Dedanists v LRTA

Saturday 8th June 2019 at Hardwick House

hardwick 7.jpg
hardwick 8.jpg
hardwick 5.jpg
hardwick 2.jpg
hardwick 3.jpg
hardwick 4.jpg

This popular annual fixture took place on Saturday the 8th June on a lovely day at Hardwick House.

After arriving and before the first rubber at 10.30am, Candida and Charlotta (the newest member of the Dedanists) helped Tim to clean the court.


Once the Tomalins had decanted the mountains of food, Pam prepared her now famous Blood Mary and one or two members of the Dedanists team sampled the very tasty mixture but no one remembers who the other(s) were!! The clue is that the one person who did, was the person who normally travels to matches chauffeured by the Chairman but because of the Chairman’s move to Henley, had to drive himself !!


After Tim and Jonathan won the first rubber with a very tight second set, the Dedanists generously lost the next two rubbers in two . John McV and Julian played very well to beat Juliette and Linda in two with a very close second set, which was touch and go. That set up the match with winner takes all in the 5th rubber which in the end Rosie and Di won, to clinch the match This final rubber was expertly marked by Richard and made more complex with a handicap difference of rec 1/2 15 owe15 .

The ladies deservedly won the contest 3-2

Dedanists v Prested

Sunday 28th April 2019 at Prested

The best of eight rubbers Dedanist win 4-3 (with a drawn doubles.)

The Dedanists got off to a flying start with wins in the singles from Robert Muir and Ben Martin, followed by a win in the doubles by John Tacchi and Robert Muir, this was too good to be true and was followed up with losses in the singles by John Tacchi and father and son combination of Simon and Ben Martin in the doubles. Simon resurrected the himself after a distinctly 'iffy' doubles (not helped in the first set with a coughing and spluttering Ellis-Miller as a partner) performance to win his singles match. Ben Martin had to play a further singles match, as Jonathan Ellis-Miller could not play due to illness and was beaten. The final doubles match was something of a rarity, Ben Martin Aged 26 and Amy Pye (swapping sides) Aged 17 (total age 43 must be the youngist combined doubles age of any Dedanists pairing ever!)) drew the final rubber and secured the fixture win. 

It was a great day out for all, the Prested folk are very friendly and welcoming. There was some really outstanding tennis. Many thanks to Rob Fahey and Ged for excellent marking and organisation. We look forward to returning next year under the stewardship of Chris Vigrass.

Jonathan Ellis-Miller


The award for "the person of the match" goes to Pam Tomalin, who didn’t play, but provided a delicious lunch. Once this little secret gets out, we will be inundated with members wanting to play


It was a happy fun day at the beautiful Hardwick court, and everyone seemed to have a good time. Well done to the ladies!! "

Dedanists v Hatfield

Saturday 16th March 2019 at Hatfield

A very enjoyable and well contested match took place at Hatfield House on Saturday. A large contingent of nine Dedanists put up a strong showing but, alas, went down two rubbers to four against a spirited Hatfield side. I confirm that I have transferred £135.00 to the Dedanists account to cover the nine Deds' players supplements for junior tennis. Carl - who, incidentally, was on fine form both on and off court - took some photographs which are below.

Match Results:-

Martin Richards vs Nick Brodie 6/5 6/2
Adrian & Jill Akers vs Jonathan Ellis-Miller & Carl Snitcher 6/4 0/6 4/6
Adrian Akers & Stuart Rose vs Michael Llewellyn-Jones & Doc Wyse 6/4 3/6 6/4
Alex Brodie vs Yuri Kugler 6/5 6/0
John Longhurst vs David Mitchell-Innes 6/4 2/6 5/6
Ros Emrys-Roberts & Robin Aley vs Clive Stone & James McDermott 6/4 6/3

Hatfield 3.jpg
Hatfield 6.jpg
Hatfield 4.jpg
Hatfield 2.jpg

Dedanists v Pigeons

Sunday 10th March 2019 at Wellington

A thrilling encounter at Wellington saw a rare Dedanists' triumph by four rubbers to one. Such was the strength of the Ds that three of the games were won in straight sets. Paul and David led the way with a resounding victory over S T-W and Patrick, much to Simon's dismay. He did not stop talking about it for the rest of the day. Vaughan and Michael provided the closest encounter,  nicking it after one set all, and five all in the last set. The Ds borrowed a talented Paul Spraggs to help Norman to victory. John and Jonathan were clinical. To avoid a vale of tears from the Pigeons, Jonathan and James came a creditable second in their match in their usual sporting fashion, thereby averting a whitewash.


Any sense of competition evaporated over an excellent lunch and copious quantities of wine. Dan Jones, as ever, marked scrupulously and there were no pitch invasions.


Full results


Paul Cattermull & David Enticknap  beat  Simon Talbot-Williams & Patrick Jenkins 6/4 6/1

Vaughan Williams & Michael Llewwlyn-Jones  beat  Paul Spraggs & Patrick Jenkins 6/4 4/6 6/5

Norman Hyde & Paul Spraggs beat Donald Carse & John Deere 6/2 4/6

John Beatty & Jonathan Ellis Miller  beat  Barbara Carse & Matthew Page 6/5 6/4

Jonathan Ellis Miller & James McDermott  lost to  Andrina Webb & Richard Pettit  6/5 2/6 3/6

Petworth v Dedanists

Sunday 3rd March 2019 at Petworth

David Fortune meticulously prepared the running order and pairings  for what turned out to be a delightful day at Petworth. Most of us had not seen the new dressing room facility and club area which is extremely  comfortable and convivial.

 The Dedanists' pair ,Julian Wilkinson and  David Mills ( treasurer and Chairman of the Dedanists Foundation respectively) got us off to a splendid start, and when Josh and David F drew the next rubber, we thought that we might be in for a good day. but sadly they were the only pair to win.There were three drawn rubbers and the rest were lost , some very closely. But it was great fun and £165 was raised to support our junior programs

David F and his wife Caroline provided a sumptuous lunch, ( she has promised Babotie next time we play there, and for those who don’t know its a traditional South African dish ) and the Petworth members , who were there for the whole day, were all splendid hosts.

 Louis Gordon had a marathon day marking expertly and consistently. So a big thank you to him. The match was played in good spirits with lots of good humoured banter from the Dedans, with the home team winning convincingly 

After a long but  a very good day we all left for our respective homes in the middle of a rain storm and  in very windy conditions.. At the time of writing this report it seems as though everyone made it back home safely. Rod Taylor heroically played three times!! Just as well he lives around the corner from the club

Chairman Josh drove his supercharged Volvo back to London expertly in the driving rain and approaching darkness, and made it back in an hour and a half ........ in  world record time, only waking up when startled by his passenger , the secretary of the Society , blurting out the name  of a tennis player they were both having  difficulty remembering 

An excellent day in the country  it was too.

 Results (Petworth names first)

Robert Dolman & Simon Armstrong lost to Julian Wilkinson & David Mills 3-9

David Bevan-Thomas & Robert Muir drew with David Fortune & Josh Farrall  6-6

Allan Adair & Alan Chalmers bt Richard East & Chris Stanton 9-4

Anthony Palmer & Helen Linfield bt Rod Taylor & James McDermott 9-2

Simon Armstrong & Robert Muir drew with Julian Wilkinson & Josh Farrall  6-6

Robert Dolman & Alan Adair bt Richard East & David Mills  10-2

David Bevan-Thomas & Alan Chalmers drew with David Fortune & Chris Stanton  6-6

Ed Braham & Helen Linfield bt Carl Snitcher & James McDermott  8-6

Allan Adair & Anthony Palmer bt Simon Armstrong & Rod Taylor  9-5


Match Result  Petworth 6  Dedanists 1  (3 matches drawn)



Oratory v Dedanists

Saturday February 23rd 2019 at Oratory

Results (Oratory names 1st)

Georgiana Seigneur (55.3) bt John Yarnall (59.2)  6/4 6/3   Owe 15  Love  


Peter Buckley & Mark Keogh (49.3) bt John Beatty & Phil Devlin(48.2)   6/3 6/0 Level 


Robin Russell & Maggie Gibbs (71.8) bt Carl Snitcher & Adam Lawrence (68.6)  6/4 6/0 Level


Linda Sheraton-Davis & Maggie Gibbs (59.3) bt Simon Armstrong & Clive Stone (54)   6/1 5/6 6/4  Love  Owe 15  


Calum Maclean & Julian Sheraton-Davis (45.8) bt John Miller & Jonathon Ellis-Millar (56.9)   6/0 1/6 6 -5  Owe 15  Rec 15 


Oratory win 5-0 

Oratory 6.jpg
Oratory 1.jpg
Oratory 2.jpg
Oratory 3.jpg
Oratory 4.jpg
Oratory 7.jpg
Oratory 5.jpg

The Seacourt Silver Racket took place in early February and had 24 entries. There was a qualification event in which 4 players qualified for the main event.
The Dedanists Society programme featured 5 individuals from our performance programmes  and the results of those on the Individual  Academy programme are shown below:
In the Qualification event , WILLIAM FLYNN (aged 16) firstly defeated Nick Warner 6/3 3/6 6/1 and then defeated Freddie Dixon 6/3 2/6 6/4. Two full 3 set matches in one day. A great result for William.  He then lost to Lea van der Zwalmen in the main event.
NED BATSTONE  went straight into the main event and defeated Nino Merola ( Professional from Radley) 6/5 1/6 6/4  (Nino started on – ½ 15) . This is the first time an Under 18 player has beaten  a senior professional in a National Tournament!!! Ned then lost in the quarterfinal to Freddie Bristowe.
LEA VAN DER ZWALMEN , won 2 rounds of Qualification event , and  having defeated William in the first round of the main event , then beat Tom Weaver  3/6 6/3 6/1 – a superb result for her.  She then played Neil Mackenzie   in the semi-finals but lost 2/6 1/6. 
Overall , a great set of results for our 3 young aspiring players  – well done to Seacourt for a superb  tournament ( Drew Lyons and Aaron Flippence)  
Graham Tomkinson

The Seacourt Silver Racket

January 30th - February 3rd  2019 at Seacourt


Ned Batstone (left) & Freddie Bristowe
Lea Van Der Zwalmen & Neil Mackenzie

Dedanists v MCC

Saturday 9th February 2019 at Lords


The MCC fixture is always very popular and this year was no exception. Of the 24 players in six games of doubles on court there were originally 21 members of the Society. In the event three had to withdraw  for injury and /or family reasons but  despite that 18 members participated . We were very pleased to welcome David Enticknap and Simon Webster who had joined recently. We hope this will be the  first of many.

The first Rubber was at 10 am and we didn’t finish until  approximately 6 pm,  with a short break for lunch. The reason for the very long day was exceptionally that every rubber went to 3 sets. . Although the Dedanists team triumphed by 5 to 1, every match was very close and could have gone either way.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the day in part due to the conviviality of the Lords  hospitality and  general ambience . Good food and good company, good chats and lots of banter from the Dedans!! 

Mark Ryan the head pro was in marking duty for the whole day and was in excellent form. A big thanks to him and the MCC for a great day 


Sam Leigh 43/ Foreman Wickes 33 v Simon Webster 30/ John Whiting 41                         6/4,3/6.4/6      D win

Ben Martin 54/Tony Friend 45 v Yuri Kugler 46/ David  Enticknap 45                                  2/6,6/2.3/6      D win
Rod Taylor 63 /Chris Stanton 60 v Richard Wyse 53/ Iain  Harvey 51                                   4/6,6/3,5/6      D win
Ben Martin 54/ Rodger Davis 41 v John McVitte 49/ Julian Sheraton Davis 42                   6/3,5/6.3/6      D win
John Thirlwell 66/ James McDermott 66 v John Miller 69/ Adam  Lawrence 70                  6/4. 4/6,4/6     D win
John Farrall 57/Jonathan Ellis-Miller 52 v Carl Snitcher 64 / Linda Sheraton Davis 55      6/3, 4/6 6/4      M win



Dedanists v Jeu de Paume et Squash, Paris

Saturday 27th January 2019


After a long evening of eating and drinking (and for some a very late night’s drinking) we all traipsed to the court (one or two with sore heads) for our own Dedanists’ doubles tournament, with the obligatory (and much sought after) Dedanists’ tankard awaiting the winner.
It was played according to some novel rules: one point each for the winning pair, and a bonus point for any player hitting the grille. Each player played three 6-game sets with a different partner, with a rolling handicap, and two guests from the Paris club were invited to participate: Remy Martin and Francois Menage. To the Dedanists’ chagrin, Francois Menage (3 wins + 1 grille) ran away with the trophy - although there was, allegedly, considerable unspoken delight that David Phillips, last year’s winner (1 win, 2 grilles) and Norman Hyde, pot hunter ‘extraordinaire de nos jours’, (3 wins), together with Carl Snitcher (3 wins + many commiserations) were runners up.
So ended a memorable weekend in Paris for nine Dedanists (plus Pat Farrall). And a wonderful time it was too: good food in restaurants carefully and bravely chosen by Alastair to be within walking distance of the tennis court and hotel meant that the longest journey undertaken was to find a late night drinking establishment which was actually functioning on a Saturday night: odd, perhaps the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ were making proprietors keep their heads down.

The only person to make contact with the ‘GJ’ was the Chairman’s wife, who had ventured further afield to 'Les Grands Magazins’, and who was firstly soaked in a massive downpour before being locked into a building on her way back to the court - but that is another story!

This was the second successful year of this contest, which has all the makings of becoming a regular and enjoyable fixture in the Dedanists’ calendar; we are already thinking off ’tweaking it’ for our next visit in late January 2020.


0940    Snitcher & McDermott    v    Magnet & Zolidis            lost 6/8

1020    Village & Robson        v    Risterucci & Schwab        won 8/4

1100     Hyde & McVittie        v    Xavier & Thibaut            lost 5/8

1140    Whiting & StJean Webb    v    Boulter & Zohari            won 8/5

1220    Farrall & Phillips        v    Schwab & Salmon            won 6/1

1300    Snitcher & McDermott    v    Munoz & Restericci            lost 5/6

1340    Village & Robson        v    Melchior & Illegible            win 8/2n

1420    Hyde & McVittie        v    Kressmann & Chappelier    win 6-3

1500    Whiting & StJean Webb v    Benline & Girod            lost 4/8    


Marker: Rod Macnaughtan - all matches marked in French and English from the marker’s box

Paris 3.jpg
Paris 4.jpg
Paris 6.jpg
paris 7.jpg
Paris 5.jpg
paris 1.jpg
Paris 2.jpg

Dedanists vs Hardwick House

At Hardwick House on Sunday 12th January 2019

Dedanists 5 - Hardwick 1 

Dedanists win for the first time in five years. Trumpets sound.

The match was played on its scheduled day in January a cold but clear day. A blazing fire and various heaters kept the 24 players warm and the red wine chambré’d on the mantelpiece. As always the court was in lovely condition, the balls were first class, and players shed successive layers as play, if not the court, heated up.  As you can see from the results below - which hopefully bear some resemblance to reality - the Dedanists scored a rare and hard fought win by five matches to one.

The records show that there was a 2-2 draw back in 2013. Since I took over as match manager in 2014 we, the Dedanists, have suffered loss after loss - until this year. You quite rightly may well conclude that this is a result my lack of management skills. I have always thought that the excellent hospitality offered by Hardwick has reduced our resistance and ensured our downfall.

After the match had finished there was very sad news about Colin Butler. After playing in the first match and while marking the second match, Colin became ill. He was treated by paramedics and then transferred to Reading Hospital where it was confirmed that he had suffered a serious stroke.  All our thoughts are with him and his family. At the time of writing the reports were that he was still in hospital not being able to stand safely with other effects of the stroke also hindering his recovery.

The main features of the Match was first that 19 of the 24 combatants were Dedanists and second that five of the Matches – the ones that the Dedanists won, all went to a third and short (4-4) or very short (5-5) third set. The first match played off level paired Colin Butler and Fergus Brownlee - a most formidable local pair against Julian Sheraton-Davis and John McVittie. Julian and John had form in previous matches in the sense of defeat being snatched from the jaws of victory. After winning the first set and losing the second it all came down to 4-4 all in the final (short) set. After losing the next set to go 4-5 down, the Dedanists roared to victory by winning the last two sets.

The second match was expected to be very competitive. The well-established pair of Wise and Wyse were off the pace in the first set but came alive in the second. But, by that time, their opponents, Michael Seymour and the host Ian Whittaker were well entrenched and although the standard of play rose it was too late and the match ran out 6-1, 6-3 to Hardwick. One all!

The third match between Peter Harding and Sarah Whittaker for Hardwick against Linda Sheraton-Davis and Richard East was well balanced with Linda doing the running and Richard contributing to the score whenever the ball came near him. A very well chosen pair! The match could have gone either way but the Dedanists won out in the end.


Dedanists v Newmarket

Sunday 20th January 2019

Sometimes it is an advantage to have a very small Club building. On an icy day in Newmarket the Club was soon warmed up by the hot air generated by the players on both sides. There was a slight inconvenience in that it caused some of the overnight condensation which had iced on the rafters to melt and require regular mopping in one or two spots on the floor, but it did not affect the quality of the matches or the bonhomie. It did allow Chris Stanton to demonstrate his acting skills with a perfect "Prat Fall" as he was the only player to hit a wet spot but like a true thespian he made it look deliberate !
Six matches - 3 Singles and 3 Doubles - were played with Newmarket prevailing with a 4-2 win. 

Dedanists                                               Newmarket
John Burnett                                 v        Dominic Tomalin                           4-6, 1-6
Jonathan Ellis Miller                    V         John Shneerson                            6-1, 6-4
Chris Hollingsworth                    v         Ken Smith                                    6-5, 2-6, 5-6
Josh Farrell & Chris Stanton      v         John Crawley & Jeremy Barnett      5-8
Chris Stanton & Carl Snitcher   v         John Crawley & Hazel Dunn            7-8
Josh Farrell & Carl Snitcher       v         Jeremy Barnett & Hazel Dunn         8-1



Dedanists Society Xmas Lunch

Thursday 13th December 2018

The annual Christmas lunch of the Dedanists’ Society took place at the Lemonia restaurant in Primrose Hill.  Very convenient for some (well me then), not quite so for others.  Fine grub and a varied  menu to suit all tastes.  Good value and great fun.

36 members and guests attended.  Josh Farrall, as chairman, welcomed all with a speech that was generally applauded for being short, partially comprehensible and occasionally witty. 

Guests included:

•       Chris Bray, general manager of MURTC, who has done so much to support junior tennis.  The Society sponsors the British Under 21 & 24 Real Tennis Championships at MURTC and he runs it.   Other pros were invited but were unable to attend.

•       Paul Weaver and Tory Wall who do a splendid job of updating our new website under the watchful eye of Tony Friend.  Do check it out at and see what the Society is up to.

•       Valerie O’Donnell to thank her for organising a wonderful day at the Fairlawne court in Kent for a group of predominantly  members ( the very tidy surplus was generously  donated to the Society ) and to wish her a speedy recovery from the her recent horse riding accident in Cyprus and subsequent airlift.

Judging from the number of bottles consumed and the wobbly demeanour of members as they left, a good time was had by all.  For technical reasons and to the relief of some members, no photographs were taken.   Most members paid via GoCardless which makes administration so much easier for the organisers   -  and we raised a healthy surplus to help fund our various junior programmes.

We now have 180 members.  The room at Lemonia holds 45.  Given the popularity of this event, we may have to move to a larger venue for next Christmas.

Carl Snitcher

Dedanists v WRTC

Saturday December 8th at Wellington College

Six doubles matches were arranged for this fixture which always attracts a good response from our members. WRTC are very welcoming and in its short lifetime we know the fixture to be an excellent day of tennis, hospitality and friendship. Wellington like to break off for lunch to give everyone a chance to sit, imbibe and natter to enjoy a very good luncheon. Showing undeniable Dedanist form we put up a fight but alas at the end of the day we lost 5-1. Sole winners were Willie Wilks & James Denham who were the only pairing to take the opposition to 3 sets (6-2, 5-6, 6-5 from 40 all). Our team players, along with Willie & James, were Paul Cattermull, Sebastian Lyon, Carl Snitcher, Anton Eisdell (played twice)  Oliver Wise, Candida Nicholls, David Mitchell-Innes, Richard East and Sarah McGivern. They all played like true Dedanists - magnanimous in defeat (bar 2). We raised £200.00 from our team for the Dedanist cause which was excellent.  A post luncheon photo is attached which includes a somnolent Dedanist post luncheon!


Guy Egerton-Smith

Non-Playing Match Manager

welly d.jpg

Dedanists v MURTC

Saturday November 24th

A kind of match did arise out of the ashes of a sudden cancellation, only four days before the event, by the Middlesex club's fixtures secretary (only the second time a home side has cancelled, at least in Norman Hyde's experience, in the last 35 years). After a robust exchange of emails and by popular demand, four Dedanists (Richard East, John McVittie, Carl Snitcher and Martin Village) took on four MURTC members playing doubles in different configurations in a series of single sets, all unmarked, over a period of nearly five hours. Some games we actually won, some we regrettably lost - the result was about even - but everyone had a good hit and the occasional pleasure of a moment of sheer brilliance. The atmosphere in the back of the dedans was extremely convivial, leavened as it was by Josh Farrall and Graham Tomkinson and the presence of a large TV screen showing the England/Australia rugby international. A very good afternoon's sport was had by all.

Martin Village

Tournoi des Trois Tripots

South of France October 2018

Le Tournoi des Trois Tripots 2018 took place in South West France between the 11th and 16th October.  It was played on trinquet courts, converted for real tennis, mainly in Bayonne, Urrugne and La Bastide-Clairence  -  and also in Pau.
The Dedanists Omega team consisted of Carl Snitcher (captain), Rod Taylor, Graham Meek, William Lewis, Tony Cooke, Ian Wimbush and Anton Eisdell.  We played marginally better off the court than on !   Our capacity to serve double faults when defending chases of a yard and better was a significant handicap.
But Omega faired considerably better than the Dedanists Alpha team which consisted of Josh Farrall (captain), Ronald Paterson, Simon Martin, John Beatty and John McVittie . Omega won two matches in the group stages (which was two better than Alpha)  -  and was beaten in the knockout stage by the Jesters.  True to Dedanist traditions, both teams were unstinting in their efforts to give opponents a good game and help them win.
A good time was had by all.  The Dutch team eventually won the tournament by beating the French in the final.
The most talked about incident  was a motorway accident involving the Omega team.  Having beaten Moreton Morrell on the Urrugne court, we were en route back to Bayonne when the car in front hit the central reservation, flipped and came to a halt,billowing smoke.  Three adults and a child climbed out unharmed.  The driver had fallen asleep at the wheel.  Our car, driven by Graham Meek, unavoidably hit debris and punctured a tyre which took forever to repair (the wheel nuts were so tight that we couldn’t shift them and had to wait for assistance).  So, no harm done  -  and a timely reminder to ‘carpe diem’.


Dedanists' Society Annual General Meeting

Queens Club 31st October 2018

The event started at 1 pm with a handicap doubles tournament for 24 players / 12 pairs played on both courts at Queen’s.  Each pair played 5 short matches.  Low and high handicap players were paired together.  A sliding handicap ensured that most matches were close.  At 7 pm, John McVittie & Richard East played Iain Harvey & Tony Cooke in the final.  Iain and Tony took a 3-0 lead.  But John and Richard, with help from the sliding handicap, playeddoggedly on and achieved quite a comeback to win the Lowenthal trophy 4-3.  Congratulations to them !.
The AGM, chaired by Josh, went off without hitch.  Sarah McGivern and John Whiting were elected to join Andrew Hamilton as trustees of the Society.  Norman Hyde, Freddy Adam and Graham Tomkinson were re-elected to the Committee for a further term   John Whiting retired after completing two terms.  No members put themselves forward to replace him, so the Committee will seek candidates in due course.  Graham Tomkinson reported on the Academy coaching programmes that the Society funds and runs for the best young players in the country.   Graham was thanked his excellent work in this regard.  Finally, David Mills reported on developments at the Dedanists Foundation over the last year. 
The AGM ended at 8.10 pm.  Twenty five of us then retired todinner and prize giving in the Members’ Bar.  A good time was had by all.


Dedanists v Hamsters

11th September 2018 at RTC

On a glorious sunny, early Autumn, morning five pairs of Dedanists assembled at Hampton Court, which as ever was looking magnificent, for a fixture which is one of the highlights of our season.

The enthusiasm to play in this fixture was very considerably , even though there are a good number of Dedanists that are sojourning at the Trois Tripots tournament in SW France, so apologies to those we were not able to accommodate to play on the day.

Iain Harvey and David Mitchell-Innes opened the batting taking the first set from David Remington, the man with smart tassel loafers it should be noted!, and John Maddison. The second set was fairly even until in the fourth game coming from 40 Love down the Dedanists took the game to lead the set 3-1. However the Hamsters fought back and the set went to 5-5 with the 40 All match point falling in an unplayable fashion off the penthouse giving the narrowest of victories to the visitors.

The second match saw Oliver Buckley and home match manager Nick Carew Hunt take on Norman Hyde and Tony Friend. The first set saw the visitors go 3 - 0 down to the in form home pair but with steady play especially from Norman the Dedanists clawed their way back to win the first set by a surprising 6-4 margin helped by effective use of their handicap “Bisque”. The visitors again got off to a shaky start in the second set, with Oliver seeing the ball like a football and volleying very effectively to win numerous rests. The visitors were not out of it and clawed the third game back from 40 - Love down to hold the home team to a  2 - 1 lead. After then establishing a lead the visitors ( me that is, apologies Norman!)  missed a couple of shots that should have been put away to concede the set 6-5 and take the game into the third starting at 3-3. Again with a Bisque in this short set providing a considerable advantage the set went to 4-5 with Nick serving to save the set. The visitors managed to get to three set points and needed all of them to win the match very narrowly …Whew!

The third match saw the lowest handicap players of Robert Frost, using the wrong hand, and John East matched against Chris Durham and Willy Wilkes. Willy and Chris played with characteristic skill and consistency, and with the benefit of a + 15, owe half 15 handicap romped through to take the first set 6-3. However after the Dedanists went to a 3 - 1 lead in the second set the tempo of the match changed after the home team brought it back to level on 3 and then 4 games each. It seemed that whenever the ball went anywhere near Frosty he had all the time in the world to return the ball and test the visitors, whilst John missed nothing and as a result the home team went through to win the set 6-4. In the third set the home team soared to a 5-3 lead but with great determination and splendid volleying by both pairs the Dedanists brought it back to 5 - 5 and an exciting final game was on. It was nip and tuck all the way, 15 All, 30 All, 40 All and then the match point going the Hamsters way for a well deserved victory in a tightly fought match which without doubt featured the best play of the day.

Your scribe having marked most of the last match moved from the dedans to join the second lunch sitting.Lunch as ever with the Hamsters is a very sociable affair with great pies and wines…Thank you Nick. Although we did not over indulge, as sometimes happens with the Hamsters, we were shocked to not even have reached the cheese when Robin Mulcahy and David Rowley appeared in the dinning room with news that they had beaten James McDermott and Adam Lawerence by a very swift and stunning 6-1, 6-0 ! Despite requests for comment on the match little was forthcoming from Adam and James, so further commentary is not possible. In the circumstances maybe thats not such bad news and we can leave it that in the true spirit of the Dedanists, the visitors wanted to set up a grand finale!

And what a grand finale it was to be.

The experienced Alan Dallamore, who was one of the first to arrive to watch the opening match, and John Yarnall were pitted against the bandana ( blue in case you ask….where did he get it from some may further ask!) wearing James Wilson and Robert Kilgour, whom we are all pleased is now fit and playing again and was by far the least old ( I did not say youngest) member of the Dedanist team!  
To ensure fair play we were very grateful for the White Hat, AKA as Oliver for slipping in to the Markers chair to take control of proceedings in this crunch match. 
As you would expect of the players on court honest calling of close hazard chases etc took place throughout the game and there were some long and impressive rests. 
The first set was even stevens most of the way with the hosts prevailing 6-4. Our generous hosts then allowed the ever youthful James and Robert to level it with a parallel 4-6 win to set up a final set to seal the match result. 

The tension was building. The dinning room had emptied, although a few took glasses of Fleurie or Picpoul with them to the dedans where it felt you could sell seat tickets for nearly as much as when Fahey played Riviere. The final set did not disappoint! 

Whilst there were a number of shots which both pairs would not want to see replayed the standard was high on both sides and perhaps inevitably the game moved to 5 games All and how befitting of this great fixture it was. Evenmore than that as we went into the deciding game, with spectators recharging their glasses  you will now not be surprised to learn it went to 40 All…
I can promise you the match managers can not take credit for the fixture going to the wire, although after last years fixture, please see Josh’s report,  we always knew that the Hamsters under the excellent leadership of Nick had a number of algorithms to demonstrate they would be the winners regardless of the actual results. As it turned out the final match point was won by a maginifcant/fortunate (??) shot from John which sneaked into the dedans to nail it for the Hamsters.

What a wonderful ending it was to a great day of tennis, friendship, hospitality and of course we all take comfort for the exercise that the game gives us helping us to be able to shake off the calories from the pies and vino that is an integral part of these great days.

My thanks to all that played for the Dedanists, as well as Nick and his fellow hosts for making us so welcome and making it a great day.

Finally thank you also to the Hamsters for a generous £45 contribution to our funds which together with Dedanist contributions means we raised a not inconsiderable £195 for the great work the Society does.

A few photos are included however they dont reflect adequately the great day that we had.

We very much look forward to returning to RTC next year and any Dedanist that would like to play I would suggest should submit their availability for selection early, as I am sure there will be great interest in playing.

Tony Friend

Results (Hamster players shown first).

David Remington & John Madison lost to Iain Harvey & David Mitchell-Innes 3-6 5-6

Oliver Buckley & Nigel Carew-Hunt lost to Tony Friend & Norman Hyde 4-6 6-5 4-6

Robert Frost (wrong hand!) & John East bt Chris Durham & Willy Wilks 3-6 6-4 6-5

Robin Mulcahy 7 David Rowley bt James McDermott & Adam Lawrence 6-1 6-0

Alan Dallamore & John Yarnall bt James Wilson & Robert Kilgour 6-4 4-6 6-5

Hamsters win match 3-2


Dedanists v Manchester

30th September 2018 at MURTC

The annual double header between MCC at Lord’s on Saturday 29th September (MCC won 4-1) and The Dedanists at Middlesex University (MURTC)  on Sunday 30th September against Manchester (MRTC) proved to be a competitive and most enjoyable weekend of tennis played in the true spirit of the game.  Manchester produced a strong team and 4 doubles matches were arranged for the Sunday encounter. We had agreed 5 matches but unfortunately a slight misunderstanding led to one of the Dedanist team members, also a MRTC member, heading off to his home court on Sunday morning only to find his team were playing away something short of 200 miles due south! A  bit of player re-arrangement sorted out the problem. The first 2 doubles match produced absorbing tennis with, in both cases the matches going to 3 sets with 40 all one point for the match. Manchester took the first 2 matches to go 2-0 ahead but the Dedanists fought back bravely to take the match to a 2-2 draw with another very close final 3 set match going down to the wire.

manch photo.jpeg

Tony Friend and John Mcvittie change ends in the Dedanist final tense match against Manchester at MURTC on Sunday 30th September before going on to win 6-4,5-6, 6-5 to level the match 2-2


11.10am Paul Cattermull (38) & Simon Martin (35) v. Jamie Bebb (30) & Robin Barlow (35) 6-1, 5-6, 4-6 (40 all 3rd set) to MRTC

12.20pm Johnny Saunders (48) & Kerry Knight (68) v. Dave Moran (56) & James Barlow (51) 4-6, 6-2, 5-6 (40 all 3rd set) to MRTC

1.30pm Jonathan Ellis-Miller (54) & Tony Friend (46) v. Dave Moran (56) & Paul Seakins (41) 6-2, 6-4 to Dedanists

2.40pm Tony Friend (46) & John McVittie (46) v James Barlow (51) & Terry Jones (39) 6-4, 5-6, 6-5 to Dedanists

Result: Match drawn

£140 was collected to support Junior Tennis

Notice of Annual General Meeting, Tennis Tournament & Dinner


The thirteenth Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held at The Queen’s Club, Palliser Road, West Kensington, London W14 9EQ at 7.15 pm on Wednesday 31st October 2018 in Meeting Room 1, Centenary House.

By order of the Committee,



1.    To approve the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 1st November 2017.
2.    To receive and approve the Annual Report, Statement of Accounts and Balance Sheet for the year ended 31st July 2018.
3.    Report by Graham Tomkinson on Academy coaching programmes.
4.    To consider and agree the Benevolent Activities of the Society under Rule 4 of the Rules & Regulations, especially the Society’s support for Junior real tennis
5.    (a)  To elect four committee member from the following candidates who have been formally proposed:
(i)    Freddy Adam, Norman Hyde and Graham Tomkinson (supported by the Committee),
(ii)    TBA (others proposed before the closing date of September 1st ).
(b)  To elect two trustees from Sir Andrew Hamilton and others TBA proposed before September 1st 
    If there is more than one candidate, then the election will be decided by a ballot of members attending the AGM.
6.    Report on the Dedanists’ Foundation.
7.    To transact any other business that by the Rules & Regulations of the Society has to be or may properly be transacted at an Annual General Meeting.


Dedanists' weekend in Warwickshire

8th/9th September 2018

The first weekend of the season started at the Leamington Tennis Court Club with a blistering display of tennis by the mercurial Matt Fattorini, whose affiliations on the day were for LTCC. Despite valiant efforts by James Holden, guest and prospective Dedanist, he had no option but to graciously admit defeat.  Alastair Robson and John Yarnall followed with some fine calculating tennis. The exciting encounter provoked Henry Bryant to protect the net and when the ball passed his sizable frame the agile Will Todd played a strong floor game; eventually the opposition pair prevailing.
A fine lunch followed and with 2 games down  the match manager had to gently point out that the Dedanists were not used to changing in the ladies changing room; the men’s being in a state of disrepair following collapse of the ceiling. He mused that this may have had a bearing on the morning results.
The afternoon saw the ever perennial Josh Farrall play with new member James Leeper, who in the morning had travelled 200 miles from Cumbria.  Despite a strong start the hard hitting home opposition proved too much.  The excuses of a fixed flexion deformity of the knees following James’ journey, the shock of having to change in the ladies and the unfamiliar bounce of the Leamington court could have used but James and Josh remained ever cheerful in the true tradition of the Dedanists. Having accepted defeat, the match manager and Yuri Kugler fortified by wine and gay abandon had a blistering performance lead by Yuri who gave a lesson in volleying and returned almost every ball.  At last a win to prevent the dreaded white wash.  James Mc Dermott and Alastair Robson, the later playing his second game and who I have never heard decline a game of tennis, played the tricky Devis and McWhirter.  Despite great efforts by both, they were overpowered leaving the Dedanists loosing 4 matches to one.  Thanks were extended to Will Todd for the clubs hospitality and to Ben Taylor Matthews for marking.
We retired for dinner at La Coppola Ristorante where Josh regaled the history of the Dedanists to the younger members whilst we drank modest amounts of Italian wine. The dish of the evening Sea Bream, oven cooked in salt, Dorada al sale was highly memorable.
A ten am start at Moreton Morrell brought the predictable comments from Anthony Parmiter, who was slightly aggrieved by the early hour and disruption to his breakfast. Despite the grumblings, James McDermott was in fighting mode. Both played valiantly and were outplayed by John Franklin, relatively new to the game and wearing a sombrero!  Smiles were maintained through gritted teeth.

Match manager and James Leeper sprang onto court and just about won the warm up.  Sadly at 3 all a good match was expected but misunderstanding about front and back by the match manager broke the rhythm which lead to over hitting and the inevitable loss.  Then to enter the Moreton Morrell Chairman, Andrew Hamilton, who initially wasn’t sure which side he was playing for but when the mists cleared teamed up with Yuri Kugler.  A cohesive and classic game ensued even with a late comeback by Keith Beechener and Richard Seymour Mead, the Dedanists duo came out winners, just about breaking sweat.  A pre-lunch photo on court took place where RSM wished to express his admiration or even ownership of AP’s pectorals!


Another good lunch and banter was followed by a nail-biting clash. Josh Farrall served perfect drag serves one after the other and John Yarnall gave his all but left handed David Prophet and canny Terence Drane brought matters to a head at 5 all in the final set. Unfortunately the pressure told and despite being at the serving end the hopes of Dedanists first team victory of the season fell away.  Alastair Robson and Miles Buckinghamshire played the dead rubber, both Dedanists playing great tennis. Alastair returning some quality serves from Stewart Hodges, playing balls tight to the back wall and beating chase 2 or better. A pairing to watch out for the future!  Thanks were extended to Keith Beechener for a most enjoyable day and to Tom Granville for marking.

In line with the Dedanists credo it is the playing rather than the winning prevailed.  I have yet to find a tennis player who admits he didn’t want to win, even amongst the ranks of the Dedanists, fortunately there is always the next match!Match manager and James Leeper sprang onto court and just about won the warm up.  Sadly at 3 all a good match was expected but misunderstanding about front and back by the match manager broke the rhythm which lead to over hitting and the inevitable loss.  Then to enter the Moreton Morrell Chairman, Andrew Hamilton, who initially wasn’t sure which side he was playing for but when the mists cleared teamed up with Yuri Kugler.  A cohesive and classic game ensued even with a late comeback by Keith Beechener and Richard Seymour Mead, the Dedanists duo came out winners, just about breaking sweat.  A pre-lunch photo on court took place where RSM wished to express his admiration or even ownership of AP’s pectorals!
Another good lunch and banter was followed by a nail-biting clash. Josh Farrall served perfect drag serves one after the other and John Yarnall gave his all but left handed David Prophet and canny Terence Drane brought matters to a head at 5 all in the final set. Unfortunately the pressure told and despite being at the serving end the hopes of Dedanists first team victory of the season fell away.  Alastair Robson and Miles Buckinghamshire played the dead rubber, both Dedanists playing great tennis. Alastair returning some quality serves from Stewart Hodges, playing balls tight to the back wall and beating chase 2 or better. A pairing to watch out for the future!  Thanks were extended to Keith Beechener for a most enjoyable day and to Tom Granville for marking.
In line with the Dedanists credo it is the playing rather than the winning prevailed.  I have yet to find a tennis player who admits he didn’t want to win, even amongst the ranks of the Dedanists, fortunately there is always the next match! 

Welcome to the new season


Dear Dedanist,

We wish you the very best for the new season of 2018/19 and proffer the following in the hope of rousing your interest and inciting you to engage: 

·      Fixtures List

I attach our 2018/19 fixtures list.  Match managers will email invitations to play in each match  -  but do consider applying to them now.  Where a match manager is yet to be appointed, do email me.

·      Match Managers

Do please email me to volunteer to manage one of these matches in 2019:

-    March 10 Sun         Pigeons at Wellington.

-    March 23 Sat          Seacourt at Seacourt.

-    April 28 Sun            Prested at Prested (organised by Team Fahey).

-    May 4/5 Sat/Sun     Jesmond Dene at Jesmond.

-    May 19 Sun             Hyde at Bridport.

·      Website

Do check out our new website at: . 

It summarises who we are and what we do.  It invites you to forthcoming events (fixtures list, Christmas and garden parties .....).  It reports on recent events (match reports, pro am ....).  It updates you on the British Academy coaching programmes that you fund and we run.  It invites you to contribute news and comment.

Web content is controlled by Tony Friend (  Do communicate directly with him to comment or contribute.  Do use the dialogue box on our home page to join our mailing list and receive early notice of news and events.

·      World Junior Championship  -  Aug 20 / 21 at Seacourt

We are sponsoring this first ever World Junior Real Tennis Championship which takes place at Seacourt on Mon Aug 21 and Tues Aug 22.  The best young players, aged under 18, from the USA and UK are  competing.  Do pop in and watch.

·      AGM, Tournament & Dinner  -  31 October at Queen’s

Do put this in your diary now.  Carl will be communicating more detail soon.

·      Committee Member & Trustee Elections

We will be electing committee members and trustees at the AGM.  Do consider putting yourself forward.  Carl will be communicating more detail soon.

·      The Dedanists Pro Am  -  Wed 3 July 2019 at Queen’s

A special opportunity for members of all handicaps to play doubles with the top professionals and world champions that we admire.


All the very best for the new season,


Josh     (M)  07990 857 912

 Sparks Dedanists' Pro Am Doubles Tournament

Queens Club 4th July 2018

There were 20 players and an impressive turnout of pros namely Rob Fahey, Bryn Sayers, Chris Chapman, Andrew Lyons, Ben Matthews, Ben Ronaldson, Craig Greenhalgh, Ged Parsons and Neil Mackenzie. Every match was expertly marked by Howard Angus and Simon Marshall.  So a massive thank you to all the professionals.
The competition was divided into four groups of five players (mini-leagues 1-4) with the winner of each competing in the semi-finals and the two winners meeting in the final
Freddy Adam was the winner of  league 1, Colin O Shea league 2, David Phllips league 3 and James McDermott league 4 . The final was contested by Freddy and David as the amateurs, by Rob and Bryn as the pros and was marked by Drew Lyons.  Freddy won after a closely contested match and became the first lady to do so.  Well done, Freddy !  The prizes were presented at the splendid dinner by Josh with David Mills acting as MC. 
The day was a resounding success.  Everyone enjoyed it immensely.
Much of the background buzz was generated by the search for Clive Stone’s wallet.  Lost during the first match of the day.  Rumoured to be stuffed with cash and membership cards for private clubs of a certain repute.  Eventually found by James McDermott in his own pocket.  No harm done  -  but the potential for scandal unrealised !
 The day raised over£4.5K for the Society (nearly a record).  Those who had participated in previous years thought that this Pro Am was the best so far.  There is no doubt that this was principally due to the enormous amount of work done by Josh, the skill and enthusiasm of the pros and the excellent catering and facilities provided by Queen’s.

 Dedanists v Cambridge

 At Cambridge Saturday 16th June 2018

Things started brightly for the Dedanists on Saturday in the match at Cambridge. For a start everyone (all 10) showed up on time even if there was a bit of grumbling at the complexity of the arrangements (It was really quite simple, find letter corresponding to you first match in the Table on the top left and then the time and Court in the Table to the right. Repeat in reverse to find you partner and opponents. Repeat in the Match 2 column to find your second match... Simple, right!). 
Through a master-stroke of planning the pairs in each of the 10 matches were within 2 handicap points of level, so off level we played (with full deuces). On Court the brightness continued for the Dedanists continued as we romped to victory in the 1st two matches. Well, romped is perhaps a bit misleading as on the Blue Court, myself and Simon Mansfield produces an almost Lazarus worthy comeback from 4-2 down to win 8-7. On the other Court, Josh Farrall and Chris Stanton took an entirely different approach. They got their noses in front before starting a seemingly endless series of deuces. The marker finally took pity on the players (and the spectators) by calling the game 6-3 to the Dedanists after the 50 minutes allocated time... We had long finished our 15 games by this point.
However at this point things clouded over Dedanistwise. There were some notable attempts at fightbacks without unfortunately actually winning and spirited attempts to get on with winning or losing (actually losing) as quickly as possible to get the schedule back on track. And so alas the Dedanists early lead evaporated as the match finished 8-2 in favour of the Hosts.
However the main business of the day was by no means over. Not only was there an excellent lunch but also we had a true masterclass on joint replacement and pain management (both before and after). I had no idea about the possibilities out there and I learnt that my (single) hip replacement along with a couple of Ibuprofen before venturing out seem positively amateurish compared to what can be achieved.
Yet again we eschewed the traditional team photos and instead focussed on some action shots off (and on) Court. A selection below...

 LRTA v Dedanists

 At Harwick House Sunday 10th June 2018

"The weather was very kind to us on Sunday. As the tennis was so exciting and closely competitive and  played in such good spirit most of us spent the day in the Dedans watching eating and drinking. Pam Tomalin put on a  magnificent spread. As Paul Danby says it was reminiscent of a day at Hardwick some 50 years ago!

The tennis was closely fought as the results indicate.. Every match bar one went to three sets. We were pleased to welcome new member David Fortune ( resplendent wearing his brand new tennis shirt) , in his first game for the Dedanists . Partnering Johnny Saunders they won in three.The other games were close  with some quality tennis in parts.

The hospitality was simply the best and a big thank you to Pam who not only provided a sumptuous lunch but also some strong Bloody Mary's from her own mixture which accounted for some squiffy shots played by one or two players . No name no packdrill.

Every one had a wonderful day at Hardwick in its most relaxing and comfortable surroundings . Paul Danby , who also did some high quality marking, wrote the attached letter which gives a flavour of what is was like 50 years ago. Not much, if anything has changed.

The result on the day was an out of character win for the Dedanists as the attached match card shows.

Attached are  a few random photographs of what was going on inside  and few taken by Tony showing the beautiful  surroundings in which  the court nestles and reminding us that its also known as Toad Hall.

Once again a big thank you to Pam and the LRTA for hosting such an enjoyable day in the country and to the Dedanists who played . We raised £165 for our junior programmes.

Letter from Paul Danby:-

50 years on
Robin Sligh was a very enthusiastic MCC tennis player in the 60,s, 70's, and
80's etc He was also a cousin of the Rose family and arranged occasional
It must have been in the late 1960's that he organised a Match at Hardwick.
I arrived before lunch. Lady Rose and daughter were shucking peas on the
lawn so I joined the work. Delicious cold salmon lunch followed in the
Dining Room.
Howard Angus and I changed in one of the bedrooms and then played - after
mopping the court floor!. He won comfortably, it is a good railroad court
(for my excuse).
Later I wandered round the house to thank Lady Rose, heard noise in the
cellar, and found her doing the washing up! She said I could only help if I
stopped calling her Lady Rose, she was Phoebe from then on. So charming
would not let me leave before a cup of tea and her cake!
So I have always enjoyed playing there.
Yesterday must have been about 50 years on. Again salmon lunch - quite
delicious, thank you Pam
Thank you for organising, Carl. Well played, too. The balls were so good,
There was always great affinity between Seacourt and Hardwick. My brother
Felix and Julian Rose, current owner, played each other at alternate courts
for several years until Felix had to give up in 1974

GB Juniors v USA Juniors

Held at Wellington College on August 15th/16th 2018

Fellow Dedanists Committee Members ,


This week saw the match between the GB Juniors and USA Juniors , the team of GB Juniors being made up of current ( and one past) attendees from our Junior Programme. 


The result was a 13-7 win for GB. The match consists of Singles and Doubles ( although as you know we focus on singles) and was held over two days at Wellington. The matches all consist of single set , first to 6. In 5 of the7  matches that GB lost , the score was 5-6 against GB. So winning those 5-5 games would made the score 18-2!! However that would have been unkind to a very skilled USA team !

Since the formation of the Academy programme, GB has not lost to any of the other 3 nations at team level ( ie up to the age of 26!). It has been very close but that is the record over the last 13 years!!. 


FYI, the GB players were Max Wetton, Max Jones, Hugh Thomas, Harry Purton, Zak Ramjane, Ned Batstone, Ivan Barker and Ed Crowston – all of whom played their part in this win. 

Please follow the link below for a one minute video which features the game between Erik Barker (USA) and Ned Batstone (UK).

Dedanists v Hardwick House

At Hardwick House on Sunday 20 May 2018

Dedanists 1 1/2 - Hardwick 3 1/2

Dedanists lose again. Lack of killer instinct.

The match was played on a beautiful May day with glorious sunshine. This was the first time in living memory that the Dedanists have played at Hardwick without a blazing fire being employed to keep the players warm and the wine chambré’d. The attached photograph shows how the wine was warmed to the right temperature. This was a match rearranged from January and as a result some of the potentially winning Dedanists players were no longer available (this is of course pure speculation). On the other hand the court was in lovely condition, the balls were first class, and nobody needed an overcoat. 

The first match played off level paired Colin Butler and Ian Whittaker - a most formidable local pair against Julian Sheraton-Davis and John McVittie. Julian and John had form in previous matches in the sense of defeat being snatched from the jaws of victory and so it duly happened again.  After winning the first set and losing the second it all came down to 5-5 and deuce in the third and final set. Colin then put two successive unplayable shots (that is by your Dedanist colleagues) into the tambour to claim victory.

The second match was well balanced with Michael Seymour and Vaughan Williams facing Norman Hyde and John Beatty. The Hardwick pair remained ahead during the first set with Norman scraping up floor shots (good Leamington experience coming through) and serving across the court from the forehand side. In the second set the same pattern repeated itself with the Dedanists pair firing into the dedans (most appropriate) but not getting ahead. The intensity of the play was proved when Norman fell over John (or possibly vice versa) with the rally continuing while Norman struggled to his feet and continued to play. Vaughan was striking the ball very well – a living example of the worth of Specsavers - and also firing the ball in the dedans (luckily he is already a Dedanist). The second set was closely fought but despite all the efforts the Hardwick pair ran out 6-4, 6-3 winners.

In the third set Hardwick sent out a pair of ladies (Caroline Fox and Sarah McGivern) to do battle against James McDermott and Carl Snitcher. The Dedanists duly won the set 6-1 at which point the ladies appealed the handicapping with the match managers. Faced with powerful arguments it was agreed that the next set would be played 2 handicap points better to the ladies. Alas this turned the match around and the ladies won the second set 6-5. At the beginning of the decider, Carl’s back stiffened up – possibly from having played two matches the day before – and he had to retire on medical grounds. Hardwick very generously offered a draw which was eagerly accepted.

The next natch was mixed doubles with David Fox and Sarah Whittaker facing Iain Harvey and Pam Tomalin. This proved to be well matched on handicap and despite Iain wearing dark glasses throughout – it was a lovely sunny day – Hardwick prevailed in a hard fought battle 6-5 6-5.

The last match was an opportunity for the Dedanists to make the score a bit more respectable. Fergus Brownlee and Tim Tomalin were up against Chairman Josh Farrall partnered by Richard East, the survivor of many a tough battle. The match went first one way and then the other. Hardwick won the first set 6-2 while the Dedanists were lulling them into a false sense of security. In the second set matters turned around with Richard serving from the forehand corner and winning the set on an unreturnable serve that slid down the back wall. 6-4 to the Dedanists and one set all. Josh was using his backhand “slider” serve to good effect and the score went 4-3, 5-3 and finally Josh hit a brilliant shot down the wall to make it 40-owe 15. Surely the Dedanists could win this match! With the dedans urging on their fellow Dedanists the final game was won for a 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory.

The Lunch
Sarah and Ian Whittaker were perfect hots and produced a wonderful lunch. Our thanks to them for looking after us so well and also arranging for the weather to be beautifully warm and sunny. The red wine turned out to be chambre’d just correctly but surprisingly for a Dedanist match not all the bottles were finished. Something we must take up next year if we are, as we all hope, invited back.

The Surplus for Junior Tennis
On the day, we raised £240 for the Dedanist fund for Junior and Academy real tennis. Many thanks to all Dedanists and Hardwick members who donated. 

Match Managers for the day
Ian Whittaker for Hardwick House.   Johan McVittie for the Dedanists.

Next Season
The Dedanists very much look forward to next year’s match and hope to win for a change! It has been a long time coming.


Sat 17 September           Radley (pupils)                   @ Radley                                   Josh Farrall

Sun 18 September          Radley (members)            @ Radley                                   Josh Farrall

29 September -4 October  Tournoi des Trois Tripots: Bayonne, La Bastide, Urrugne   F Adam

Sun 2 October                 Manchester                       @ Middlesex                             Guy Egerton-Smith

Sat 8 October         Peripatetic Club Tournee         @ Hardwick                                Josh Farrall

Tues 11 October            Hamsters                            @Hampton Court                      Josh Farrall


Warwickshire Weekend: Leamington & Moreton Morrell


Sat 15 October              Moreton Morrell               @ Moreton Morrell                    Norman Hyde

Sun 16 October            Leamington                        @ Leamington                            Norman Hyde

Fri 21 October              Queen’s                               @ The Queen’s Club                  F Adam & N Browne

Sat 29 October             Holyport                              @ Holyport                                 Guy Egerton-Smith

Wed 2 November            AGM, Tournament & Annual Dinner   @ Queen’s           Josh Farrall

Sun 6 Nov                      Middlesex                           @ Middlesex                               Martin Village

Sat 10 Dec                     Wellington                           @ Wellington                              Josh Farrall


Sun 8  January               Petworth                             @ Petworth                                 Katy Weston

Sat 14  January               Hardwick                            @ Hardwick                                John McVittie

Sat 11 February             MCC                                     @ Lord’s                                      Carl Snitcher

Sat 25 February             Oratory                               @ The Oratory School               Carl Snitcher

Sat 18  March                 Hatfield                               @ Hatfield                                   Nick Brodie

Sat 25 March                 Seacourt                              @ Seacourt                                  Josh Farrall

West Country Weekend: Hartham, Bristol & Hyde

Sat 8 April                      Hartham (Stické)                @ Hartham                                   Josh Farrall

Sun 9 April                     Hyde                                    @ Hyde                                         Josh Farrall

Sat 22 April                    Jesters                                 @ Middlesex                                Carl Snitcher

Sun 14 May                   Newmarket                         @ Newmarket                              John Burnett

Sun 11 June                   LRTA                                      @ Hardwick                                 Peter Flood 

Sat 17 June                    Cambridge                          @ Cambridge                               Christie Marrian


Oxford Weekend: Oxford & Radley


 Sat 1 July                       Oxford                                 @ Oxford                                       F Adam

Sun 2 July                       Brigands                             @ Radley                                        F Adam

Thurs 6 July      Sparks Dedanist Pro-Am               @ Queen’s                                     Josh Farrall

MATCH CARD v THE DEDANISTS SUNDAY 20 MAY 2018                                            
Time    Column2    Column3    Column4    Column5    Column6    Column7    Column8    Column9    Column10    Column11    
10.00    Colin Butler    40.9        v    John McVittie    45        3-6, 6-4, 6-5    2-1    H    
    Ian Whittaker    45.2            Julian Sheraton-Davis    41.8                    
            Love                Love                
11.15    Michael Seymour    39.7        v    Norman Hyde    44.7        6-4, 6-3    2-0    H    
    Vaughan Williams    46.1            John Beatty    45                    
            Owe H15                Love                
12.30    Caroline Fox    54.3        v    James McDermott    70.3        1-5, 6-5 ret'd    1-1    Draw    
    Sarah McGivern    73.6            Carl Snitcher    64.8                    
            Love                Rec15                
LUNCH    13.00                                        
14.00    David Fox    47.1        v    Iain Harvey    50        6-5, 6-5    2-0    H    
    Sarah Whittaker    51            Pam Tomalin    56.5                    
            Owe 15                Love                
15.15    Fergus Brownlee    41.2        v    Josh Farrall    53        6-2, 4-6, 3-6        D    
    Tim Tomalin    51.3            Richard East    58.5                    
            Owe 15                Rec 15                
    HARDWICK HOUSE        beat the         THE DEDANISTS    BY    3 1/2    MATCHES    TO    1 1/2    

We are delighted to announce that Dedanists Society performance programme attendees won the British Junior Championships titles at Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18 age groups. The Championships were held at The Queens Club over 3 days August 16th-18th. 


Under 14: Bertie Vallat defeated Henry Henman

Under 16: James Medlow defeated Max Trueman

Under 18: William Flynn defeated Patrick Smart

Winners 2019.jpg

The Sparks Dedanists Pro-Am

We held the 15th annual Sparks Dedanists Handicap Doubles Pro Am on 3rd July 2019 at Queen’s.  It was a great success and raised nearly £3,000 to be shared by the Sparks medical charity for children and the Dedanists’ Society’s Academy coaching programme for the best young real tennis players in the country. 

Sixteen amateur players, mainly Dedanists, paid £490 each to play and donate.  With handicaps ranging from 24 to 64, they were representative of the amateur game as a whole.  They each played three round robin matches against amateurs of similar handicap for a place in the semi-finals  -  and played with four or more different professionals in the process.

We are especially grateful to the pros for playing in this tournament.  Their very presence persuades amateurs to enter and donate. They moderate their play to bring out the best in amateur partners and opponents.  They entertain us with the quality of their play and banter.  They encourage us with gems of good advice.

The players were as follow:


Professionals. Chris Bray, Chris Chapman, Claire Fahey, Rob Fahey, Ben Taylor-Matthews, Dan Jones, Neil Mackenzie, Ben Ronaldson, 

Amateurs. Andrew Lowenthal, John McVittie, Francis Moore, Stuart Rose, Willie Wilks, Josh Farrall, Luke Readman, David Phillips, David Mills, Guy Egerton-Smith, Chris Vigrass, Graham Meek, Adrian Akers, Carl Snitcher, John Saunders, James McDermott.


Markers.  Howard Angus & Simon Marshall


Chris Vigrass, Guy Egerton-Smith, Josh Farrall and Francis Moore won through to the semi-finals.  Guy’s performance was particularly impressive as this was his first tennis after a fifteen month lay-off.  Francis Moore beat Josh Farrall in the final to put his name on the trophy alongside that of his father who won in 2012.  David Mills awarded the trophy and prizes with his own blend of sharp wit and racy humour.

Thank you to Josh and Carl for organising such a splendid day.


Annual General Meeting 2019

I remind you that the AGM of the Dedanists’ Society and the Annual Tennis Tournament will take place at the Queen's club on Wednesday the 30th October 2019 (further details in due course).


Five members are to be elected to the Committee at the forthcoming AGM.  If you wish to stand for election, please email me to this effect by 2nd September 2019, together with support in writing from two other members acting as your proposer and seconder.

Those currently standing for election are:

1.  Guy Egerton-Smith (currently fixtures secretary, standing for re-election).

2.  Josh Farrall (currently chairman, standing for re-election).

3.  John McVittie (currently treasurer, standing for re-election).

4.  Simon Roundell  (master i/c real tennis at Wellington, standing for election).

2.  Carl Snitcher (currently hon. secretary, standing for re-election).

If more than five members put themselves forward, then members attending the AGM will elect the requisite five Committee members by ballot.

Do please contact me if you would like further information.



If you have not already done so, do please check out our new website at .  Under the “General Interest” tab please note the latest entry  -  a practical guide on ‘how to play better doubles’ written by Colin Dean in the 1980s for the Hatfield House Field Trophy team  -  as relevant today as it was then.


I hope to see you at the AGM.


Best regards,


Carl Snitcher   M: 07836 678 782

Hon. Secretary, The Dedanists’ Society