Don’t forget to grab your latest copy of the Bristol Magazine and have a look at the article about Bristol Real Tennis…


Michael Jones Racket -Saturday 8th June

The Michael Jones Racket  - our club handicap singles competition was fiercely contested at the beginning of June.

Culminating in a hard fought final with new member, Paul Beanlands, securing top spot with a 9/7 victory

against Julian Hemming.



On the 18th May, the ladies club handicap and open singles were contested.

In the handicap final, Trish Morris managed to put Angela Probyn to the sword.

And on a stormy Sunday morning, Hannah Lucey pipped Eleanor Beale to the post in the open final.

A huge thank you and congratulations to all that took part.



We are fast approaching the end of the real tennis season and I am combining my June and July Newsletters partly because there is little to report, but also because I will be away at the end of June!

The Club’s 32nd Annual General Meeting on 1st May was well attended by AGM standards. Various reports had been circulated prior to the meeting and these, along with the draft minutes, will sent out shortly to all member. Chris Willlows provided a brief update on the Padel Tennis Proposal and also took the opportunity to circulate a short questionnaire to assess the level of support from members for the Initiative.  The meeting was followed by wine and canapés – and a rip roaring Exhibition Match, played to a full dedans. 


Inter Club Match and Tournament Results

  • The Irish weekend at the end of April was a great success and is likely to become a regular feature on the Fixtures List. There was lots of very good tennis over the two days and the end result was a draw – five matches all.  


  • The Club Ladies Handicap Singles for the Val Probyn Long Trophy was played on Saturday 18th May. Unfortunately it was a very small entry but it was still keenly contested, with Trish Morris emerging triumphant.


  • The Club Ladies Open Singles for the Ron Brown Trophy was contested the next day, with an even smaller entry (just two). The players had already met in the third round play-off the day before, and Hannah Lucey once again managed to overcome Eleanor Beale in a closely fought match. 


    Forthcoming Matches and Tournaments


  • We are playing RTC at Hampton Court on Sunday 2nd June and I understand that we have a full team for the match.


  • There is also the rearranged match against Petworth at Petworth on  22nd  June, which I understand is also fully booked.


  • The main event in June is the Michael Jones Club Handicap Singles which traditionally marks the end of the season. This will be played from Thursday 6th through to Saturday 8th June, with a tournament dinner on the Friday evening.

    So get your name down and take the opportunity to play against people that you might not normally play.  Friends, spouses and partners are also invited to come along to the Indian themed dinner and also encourage and support the finalists on the Saturday.   


    Other tennis events

    Taster sessions continue throughout the summer and there are also plenty of opportunities for individual or group taster sessions linked to the membership initiative.  These can be arranged with KK and Ben as required, providing the court is free.

    There is a Mixed Doubles Fun Day on Sunday 16th June and singles medal days on Saturday 1st June, Saturday 22nd June, Saturday 13th July and Sunday 4th August.  However this last one may well turn into a Chairman’s Doubles with lunch!

    The Box Leagues are ongoing as are the regular Monday and Wednesday Club nights – please book in with KK or Ben if you want to play. And the boys are working on the Summer Programme, which will run from early June until early September.


So there is plenty of tennis to look forward to!

 With best wishes,



Another great taster session for those wishing to try the game for free was held by a Jedi Master …

Please contact us to have a go yourself.

Well done all and special thanks to Charlotte Wilsher.


BRTC V THE IRISH RTA Saturday 27th April

BRTC played host to members of the Irish Real Tennis Association for a weekend of tennis. Things didn’t quite get off to a flying start – no pun intended – when Roland Budd’s and Rustom Manecksha’s flight from Dublin was cancelled at the last minute. Instead they had to come via the scenic route (ie Heathrow and a bus to Bristol) which meant that they were unable to get a bit of practice in on Friday evening.

However things got off to a better start on Saturday morning, with two singles matches and two doubles matches all played off level and the first to 10 games. Roland started the proceedings playing Richard Acklam, with BRTC taking the match 10-6. This was followed by a doubles of Roland and Rustom versus Richard and David Streatfeild James. This one almost went to the wire, with BRTC creeping home 10-9.

Next up was a single match between Rustom and David, with Rustom coming back strongly to take the match 10 -8.

The final match of the day was a doubles between Claire & Bob Stacey (representing the IRTA as founder members!) and Angela Probyn and Gordon McClure. It was another hard fought match with the IRTA just creeping home at 10-9.

On Saturday evening PJ hosted a very jolly dinner party for 15 at the Lansdown in Clifton and Roland gave a brief update on the restoration of the real tennis court in Dublin, which continues to be in limbo.

Sunday morning saw further tennis, this time with handicaps as necessary and first to 9 games. Roland started the day with a singles match against David, which he won 9-2.

This was followed by a closely fought doubles match between Roland and Rustom against David and Reggie Williams, with the IRTA just creeping home at 9-8.

We then had two singles matches, the first between Rustom and Nigel Harradine, which Nigel won 9-7, and the second between William Wilks (who had driven down from London) and Stuart Andrews, which William won 9-7.

Next up was a doubles between William and Mark Heffernan (also from London) against Stuart and Clive Archer, which BRTC won 9-5.

The final match of the day was between Mark and Nigel, which Nigel won 9-6.

Unfortunately Roland and Rustom had to rush off for their plane back to Dublin before the final result was known – a draw with five matches all!

A big thank you to the itinerant Irish for coming and playing some exceptional tennis; to KK for all the marking; and to Angela Probyn for doing lunch on both Saturday and Sunday. A thank you also to members of BRTC who popped in to say hello on Sunday morning. 

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Dear Member,

 The 32nd Annual General Meeting of the Club will be held in the Bretten Room at the club on Wednesday 1st May, starting at 6.30pm, and I look forward to seeing you there.  Wine and canapés will be served afterwards, followed by a new style tennis challenge for everyone or possibly an Exhibition Match with a difference.  Nomination Forms to join the Management Committee were sent out with the Notice, so please, please think about filling one in and sending it to the Hon Secretary.

Tennis Matters

 Inter Club Match and Tournament Results

  • There was one inter club match at the end of March, when BRTC hosted the Brigands, a peripatetic group of real tennis enthusiasts. After several very hard fought matches BRTC managed to creep home the winners at 3-2.


    Then on 30th March, three of our juniors took on Seacourt at home in the next round of the Peter Luck-Hille Cup.  Dominic and Henry are now very familiar with the format but Nell found it all rather daunting, as this was her first ever formal match. The Bristol team is coming on well but, in spite best endeavours, Seacourt proved too strong on the day and were worthy winners. 


    At the beginning of April BRTC hosted Hatfield House for another great day of tennis. It was level pegging at 2-2 before Hatfield increased the pressure and won the two remaining matches.


  • The Club Open Singles and the Club Open Doubles played in parallel over the weekend of 13th and 14th April, with the semi-finals of the singles and both finals being played on the Sunday. This meant that two of the contenders in the finals had to play three hard fought matches on the day! 

    Those who came to watch in the dedans were treated to some fantastic tennis. Tom Lewis was on top form and took the singles title for yet another year! He and Ben Coleman then teamed up to take on Hamish and James Dron in the doubles final. The Drons put up a tremendous fight but Tom and Ben proved unstoppable.

    Bee Barford came all the way from Sidmouth to present the Barford Salver for the singles and Charlotte Wilsher (nee Bretten) presented the Bretten Bowl for the doubles. 


    Forthcoming Matches and Tournaments


  • There is still time to sign up or come along to socialise with the Irish Real Tennis Association over the forthcoming weekend.  As founder members of the IRTA,

    Bob and I are down to play for the opposition!


  • The main event in May is the Club Ladies Open Singles for the Ron Brown Trophy and the Club Ladies Handicap Singles for the Val Probyn Long Trophy.  These will be played in parallel over the weekend of Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May.  So come along ladies and enjoy some good tennis.  Friends, spouses and partners are also encouraged to come along and support!   





Other tennis events

There is a taster session scheduled for Saturday 4th May and there are plenty of other opportunities for individual or group tasters session linked to the membership initiative.  These can be arranged with KK and Ben as required, providing the court is free.

Then there are singles medal days on Sunday 5th May for 41-50 Handicaps;  Saturday 11th May for 51-60 Handicaps; and  Sunday 12th May for 61-70 Handicaps

We also have a Chairman’s Doubles with lunch on Sunday 26th May, plus the regular Monday and Wednesday Club nights – please book in with KK or Ben if you want to play. So there is plenty of tennis to look forward to!

Social Events

 There are no official Club social events scheduled for May – but fast forward to September 4th, when Jan and Bob will be holding an Andalucian evening with sherry and tapas. Numbers will be limited to 16, so if you are interested please let either Jan or Bob know as soon as possible. 

 With best wishes,


Barford Salver & Bretten Bowl - Sunday 14th April

On the weekend of the 13th of April the club open singles and doubles was contested with both finals being played on the Sunday.

Tom Lewis was too good on the day and took the Singles title and also the Doubles title along with Ben Coleman against a valiant effort from James and Hamish Dron.

Thank you to all that came along to support, in particular to Bee Barford and Charlotte Wilsher nee Bretten for presenting the trophies and to Claire Stacey for keeping us fed and watered.


Bristol v Seacourt - Peter Luck-Hille Cup - Saturday 30th March

Massive congratulations and thanks to both sets of juniors that took part in the cup match on Saturday 30th.

The Bristol crew are coming on very well and it was the first match ever for Nell.

However the Seacourt trio were too strong on the day and were worthy winners.

Great fun and some promising young talent.

I see trouble ahead :)


Bristol v Hatfield House - Saturday 6th April

A really great day was had on Saturday 6th when Hatfield House came knocking on our door.
After some great matches and a variety of playing was 2 - 2 with 2 matches left to play.
The Brodie Bunch managed to scrape through and won the remaining two games with some fantastic tennis being played.
Alex Brodie had an unfair advantage though as she had the power of two...
Nick...I have your bunny...don't pretend it belongs  to the small human.


BRTC v The Brigands

Bristol welcomed the Brigands on Friday 29th March.
It was a hard fought day but Bristol managed to take the honours and won the day 3 - 2.
Big thank you to everyone that took part and to Dave Whitaker for being a superb match manager.


WHAT'S ON in April

Dear Member,


It hardly seems any time since I was sending out the March newsletter!  And many thanks to those members who sent me feedback.


Club matters


  • I know it’s not in April, but I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the 32nd Annual General Meeting of the Club will be held at the tennis court on Wednesday 1st May, starting at 6.30pm.  Wine and canapés will be served afterwards and we are looking to hold some form of social tennis challenge as well!   You will be receiving a copy of the Notice shortly, along with a Nomination Form to join the Management Committee. We need new members on the Management Committee to help drive forward the various initiatives that are being   considered to meet the ongoing and future needs of the Club – so if you love the club and the game, please put your name forward. 


  • The new membership initiative is progressing well and I would like to thank all everyone involved  – but particularly Charlotte Wiltshire (nee Bretten) for her great enthusiasm and the number of posters that she has distributed to friends and business contacts throughout Bristol!


  • For those members who are not readers of the Daily Telegraph, there was an article on padel tennis on the back page of the Sports Section last Saturday (23rd) The heading read ’New variety of tennis is a big hit in Spain and may also catch fire in Britain’. Simon Briggs also wrote: ‘Padel’s fun and games could get people on court again.’  Please note that we still have padel on the agenda, pending further discussions and negotiations with Clifton College – so watch this space.                           


Tennis Matters


Inter Club Match and Tournament Results


  • There were five interclub matches scheduled for March but one was postponed because the visiting club could not raise a team and the match against Petworth has been rescheduled for 22nd June. 

We drew at home against the Old Etonians with everything resting on the final doubles, which BRTC won;

We lost 3-4 in the away match against Radley; and

We lost 1-5 against a very strong LRTA team, with Club members playing on both sides!


  • Two of our juniors, Dominic Bruton and Henry Taubman, played the first of their three Peter Luck-Hille Cup matches at Radley and narrowly lost 2-3. Their next match is at home against Seacourt on Sunday 31st March, starting at 2 pm, with Nell Gorin-Stevens joining the team. The final match against Queens Club is also at home and will take place on Sunday 7th April. We wish them every success - and do come along and support them.


  • We also had the Ponsford Plate in March. This is the Club’s annual mixed handicap doubles tournament and iIt was good to see some new faces playing on what is always a great day of tennis. Congratulations to Judy Ponsford and Bob Stacey, who managed to lift the silverware after a very hard fought final.


Forthcoming Matches and Tournaments


  • There is only one inter club match scheduled for April and that is on Saturday 6th April, when we are at home to Hatfield House. Dave Whitaker is the match manager.


  • There will be a weekend of exciting tennis on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April when we have the Club Open Singles running in parallel with the Club Open Doubles. 

    We are inviting Bee Barford to present the Barford Salver to the winner of the singles and the Bretten family to present the Bretten Bowl to the winners of the doubles.  Hopefully there will be a good entry for both competitions and plenty of support for the two finals, which will be played on the Sunday.


  • And finally on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th April, we are looking to host the Irish Real Tennis Association.   We hosted their inaugural visit back in 2004 and it will be good to see them here again.  Our President is co-ordinating  the event and there will be opportunities to play tennis and also join in the associated social events.





Other tennis events


There are no ‘official’ taster sessions during April but there are plenty of opportunities for individual or group tasters session linked to the membership initiative.  These can be arranged with KK and Ben as required, providing the court is free.

Then there is a singles medal day open to 31-40 handicaps Saturday 7th May, plus the regular Monday and Wednesday Club nights – please book in with KK or Ben if you want to play.

And the next box league has started as well, so there is plenty of tennis to look forward to!


Social Events


There are no official Club social events scheduled for April but tea and cakes will be served during the finals of the Barford Salver and the Bretten Bowl and there will lots of opportunities to socialise over the Irish weekend. 


With best wishes,



THE PONSFORD PLATE -club handicap mixed doubles

The Ponsford Plate was hotly contested on Sunday 10th March. The entry was limited to six couples and, with handicaps ranging from the mid 40’s to the mid 70’s, Ben and KK had a challenging time in arranging the pairings!

 The format was round robins of first to five games or 25 minutes on the clock, with the two most successful couples playing in the final. Several of us had played in the Ponsford Plate before but it was great having a number of ‘first timers’ playing – especially with two of them getting into the final!

 It was down to the last round robin as to whom would contest the final – and what a contest it was between Jan Fuller and Paul Wilson versus Judy Ponsford and Bob Stacey.  Nerves inevitably played their part but neither side was prepared to give an inch. Jan’s game in particular had been going from strength to strength during the course of the day. The score was evenly matched at 4-all, 30-all with Jan and Paul defending two chases of 5 yards but Bob and Judy held their nerve and crept home 5-4.

 Judy and Nick made sure that everyone had an excellent lunch (with plenty of wine!);  KK did an excellent job marking; and Nick had the honour of presenting his wife with the Ponsford Plate. 

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Bristol Juniors @ Radley

On Saturday 2nd March, two of our juniors - Henry Taubman and Dominic Bruton visited Radley for a great day of tennis.

Radley squeezed to a narrow victory of 3 -2 so well done to Monty and Harry, and to Chris and all the Radley team for giving the boys such a good day.

I suppose I should thank all the oldies (Steve and James) for getting the boys there and for playing!

Well done all!


BRTC V RADLEY Saturday 9th March

Thanks to Radley who hosted our elite squad on Saturday 8th March.

Captain Phil Moss was the more than capable leader in his first ever outing as a match manager so many thanks to him too!

Radley just pipped us in the game score for the day by 4 -3.



Bristol welcomed a team of Old Etonians on Friday as part of their weekend tour. It was a great day and there was a definite outbreak of fun. Bristol won the final doubles to level the day at 3 all. Many thanks to Julian Hemming for all is hard work.


What's On - March'19

Dear Member,

 Club matters

  • The new membership initiative is now underway, with the offer of a free introductory package as a taster that will hopefully lead on to Trial and then Full Membership.  Stuart Andrews is taking the lead and is initially targeting staff at Clifton College. We also want to promote the package in clubs, companies and other organizations, where individuals or groups of people might be persuaded to take an interest in the game – and there is a box of posters at the Club just waiting for you to distribute them!

  • Linked to the new initiative, we are trying to make visiting the Club a more enjoyable and rewarding experience for everyone. So is there a case for bringing back Night Pennants as well as having Club Nights? Would you be interested in weekly coaching clinics at various levels? Would you like the Pros to spend more time watching and commenting on games in progress?  What else can we be doing to better the situation? 

  • The car park barrier is beyond repair – it has served the Club well for more than 20 years, but must now be replaced.  I am very grateful to, and would like to thank, Nick Ponsford for his very generous contribution towards the cost of the new barrier. Hopefully this will be installed in the next few weeks.                             


Tennis Matters

Inter Club Match Results

Unfortunately the match against the Hyde at the beginning of February was postponed because of the weather.

However Oxford visited us two weeks later and ended up overall winners by 4 -2.  The results are as follows, with the Oxford names first:

Tim Goodacre  bt Gordon McClure   9/5

Tim Goodacre & Chris Peri  bt  Chris Willows & Trish Morris   9/2

Chris Peri lost to Steve Taubman   8/9

Jonathan Clark bt  Chris Willows   9/4

Jonathan Clark & DerekWilliams  lost to Laurence Brook & Paul Butler    8/9

Derek Williams bt L Brook   9/4

Forthcoming matches

  • On Saturday 2nd March, 2 of our juniors, Dominic Bruton and Henry Taubman are travelling to Radley to play in the Peter Luck-Hille Cup. We wish them the best of luck and hope that they will have a great experience.

  • On Friday 8th March we are at home to the Old Etonians, with Julian Hemming as Match Manager.

  • On Saturday 9th March, Phil Moss will be leading a team against Radley, which is between Reading and Wallingford.

  • On Saturday 16th March we are at home to the Ladies Real Tennis Association, with a number of members having to decide whether to play for BRTC or for the opposition!

  • On Sunday 17th March we are at home to a team from Leamington Spa, with Matt Skidmore as Match Manager.

  • Although we had to postpone the match against Petworth House scheduled for on Saturday 2nd March, we are still hosting the Brigands, a visiting group of Petworth players, on Friday 29th March.


    On Sunday 10th March we have our annual mixed handicap doubles tournament - The Ponsford Plate, which is always a great day out, with a very good lunch and a chance to get your name on the board!


Other tennis events

We have one ‘official’ taster session on the morning of Sunday 24th March but individual or group tasters can be arranged as required, providing the court is free.

Then there is a singles medal day open to under 30 handicaps Saturday 30th March and the Chairman’s Doubles, with a light lunch, on Sunday 31st March.

Plus, of course, the regular Monday and Wednesday Club nights – please book in with KK or Ben if you want to play - and the next box league starts will start the first week in March if anyone wants to enter – or withdraw!

So there are plenty of tennis to look forward to!


Social Events

There are no Club social events scheduled for March.  However KK is keen to raise our profile in Clevedon and wants to get a team of 4-6 members to take part in a quiz night being organised the Clevedon Lawn Tennis Club on Friday 22nd March from 7 pm. More details, if you are interested, are available from KK.

 Best wishes,


BRTC QUIZ NIGHT 7th February

‘Twas a cold and stormy night (don’t think it was actually) when the greatest minds of Bristol were invited to test themselves in the mightiest quiz know to mankind…however they were busy so instead, the BRTC members gave it a go.

There was much gnashing of teeth and scratching of heads on Thursday night at the annual BRTC Quiz. 30 members took part and the victors were the Pigotts and the Dedmans (team The Backstops).

Do you know the common name for the tree Taxus Baccata or the name of the 8th Planet in the Solar System? No...well The Backstops did!