Leamington's tennis club celebrates its 150th anniversary - The Leamington Observer

Leamington's tennis club celebrates its 150th anniversary

Leamington Editorial 4th Jun, 2024   0

A RACKET is being made about the 150th anniversary of the founding of the world’s oldest tennis club, right here in Leamington.

A host of events are being served up throughout the year to mark the founding of the Leamington Lawn Tennis and Squash Club back in 1874, kicking off with a family fun day on Saturday June 8.

Activities planned for the day include sporting challenges, fun games, live music and an exhibition match. The bar will be in full swing and there will be a cake stall run by Age UK and a traditional ice cream van.

It will also see the official launch of a book written by Susan Hopcraft entitled Leamington’s Game – A History of Leamington Lawn Tennis and Squash.

The club was established in 1874 by Major Harry Gem – some three years before the sport was even introduced to Wimbledon – who was then a keen member of the Real Tennis Club in Bedford Street.

But he wanted to develop a version of Real Tennis that would make it easier and cheaper for less wealthy people to play the sport he loved so much.

He simply took tennis outside and developed a type of garden tennis that soon became a popular pastime for ordinary people. This eventually inspired him, along with three of his friends, to open the club and develop the game of lawn tennis, which today, is played and watched by millions across the globe.

LLTSC has been in situated in several locations in Leamington throughout the years, including Avenue Road and St Marks’s Road in Milverton, finally settling in Guys Cliffe Avenue in 1948.

Today, the club has over 1,000 active members, of all ages, across both tennis and squash and continues to grow each year.

Other events to celebrate the 150th anniversary include a permanent display of the history of the club at the clubhouse and a community tennis project to provide 150 hours of senior tennis activities in support of the club’s charity of the year, Age UK.

An American Doubles tournament is taking place in May and the winning pair will be presented with the Arthur Wellesley Tomkins trophy.

There will be a Whites and Wood tennis tournament on Sunday July 7.

Participants will use wooden rackets and are invited to dress up in vintage tennis whites from any era.

There will be a prize for the best dressed male and female. There will also be crochet and afternoon tea.

And an evening party will be held on Saturday September 14 which will have the feel of a music festival with food vans, live music, a disco, a casino room and cocktails.

For more information visit www.lltsc.co.uk


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