Squash AGM 2017

A gentle reminder that the Squash AGM will be taking place tomorrow at 8pm in the Clubhouse. Hope you can make it. 



Squash AGM Feb 2017

The annual AGM will take place on Friday 3rd Feb at 8pm. This is a chance to hear how the club is doing and have your say about what can be done to make it better. It will also be my last AGM and the swearing in of your new Squash Secretary (Adrian Fletcher).

If you are unable to attend and would like to bring anything up, please get in touch and I will address your questions at AGM and communicate minutes post meeting. 

Thanks to everyone for all your help in creating such a welcoming club and long may that continue with Adrian at the helm. Look forward to seeing you all on the 3rd. 


Brondesbury Bar

Dear Squash Members,

There seems to be some confusion over the situation at the bar and after some feedback from squash members I wanted to provide some clarity. 

Firstly to dispel some rumours:

1. 'The bar is only closing because it is making a loss' - this is one of the reasons but not the only one as I will explain in this email.

2. 'The BSC board don't care about the Squash members' - this is certainly not the case. As pointed out by our president (Mike Bentley - who is an ex-squash member) at the AGM, he fully understands the need for squash members to have a facility to socialise after a game of squash. Mike mentioned at least three times that the board is committed to ensuring we have a bar facility in place but currently we have some serious issues at the bar. 

Why is the bar closing? 4 main reasons, Legal Issues, Efficiency Issues, Financial Issues and the need to modernise club/bar facilities. 

1. Legal Issues

BSC bar is currently under licensing (and police) investigation following on from the issues that took place at the bar the weekend prior to the AGM. This is one of three bar evenings this year alone that have caused serious complaints. I personally don't believe we will lose our license but this is a risk and if not now it could happen in the near future unless changes take place. 

With the current bar management we are in breach of other legal and compliance issues which relate to the method of payment of wages, accurate payment of taxes, reporting of stock/cash and sales at the bar. 

The issues are generally caused by BSC being incapable of running a bar with the volunteers on the committee. We need a bar manager who can be dedicated to the task and held responsible to ensure the legal and compliance issues don't affect the wider BSC's mission which is not running a bar but providing sports facilities. 

2. Efficiency Issues

As suggested above the board at BSC have spent a considerable amount of time this year trying to resolve issues at the bar. I personally have spent almost 80 hours developing new reporting systems at the bar and devising, communicating and enforcing new rules and procedures to try and get the bar back on track. This is to ensure we have a bar for the members who enjoy it. I am a volunteer at the club like the rest of the board so 80 hours just on the bar is excessive and is likely to be jeopardising other areas of the club that would benefit from our limited attention. 

In addition to my efforts at the bar, our administrator has spent a significant amount of time trying to make sense of the reporting and also deal with several ad-hoc issues related to some bar staff. This is taking up time that could be spent on other projects such as the club house refurbishment etc. 

My proposal to the board was to close the bar for the winter but the general consensus was we should try again to fix the issues until December and if we make progress we wouldn't need to close for Jan-Mar. This shows our commitment to the members in trying to keep the bar open for as long as possible. 

Unfortunately the issues have exacerbated, the rules and procedures are not being followed, we are now under investigation and we have angered residents to the point where they will do all in their power to push for the bar to close permanently. This is also likely to hamper any planning permission or growth plans the club has. 

3. Financial Issues

The bar has lost over £15,000 in 5 years. On average in the first 3 of those 5 years the bar lost £575. On average for the last two years the bar has lost £6,700. This is unacceptable and with an increase of 12 times the losses in recent years this is a significant concern that is likely to get worse. 

The board has agreed we are happy to subsidise the bar so that the members get the facility they require, but I'm sure you will agree this is unacceptable and requires attention. 

4. Modernisation of Club/Bar Facilities

As mentioned at the AGM, we have committed a significant amount of money to upgrading the facilities at the club house, firstly the showers and toilets but we are also looking to bring some life into the bar to help make it a more welcoming place to be. This should help to boast the customers at the bar and make for a better socialising atmosphere as well as reduced financial losses. 

This modernisation will begin in January and will require builders in the club house which is likely to result in the bar needed to be closed anyway. 

All of the above issues have meant that the board believes a temporary shutdown of the bar is required to ensure we fix the issues we have and ensure the bar lives on at BSC for years to come. 

The board of BSC are not giving up on the bar, quite the opposite, despite significant issues this year and several failed attempts to resolve them the board is not closing down the bar permanently, we are putting in more effort to resolve them. 

I am very pleased that we have a passionate Squash membership that is firstly enjoying BSC squash facilities, secondly actively using and enjoying the bar facilities and thirdly vocal and resourceful in saving the bar. 

I look forward to some commitment from the squash membership in the coming months. There are two positions up for grabs:

1. Squash Director - Adam has done a tremendous job and I'm now much less worried about replacing him with the passion I'm seeing in the squash membership. Please let Adam know if you are interested in taking this position. 

2. Bar Staff - This position is less clear. We don't know what the answer is yet. Is it a new manager? Is it new staff to serve drinks? Is it new staff to do the admin related to stocking the bar and reporting on performance?. We don't know but you are the customers and I'm keen to hear your thoughts and suggestions and even better actual commitment to saving the bar which you are so passionate about. Please email me directly with your thoughts on how we can work together to make the bar work. 

The board looks forward to your continued commitment in the club and bar going forward. 


Martyn Webb

BSC Treasurer

Squash Successes

It gives me great pleasure to inform you that Brondesbury won 'Club Of The Year' from Middlesex Squash this year. This not only reflects the success of the first team, Division 4 Champions in case you hadn't heard, but also the introduction of a second team in the Middlesex league structure as well as a thriving membership. It usually goes to one of the larger clubs in Middlesex and the committee in particular felt that the club is going in the right direction in terms of members, league squash, and our welcoming atmosphere. For that we have been rewarded and thanks to all who help to make the club what it is. There will be a formal presentation of trophies some point soon, watch this space. 

A few months ago we held a one day tournament followed by drinks and a BBQ. It was such a success that another on will be held on the 10th September from 2pm. If you would like to attend let me know, spaces are limited to 16 , a small fee of £5 which will go towards prizes, all abilities welcome. 

The internal leagues are proving to be popular, if you would like to be included in the next set which will start in September drop an email to [email protected] . 

Lastly on September 24th (6pm till late) Brondesbury's Got Talent will be returning for one night only. The event is organised by tennis legend  Matt Bamford and over the years many of the talented individual who have appeared have gone on to bigger and brighter things. The list is too long to mention them here. Anyway if you have a talent which you want to share with the club or want to attend drop an email to [email protected] . Tickets are £20 per person, family tickets are also available. 





Squash June

A quick heads up to let you know that the off-peak rate will be increasing to £4 from the 10th July. Guest fees (£2 per guest) are also being re-introduced, so if you are playing a non-member then a fee of £2 is payable.  I have put one of the old coin meters back up on the wall outside court A. Please use this for guest fees and fees on Friday social nights. 

The box leagues are well under way and proving popular. If you would like to be included in the leagues next month send an email to [email protected] . The leagues are organised in terms of ability so you would be expected to play 4 or 5 games in the space of 6 weeks againt similarly matched players. 

A tournament took place on 11th June and owing to its success there will be a tournament every 3 months. The next one will take place in September (Date TBC). There's a poll currently on the Facebook page (http://tinyurl.com/jpzhyxj) about the date. If you would like to attend and not on Facebook group let me know your preferred dates from  the following - 3rd, 10th, 17th or 24th September. 

If you know anyone looking to join our membership for the rest of the season is only £40, bargain, so spread the word. 

Lastly a reminder if you are leaving the clubhouse late at night to do so quietly. If taxis are being booked stand out on street to wait for them or give them your number to ring you when they arrive. 

Squash News May

A number of folk have asked about re-instating the box leagues to inject a bit of competition to their games. We have found a site called Squashlevels http://www.squashlevels.com/menu_login.php which meets all our requirements. If you would like to participate please register at Squash levels site below and select your club as 'Brondesbury Cricket &'. To be included please register by 28th May (we could also set one up for the raquetball players if they want). 

The team matches will be starting in the next couple of weeks. This will mean that courts will be booked from 7:30pm-10pm every Wednesday till the end of August. Thanks for your understanding and if you are free on Wednesdays feel free to come down to support the team. Fixtures will be put up on noticeboard next to court B. 

Finally we are looking to have a club tournament on Saturday 11th June (Time TBC but likely mid-late afternoon). Due to court constraints it will be limited to 16 players and there will be a £5 entry fee. Let me know by 24th May if you would like to take part. 

A reminder that we have our regular social nights on Friday from 6:30-9:30pm, all members welcome. 


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