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Remember this unsightly area?
And then the mighty task of removing the water tank
And the heroics of getting the water tank over the shed! (See article by Rob Chambers below)
And now here is the finished result - a lovely patio area from which to enjoy a drink from the bar and watch the tennis!
We also decided to get rid of the little stones that plagued the courts and car park and replace with a more aesthetic look!
The tennis Committee are looking to redevelop the area to the right of the club house entrance, to create a nice beer garden/BBQ/ seating area in the next stage of development at the club. To do this, existing water tank, which allows the bowling green to be watered, needed moving to the side of the club building, out of the way, with new pipework and the proposed area levelled to allow it to be repurposed. The slight problem was that as the club has developed, the tank was too big to be moved around the building conventionally. So to avoid having to take down the existing large tennis shed (which might prove difficult to rebuild) the tank needed to go over the roof of the shed.
Phase 1 The Big Lift
Rob and Dave took the wooden surrounds down in less time it took to drink a cup of coffee. I think that it is the destructive element we both rather enjoy! The previous week Rob had been giving the tank the evil eye each time he went past the tank to psych himself up for the big lift and looked to bring in reinforcements. Dave formed a Whatsapp group labelled Big Strong Real Men. Obviously I am also a big strong real man, but I am shy about it so I changed the group to The Big Lift, with an icon of a Sizewell B, which in hindsight was uncannily relevant! Dave immediately changed the icon to something rather less PC (but quite funny) with Adam adding comments which he immediately deleted. Can’t think they could have ever been non pc, but we will never know as he can delete a message he has written faster than anyone I know!
And so at 9.30 on a Saturday morning a group of big strong real men (and Rob) assembled at the club to move the beast. Having psyched himself up, Rob thought about asking Adam to give him a slap across the cheeks to motivate him, as is done on a lot of weightlifting competitions, however Rob thought that by the time he woke up, he would have missed all the action!
The tank was lifted up and Dave was straight up onto the roof like a bobcat and pulled it up, with others shoving it upwards from ground level and then trestle level. The shed was obviously designed to take additional accidental loading, although this was premeditated and the shed designers will have obviously taken into account the additional likelihood and loading associated with someone running up and down along the roof rolling a 125kg water butt! I believe it is quite a common sight when walking through Bramhall village on a Saturday morning.
When it came to lowering the tank into position off the roof, Rob came up with some inspirational advise about not dropping it and lowering it slowly. That’s why they pay me the big bucks….oh that’s not the case, it was free of charge! Adam is usually pretty quick to offer a funny response to these sorts of pearls of wisdom, but at the time I think he was trying not to burst a blood vessel and be eaten alive by the enormous tank that was descending onto him from a great height! There was a rumour that rather than holding the tank up, Dave was pushing it down onto Adam muttering “take that you bu**er”, but what happens at the side of the club, stays at the side of the club
Tank moved, job done….or so we thought!
Phase 2 The Somme Trench!
The small matter of a trench to allow the pipework to be installed to connect up the water tank formed part of Phase 2. This involved lifting 20 odd flags out of the way and digging a trench across the front and down the side of the building. Still it could have been worse, the flags might have been monsters weighing a ton each and at least we were not hand digging in clay. Whoops, no that is exactly what we faced! I think current health and safety legislation require the average age in a chain gang to be less than 60, so Euan and Mark were recruited. Rob imparted some further sage advice to Mark and Euan, who pay good money to go to the gym, but we were offering them a much better workout and were not even charging them a fee for the privilege! My son Euan was so touched by his father’s wisdom and I think that brought a tear to his eye.
Phase 3 The Slab
These water tanks can be placed on flag stones, so should have been fairly easy. Alas not the case! Previously in the upper Jurassic period, Rob undertook a number of structural designs for Emergency Control Nuclear blast bunkers, designed to take a near direct nuclear bomb blast. Having looked at the slab that was staring back at us, it was clear somebody had used this design to construct a slab for the water tank to sit on! I can see the builder having laid the slab 20 odd years ago muttering that “that bu**er is not going anywhere” He was so nearly right!
Now a lot of men have a pretty good selection of power tools, and I myself am pretty pleased with mine. However I was in awe when Dave pulled out every bloke's essential power tool, a pneumatic jackhammer! Just what you need for those DIY jobs at home. Most blokes tend to like being on the power tools and stay on that job, but this was brutal. After 20 mins anyone who passed close to the guy on the jack hammer was passed it immediately with the phrase ”thanks for offering mate. I’ll just have a quick sit down!” The secret was to keep the exclusion zone clear at all times. Anyway from 9.30-5pm job done! What better way to spend a glorious sunny Bank Holiday Friday. The pipework will go in and be connected by specialists later this week and we will back fill. The club will have saved a few £000’s on this work so hopefully we can pay someone to put the flags back and finalise the design, so we are left with a really nice useable space. If designed right, it could be a really nice area. I have seen how heavy those flags are and I for one think I will be washing my hair that day!
A huge thanks to Dave Elson, Andy Bloore (not even a member), Adam Mayers, Euan Chambers, Mike Sarginson (Bowler) and Mark Drinnon for all their help. It was a monster job!
Few people will now remember Vic Chesham who died in 2001, but he was a member of the club for many years and a regular Men's 1st team player. He also volunteered on the committee, did coaching and took charge of the Junior Boy's squad.
He bought this bench to celebrate the first time the Bramhall Queensgate U'18 Boy's team won the Division 1 North East Cheshire league back in 2000.
The bench was sadly falling apart but it has now been lovingly repaired thanks to Vic's son, Phil (who also played for the club for many years).
I think we will all appreciate sitting on it and watching some tennis on all those hot sunny days of summer!!
Did you know that whenever you buy anything online, you could be raising a free donation for Bramhall Queensgate Tennis Club?
Plus, if you sign up and raise £5 in donations, easyfundraising will give us a bonus £5 donation. The Committee have been trialling using this for the last few weeks and it is very simple and easy to use plus we have already raised some funds!
All you have to do is:
2. Click 'support this cause' and create an account
3. Choose from over 6,000 retailers to do your online shopping as normal and BQTC will receive a free donation with every purchase you make.
Thank you for your support, you'll be helping to make a real difference to Bramhall Queensgate Tennis Club in our quest to raise money to replace the floodlights on the Astros with LED's..
You may be aware that the club has a defibrillator which has now been relocated to an external position by the exit door from the Main Hall, fronting the car park and visible on the approach from Oakfield Close. It has been over a year since instructions regarding its use were issued to members. In view of this, we thought it would be useful to re-publish the guidance notes on how to use the defibrillator in accordance with the North West Ambulance Service regulations. There are also pictorial instructions on the front of the defibrillator cabinet and laminated guidance notes behind the unit which can be carried with it to an emergency site. .
You may also note that the defibrillator is now a ‘community defibrillator’ which means that anyone from the neighbourhood can access it. The defibrillator is housed in an electrically thermo-regulated and waterproof latched cabinet. For security the approach to the cabinet is monitored by a CCTV camera and a light with a motion sensor has been installed which provides illumination in this area when the club house is in darkness, plus the cabinet has an internal motion sensor light.
What happens in an emergency?
If you suspect that someone is having a cardiac arrest, (heart attack), then the first thing to do, as in all emergency situations, is to make the area safe if possible.
You must then dial 999 to alert the Ambulance Service.
State that you are at Queensgate Sports Club, the postcode is SK7 1JT (which is also written on the outside of the cabinet) and importantly state the location you are taking the defibrillator to.
The emergency services will then dispatch an ambulance. Remove the defibrillator from the cabinet, return to the patient and press the ‘ON’ button. From that point onwards the machine will give you voice prompts and instruct you what to do next. You may also have to perform CPR if you know how.
The following link is a very useful video training guide to both the use of the defibrillator and associated CPR technique, and Club members are encouraged to view it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2T5_3GwUDg&list=PLBP782CfMb546aks-I87ymQyQMSvjNn4M&index=2
The defibrillator at Queensgate Sports Club is semi-automatic which is the model the North West Ambulance Service prefers. This means that, when instructed by the voice prompts, you have to press the button to activate the shock.
Inside the defibrillator carry case are sealed packs which include blunt-ended scissors to assist in removing clothing. There is also a razor to remove excessive chest hair, a mouth guard, protective gloves and electrode pads for children under 8 years.
Once the emergency services have arrived they will take charge of the situation and the defibrillator.
Exciting News! We have had the 3 astroturf court floodlights replaced with LED's to match the 3 clay courts - what a difference!
If you would like to volunteer and join our rota for power brushing the courts, please come down for some training - date coming soon!
You may have noticed the beautiful tennis-themed colour co-ordinated painting we now have in the tennis pavilion. This is an original piece of artwork painted specifically for Bramhall Queensgate Tennis Club by Sarah Dale who is the daughter of Alan Cowley, who has sadly passed away but was a stalwart member of the club and Men’s 1st team player for many years.
Sarah wished to create and donate the artwork to the club in memory of her father and because she has very fond memories of playing at the club herself in her younger days.
I think you'll all agree that it is a great and colourful addition to the tennis pavilion and we have expressed our grateful thanks on to Sarah.