You have posted anonymously but as you have been a member for so long with eleven family members we may know each other anyway.
Clearly you have put a lot of thought into your comments, queries and suggestions. Well done. A club can only thrive if it has members who get involved and take an interest in the way it is run.
When Martin Bishop and I were preparing our Resolution for the AGM we hoped we were creating one that benefitted as wide a proportion of the membership as we could.
The Resolution was much influenced by the survey when Members were asked what they liked least about their club.
In order of priority it was:-
Food, Other members, Rules, East Wing.
Food (and beverage) have been a source of disappointment for the thirty years I have been a member. It has had its ups and downs but never has it been reliably good and something to be proud of for long.
There is a thread on this forum started by Robert O’Dowd who has just joined the Main Committee. He says “I have to beg to disagree that the F&B has got better in last 12 months. It has in my view a long long way to go. Quality, providence, service, embracing healthy cooking and ingredients, food profiles for time of day, example brunch, is very poor compared to almost every eatery within a mile of the Club”. If you read the twenty four messages you will see he is not alone in his thoughts.
“Other members” was an unanticipated dislike. It seems that this is essentially a generational problem. Some older members find younger ones irritating. Some younger members find older ones intolerant. But this is not a ‘problem’ peculiar to Hurlingham and such attitudes are hard to change. At the club the only solution is to provide more space so young or old, rumbustious or quiet, can be separate if that is what they prefer.
“Rules” is something we did not seek to address in our Resolution.
Turning the “East Wing” into an area liked and used by members seemed the least expensive and least disrupting way of reducing the first two problems.
In your opening post you say “I think the East Wing is fine as is. We do not need skylights or bigger windows in the Quad or Napier rooms – we just need better lighting and to put the tables where the French doors are, with one room as a multi-functional space that can be used for lectures and other events.”
Certainly most of the members I talk to don’t think it is fine as it is. I was surprised to find a family of eleven who do.
At the AGM we showed some visuals of how it could be made more attractive and comfortable.
Would your family not prefer The East Wing to be more like this than as it is?
These changes would come at a cost but they could be phased over as many years as finances permit. As the area becomes more appealing Members will migrate there to socialise and pursue activities and interests. As more people use the space on a daily basis it could, in time, become the heart of the Club where members come to meet family and friends – something the Polo Bar, Café and Dining Room never have been because they are too separated and too small. The Club doesn’t have a heart which is why it hardly feels like a club.
You offer your list:-
1. Enlarge the gym
2. Improve the tennis pavilion
3. Improve the croquet pavilion
4. Build translucent bubbles over the outdoor courts
5. Put a bubble over the outdoor pool so it can be used from Nov – Mar, when it is very cold and expensive to heat
6. Build a second indoor pool where the 4 squash courts are.
All of these are interesting ideas but they do not tackle the main dislikes expressed in the survey of Members which are food, other members and the East Wing.
We could do all six of your suggestions but we would will still have a membership complaining about the things that they dislike the most. Are you convinced this is the right way forward for Horizon?