THE WALKDEN AND DISTRICT TENNIS LEAGUE IN THE 1940’S …..THE WAR YEARS 1940-1945…….REVIVAL AND REFORMATION 1946-1949
During the Second World War(1939-1945) the Walkden and District Tennis League continued to function until the end of the 1942 season.
In 1941 Bridgewater Mill won the First Division Trophy and the Doctor Marsh Mixed Doubles Trophy was won by T. Armstrong and
In 1942 the First Division Trophy was won by Chloride Tennis Club and the Doctor Marsh Mixed Doubles Trophy was won by
A. Wallwork and E. Jackson.
REVIVAL….1945 – 1947
Following the cessation of hostilities, people began to rebuild their lives. Social and sporting activities were revived and once again groups of enthusiasts could be seen working on the neglected courts preparing them for use. Once again the air was filled with the sound of racquet striking ball and the familiar cry of “Game, Set and Match”echoed around the courts. Tennis was alive again !!!
REVIVAL Following the cessation of hostilities people began to rebuild their
lives. Social and sporting activities were revived and once again
1945-1947 groups of enthusiasts could be seen working on the neglected tennis
courts preparing them for use. The air was filled with the sound of
racquet striking ball and the familiar cry of “Game, Set and Match”
echoed around the courts. Tennis was alive again!
It wasn’t long before thoughts turned to the organising of matches
between the revived Clubs.
REFORMATION OF On January 9th 1948 a General Inaugural Meeting was held in THE TENNIS LEAGUE pavilion of the Swinton Cricket and Tennis Club. Representatives
of the Clubs interested met for the purpose of forming a new tennis
Mr C. Barlow of Victoria T.C.
Mr S. Womersley of Chloride T.C.
Mr F. H. Lowery of Darley Parks T.C.
Mr J. Armitt of Oakwood T.C
Mr G. Williams and Miss S. Spencer of Swinton T.C.
Mr N. Jackson and Mr D. H. Smith
Apologies were received from Mr W. J. Spencer of Parrfold T.C.
Mr N. Jackson accepted the position of temporary Chairman until
the election of the Officials.
Mr D. H. Smith explained the scheme for the foundation of the new
The meeting rejected a proposal that a separate League be formed in
The original proposal to form a League for all the interested Clubs
was unanimously carried and named:-
The Swinton and Walkden and District Tennis League.
The Headquarters were to be at the pavilion of the Swinton Cricket and Tennis Club.
Election of Officers followed :-
Chairman Mr N. Jackson
Vice Presidents Each Club to elect at least one.
Secretary / Treasurer Mr D. H. Smith (a dual role for the first season)
Executive Committee One elected member from each Club.
( The new League embarked on its first season but it was destined to be its one and only
season under the title The Swinton and Walkden and District League.
Changes were ahead !! )
THE FIRST SEASON
The acceptance of St. Marks (Roe Green) and Walkden MoorMethodists Tennis Club into the new League brought the number of Clubs to eight. (A mixture of Private Club Teams, Works Teams, Church Teams and Park teams) The Fixtures were accepted. A set of 23 Rules based on the Manchester League Rules was formulated. The Chairman and the Secretary were to arrange the printing of 20 Handbooks per Club containing a list of Officers, the Rules, Fixtures and directions to each Club’s venue at one Shilling 1/- each.
A league Tournament (entry fee £1.00 Per Club) consisting of three events- Men’s Singles, Ladies’ Singles and Mixed Doubles was proposed. (TheForerunner of the present Individual’s Tournament.) Venue Chloride Tennis Club. The competitors would be the winners of Individual Club Competitions entering at the quarter-final stage and playing matches if necessary of 3 long sets. The principle of the proposal was accepted but later it became optional for Clubs either to have a competition to select Competitors or accept volunteers or players to be chosen by the Club.
The Chairman was to present prizes of £1.00 each to the winners. The Tournament was cancelled when three Clubs could not find willing competitors. (Alas things never change !! )
Results of League matches were given to the Farnworth Journal and the Swinton and Pendlebury Journal. A suggestion that “rained off” matches be replayed instead of a draw being recorded was left in abeyance till the next A.G. M.
The Oakwood team did not lose a match during that first season and became the Champions. A match was arranged between Oakwood and The Rest Of the League. A team was selected but this match was also cancelled.
There is no indication in the Minutes as to how the League was financed. Presumably, the clubs paid a subscription. The only details given are:- Tournament entry fee – £1.00 per Club was to pay for prizes of £1.00 each of the winners and 54 balls !!! As the Tournament was cancelled the money was reimbursed. Unsold Handbooks resulted in a loss. The Secretary was paid expenses of £2- 2s.- 4d. One item recorded is the purchase of a Minute Book costing 11 shillings. (It is still intact and in very good condition. minutes written in ink, by hand !! )
There was an overpayment to William Deacon’s bank of £1.00 !! There was still £15 -15s. in the account at the end of the season. The League was solvent !!
CHANGES AHEAD FOR THE FUTURE
At a meeting of Representatives of the old Walkden and District Tennis League, it was decided to meet the Representatives of the new Swinton and Walkden District Tennis League to arrange the transfer of their trophies to the new League providing certain conditions were met…….
The outcome of that meeting led to an Extraordinary General Meeting being called on 29/10/48 when the trophies were accepted and a proposal was carried unanimously that the name of the League be changed to:- WALKDEN AND DISTRICT TENNIS LEAGUE
The present Executive to retain full control with the Rules and these amendments applying : –
That the Annual General Meeting be held in the Walkden area.
That at least 50% of the Clubs lie within a 5-mile radius of Walkden Memorial.
That Mr F. Potter and Mr V. Markland continue to act as Trustees of the trophies.
That all trophies be played for each year and returned to the Trustees on July 31st annually.
The Trophies were handed over and insured. Oakwood was inscribed on the First Division Trophy as winners of the 1948 season.
League Tables for 1948. 14 Matches played by each team
A Successful Season ! Here’s to 1949! Read On…..1950s