Lockdown update

Club News? But the Club has been closed for weeks – what news can there be? Indeed, nothing urgent, so if you have better things to do, please get right on with them.

But behind the closed gates, life still moves on, and you might be interested in this update on what’s happening. For example, as part of an effort to make members more attuned to the Club being one for three sports, not only the one covered by your particular section, Club News should now be going automatically to all Tennis, Cricket and Squash members.

You will possibly have noticed a singular lack of action on the car park. You have to take my word for it that it is more complicated than it might seem. We need to consider the interaction with the planning permission for the new court – the one that was to be on the bowling green, but which now we may delay or not go ahead with, not to mention the planning for the floodlights on tennis courts 1-3 which (oddly) could affect things. Notwithstanding, I am now working with Martin Rizk to see if we can arrange for resurfacing of the current car park as is, possibly expanded slightly, and do so before the cricket season starts in (we hope!) May. No promises.

Cricket, having managed just half a season last year, is of course in the winter lull anyway. Hopefully our members are buoyed up by the stunning English test victory, and will be inspired to achieve even greater success in 2021. (I realise that other clubs could be similarly inspired, but we must Root for our own side. Now there’s an idea…) Some remedial work should begin soon to correct minor issues on the cricket nets. The outfield has been thoroughly waterlogged with all the recent rains, and we would have had to cancel Schools’ use – were it not that nobody is at school! The Board has considered drainage works for the outfield, but the quotation proved to be prohibitive.

The planning application for floodlights on Courts 1-3 went in last week. You can easily view it on the Barnet website; just search for ‘Harman’ within planning applications. Why would you do want to do that? Because it is a surprisingly good read! All sorts of detail about modern floodlighting and lack of light ‘spill’ to neighbours, how the floodlights will be used (timing and other restrictions), power usage – a mine of information. We can reasonably hope for approval, but it will take time, so I guess we are looking at installation in time for next winter.

Tennis remains at a standstill, of course, and we should have particular sympathy for our superb coaches whose whole livelihood is suspended. The papers suggest a return to singles play at the end of March, but it’s all guesswork at the moment. I’m afraid that is unlikely to extend to squash, which has been affected so badly by being an indoor sport. I hope that meanwhile members are well and managing to keep fit (excluding those who regularly beat me on court, for whom I can recommend some excellent TV series to watch all day).