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Membership rationalisation strategy

Forum Home Forums Horizon Project – Have your say! Membership rationalisation strategy


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    David Oxnam

    Further to the recent online presentation I believe it would be useful from a strategic point of view if it was made clear that as part of the exercise it is intended to be-

    Income generation neutral or

    Generate additional revenue for the club


    The current thinking is to separate the question of changing categories from whether to increase the Club’s revenue. That might be achieved by asking members in the survey, whether, if the changes are approved, that should be translated into a reduction in the Full Sub (and other subs pro-rata vs what they would otherwise be) or alternatively, whether Full Subs should remain unchanged, in which case the Club’s income would increase.

    This is a question probably best addressed by members based on full information as to the benefits of increasing subscriptions as a whole, in terms of the impact on the Club’s operations, services and facilities. That is being explained in the various Horizon communications.


    As per the Mission Statement, and commented on extensively, Hurlingham is a family club, differentiated from its comparables with the continuity of members through generations. This brings with it a clear sense of history and cultural heritage. As such we should be seeking to continue to incentivise the children of members to become members and grow into the club vs. bringing in someone from the waiting list. The difference in joining fee between a child member progressing to adult membership vs. someone joining off the waiting list is one of the mechanisms to do so. I cannot see the purpose (or why it is in members’ collective interest) in reducing or removing the joining fee discounts for a child member who is progressing to adult membership (on the proviso they have paid their full c.16-18 years of child subscriptions) and with it preserving the very ethos of the club. It feels appropriate that there is a premium joining fee for someone joining off the waiting list (and who is bringing no such family continuity).


    It must be right to reduce the number of categories and rebalance the discounts – I am approaching my final seniority and consider the nominal annual sub in this category unreasonably low. However I have been a member since the 1960s and feel entitled to a bit more discount than members of a similar age who only have,say, 20 years continuous service.
    Our collective best interests should be to raise revenue primarily from subs to cover basic costs and thus minimise letting the Club facilities unduly to commercial events.

    Horizon Project

    I think it would be a shame not to take advantage of assets that the club has, so long as it doesn’t disrupt the enjoyment of members. Have there been any major problems with parties, weddings over the years? I am sure there has been the odd issue, but generally it appears to be pretty easy and a good source of revenue for the club. However I am asking the question, as I really wouldn’t know.
    Hurlingham will not endear itself to the local community by making itself more ‘elite’, ie by reducing external activities. I suggest we use a portion of these funds to support The Hurlingham Club Foundation, (congratulations Jamie C and team). Then we have recycling of Hurlingham asset-wealth, back into the local community. I think this should be the focus, rather than providing discounts to members.


    Although one of the aims of this exercise is to reduce the number of categories, I feel it is asking a lot of temporary off peak members of under, say, 30, to pay the full membership joining fee when their turn to become full members comes up. Unless they are in finance, it is most unlikely they will be able to pay this lump sum themselves. It then falls on the parents to do it for them. If you have a number of children, this is a large amount of money. In addition, with increasing job mobility, these young adults may not be sure whether they want to become a member of the Club until they reach that sort of age.

    Additionally, although this may also be a money raising exercise, I feel they should have a reduced annual fee until they are 30, for the same reasons.



    You say “Hurlingham will not endear itself to the local community by making itself more ‘elite’, ie by reducing external activities. ”

    Can you explain how non-member events, such as the Lord Taverners evening last week, or an estate agent’s training day, does anything to endear itself to the local community?

    As proposers of the recent resolution to substantially reduce these events we are, from time to time, challenged with your reason for continuing them. We struggle to learn what good they do to the locals. Most of the local community I speak to say they are a nuisance.



    Mrs Lyon,

    You say “I feel it is asking a lot of temporary off peak members of under, say, 30, to pay the full membership joining fee when their turn to become full members comes up.”

    Our full membership subscription is £1,499 a year. The nearest similar club is Roehampton and offers far fewer facilities. The subscription is almost double.

    Am I not right in thinking that off peak have already paid a proportion of their entry fee? If so what they are going to have to pay is the balance.

    Do you really think it is too much to be asked to pay to get full membership of a club half the cost of Roehampton?



    Dear Members,

    Mrs Lyon has an extremely valid point, which I support. I have two children of similar age to Mrs Lyon’s two, both under 30 and a slightly discounted fee until age 30 and a staggered subscription rate rising with age would be totally in line with other Clubs such as the Roehampton Club. On the point of the Roehampton Club and Mr Gamble’s comments, it is completely inaccurate to say that the Roehampton Club offers fewer facilities. I am a member of both clubs and will list the major differences for clarity: Roehampton has a highly regarded 18 hole golf course, the Hurlingham Club does not; Roehampton has gym and fitness facilities that are at least 3x larger than the Hurlingham Club and far better equipped staffed and supervised, the HUrlingham Club gym is small, pokey and badly lit; one does not have to pay for fitness classes at the Roehampton Club, whilst at the Hurlingham one does; at the Roehampton Club members get towels; the paddle courts are covered at the Roehampton Club; the F&B facilities at the Roehampton Club are fully operational every day and evening and do not seem to be affected by staffing issues claimed at the Hurlingham Club (in fact staffing levels have increased); and there are many more points that can be made; to recognise their loyalty and support members of the Roehampton Club received up to £250 in April 2021, at the Hurlingham Club we did not receive anything and indeed there is strong talk of significant subscription increases.

    Unfortunately I have heard other members and indeed Committee members draw the same comparisons between the Hurlingham Club and the Roehampton Club. I would of course be delighted to invite Mr Gamble, any other member or Committee member (as my guest) to the Roehampton Club so that they can see for themselves, surely apples should be compare with apples rather than some other type of fruit and comparison of clubs should be objective and based on actual facts.

    I am fully supportive of Mrs Lyon’s point and hope that the committee and other members read this post.




    Dear All,

    I forgot to include one further significant point of comparison, the changing room facilities at the Roehampton Club are larger, cleaner are far superior to the Hurlingham Club.




    No I didn’t know how much more Roehampton had to offer, Rob.

    But did you know they had a photographic society? A few years ago they invited me to give them a talk. I am not sure how much I improved their picture taking but we had a few laughs and a fun dinner so it was certainly not a wasted evening for me. Some great characters.

    I have been on the now defunct Horizon Consultative Forum. Do you fancy a brief chat on the phone? If you email me at I’ll give you my phone number. I’d be interested to learn why you feel Hurlingham approaches things so differently.



    Mrs Lyon, is correct and I support her views entirely. Where is an 18year old going to get the joining fee plus 70% p.a of the membership fee ? They will have to rely on their parents for years.
    I have difficulty in understanding the comparison with other clubs. If the club belongs to the members is there shame in keeping the cost at an attractive level ?



    “I have difficulty in understanding the comparison with other clubs.”




    Almost universally, entrance and subscriptions are paid by parents until their children are in their mid 20s; and it is of course because of their parental connection that children of members are allowed to skip our long waiting list and become members; children and parents are inextricably connected.

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