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April Fools Day – CURTC In Manchester

Posted on April 4, 2023 | in Match Report, Membership, NewsTicker | by

I was last in Manchester a decade ago and, on arrival, remembered why. Its streets still wear the debris of the night before, planning permission had to have been given in the early hours at The Hacienda Club and the pedestrian crossings would make Darwin proud. That the club car park is all four figure codes and rolling gates only unnerved me more. We entered the club through its rather battered but, doubtless, secure door, complete with camera, and I’m sure I saw Jeeves cross the hall in search of a trouser press.


It could be the locus for half the between-the-wars murder mysteries ever written

Camice and The Colonel

Camice and The Colonel

The club is in aspic and so much more charming for it. The wooden panelled walls bear sepia-tinted sporting photos and hunting trophies in equal measure and you’d swear the lighting was gas. It’s more than just a real tennis club. If it’s a racquet sport, it’s played here, padel and pickle included while, rather disloyal I thought, Camice and Sue found the skittles alley in the middle of my match.


The only way I could cut Jack down to size.



As for the match ? Bailey was in the throes of losing as Camice and I arrived. Then my scheduled opponent, an older, well respected, decent chap with a bad knee was unavailable with his place being taken by Jack. No surname. Just Jack. Twice my size and half my age who, rather unsportingly I thought, went on to win 6-5 in the third. Camice and I went on to lose by the same tiny margin in the after lunch doubles while Christie never came to terms with his opponent’s serve that came across court, flew into the air and either did or did not hit the slope above Christie’s head before spinning off in all directions. The serve will have a name but I daren’t write what Christie called it. Again Cambridge travelled and proved to be entertaining, if unsuccessful opponents. We are, if nothing else, consistent. Still, we consoled ourselves over dinner in the unoriginally named Mason’s, in the one-time Freemason’s Hall in the centre of town a short walk away and by 9pm the day wasn’t the sporting disaster we’d first believed.

Dr S and Bailey

The Baileys




The author at work

The club was beautifully old school, the tennis entertaining, the company fun. I’m still not convinced about Manchester. TK


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