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The Horizon Project

Forum Home Forums Horizon Project – Have your say! The Horizon Project

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    Ant Moyse

    We’re keen to hear from our members what they want to see and what they think of the Horizon Project. Start a new topic, open up conversation and see the opinions of other members!


    Thank you Chairman, Alan and all the contributors for this evening’s briefing. An excellent summary and a very heartening view of what might/could be the future.

    One area for consideration. I believe the Club is excellent value for money (save that the F&B often does not match up to the rest of the offering), and that a one-off increase in fees of up to 10% is not an unreasonable ask – provided that it goes towards the kinds of improvements described.

    However, finding £1,500 each for my wife and I on 1st January is always painful. I believe a monthly payment plan is available, but when I last looked it was significantly more expensive. I suspect a hike to subscriptions would be easier to absorb if the Club’s default position was to take it monthly by DD at no extra cost rather than annually at the pit of the domestic financial year. Surely in these days of electronic banking this would not disadvantage the Club.

    Apologies if I have dropped behind the times and this is normal now anyway! Thanks again.


    Unfortunately, I missed the beginning of the meeting so may have missed some salient points but I have several points to make regarding those parts I did see – all solely from our own personal point of view . Different members will have different personal circumstances and viewpoints but we were asked for our personal views so that a consensus could be reached before putting resolutions to the Members , so here goes :-

    1. As members now living in Guildford we are able to make very little use ( less than 10 visits a year ) of the Club particularly given the enormous increase in time to get there since Hammersmith Bridge was closed thus increasing the traffic pressure on Putney Bridge . The new charging zone along the North and South Circulars together with the new and proposed LTN’s will make the journey even worse . Hurlingham is the only club I am a member of who will not grant us Country Membership – indeed so exacting and ungenerous are the criteria one must actually live in the English Channel to qualify I believe . Thus to hear the proposals that spouse reductions will be reduced , 5/10 % one – off subscription increases followed by RPI increases are proposed plus making off- peak members full members increasing further the pressure on the Club is frankly not a very enticing prospect and will receive no support from us .

    2. Despite many members voting “ do nothing” in one of the recent surveys in terms of projects , I was astonished to hear that there are 13 possible projects that may be proposed and that much of the financial presentation was about how much Capex we can raise and what subscription increases the Membership are prepared to bear ! This is not what I want to hear .I want to enjoy the Club on the very few occasions I get to visit and not be constantly in the middle of a building site . The references to how much the Membership “ will bear “ were , I am afraid to say , quite inappropriate in my opinion .

    3. The proposal to give off- peak members a vote – followed presumably by a reorganisation of the current unincorporated association status where all full members own a share of the Club into an incorporated one ( presumably giving off – peaks a share too ) completely overlooks the rights of current full members – turkeys , votes and Christmas spring to mind .

    4. The proposal to admit off – peak members to full membership will surely only make the waiting list problem worse as there will be double the number of spouses and children to go to the top of the waiting list .

    5. I hope I am being cynical , but watching the presentation ( bar the beginning ) it did seem that the enormous number of entrance fees that would be generated by allowing off- peak members to become peak would not only double the number of full members overnight but swell the Capex coffers significantly. I do hope there is no causal link here .

    Before anyone tries to tear me to shreds or say I am being selfish , we were specifically asked for our opinions so that a consensus could be reached thereby avoiding a rerun of the West Wing debacle . I am just giving our point of view – the Club is already very bad value for us because we are not allowed country membership – all of the proposals that I saw will only make our position worse and I am sure that we are not the only ones in this position . Thank you for your time .


    The previous contributor makes some thoughtful points, but acknowledges that they are made from the perspective of a very particular experience, of living too far away to use the club other than infrequently. This naturally skews the comments, with the result that I (frequent user who lives very close by) don’t agree with them. (Even the turkeys and Christmas point – as noted, there are financial advantages to all members in widening the category of voting members, as well as the demands of plain fairness. I wonder whether the concerns could be better addressed by focusing on the criteria for “out of town member”, perhaps relaxing them whilst imposing quite a strict limit on numbers of annual visits. (My own thoughts to follow once I’ve been able to attend a meeting …)


    Just to be clear, changing Off Peak members to Full Members will make no difference to the number of members joining or the waiting list, as the children of Off Peak members also become (Off peak) members when they reach 21.


    Thank you to the above 2 posters . I was certainly unaware that children of off- peak members have the same rights to jump the off – peak queue .

    Regarding the points re inability to attend the club very often due to distance – it is precisely this which irks myself and my husband greatly . The current rule is iniquitous – 75 miles from the Club which means even Portsmouth does not qualify – one must be out in the English Channel ie an overseas member !!! Who , given the traffic situation prevailing in London now is going to do a round trip of over 140 miles to visit the Club on a regular basis justifying full membership ? We don’t want to let our membership go as we will never get back in and you never know how things are going to pan out in the future re living arrangements but each visit costs us in excess of £300 as a couple.We would be extremely happy with a country membership limited to say 10 visits per annum priced accordingly . Until that happens I’m afraid neither my husband nor I will be supporting the current proposals with our votes . As I said before , entirely selfish but everyone will vote in their own interests and our opinions were asked for on this forum in order to get a steer from different members thereby avoiding another West Wing debacle .


    Some broadly supportive thoughts after catching up with the Monday presentation. (Subject to refinement as further detail is shared in the coming months.)

    1. Agree with proposals for mitigating member tensions. The devil may well be in the detail but in principle they are sensible and balanced.
    2. Also agree with proposals for membership, with proviso that I confess to having reservations about continuing, unqualified, the right for family members to become members. I like the that principle but it creates an entirely “closed” group of families who will be members ad infinitum, which seems contrary to any diversity goal and appears to produce unsustainable growth in club numbers. However, the views of the members on this point seem to be clear, and conclusive.
    3. For estates, we owe it to future generations to maintain and improve the fabric of the club; we appear to have failed in that obligation, somewhat, over the past ten years. I would support a blend of moderate and comprehensive, achieved over ten years. Starting with the north wing seems sensible, with knock-on (but limited) west wing improvements before moving to the east wing, where I would (see below) accept the financing consequences of losing some events income in order to liberate the east wing to a greater extent for the membership. The identified proposals and priorities seem sensible to me, with the possible exception of a second indoor pool; can’t we maintain the expanded use fo the outdoor pool which we’ve seen during the pandemic, to give us two year-round pools? (But this is just a question, not a strong objection; I swim regularly and so would be happy personally to see another pool.) The “smaller projects” all look convincing, with the possible exception (for me personally) of the rose court conservatory; I’d like to see more detail about that before giving a view, because the conservatory feels like a part of the core inheritance. I entirely agree that the detailed execution of all capex and other actions should be driven (and if need be limited, and/or made more expensive) by sustainability considerations; it feels like there is still quite a lot of low-hanging fruit there.
    4. For finances, I support the proposals including a 10% one-off subscription increase. Admitting OP members to full membership seems to be required as a matter of basic fairness, as well as being attractive/necessary financially. (As noted, it’s surely odd that the current rules exclude “off peak” members during three summer months, whilst allowing guests of “full” members to take their places.) The one-off increase would right a failure in recent years to match inflation, and RPI going forward would lock in that basic financial prudence, which would allow us to achieve the “estates” goals, above.


    I would like to echo the previous comments about revamping the country members category as part of the membership overhaul part of the Horizon Project. We have recently moved out of London, and now live 50 miles from the club, so we don’t qualify to be country members. As a family of 5 we pay a total of £4,348 in annual subscriptions, and we are unlikely to visit the club more than 10 days a year…the equivalent of £435 a visit! No other London clubs we are members of, or know of, have anywhere near the qualifying distances from home/work for country membership. I would be interested to know how many current country members (who therefore don’t live or work within 75 miles of the club) manage to clock up anywhere near 28 days at the club a year? For example, if they live exactly 75 miles away, and they took advantage of their full entitlement of 28 days at the club, they would have to clock up 4,200 miles (equivalent of London to Atlanta, USA) a year in round trips to visit the club! I realise this is an extreme example, but it does illustrate why the qualification for country membership needs to be looked at. We would be very happy to reduce our annual entitlement of visits to far less than the current 28 days limit in lieu of a reduction in the 75 mile distance rule. This is obviously a particular conundrum for a certain proportion of the membership, but I’m emboldened to add my voice to this debate given that a number of others who have raised this on this feedback forum.


    No mention of the green credentials of these, otherwise exciting proposals. Ground source heating and solar should be addressed before more glass roofs are developed. I think option B looks very promising. Maybe the new gym could link the treadmills etc. to the heating system and let the members generate the heat?


    Part of the East Wing proposals envisages switching to air-sourced heat pump heating, located on the roof. This would free considerable space in the basement that could then be used for eg storage. Of course, technical options will have to be fully evaluated at the building design stage, they have not been gone into at this stage.


    The North Wing full development involves encroachment on the Four in Hand yard. I’m not commenting on whether this is worthwhile but have two questions: a) how is this expansion consistent with restrictions on increasing the footprint of the Club; and 2) the reduced parking available will affect the already scarce resource of member parking spaces. In this latter respect I also note that use of the Four in Hand yard parking is important for disabled access to the East Wing.


    I have been a member for nearly 50 years joining courtesy of my husband as a new bride. I have therefore experienced the Club in all the various stages of life: young married without children, not so young married with children and now not young at all with grandchildren. Because the Club grounds and buildings are so lovely one has perhaps overlooked the serious lack of progress in ensuring the club facilities are updated to match those of other clubs of similar standing. This is particularly noticeable with many of our Reciprocal Clubs abroad , many of which I have visited.
    I voted for the ‘full monty’ when development/improvements were mooted a couple of years ago and the democratic vote of the Membership was overturned. Can we have an assurance this time round that the democratic vote will be upheld. Extremely expensive and disheartening if it is not.
    Meanwhile I support all the suggested changes bar a third pool. But if it means having another pool to get all the improvements through, so be it.
    Many thanks to everyone who for little reward spend so much time trying to improve this world-renowned Club.
    Mrs Geraldine Higson


    On Anthony Bingham’s comment, the answers are:
    1. Nothing is certain, but the advice of our experienced planning consultants is that encroachment onto the car park is likely to receive approval.
    2. Car parking would be relocated, most likely to the side of the racquet centre, in the context of some reorganisation of space that can accommodate the same number of cars in slightly less tarmaced area (our parking is inefficiently laid out). It is not envisaged that the North Wing projects would affect the total no of spaces, but exactly how this would be achieved will be worked out when the N Wing design is prepared. We’d envisage retaining disable parking where it is an probably more than that. We are well aware that this will be a concern of members.

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