“Anyone for tennis?”

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In the early 20th century, there is supposed to have been a type of play in which a character always came through the french windows, at an awkward or dull moment and asked if he could find someone to play a game of tennis, which was a popular ‘country house’ sport at the time.

Camberley had courts provided by the council in both the recreation grounds on the London Road, and Watchetts.  According to Mary Bennett, the Regents Tennis Club played on the former in 1906 and by 1908 they share it with the Alert Sports Club.  I am not sure what happened to either of these organisations.

However, by 1953, there was a growing movement to set up a new tennis club, and a search was made for a suitable courts.  The council would no longer let courts on a yearly basis and they suggested that Kingsclere Hotel might be approached to see if they would allow their courts to be used.  Mrs Sylvia Hollingdale, a founder member of the Camberley Lawn Tennis Club then spent two years persuading the owners of the hotel (who wanted to re-develop the site) to let them lease the courts and use the stables for a club house, where they continued until 1958.

After this the club were allowed by Frimley & Camberley Urban District Council to use three acres of development land in Mayfield Road and they set to work creating two courts and a pavilion.  In 1961 they got a further grant from the County Council to provide a practice wall but failed to secure one to start an archery section.

By 1972, with six years still to run on the lease, the club was put in an awkward position as the council wanted to build houses on the land.  In the end, a ‘swap’ was done and the club moved to Southcote Park, on the Portsmouth Road, opening there in July 1974.

For more information about the club now see http://www.camberleyltc.com

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