AGM Minutes – 3rd December 2019



Committee Members Present:

Tim Dunn (Chair), Charlie Calderbank (Treasurer), David Channon (Secretary), Rachel Richardson (Junior Secretary), Andrew Stallwood (Membership Secretary), Helma Marlow (Social Secretary).

Other Members Present:

Graham Cooper, Sandra Greenslade, Paul Shienfeld, Jonathan Palmer, Marcus Binning, Quentin Jones, Diana Jones, Richard Ormerod, Olly Bonser, Sheena Darke, Karen Peters, Clare Pelling, Tim Rose, Max Head, Finn Flood.


  1. Apologies

These had been received from Janette Verrall, Simon Blackwood, Fiona Blackwood and Nikki Botteril.

  1. Approval of 2018 AGM Minutes

Approval was proposed by Sheena Darke and seconded by Quentin Jones.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

Charlie distributed copies of the accounts for year ended 31.10.19 and reported as follows:

“The main points are:

– Subscription income is up £5,849, from £18,546 to £24,395

– Cash balances are up £2,837, from £15,941 to £18,778

The reason for the disparity between the increase in subs income and the cash balances is the £6,429 payment for completion of the courts. As that is an exceptional cost, one would expect cash balances to increase by substantially more than £2,837 in future years. So, the club is in a strong financial position and I would state with confidence that there is no need to make any changes to subscription rates this year.”

Charlie indicated that the accounts have now been approved by our auditor Peter Greenslade and wished to thank him for his input.

He told us that £5400 (the 2019 budgeted figure) would be put aside as soon as possible as the first contribution towards the sinking fund, intended to pay for court re-surfacing etc. in the future. It would be placed in a new Lloyds 30 day notice account paying 0.75% p.a.interest. As this account requires a minimum balance of £10k, additional club funds would also be placed in that account on a temporary basis.

In response to a query, Charlie indicated that the absence from the accounts of income from Shiplake College for the use of our courts is temporary and he expects payment to be made once a new person is settled in post at the college.

  1. Chairman’s Report

Tim Dunn reported as follows:


Membership has reached the maximum we currently allow for any further out of catchment members to be considered. A waiting list of out of catchment membership requests has been started.

We’ve had record breaking attendance at club sessions this year with 1,058 members coming to sessions since the 25th March. This is up 7% on last year and it is only the second time we have had attendance of over 1,000 members.

As you heard from Charlie, we increased year over year revenues from subscriptions and court hires by £5,849. This would usually mean we achieved our sink fund target of £5,400. This year though, we had the final payment for the completion of the courts resurfacing of £6,429. We should make up the shortfall over the next year or two, as long as no extraordinary expenditures arise and membership continues at current levels or higher.


Painting was completed in the week of 29th April.

Courts were closed during July due to exceptional temperatures.


Once again we have managed to enter the same number of adult teams into the Oxfordshire and Berkshire Winter and Summer Leagues. The only team not competing this winter is the Junior Girls Team Under 18. Sadly, the players have too much exam pressure to take time out to compete. Although they certainly could play in one or two ladies matches if needed. At the end of 2018/19 Winter Season most of the teams remained in the same divisions continuing in these divisions in the Winter Season 2019/20. The Winter Season 2019/20 started in October and continues until March. Unfortunately, the very wet weather on several Saturdays has meant that some teams have had a slow start to the season having only played one or two matches. Other teams have been luckier and are well into their competitive matches.

Court space has been at a premium because several home matches have been rained off, but matches can be played until at least the end of March! All teams are playing good competitive tennis and as always promotion at the end of the season is their goal.

The Summer Season 2019 meant less teams competing but most weekends from April to August several teams, both Mens and Ladies, turned out to play for Shiplake. These teams have mixed results but hopefully all players enjoy the tennis. The one ladies’ team in Oxfordshire retained their place in Division 4, an excellent result.

Mens Match Practice – Thursday evenings and Ladies Match Practice – Monday evenings are continuing to be a useful feature in team tennis at Shiplake and the ladies managed to continue practice through the summer on a Tuesday evening. Any member interested in playing team tennis please get in touch with- Men – Richard Ormerod –, Ladies – Sheena Darke –


Once again, the club is indebted to many of its members for their ongoing and valued support. Tirelessly and without seeking any attention or gratitude, the following people deserve our thanks:

Paul Shienfeld for the supply and distribution of club and match balls

Mike Lynskey – for the club session rota

Matt and Peter – for the maintenance

Howard Poll, Marcus Binning, Rachel Richardson, Karen Peters, Tim Rose and Katie Binning for their work and help in running a very successful Club Championship.

Our team Captains:

Clare Pelling with Nikki Botteril, Captains of the Ladies A Team

Janette Verrall – Captain of the B Team and the Ladies summer Oxfordshire team and

Sheena Darke & Amanda Andrews – Captains of the Ladies C Team

Tiina Verran – Ladies Berkshire summer league Captain

Tiina Verran and Sharon Hearn – The Berkshire winter league Captains

Tim Rose – Captain of the Mens’ A team

Richard Ormerod – Captain of the Mens’ B Team

Peter Greenslade – for auditing our annual accounts.


Our thanks go to our outgoing Secretary David Channon who has completed four years in the post. We wish to give him this bottle of whisky as a token of our thanks.

Andy, Helma and Charlie are all celebrating their the 1st year anniversary. Thanks for coming up to speed so quickly and your efforts this year”.

Following Tim’s speech there were some comments from members, as follows:

Sandra suggested she would have preferred that something about our junior members be included in the chairman’s review;  how were things going with this? Rachel replied we had 58 juniors being coached at the end of this season, compared to 69 at the peak this year, partly due to a few juniors dropping out to attend school Saturday matches and the under 9s football now available. However she did manage to get some juniors back by re-defining the ability range of two of the weekday lessons. She also intended to approach Shiplake Primary School in the spring and expected this would lead to an increase in numbers.

Rachel continued: there is a quite urgent need for a second coach for Saturdays. Our coach Tim Rose has been unable to find anyone in our area available to coach our juniors on Saturday mornings as all of them are already employed. Thankfully, Lottie Botteril is helping out.

Rachel further reported that it had proved very difficult to find entrants to the Club’s annual junior tournament/championship as some parents appear to find this a hassle.

Jonathan suggested more priority should be placed on finding entrants to the junior singles events as it is always much more difficult to arrange junior doubles. Rachel responded she has found some reluctance for juniors to enter singles competition for fear of losing on their own and she didn’t think we would get more entrants to the competitions that way. Jonathan also asked why there was such a wide range in numbers attending individual Saturday classes: 20 or more in the bottom class and sometimes very few or none at all in the higher classes. Shouldn’t some juniors be promoted to even out the numbers? David said obviously account had to be taken of the individual’s standard of play. Rachel agreed, adding that some juniors are reluctant to play with those younger than themselves.

Sandra then expressed concern that there is not much adult coaching taking place. David asked if she had detected any demand for this? Helma suggested to send out an email to members to assess this.

A discussion was held around adult coaching being expanded if demand existed and members would be emailed to assess interest prior to further consideration.

  1. Fees for 2020

Tim indicated the committee recommends that all 2020 fees are retained at the 2019 levels, i.e. £110 for adults (£120 if paid late), £40 for juniors (£50 if paid late), and the joining, coaching and social member fees to stay the same also.

Graham asked if the committee is monitoring the ‘churn rate’ (how many members have left, compared to how many have joined)? Tim responded that this was regularly discussed in committee. Our churn rate is very low. The great majority of 2018 members returned in 2019 and the net effect is that our membership has now reached the maximum we currently advise.

Quentin noted that other local clubs charge much higher fees, plus extra for use of floodlights in some cases. However Graham felt that comparing our fees with those of some clubs in our region was like comparing apples with oranges, in that some clubs, e.g. North Oxford (?) are much bigger than us and have a greater range of facilities.

Quentin also suggested the committee adopt a graduated plan whereby fees are increased in a uniform, progressive manner in the future, to take into account inflation and increased costs. He would also like to see the committee looking at income flow to cover the next few years.

Marcus proposed the committee’s recommendation on fees and Sandra seconded this.

  1. Appointment of Auditor

Tim thanked Peter Greenslade for once again agreeing to undertake this unpaid role for a further year. The appointment was proposed by Helma and seconded by Karen.

  1. Election of New Committee

On behalf of the committee David welcomed Olly Bonser to the position of Secretary, replacing himself.

David indicated the nominations, proposers and seconders for positions on the 2020 committee he had received were as follows. All had responded positively by email.

Chair: Tim Dunn. Proposer Amanda Andrews, seconded by David Channon.

Treasurer: Charlie Calderbank. Proposer Diana Jones, seconded by Q Jones.

Secretary: Olly Bonser. Proposer Tim Dunn, seconded by David Channon.

Junior Secretary: Rachel Richardson. Proposer Janette Verrall, seconded by Andy Waiton.

Membership Secretary: Andy Stallwood. Proposer Tim Dunn, seconded by Rachel Richardson.

Social Secretary: Helma Marlow. Proposer Nikki Botteril, seconded by Andrew Botteril.

All the above nominations were approved unanimously by the members present.

  1. Quorum for AGMs

David pointed out that it has been difficult to achieve the quorum required by the club’s constitution (15 members plus the committee) to achieve a valid AGM in some recent years. This is important as committee members and fees can only be approved by a valid AGM. In one recent year it was necessary to telephone at the start of the meeting to get additional members to turn up and in another year the quorum was still not achieved. The committee was keen to hear members’ views as to whether the quorum should be reduced.

Richard Ormerod suggested that 10 plus the committee would be OK. Marcus expressed concern that such a small number was hardly representative of the 300 or so members.  Graham suggested that we might achieve a better attendance if members were informed in advance of the details of recommendations to be made at the AGM, e.g. regarding the fees and the committee members proposed. Marcus then indicated he would be happy to reduce the required level if Graham’s suggestion was adopted. Sandra then proposed that the quorum be reduced to 12 plus the committee and this was unanimously agreed by members present.

  1. Volunteers for Specified Tasks

David noted that, for a small club, we run an impressive range of activities, from a full complement of matches, to championships, to coaching juniors and regular social activities. This is of course only possible if members will come forward and volunteer to undertake the work involved.

There is a particular need for volunteers for 2020 positions due to an unusual number of simultaneous retirements: Howard from the Senior Championship Committee, Rachel from running the Junior Championships after several strenuous years, Sheena as Match Secretary and David himself as Health and Safety Officer. Hence the committee had decided to send out with the agenda a request for more volunteers.

As regards the Senior Championships, Marcus and Karen indicated their readiness to continue in 2020 and indicated they believed that Katie Binning and Peter Robertson would probably also be continuing. David indicated that Nick Wrigley had approached him saying he was prepared to assist and this was welcomed by Marcus and Karen.

There were no volunteers at the meeting to take over running the Junior Championship. However Rachel put out a note to juniors’ parents immediately following the meeting which thankfully has resulted in a parent agreeing to take on this role.

As regards Match Secretary there were no volunteers at the meeting, though several individuals were suggested that members present agreed to follow up on. Charlie suggested to email those regularly participating in the matches as being most likely to agree. Fortunately Sheena agreed to stay on for a little longer until her replacement could be found.

David indicated that Amanda had emailed him offering her services to run the Wimbledon Ballot and members indicated they are very pleased to hear this.

Now the Club has a H&S policy, an up to date Risk Assessment, a defibrilator installed and 11 members trained in first aid, David felt that the duties of Health and Safety Officer are less than previously, mostly restricted to checking regularly that the defibrilator batteries are charged, the condition of the courts is regularly monitored and the accident book is being completed, with any consequent concerns and recommendations for improvement being passed to the committee for action. Paul Shienfeld kindly volunteered to take this on.

  1. Any Other Business

Clare expressed concern that the clubhouse was not being properly cleaned. Charlie promised to contact our cleaner to try to get this rectified.

Helma asked members to consider and suggest new social events the club could arrange and forward suggestions to the Social Sub-Committee.