Clubhouse Refurbishment Update

We are delighted to announce that we shall soon receive a grant under the Members’ Community Allowance funding scheme of Surrey County Council, towards the cost of our new security shutters. This has been made possible by the generous sponsorship of Councillors Peter Szanto and Nick Darby.

Over the coming months, following approval by the recent Management Committee meeting, we shall be implementing this project, together with new flooring and internal doors, as well as considering what additional projects we may be able to undertake, including new seating and lighting.

Croquet B League 2019 Trophy Presentation

Simon Charrington and Steve Edney represented Ember Croquet Club at the South East Croquet Federation (SECF) AGM today (23rd Feb 2020) at Surbiton Croquet Club.

The highlight of the meeting was undoubtedly the presentation of the B League Trophy for the 2019 season to Ember. The picture above shows Steve accepting the trophy from Bill Arliss, chairman of the SECF.

After the meeting, Surbiton supplied a very nice lunch of venison stew and a potato and cheese bake, followed by lemon mousse or cheese. We have made some contacts with other clubs, which may result in some more friendly games in the future.

Getting to the Root of the Problem…

Work started this morning to install an effective root barrier to prevent further damage to the Green from the neighbouring Leylandii hedge. The work will take a couple of days and involves digging a narrow trench, cutting existing roots and installing the barrier to prevent further ingress. Some of the larger roots can be seen laid on the tarpaulin. Afterwards new turf will be laid in readiness for play next season.

Croquet lawn maintenance

Taking advantage of the dry sunny weather of the past week, the intrepid trio of Simon Charrington, Roger Stearn and Steve Edney, under the expert tutelage of Roger Dollimore, has installed two land drains under the lawn.

Trench one: ready to lay the flexible coil (left); and turf returned (right)

The first trench was dug on the south boundary on a line just to the right of the pavilion, near Hoops 4 and 5. The second trench is moreorless in line with the first Tennis lamp post, from the east boundary towards Hoop 4.

Hopefully this will go a long way to solving the drainage problem we have been experiencing after periods of heavy rain.

Trench two: waiting for the turf to thaw out after a heavy frost!

We will work tirelessly (tee hee) to make sure the lawn recovers, so Bob can still have success with his epic roll shots to Hoop 1 from that corner, when the new season starts at the end of March!

In the meantime, a couple of us having been honing our skills on the small lawn…

Small lawn: in action early February

Croquet – Newsletter Extract Feb 2020

We are starting to prepare for the new season already. The lawn is rather soggy given all that rain we had before Christmas. Thanks to Mike Cutts, from Bowls, we have managed to aerate the lawn, and hope to repeat the tining process a couple of times before the end of March. The south east corner is still waterlogged so we will be digging some new drains in the next week or two. Hopefully that will help! The moss is taking hold too so, again through Mike C, we will take soil samples and get some professional advice

Good Tines Ahead?

Here are some dates for your diary:

Pre-season social in the clubhouse on Friday 27th March. Bring a dish but not cheese and pineapple on a stick (Bob), or sausages on a stick (Steve), or jam tarts (Hugh). Apologies to the well-loved contributions from others but I particularly like those aforementioned delicacies!

Barbecues are usually on the third Sunday of each month:

May 17th

June 14th (as 21st is Father’s Day)

July 19th

August 16th

September 20th

The GC match on 6th June HOME against All England Club (Wimbledon) is confirmed, so we are going to give GC a real go this year in preparation for that at least!

We also want to see if there is sufficient demand this year to put a team in for the SECF AC tournament at Southwick, taking place on 9th and 10th May. Please let David know if you are interested as soon as possible, as we have to register sometime in February. David will also confirm our entry into the B League, so we can defend our title.

The presentation of the B League trophy will take place at Surbiton during the SECF AGM on 23 February. Photo to be included in the next instalment, as well as one from the Casa Mia meal (this Friday 31st January), at which we raised a tidy sum for the refurbishment fund.

There are still two more indoor croquet evenings:

February 11th

March 3rd.

Finally, we hope to get the small lawn operational ahead of the official start of the season, potentially from February 3rd onwards. Please make sure you use the correct hoops and the Barlow balls please.

Take care until then!

Tennis – Newsletter Extract Feb 2020


You cannot enter the club ballot for Wimbledon tickets if you have not opted into the ballot on the LTA website. You must be a member of British Tennis and also need to be registered to Ember LTC to be eligible for our club ballot – these are Wimbledon’s rules.  Please note the number of tickets we are allocated is directly related to the number of British Tennis members we have registered. If you are unsure if you opted in, ask me and I can check our listing. Please go to the web site


The free Thursday drills sessions will continue on February 13th – please feel free to come along at 6.45pm each week for free coaching with Rob.  Please note there is no session on February 6th.


We are looking for a member to help promote the tennis section on social media.  If you feel able to help, please let Sue know on (


This is the time of year that we have to set the subscription level for the coming year.  The club, as many of you know, is running at a small deficit and has put the club part of the subscription up £4.  The tennis club has invested in 4 new courts and floodlights in the last year, and despite getting a substantial pay out from the insurance company, have a much reduced sinking fund and much larger maintenance costs for the courts, especially the clay courts.  We have taken the difficult decision to raise the tennis subscription (there was no raise last year) by the price of a pint (2 pints at the club bar) for the year. This does work out at only 10.7p per week over the year.  I do hope you will all understand and continue your membership.


The committee has met recently to discuss the coming year.  We have several ideas in the pipeline, but would welcome your feedback and ideas on these items, or any further events or suggestions you have.  Please email me or talk to me if you have any great ideas, or just some comments –  We would particularly like to hear what social events you would be interested in?

  1.  Increase member participation in free coaching, mix-ins, and social events
  2.  Develop parent and child session, maybe on a Sunday afternoon
  3.  Possible social events – Ladies evening (Indian theme again?), Spring event for members, Bank holiday tournaments, Christmas tournament and party, BBQ
  4. Club tournament (doubles partners to change after 2 wins in a row)
  5. Continue free drills session for members

Drama – Newsletter Extract Feb 2020                               

As previously reported, instead of a full production Thurs 2nd to Sat 4th Apr at the playhouse (which has now been cancelled), we are now putting on an evening of fun sketches based on Fawlty Towers and a delicious meal in the clubhouse thanks to our intrepid committee members, Neil Armstrong (directing) and Jane Martin (coordinating).

We’re calling it “A Gourmet Dinner at Fawlty Towers” – (a homage) on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th March 2020 7pm for 7.30 in the Ember Sports Clubhouse

Neil held a fun evening of auditions, and succeeded in fully casting it on the night – including new member, Danny Conyngham – (Whey hey: Welcome Danny!) – with this excellent cast:   

Basil = Jonathan Clark,    Sybil = Julia Cutcliffe,    Polly = Anne Segall,    Manuel = Steve Clunn,

Mr Hutchison = Richard Lyons,    Mrs Richards = Gillian Beaney,    Major = Danny Conyngham

TICKETS ON SALE NOW: £16 payable on the night to include dinner and entertainment. Invite your friends and family – Either book a table of 8 or we will seat you.

TO RESERVE YOUR PLACE: Contact Jane on or 07768 632684 – Pls let Jane know that you are from the drama section

Tables are getting booked up already, so reserve your tickets now, now, now! It is going to be fun, folks….

Diary dates:

Spring 2020:

A Gourmet Dinner at Fawlty Towers” – (a homage) – a Fawlty Towers meal extravaganza at the clubhouse: Friday 13th and Saturday 14th March 2020, 7pm for 7.30

Winter play 2020 – Walton Playhouse – Performance dates Weds 9th or Thurs 10th to Sat 12th Dec:

Steve Clunn has agreed to take on this slot. He is still considering options 

Bowls – Newsletter Extract Feb 2020

Diary Dates:

Spring Social Event – Saturday 29th February 2020 at 7.00pm for 7.30pm start

Indoor match at Cambridge Park – Sunday March 22nd at 2 pm

Pre-Season Meeting – Thursday 9th April 2020 at 7.00pm

Green Opens – Saturday 11th April at 2:30pm roll-up


We are still without a Captain for April & September, how about some more volunteers please.

Just to remind you our Captains for the other months are: –

May – Robert Postle, June – Malcolm Baird, July – Colin Jones, August – Andy Hughes

LADIES CAPTAIN                                                                                      ANNA HUGHES

To all the Lady Bowlers.  I think I’ve invited you all to the Pre-Season Lunch. If not, then I’m sorry.  Also, some of you might not have received the e-mail. (Me, computers and technology do not mix). 

Anyway, ALL lady bowlers are invited, so please let me know if you can come ASAP.

The Lunch will be at La Orient on Wednesday 18th March at noon for sit-down at 12.30.  Cost £22. Please make your cheque payable to Anna Hughes, and either send it to 17 Woodside Avenue, Esher, Surrey KT10 8JQ, or leave it on the notice board at the Club.

SPRING SOCIAL EVENT – Saturday 29th February 2020 at 7.00pm for 7.30pm start

To celebrate Leap-Day we will be running a “Games Night” which will include shuffleboard, bagatelle, shove halfpenny and putting.

There will be an element of competition and prizes for the winners. There will also be a 2-course winter warming meal.

All this comes at a giveaway price of £10 per person. We have already had a good response so please book early to avoid disappointment by contacting Ken Homewood. (01483-282384 or If you or your guests have any allergy issues please advise Ken when you contact him.

INDOOR BOWLS                                                                                                              

MOLE VALLEY CUP– Adam has selected teams for our games in the Mole Valley Cup and our first game is on Friday January 31st at 6 pm.

INDOOR MATCH AT CAMBRIDGE PARK SUNDAY MARCH 22nd AT 2 PM –Although still some way off, Adam still needs players to be able to fulfil this our second and last indoor friendly of the winter season.

Anyone who would like to play can sign up on the club’s notice board or contact Adam on 01932 889662 or e mail

BOWLS BUDGETS                                                                                                                             DAVE BARDSLEY

We have had a good year to date due to successful hosting of outside events (NWS finals and Surrey competitions), our own fundraising efforts and reduced expenditure on green and equipment maintenance.  Many thanks are due to the helpers, supporters and attendees at these events and those who give their time to maintain the upkeep of the club.  We anticipate making a good surplus this year and Committee have agreed to use this to offset our depreciation charges in future years’ budgets, thereby reducing pressure on next year’s and future budgets.
Nevertheless the absence of any external hosting of events next year together with general increases in costs has still left us with a potential budget shortfall for next year.  To address this Committee have agreed a modest £1.00 increase in subscriptions for next year to £84.00 (£168.00 including Sports Club subscription) for full members.  New members fees will be discounted to £45.00 (£129) for their first year.  Match fees will also increase to £3, the first increase in several years, to help offset increased catering costs.
Committee is constantly looking for cost savings and other sources of revenue, including sponsorships.  If you are aware of any potential sponsors or advertisers, please let Ken Homewood know.  In the meantime, please join and use it where you can for any internet purchases, including travel and holidays.  The few members who are currently using it raise about £80 for us each year; please join with them.


We have damage to the green caused by the tree roots from a neighbouring garden. We have contacted the neighbour but at the moment we have not had a positive response. We have decided that we have to act as delay will only increase the damage, so work will start in mid-February so that the green will be playable for the beginning of the season.


Have you forgotten that Sylvia has name badges available £2 pin badge, £2.50 magnetic badge, white writing on green?  Order yours now (you only have to remember your own name at this stage!) from Sylvia:  01932 788701 or


Sweatshirts are still available lovingly embroidered with the Club badge and maybe also your name?  The costs range from just £22 – £25 approx.  Badge only, to sew onto existing clothing, is available for £4.  If you would like to place an order, or arrange to see the samples, please contact Sylvia 01932 788701 or

Social – Newsletter Extract Feb 2020



A Gourmet Dinner at Fawlty Tower  – a homage

Join Basil, Sybil, Polly and Manuel in the dining room

Friday 13th and Saturday 14th March 2020

7pm for 7.30pm in the Ember Sports Clubhouse

To book and reserve your place please contact Jane on or 07768 632 684

 £16 payable on the night to include dinner and entertainment 


Invite your friends and family – Either book a table of 8 or we will seat you.

When booking please let us know:

  • which section you are from
  • anyone who is a guest (not a member)
  • any dietary or special requirements / allergies

Cancellation: no charge up to 3 days prior to event, after that a £10 per person fee will be requested as all items will have been purchased – thank you



Details to be announced in September

Management Committee – Newsletter Extract – Feb 2020

CLUBHOUSE REFURBISHMENT                                                                 

Phase 1 has been approved by the Management Committee. Phase 1 includes replacing the carpeted areas in the clubhouse & committee room, replacement of the sliding door to the committee room with glazed French doors, & replacement of the bar shutters with new easy-to-operate motorised ones. The intention is that this work will be completed in readiness for the summer season.

Phase 2 looking at improvements to the furniture & décor is being evaluated and costed for discussion in the next Financial Year.

The CRG is also looking closely at various potential sources of external grants and are hopeful that one grant which is being processed will be available for Phase 1

If you would like to offer any input on the club refurbishment please contact Julian Callow (


A speciality coffee machine has been installed in the clubhouse in response to members’ request. It is £1/cup and there is a cash box with the machine. Enjoy

Coffee Machine


The “Hive” control of the clubhouse heating is working well. Now this is working please DO NOT change the settings on the fan driven radiators.


The website has been updated and it now has a member’s only section which requires a password which is included in the accompanying “E” mail.  You can access the current and previous Newsletters as well as Committee Minutes, Accounts, Rules and Archived Posts.

YOGAThere will be no yoga class at the clubhouse on Friday mornings for the next 3 weeks.  The class will resume (9-10am) on Friday 28th February.


Double yellow lines have been added to Grove Way opposite the entrance to our car park which will overcome the restricted access for emergency vehicles that had been our concern. This request was initiated by us some years ago and by perseverance we have succeeded.  Nick Plaut in particular has been Ember’s driving force.

Club Sign


You will also see that we have had a new sign installed in the car park advertising the club and its facilities. It is part of our drive to raise the club’s profile.



                Michael Reynell, 37 Park Road, East Molesey, KT8 9LD

                Salvatore La Porta, 72 Daybrook Road, Merton Park, London, SW19 3DH

                Both      Proposed by Sue Wells                   Seconded by Robbie Blundell


                Danny Conyngham Proposed by Steve Infield   Seconded by Chris Cutcliffe


John Raeside, our bar manager, is updating the bar cleaning rota for the coming season and needs some additional volunteers. This is a light duty that is not gender discriminatory and is a Sat or Sun morning job on a six-week rota. If you would like to help out please contact John Raeside on 020 8398 6772 or

A GOURMET DINNER AT FAWLTY TOWERS – a homage – Friday 13 and Saturday 14 March This is selling fast, so please see booking details in the Social section if you wish to come.

This, of course, means that rehearsals are taking place in the clubhouse on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays each week with the exception of Wednesday 12th instead of Tuesday 11th February and Wednesday 4th instead of Tuesday 3rd March. Thank you for your co-operation in keeping noise levels down when coming into the clubhouse.

200 Club Draw                                                                                MALCOLM BAIRD

Many thanks to all those who have already contributed to Ember’s 200 Club. Your support is much appreciated. For those who intended to buy some numbers but have not yet got around to it, please do so promptly as the first draw for 2020 is later in February.  Each number that you buy costs just £12 for a whole year and all profits go towards club improvements. I was hoping that we would beat or at least equal last year’s record total of 200 numbers sold but there is still some way to go. With this in mind I have optimistically attached an application form at the end of this Newsletter