LEAMINGTON can boast the oldest tennis club in the world and townspeople are being urged to focus on helping celebrate a landmark birthday.
Leamington Lawn Tennis & Squash Club is fast approaching its 150th anniversary and is hoping to mark the special birthday by creating an historic photo wall in a new clubhouse bar set to open in June at its Guys Cliffe Avenue home.
And the club is calling on people to dig out any old photographs they may have relating to the club down the decades which could possibly be included in the photo wall.
John Evison, chair of the club’s management committee, said: “It’s a little-known fact that we hold the accolade of being the world’s first ever tennis club, so we feel it’s about time we celebrated our heritage.
“We are asking members of the local community to dig through their attics and search in their cupboards for historic photos, which depict the club in times gone by.”
The club was established in 1872 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, Milverton, finally settling in Guys Cliffe Avenue in 1948.
Today, the club has over 1000 active members, of all ages, across both tennis and squash and continues to grow each year.
Anyone with photographs they would like to share can contact Sara French via email at [email protected] or by calling 01926 425845.