Next event: Open Tournament Finals day: Saturday 13 July

Well, it has been an ‘interesting’ few months since the last newsletter. Time for the latest news on the clubhouse, and the events which will still be going ahead over the summer and beyond…

Clubhouse Latest

Just in case anyone has been living on Mars for the last couple of months, the old clubhouse was burned down in an arson attack in the early hours of 21 March (although it feels like a lifetime ago). So much has happened since it’s hard to know what to say, but let’s focus on where with are with temporary facilities and the rebuilding process.

On the rebuild, we’ve been very lucky to have Fernando as a member, who in a sideline to his legendary BBQing abilities also happens to be an architect. At no cost to the club he drew up some initial plans for the new building, which we played around with and took to a very well attended open meeting in April. With the backing of the members we then sent these to the landlord, the Dulwich Estate. They supported the plans, and put them forward to a loss adjuster (who represents the insurance company). After some to-ing and fro-ing Fernando’s firm was asked to draw up a proposal for managing the project through to completion, and this was submitted last week.

We don’t know yet if this will be accepted – hopefully it will. But in any case it gives us a good idea of the stages and timings to get from here to having the clubhouse open. These are:

      • Preparation of planning permission. Not just the plans themselves, which are not that far off ready as they do not need to be fully detailed for planning. We also need various statements about how the proposal is consistent with planning guidelines – particularly since the site is in a conservation area. Timing: about 1 month
      • Planning permission application. Timing: around 2-3 months
      • Detailed plans outlining exact specification for build: around 2-3 months (possible that this could be run in parallel with the application but involves some risk, so insurers may not agree)
      • The build itself. Around 4-5 months.

You can work out that the total time from now until opening looks like around 9-12 months, with some possibility that this could be shortened by 2 months.

In the meantime, we have one portacabin on site which provides shelter, seating and a selection of refreshments. You can continue to support the club and maintain spirit by coming down to clubplay and other sessions during the week and stopping for a drink if you can. We are hoping to expand this facility with another larger cabin on top providing an open plan seating area – watch this space.

In related matters a suspect has been arrested in connection with the incident. Unfortunately he seems that he will only be charged with burglary, not arson – which looks much harder to prove.

Membership renewals

If you haven’t already renewed your membership please do – we need it more than ever! Please speak to Judy (see back page) if you are not sure how to go about it.

Forthcoming events

Despite the clubhouse situation we are still planning a number of major events on and off the court over the summer and beyond. The main dates for your diary are as below, and the contact details are on the back page for further details or to sign up.

1 June–13 July: Open Tournament – Finals day on 13 July will be a Big Event with a marquee and outside catering. (contact: Sarah)

6 July: second Saturday trip to Wimbledon – see separate section below


19 July-26 July: Tennis week in Spain – our annual trip to a beautiful clay-court club outside Barcelona (see right) for a week of coaching and playing, interspersed with sunbathing, sightseeing, eating and drinking. An absolute highlight of the calendar – and first timers very much welcome (contact: Dave)

10 August – All-Age Mini-Tennis Tournament and Annual BBQ: Will be interesting to see how Fernando copes with the facilities this year, but I have a suspicion he will be OK (contact: Ros)

15 August-21 September: Main Club Tournament – with a finals day party of some description on 21 September (contact: Midge)

27, 28, 29 September: Golf and Beer Weekend – for the coveted Camber golf trophy. This year taking place in Bristol, all standards of golf welcome, some enthusiasm & capacity for beer definitely helps (contact: Chris). 27th is an optional day if you are struggling with time off work.

30 November: Centenary Annual Dinner – This year taking place at a rather special local venue (details to be revealed). There will only ever be one Centenary Annual Dinner, so don’t miss it (contact: Chris)

Camber’s all-conquering ladies

The ladies’ section of Camber has had great success recently with all three teams winning their winter leagues and gaining promotion. The influx of new talent has helped raise the standard across the section and has enabled much needed depth in the squads, leaving the ladies’ section as strong as at any time in the last 15 years. The refreshed enthusiasm has also encouraged more team practices, coaching and competitive play. This summer we have also entered a team in the Aegon competition which gives players a chance to play competitive singles against other clubs, and with two stunning victories so far, watch this space!

Something for the men to try and emulate too, and with a much more recent influx of talented players there are high hopes for the summer season.

Wimbledon Tickets

All of the club’s Wimbledon tickets have been allocated, but there is a possibility of some returns: please contact Liz if you are interested in these

The Tennis Circus

5 May saw a genuine first for the club – we had an ex-Davis Cup player, Danny Sapsford, down to give some coaching and play an exhibition set. Combined with a junior mini-tennis tournament, more than 60 people came down on the day – surely a record for attendance on a Sunday. Every spare inch of space, whether on a court or not, seemed to be being used for tennis, and there was a dazzling display of cakes from a variety of aspiring bakers.

I haven’t heard a bad word about the day, with Danny being a massive hit – enthusiastic, energetic and just a really nice guy too. In fact the only feedback seemed to be that people wanted it to not to stop, and want another one booked in for as soon as possible! We’ll see what we can do.


      • Photo 1: “Look you lot, this is really not difficult if you use your bats to hit the ball, not to lean on…”
      • Photo 2: A packed Court 3 (4, 5, and 6) The 5th Grand Slam surface, with umpire’s chair

Handicap Tournament Results

An excellent and well-attended finals day on 18 May, with members taking full advantage of the new enlarged viewing area.

Men’s Doubles Guy Baskerville & Gianluca Santoro beat Fin Davern &  Fernando Chehtman
Ladies’ Doubles Debbie Cullinan & Vanessa Kemp beat Alex Mills & Helen Noakes
Mixed Doubles John Davies & Debbie Cullinan beat Mark Challen & Mandy Gilliam

 ‘Hatched, matched and dispatched’

No recent births or deaths that I am aware of, but you may like to know that our ladies’ doubles champions Alex and Hilary are both getting married later this summer (not to each other – it isn’t legal yet…). Alex will tie the knot with Prash on 14 September, while Hilary will ‘I do’ to Duarte on 4 August. We wish all of them all the best for two long and happy marriages.

Club contacts

Chairman Chris Smith
Treasurer Judy Wright
Club Captain Midge Beauchamp
Bar Secretary John Stephens
Secretary Liz Somerville
Membership Sarah Savage
Social Secretary Ros Parker
Property Manager Justin Hunt
James Sudworth
Men’s captain Gianluca Santoro
Ladies’ Captain Hilary Collins
Head Coach David White
Camber on the web Club site
Camber on Facebook
Camber on Twitter