles tournaments for Gentlemen and Singles for Ladies. Two teams will play in the Men's section of the Birmingham Metropolitan Lawn Tennis League, and we intend entering knockout tournaments which will include ladies.

Membership is open to any member of the Staff who has a racket. The cost is quite simple - an annual subscription of 75p for men and 25p for ladies, credited to the Club's Current Account 01-185439-68. Please send the counterfoil to CAD for the attention of John Ordish. A further subscription of 15p is charged on every Club evening, to cover the hire of the courts.

Should you feel that tennis is your game, why not give us a try for we will be very pleased to see you.

Peter Aston.


CONTACT - Summer 1975

With the retirement of Mr Batstone, it is once again necessary to find a Chairman. The appointment, which is an onerous one, will take place at the Annual General Meeting. May I convey the thanks of the Club to Mr Batstone for the manner in which he has discharged his duties, and wish him a long and happy retirement.

The Club, under the early season guidance of Michael Tarver and Graham Capener - I was in hospital at the time - has continued to function. The attendance at Club evenings has been good with the standard of play rising. Various Cup Tournaments were entered, while two teams have once again taken part in the men's section of the Birmingham Metropolitan Lawn Tennis League.

The match record so far has been - Played 7, Won 1, Drawn 3, Lost 3. These results are not as bad as they appear when it is realised that the three losses were all cup matches. This is regrettable, but the main objective is for both teams to finish as near to the top of their respective divisions as possible. With luck, the second team could gain promotion to Division 3 if placed high enough. This would leave the way open to create a third team next season. We now have to consider if we have enough talent to carry a further team. My opinion is that we have, especially when it is remembered that an entry of 23 was received for the Club's Men's Singles. The standard of play must be levelling up as, for the second season running, two seeds fell by the wayside in the first round.

Next to be considered are two subjects that usually go hand in hand - namely females and money. The 1974 Annual General Meeting decided to encourage ladies to take up membership by putting the annual subscriptions on a sliding scale of 25p for ladies as against 75p for men. I am sorry to report that this has been only marginally successful and as a result will have to be reconsidered. The weekly subscription has also come under strain and will have to be reviewed. It has stood at 15p since 1970 which is remarkable when the raging inflation that has occurred since then is taken into account. In fact, even if the amount is increased to 20p, the total outlay per person for the season will only be 4-35. As they say, follow that if you can.

Peter Aston.


CONTACT - Christmas 1975

This season's results show that Graham Capener has definitely arrived on the tennis scene. He has beaten Roger Garner 6-1, 6-1 in the Singles final, has dominated Division 1 of the Club's Autumn League (played 6, won 6), and with David Turner has taken John Ordish and John Britten to three sets in the Doubles final before losing 4-6, 7-5, 4-6. These achievements, when it is remembered that he hardly played before he joined the staff, should encourage other members to persevere with their game. His progress, by way of teams and tournaments, to reach his present position has been remarkable. The breakthrough came in 1974, when, with his then partner, he beat John Ordish and John Britten in the Doubles finals. But, as I correctly predicted at the time, the two Johns could be relied on to fight hard in 1975 to regain their title.

In contrast, Roger Garner must feel that he has been living in a topsy-turvy world for the last two years. In 1974, he lost in the first round of the Singles, but went on to win the Extra Singles. By beating John Ordish 8-6, 5-7, 8-6 in this year's semi-final, he prevented John from reaching a final for the first time. This also means he will be seeded 2 in 1976.

1975 has been a good year for the Club, when viewed from a number of angles. taking into account A, B, Cup, and friendly matches, 19 in all were played with 7 won, 5 drawn and 7 lost. The 'A' team are the Birmingham Metropolitan Lawn Tennis League Division 1 champions, but not without a great deal of trouble. One of our opponents, Hall Green, postponed the match three times at the last moment, without a good reason. After the 3rd occasion, I gave them an ultimatum - play or have their conduct reported to the League. They wouldn't, so I did. The League, although having sympathy with our application for the points, were reluctant to grant them, because by doing so we would become champions by default. When other teams complained of the same shabby treatment, the League felt justified in censuring Hall Green by awarding the points to us.

The Club Committee - because the League only gives a shield to the Club - have decided to recognise the individual achievements of the following members: Graham Capener, John Britten, David Turner, John Ordish, Michael Tarver and Malcolm Glenn. The 'B' team has not been so lucky, finishing second from the bottom with 9 points, and as a result are in danger of relegation. Division 4 has been tough this year, Sutton United finished with 9 while Ellermans and Canning have 10. The fate of all four Clubs has hung by a thread, at one time or another, but unfortunately it was ours that was first to snap. The following members have played for the 'B' team: Ken Prentice, Malcolm Glenn, Ed Stokes, Peter Aston, Michael Tarver, Roger Garner, Stephen Barnsley and Chriss Watson. The Club has been involved  in numerous Cup competitions, but with the exception of the Junior Cup, failed to go further than the first round. In the Junior Cup we reached the semi-final before losing to the eventual winners, U & R Methodists. Those members who were asked to play in these matches are: Graham Capener, David Turner, Ken Prentice, Malcolm Glenn, Ed Stokes, Michael Tarver, John Britten, Clem Batstone, Norah Cory, Carol Beamish and Janet Aston.

The tournament entries have equalled or surpassed all previous records, with 23 for the Singles and 11 couples for the Doubles. But these numbers pale into insignificance when compared with the Club's Autumn League. This attracted an entry of 28, who, depending on known ability, were placed in 4 divisions, each of 7 players. A response of this magnitude makes the secretary's job worthwhile.

Peter Aston.