History of Woldingham Lawn Tennis Club
“Many jolly games are played during the summer and new members are very welcome”
In the early 1900s Dr Thomas Boswell Watson and a few friends purchased about three acres of land adjoining Upper Court Road in the centre of the village to be used for three tennis courts a cricket pitch and a pavilion thatched with heather.
Thomas Boswell Watson MD was born in 1850 and first came to Woldingham in 1894. He wished to build a house in the country as his son had been seriously ill. He bought a field called Great South Hawke on The Ridge which became the name of the house built on the site. In addition to being instrumental in ensuring tennis could be played in the village, Dr Watson was one of the founder members of the golf club and his wife, Mrs Watson, founded an orchestra at Great South Hawke.
In May 1929 an announcement was placed in the Woldingham Parish Magazine by Mrs Hodgson of 2 Yew Tree Cottages stating that the tennis club was open to all members of the Village Institute at a subscription of 2s.6d.
“The Committee of the Tennis Club would be glad to receive balls, nets or any tennis requisites. The Club is open every day and last season it had about 20 members. Many jolly games are played during the summer and new members are very welcome.”
It is pleasing to see that in two important aspects – having fun and welcoming new members –playing tennis in Woldingham has not changed from that day to this. Woldingham Lawn Tennis Club does have its own nets, balls and other “tennis requisites” though!
The lawn tennis club based at its present site at the Glebe was formed in 1946. Currently there are six all weather courts, three being floodlit.
If you have any photos of the tennis club, any memories or related information we would be very interested to hear from you. Please do contact a member of the committee if you would be happy to share these with us.
The WLTC Committee would like to thank the Bourne Society for allowing us to use the above information sourced from the Village Histories Series: 10 Woldingham