Monday, 8 July 2013

Anyone for tennis?

I didn't get my shandy yesterday as the meeting was postponed.  One Lion couldn't make it, another was ill and the other will be a newcomer to the planning so we decided to reschedule.

Yesterday was also men's final day at Wimbledon.  Not that I'm a great fan of tennis.  In fact, it's not a sport that I watch very much as I find it tends to become boring.  The winner of the gentlemen's singles competition receives £1.6 million in prize money with the runner-up receiving £800,000.  Even the first round losers were paid £23,500!  It's the same for the ladies' singles: £1.6 million for the winner and £800,000 for the runner-up.  That strikes me as a little unfair.

I have no argument with equal pay for men and women - far from it.  But equal pay should also mean equal work (and equal responsibility, but that's not my point here).  So why is it that ladies' tennis matches are the best of 3 sets while gentlemen's are the best of 5?  The ladies do, at most, only 60% of the work that the men perform and yet they are paid the same.  Seems to me the pendulum has swung too far in one direction.


Wimbledon fortnight, for many, means strawberries and cream.  Up until about 12 years ago, for me and Brighton Lions it meant door-to-door selling of carnival programmes.  Our carnival was held on the third Saturday in July and for about 6 weeks before that, we had teams out five nights a week knocking on doors in an attempt to persuade people to hand over 50p for a programme.  We got a wide variety of responses.

"I shan't be here.  When is it?"

"I don't live here; I'm just babysitting."

"Brighton Lions?  Is that something to do with Brighton Tigers?"  [Brighton Tigers was the then-defunct ice hockey team.]

Just occasionally, "Of course!  I know the Lions do a lot of good and spend the money locally."


Still on the subject of sport, we here in Brighton certainly can get our fill.  We might not have professional tennis (we would have to travel to Eastbourne for the nearest tournament) but we do have professional cricket and football as well as greyhound racing and horse racing.

I think the first horse races in Brighton were held back in the 1790s when men would ride a little way out of town to the track on White Hawke Down.  Nowadays the race track is still in much the same place but the hill has been renamed Race Hill although the housing estate nearby is still called Whitehawk.  Perhaps surprisingly, the race track is still basically on the edge of town with extensive downland and sea views.

All of which serves to introduce today's picture, which is another of those prints made from 35mm slides and was taken at Brighton races.

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