Christmas and end of year social 16th December

Dear members,

Please come down to the Friday social on the 16th December to play some squash and stay after to join us in the clubhouse for drinks and snacks (I'll get something other than nuts and crisps).  It would be nice to see you to toast the holiday season and the end of the year.  Christmas jumpers desirable but not essential.

Kind regards,

Mark Troman

Squash update

Dear members,

Thank you to all who have renewed their membership and I hope you make the most of the coming year.  It is good to see the club entering two teams into the Middlesex leagues. Captains or team players, please send me match reports to share.


Changes to Group Coaching

It would be great to see more people come along on Tuesdays to make use of this fun and affordable club night.  Martin (our coach) has simplified the costs. Rather than buying in blocks of 6 it is now a simple £10 pay as you go arrangement.  I have now set up a page on SportyHQ to experiment with registering interest, please take a look here.  Numbers are capped at 8 but we need a minimum of 4 attendees, reigstration is free but you must pay Martin directly once you have reserved. 

I am not sure how many people are put off by WhatsApp, but if there are people who don't like to use it then this link offers an easy alternative.


Proposed changes to WhatsApp Groups

At the moment there is a Brondesbury Social Group and a coaching group.  The former is mostly used for checking the Friday social is on and the latter for coaching.  I propose merging them into a single club night group. It should be used for attendances on Tuesday coaching or the Friday social and any ad hoc invitations for a game (which seem to be at a managable level).  What do you think? Please email me your views: [email protected]


Box leagues

A reminder to get playing your games in the box league.  You can challenge others in your group by selecting the 'mail all' button at the top of each box, the third column along.


England Squash Membership

Before I took over all club, members were enrolled as ES members.  This is only necessary for the club and those who play for the first or second team.  Member benefits include insurance cover, tutorial videos and discounts from retailers like PDH Sport; details  can be found here.  In future years I would like to consider only enrolling members who are playing in the county league, as a way of saving club funds.  Do people value ES membership or would they be content to go without, to ease expenses?  Please let me know your thoughts.


The bar on Fridays

I am injured and likely to be out for several weeks so will not be able to come down to open the bar on Friday's as often.  I will make sure I come down at least once before Christmas and hopefully we can make it an end of year gathering for people to stay late and socialise with some food and drinks.


Club maintenance

We have had an issue with the guttering which has been fixed and will need to have the wall repointed to ensure the courts do not become damp.  I have approval from the board to renovate the front wall on court A. Some time ago there was a buildup of damp that has left a number of deadspots on that court.  I hope to have the entire wall replaced and both courts cleaned and repaired in April next year. Court A may be out of action for one week but the repairs are necessary.

If you have any other views or issues please get in touch.


Kind regards,

Mark Troman

Box Leagues and Women's Open Day

Dear members,

Club Boxes

I have reset the box leagues for the autumn.  If you have not received a direct email from me about this already, but still want to be included there is time to add people in, email me directly please ([email protected]).

Women's Open Event, 12pm Saturday 24th September

This event is open to all women and girls, members or non-members, as we celebrate Women's Squash Week.  We already have a good group confirmed but more are welcome. The event is free and we hope to arrange an hour's coaching from Clive Johnston to kick things off.  Please mention this to anyone you think might be interested.  There will be a social event after with food and drink.

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

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