A Tribute to Roger Braint (1930-2012)

Authors: John & Pippa Braint

Roger was a member of the club for 60 years. He was Chairman twice – in 1964/65 and again in 1984/5 and he also held various positions on the committee over many years and was made a Life Member in 1982. He played for the men’s 2nd team, often with his friend Nev Watkin, who sadly also died this year. He was a founder member of the ‘Granville Geriatrics’ – a group of men in their latter playing years, who played socially on a Friday at En-tout-cas, Syston, followed with a pint of real ale at the Malt Shovel, Barkby.

After hanging up his racket, he became a keen supporter of the men’s 1st team, often watching all the matches in a season. He always enjoyed the annual club tournament supporting finals weekend, and was a staunch supporter of the ‘Big Breakfast’.

One committee member wrote recently ‘he leaves a lasting impression…… He always made me smile with his playful sense of humour, requests for well-done sausages and sneaky pints of beer. He was always so very complimentary and supportive of both the club and the work the committee do.’

Probably his most important contribution to the club was his skilful negotiation in obtaining the freehold from the then landlord, leaving a lasting legacy for members today.

John Braint summarised his Dad’s involvement by saying, “The club was a large part of my Dad’s life and my Dad was a large part of the club’s

He will be sadly missed by us all.

Paul Clarke, who served on the committee for several years with Roger, has written:

“The tennis club was struggling in the mid -seventies and a handful of people, including Roger, took control to try and revive it. This included seriously “advertising” for new members. Thus it was that a number of us joined and soon found ourselves on the committee. Fortunately numbers increased, the teams were more successful but we desperately needed a new clubhouse. This was an ambitious (potentially reckless) project. Firstly we had to buy the land and Roger was instrumental in this process.

We had to have serious fund-raising before we could build. Roger was treasurer at the time and kept an iron grip on the club’s money. When
the idea of a Donkey Derby was suggested he was naturally worried at the potential costs. However when it was explained that each race would be sponsored in advance, so we had little at risk, he became fully supportive and it all went ahead.

This is a good example of the role he played at the time and which illustrated the “chemistry” of the radical ideas of the new members being subjected to the forensic examination by Roger and then tweaked as necessary to create a successful plan of action.

At the time we also started a family camping week-end. An early one arranged by Streph Howse was to the Cotswolds. Some in tents, some in borrowed tents and also the odd caravan. Roger did not really fancy camping but he and Marjorie came down the next morning to spend the day with us all. In humorous tone he said it was to make sure that we were behaving ourselves, but I am sure by that time he was getting used to our ways and wanted to show his support!”

Roger Snow, another past Chairman, has also added his memories:

“The thought that immediately springs to mind is his dry sense of humour and his love of a bit of banter. On a more serious note he was, of course, the Treasurer during an important time in the club’s history when the club had very little money and to make any purchase you had to make a very good case to the Treasurer to get it passed. When told that the proposed Donkey Derby would cost nothing, he gave his immediate support. This all went before the committee in about five minutes, after taking 30 minutes’ discussion on the purchase of a new electric kettle!”