We love a challenge and are not deterred by any project, situation or issue but this year and on this particular project for Wickwoods Country Club the challenges have been coming thick and fast. Nevertheless, with that comes experience and we’ve certainly learnt a thing or two, not least of all how to charm the local farmer into lending us his tractor and bale trailer which have an excellent turning radius in tight spaces.
There’s no question that Covid-19 has hit the hotel industry hard, particularly with the cancellation of so many weddings during the summer months. Wickwoods Country Club are no exception, however they took the opportunity, while closed to guests, to be dynamic and make improvements to their facilities so they could come back stronger.
Their two existing tennis courts typically brought in an average of £2.5k revenue each week thanks to an air dome which allowed play to continue throughout the year, whatever the weather or time of day. This was coming to the end of its life so the decision was made to invest in a more durable and longer term covering solution, which is where we come in.
Limited access to the courts meant that using a crane to move the steel framework was never an option. Even after we cut back a number of trees, there was still very little room to operate. Added to that was the issue of the courts being installed on low-slung ground, which had become so wet from all the rain recently that they couldn’t take the capacity of any heavy machinery.
Just when we had recruited the farmer’s help to drop the steel off bit by bit, hired in special all-terrain equipment including a 20 tonne 360 degree teleboom and brought two extra guys on site, all out of our own pocket, storms Alex, Aidan and friends paid a visit! Usually the high winds would not defeat us but owing to the limited space on site, the team were having to pull the 2.8 tonne court cover over the top of the dome structure by hand!
We may have had to change our whole installation method and are staring lockdown #2 in the face but we’re sure that Wickwoods Country Club will be back on their feet very soon and tennis can play on once more.