A Little Bit of History
“Eighty Years, and Counting”
Nobody seems to know just when Moreton Tennis Club was formed, but our thriving, friendly club has been sitting, tucked away in the corner of the cricket field for at least 90 years. Minutes of an Annual General Meeting held on 27th April 1927 exist but indicate an already well-established Club.
Reading through all the records from the intervening years shows how times have changed – but also how much is still the same! The sort of problems we have now – lack of funds, publicity, maintaining the courts, even getting a water supply etc. etc., crop up with monotonous regularity throughout the decades. Yet the same is true also of the successes and highlights – summer-weekend gatherings, whether for matches, tournaments or, more recently, our Tennis Marathons to raise money for local charities, are as much enjoyed today as they were in the 1920s and 30s. One noticeable difference is that up until the 1980s everyone was referred to, very formally, as Mr, Mrs or Miss whereas now it is all Christian names!
During the Second World War the Club as such hardly existed and annual subscriptions were replaced by the payment of one shilling (five pence) whenever members were able to play. In May 1941 the Club offered the use of one court to the local RAF Station for thirty pounds a year but the Sports Officer said the RAF could only afford twelve guineas and the Club agreed – provided the RAF maintained the courts! The RAF continued its association with the Club after the War, finally bowing out in 1956.
Things returned to normal after the War and the only gap in our records occurred in 1945 when, presumably, everyone was too busy celebrating to bother about Annual General Meetings!
Since then, things have steadily improved, except for a minor “blip” in 1963 when there were only eight adult members with forty-one Juniors. Floodlights were installed in 1987, the pavilion was doubled in size in 1993 (when a water supply was eventually laid – exactly fifty years after it was first discussed!), we even have a fridge and microwave in our kitchen now – all mod cons!
The Club has benefited from the services of the same LTA coach for over twenty years which has resulted in the development of a strong Junior membership. In the Twenties the Juniors were referred to as “The Imps” – I wonder what reaction we would get from our current youngsters to such a title!