Tennis club's awards and music night

FIFTY members and guests of Sidmouth Tennis Club attend the inaugural trophy presentation dinner at the pavilion in Fortfield Terrace.

FIFTY members and guests of Sidmouth Tennis Club attend the inaugural trophy presentation dinner at the pavilion in Fortfield Terrace.The Burgess Rose Bowl was presented by special guest Ken Sanger to the winners of the 2008 ladies' competition, Elinor Whillance and Linda Kellett. By coincidence, Elinor had kindly donated the trophy to commemorate her family connection with Sidmouth - not only did she spend many happy childhood holidays here, her grandfather, Henry Burgess, was engineer and manager of the Sidmouth Gas undertaking in 1912. Interestingly, for the period of time that Henry was summoned by the War Office to take a temporary appointment elsewhere in the UK, his wife Florence took over as Acting Manager in Sidmouth!Ken Sanger and his wife Sylvia, in view of the inclement weather, had made the journey the previous day from their home in Weybridge, Surrey by train to ensure their own attendance as it was also a special occasion for them. For the last 17 years the DOC, a group of tennis enthusiasts from Weybridge and Guildford, have paid an annual weekend visit to Sidmouth Tennis Club. Back in 1981 Ken and three others played the first game on a public court in Weybridge. Subsequently membership grew to a dozen or so players, including Dr Gerry Hart, a cousin of Sylvia, and the club's highlight for players and wives was the weekend in Sidmouth. Sadly Gerry passed away in February 2002 but, in order to perpetuate the many happy memories she holds, his widow Sue has generously donated a handsome trophy to the Sidmouth club. She was unable to attend the function, but Sylvia presented the trophy on her behalf to the winners of the 2008 men's competition, Peter Kinsey and Peter Fung. To conclude the presentations, Sue had kindly made arrangements for all to have a glass of bubbly in hand when the toast was announced.Those attending enjoyed a tasty two course meal, prepared by resident caterer Gill Hodge, and, after a raffle which raised just short of �200 for club funds, there was plenty of vocal support for the music provided on guitar and keyboard by Messrs Fung, Patton and Davies.l The drive for new members at the club goes on with a repeat of last year's successful open sessions planned for the Spring. The club is delighted with the influx of new members stemming from the weekend/half term courses run by Sidmouth-based LTA licensed coach Sue Wiltshire who is always pleased to receive new enquiries (07906 606811).l Anyone interested in playing tennis, irrespective of ability, will be assured of a warm welcome from all at Sidmouth Tennis Club, where the facilities are of a good standard and the programme of social events is fun too. Enquires to the chairman, Grant Whillance (01395) 514558.

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