Barford Salver & Bretten Bowl - Sunday 14h 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. 

Posford Plate 2019 - Winners.jpg
Posford Plate 2019 - Runners up.jpg

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!



Congratulations to everyone who made it to February.
I can officially confirm that this January was the longest on record, lasting for exactly 237 days.
Anyway, please feel free to join me for some tennis or a snowball fight.
Your friendly neighbourhood Tennis Pro,


WHAT'S ON in February '19

 Dear Member,  

A number of things cropped up recently relating to the Club rather than to tennis so I am combining a Newsletter with ‘What’s On’ in February.  

Club Matters

 ·         Ben is now well on the road to recovery having had a severe dose of pneumonia, although he will be on light duties for a while yet (i.e no serious tennis!).  KK did a wonderful job filling in whilst Ben was away but this does beg the question of having someone to ‘mind the shop’ if one or both of the Professionals are incapacitated. Ideally we need a small group of members who are prepared to come in and help out should the situation arise – volunteers please. 

·         Chris Harland, who has served on the Committee as our Youth Development Officer since April 2015, will be standing down at the AGM because of increased work commitments.  Chris has worked hard with local schools to introduce youngsters to real tennis and he did a great job in assembling the youth team for the Royal Visit last year.  We need to maintain the momentum and build on his efforts, so please email him at ( if you want to learn more about the role or are interested in taking it on.

·         On Committee matters in general, we do need more members to get actively involved in the running of the Club.  There are a number of areas where we could do with extra hands to assist without necessarily becoming a member of the Committee, for example, looking after the day to day running and maintenance of the building; assisting Jan with social events; taking on the role of Health & Safety officer; and helping with other day to day matters such as organising competitions.  Don’t just come and play, get involved – though we need you to play more as well!  

·         As part of the above, you will be aware that the Club is launching a new membership drive.  Increasing membership numbers has been an ongoing issue for several years, with the number of new members balancing out the number of members resigning.  We know that the best way to attract new members is via existing members. Veteran members have probably exhausted their credit with friends and family – so I am looking to our newer members to encourage friends and family to come along and try the game.  We are also looking at other initiatives, such as targeting specific groups – so again if you want to get involved, get in touch.  The Club has just invested in a special oversized racquet, which is intended to make it easier for new players, and especially children, to get to grips with what is quite a difficult and complex game – all we need now are new players to try it out!

·         Following a query from a member, it has been agreed members may have sole use of the court for an hour to practice, at the normal single rate of £9.00, with the caveat that the court can only be booked for this purpose on the day.  If a member wishes to book a specific time for practice, in advance of the day, they may do so but will have to pay the full rate of £18. 

·         Finally on Club matters, there is a change of date for the Club’s Annual General Meeting. Unfortunately I am no longer available on Wednesday 24th April, the original date given in the Fixtures List, so the 2019 Annual General Meeting will now be held on Wednesday 1st May.    

Tennis Matters  

·         Congratulations to Henry Taubman on winning the Yearling Cup. This is a handicap tournament for members who have been playing less than 12 months and Henry did very well to take on more senior players, including his father!

·         It is interesting that some 50% of the inter-club matches scheduled to take place between September and the end of January were postponed. The game against Canford had to be postponed because of condensation on their court but the other instances were mainly due to lack of players either on our side or the opposition. So we are not alone in this. Also weekends are precious for families and people are disinclined to travel long distances just to play a couple of games of tennis. But these matches provide a great opportunity to play against members from other clubs and, in the case of away matches, to play on other courts – so have a look at the Fixtures List and give it a try.

·         Having said that, there are just two inter-club matches in February. The first is this coming Saturday away at the Hyde, near Bridport, and the second is against Oxford at home on the 16thFebruary.  Speak to KK or Ben if you are interested in taking part.

·         The other fixture for this month is the 70+ Challenge – Age and/or handicap on Thursday 21st February. This is a new event and the format will be decided nearer the date but it is open to all members over the age of 70 and members with handicaps of 70 and above.  A light lunch will be provided.

·         We have one ‘official’ taster session on the morning of Saturday 9th February but individual or group tasters can be arranged as required, providing the court is free.

·         Then there is a singles medal day open to all handicaps on the afternoon of 9th February and, of course, the regular Monday and Wednesday Club nights and the box competitions.  

Social Events  

The main social event for this month is the Quiz Night on Thursday 7th February starting at 6.30 pm at the Club. Family and friends are welcome to join in and there will be a welcome drink and supper for £10 a head.      

Best wishes  




…….this initiative, which is a huge bargain, reflects our belief that if you get enough time on court you will fall in love with the game…..

An hour’s tuition from one of our excellent Professionals to introduce you to the game.

You can join one of the pre-arranged Taster Sessions or you can arrange a taster session when it is convenient to you.

You can then move on to our …..
You will receive 3 hours of tuition with one of our professionals

(time limit 2 months).

We then hope you will become a Trial member …….
This is another 4 hours of tuition with one of our professionals


 4 one hour slots on court playing a game with a member. 
The cost is £100.00

 (time limit one year)

We then hope that you’ll have the Real Tennis bug and will want to become a Full Member …..
Memberships are renewed on 1st October annually.

The sub will be pro-rata when joining mid season.

The sub is £257.00 p.a. and court time is paid in addition.

Bristol Real Tennis Club Committee 
January 2019

WHAT'S ON in January'19

Dear Member,

I hope you enjoyed a very merry Christmas and are now getting geared up for lots of tennis in the New Year.

The New Year traditionally starts off with the Hangover Doubles and KK has 5 couples lined up to take on the challenge.  Non-participating members are welcome to come along and barrack from the dedans!

The weekend of the 5th and 6th January is given over to the Boasters Rackets Weekend, which is another regular annual event. 

Other important diary dates include:

Saturday 12th January - an away match against Middlesex University Tennis Club, based in Hendon. It will provide an ideal opportunity to play on a totally different court. Talk to KK or Ben if you are interested in going along as I am sure that there will be car sharing available

Sunday 13th January the Yearling Cup 

This is a Club competition open to all members who have recently joined or have been playing for less than 12 months. Talk to KK or Ben if you are interested (and eligible!) in playing.

Saturday 19th January – A Parents and Offspring Fun Day

This is a KK and Ben special and, as the name says, it is open to all parents and offspring who are interested in playing.  So get your names down and come along and have some fun.

Saturday 26th January – a home match against Oratory.

And don’t forget the regular Monday and Wednesday Club nights and the box competitions, which will continue throughout the month.

You might also be interested in putting your name down for an away match against The Hyde on Saturday 2nd February.  This is a lovely court on the outskirts of Bridport and it’s a great day out – or you can even make a weekend of it!

 Finally, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year  with plenty of tennis.




'Twas a dark and stormy night when the good and great of Bristol descended upon the mighty Bristol Real Tennis Club for an evening of drinking, The Chawner Challenge and some spectacular doubles.
Now I will be the first to admit that there may be some slight errors in that statement but I cannot say where.
Suffice to say that it was a superb evening and fun was had by all. Thank you to Will Chawner, Jan Fuller and all the team that helped.
We even had a visit from Santa although he was in civilian clothing and was clearly scoping me out to see what a good boy I have been...
Well done all!


"What's On" in November 2018



Dear Member,

I am trying a new format for the monthly newsletter, with the detail embedded in the email rather than in an attachment. Hopefully it will make an easier read and might even generate a few more responses!   

And whilst on the subject of responses, please, please, please don’t be shy about putting your name down to play in Club tournaments and inter-club matches.  The entry was disappointingly low for the recent Newman Bell Club Handicaps Doubles. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to play this year and couldn’t make the final, but those members who did play enjoyed some very good tennis. It would also be nice to have more people coming along to watch, support and enjoy a tournament final – the more the merrier in the dedans, so you could bring along all the family as well!   

Many of the Club tournaments are played off handicap, which means that everyone can join in and get the chance to play other members that they wouldn’t normally expect to play – and for doubles tournaments, KK and Ben are more than happy to find partners.  It can also be a struggle to get a team together for some of the inter-club matches – though I suspect we are not alone in this – but for home matches, it is an opportunity to play members from other clubs, and for away matches it is an opportunity to play on other courts and have a good day out. Remember - car sharing is always a possibility.  Unfortunately, in a similar vein, we have been unable to raise a team this year for the Preliminary Round of the Brodie Cup, which is one of the major T&RA inter-club competitions. The downside is that it is limited to T&RA members in the 30-50 handicap range, which is something of a limiting factor.  

I am very grateful to KK and Ben for doing a champion job in trying to get members to play more, BUT they can only do it with your help and support.

So important diary dates for November

We have four inter-club matches scheduled for November, one home and three away. The dates are:


  • Saturday 3rd November away against Seacourt (Hayling Island) - I know the call has gone out for players but this is an opportunity to play on a court very different to our own and one that is very difficult get a casual booking on.


  • Sunday 11th November away against Cambridge – a club with two very different courts.


  • Saturday 17th November at home to Wellington


  • Sunday 25th November away against Moreton Morrell


    Just see KK or Ben if you would like to play - for away matches the host club has to match the handicaps of our team, whereas for home matches we have to match the handicaps of the visiting team, so there is plenty of opportunity to join in. 

     Other tennis events in November Include:

  • A Singles Medal Day for 61-70 handicaps on Sunday 4th November

  • A Singles Medal Day for 71+ handicaps on Saturday 24th November

  • A Doubles Medal Day 41-60 handicaps on the afternoon of Saturday 10th November 

  • And a Taster Session for new players interested in taking up the game on the morning of Saturday 10th November – it is very important that Taster Sessions are well supported as we need to encourage new players, especially younger players, to become playing members, so please bring your friends and family along.

     And don’t forget the Monday and Wednesday Club nights.

     And forthcoming social dates for your diary

     Following on from last year’s success. Jan and Laurence are organising a whist drive on Friday 16th November, with supper and wine. Please let KK or Ben know if you are interested in coming.

     Start Christmas early with drinks, canapés, the infamous Chawner Challenge and an Exhibition Match on Wednesday 5th December from 6.30pm.

     The Club’s Christmas Lunch will be on Thursday 13th December at the Lansdown Pub in Clifton.

     With best wishes and plenty of good tennis.



Trip to Prested Hall

On the beautiful sunny morning of Friday 26th October, Squadron Leader Nigel Harradine, Flight Lieutenant Ben Coleman and a couple of stowaways Chris Barnard and Reggie Williams made a giant leap for mankind as they took to the air in hope of reaching Prested Hall. It was never in doubt.

Our fearless pilot touched down on a wonderfully narrow runway only a stones throw from our destination.

After 2 hours or Realers we had 2 hours of Padel and then a dip in the pool was needed before re-testing our drinking arms.

After 2 more hours of Tennis the following morning we made the return flight and huge respect to Captain Harradine for having to be re-routed and then landing with zero visibility in an instrument only landing in driving rain and strong winds.

Thank you to the team at Prested and massive fun was had by all.

P.S Reggie may need new pants after the landing. Over & Out.