A wet day at the Tendring Show

Back in February, it seemed simple for the Clacton and District Table Tennis League to decide to exhibit at the Annual Tendring Show held at Lawford House Park near Manningtree.

It would be a ‘first’ for the League – but little did they realise that Saturday 14th July would be one of the wettest days in one of the wettest summers.

But that did not deter a hardy band of League helpers who, under the guidance of Development Officer Ferdy Rodriguez and Tournament Officer David Wilkin, braved the elements to man the exhibition.

Although attendance was down because of the weather, the League’s display – in two tents with two full-size tables – attracted a great deal of interest.

In particular, many young families expressed interest in the League’s regular Monday night coaching sessions at the Coastal Academy in Clacton.

It was intended that the League’s ‘robot’ would be in action but the generator was another victim of the weather. However, the robot’s absence proved a blessing in disguise as it allowed both tables to be fully used for visitors to ‘have a go’.

Although the show took place over one day, work to erect the tents and set up tables started on Friday evening. The helpers were back at 7.30 am the following morning to complete the finishing touches, working throughout the day until 6.00 pm.

Even then, they could only get home with the help of tractors to tow their cars out of the sodden fields.

As it was too wet to pack away on Saturday evening, the hardy band of helpers returned on Sunday morning and, with the aid of a farm forklift with large bucket, rescued the table tennis tables and tents!

A magnificent effort in testing conditions. What some people will do in the name of table tennis. But thank goodness they are so willing. A very well done to all those involved.

Tony Oswick