A  NEW  DECADE   2010  –  2019

  At the start of the 2009 Tennis Season in an attempt to make people more aware of the Walkden and District Tennis League and hope to attract more people to join the local Clubs an item about the League’s History, along with present-day information, was submitted to the local Information Booklet which was sent free all around the area. Fortunately, it was accepted and printed in the Spring Edition. Read on to find what was published:-


  It’s all systems go for the 2010 Season of  Walkden and District Tennis League. Visit the League Website www.walkdenanddistricttennisleague.co.uk to find out more about the Local Clubs in the League which are Ellesmere, Parrfold,  Roe Green, Winton and  Monton.   Further away are Astley, Claremont, David Lloyd (Bolton) Kearsley, Leigh, Lostock (Bolton), Markland Hill (Bolton) and  Tyldesley.  At the A.G.M. held recently, under the Chairmanship of Councillor Bernard Pennington, the clubs planned a season of competition, fun and enjoyment, which will culminate in a Presentation Dance in September to award the League Trophies.

The League was formed in the 1920s and apart from a break during World War II has been active every summer since.  At present, there are 13 Clubs providing 29 teams which are split into three Divisions.  Match night is Wednesday of each week (starting April 21st. this year)

Each team consists of 2 pairs of  Ladies and 2 pairs of  Men playing doubles making a total of eight sets. The team with the most games overall is the winner.  A  Knock- Out  competition, sometimes played on Friday nights, called the Cup Competition runs alongside the League matches during the season. In this the Ladies’ and Men’s scores are rated separately and each Division has two Cups – one for the winning Ladies and one for the winning Men.

New players of all standards and age are always welcome for social and competitive tennis at any of the Clubs. Just come and have a go.  Playing, coaching and social facilities are there to be used and enjoyed.   New friends can be made and it’s an excellent way of keeping fit.  Get in touch with a Club or Contact League Secretary –

DO IT NOW!!!! You may be an Andy Murray,  a Tim Henman,  a Heather Watson,  

a Virginia Wade – you never know until you try and it will be fun !!


League Officials appointed at the Annual General Meeting

Chairman –Bernard Pennington.

Vice-Chairman- David McCormick.

Treasurer – Derek Matthews.

Cup Competition Organiser- Caroline Whelan.

Trophy Secretary- Tricia Brookes.

Minute Secretary- Joan Matthews.

Auditors- John Collier and Bernard Pennington

Chairman Bernard welcomed everyone to the A.G.M.  He thanked all the League Officers for their work and was delighted they had all but one been re-elected Treasurer, John Robinson resigned and Auditor Derek Matthews took over the Office.  Chairman Bernard thanked John for the superb job he had done as Treasurer. John was elected to the post in1985 and had given 25 years of excellent service to the League keeping the accounts in order and in the black. Chairman Bernard wished John all the best for the future.

Chairman Bernard thanked Marjorie for the article in the Local Magazine and hoped it would bear fruit for the Clubs in the League:-

Astley, Claremont Culcheth, Ellesmere, Golborne, Guildhall, Kearsley, Leigh, Monton, Parrfold,   Roe Green,, Walkers, Winton.

13 Tennis Clubs providing 29 teams. These were split into 3 Divisions.

It was decided that in view of the lack of entries and interest in the Individuals Tournament Competition it should be dropped.  Bernard thanked Jean Wilson for her valiant efforts trying to keep it going but sadly now was the time to stop.  One good thing would come out of the decision.  No prizes would need buying for the winners and runners up and therefore money would not be spent and subscriptions would remain at £8.00 per team !  ( Did a cheer resound in the room??? )

Chairman Bernard informed the meeting that he would be celebrating his 80th Birthday on the 19th May this year with a QUINQUENNIAL  DINNER  at Worsley Courthouse and a party at his home.  The League sent him a congratulations card on the day and many members of

The League attended the celebrations.  A great time was had by all

League Championship Results

Division  1Leigh  AWalkden ShieldTyldesley  A
Division  2Roe Green  AAlbert Cooper TrophyGolborne  A
Division  3Roe Green   BAlan Pickering TrophyParrfold  B

Knock Out Competition Results

Div. 1  LadiesTyldesley  ACupMonton
Div. 1  GentsTyldesley  ATom Oldfield TrophyMonton
Div. 2  LadiesGolborne  AEileen & Derek Gee TrophyTyldesley  B
Div. 2  GentsClaremont  BJohn Collier TrophyGolborne  A
Div. 3  LadiesGuildhall  CJayne Gerrard TrophyParrfold  B
Div. 2  GentsRoe Green BBernard Pennington TrophyParrfold  B


   In December 2010 Jean Pennington the wife of our Chairman Bernard suffered a stroke. The hospital medics tried valiantly to save her life but Jean died in hospital in March 2011.

It was a tremendous shock for Bernard and his family. Jean and Bernard were life long members of Parrfold Tennis Club, both playing matches for the Club over many years. They met over 60 years ago on the top deck of a No. 12 bus and had been married for 54 years. They had enjoyed a wonderful life together.  Jean’s funeral was attended by a very large number of Friends, Council Colleagues, members of the Walkden and District Tennis League, Jean’s Golf Club and many neighbours. A brass band did the musical honours along with children from the School where Bernard was Governor.  Bernard said Jean was loving and caring and there would be a massive gap in his life. The League sent a condolence card to Bernard along with a cheque for £50.00, which would go in Jean’s memory to the charity working to conquer cancer in young people called “Kidscam”. Donations of £1800.00 were received and would be used wisely.   Jean will be missed

Anne Waltho, a long-standing member of the Astley Club also passed away,. Our condolences went to husband Adrian and the family. At the A.G.M. thanks were expressed to the League Officers.  All were re-elected. Treasurer Derek reported there had been some difficulty with the bank over the change of Treasurer from John to himself but it was soon sorted out. He requested that if possible subscriptions should be paid at the A.G.M and at the latest by the first match of the season. Since no Individuals Competition were held in 2011 no money was required for the engraving of Trophies or prizes for the event which meant money was accruing in the account and there were no debts. Subscriptions therefore would remain at £8.00. Bernard asked for any new ideas which might make it less difficult to organize the Tournament. He said it was disappointing that enthusiasm for this annual competition had died.

An application from Lostock T.C. to enter a team suitable for the 3rd Division was accepted. Walkers T.C. had been keen players in the League since 1967 but were forced to resign due to the loss of their courts and the disbanding of the Club.  Their resignation was accepted with regret.    Golborne A  resigned but Golborne B team wished to stay in the League.

Tyldesley were usure about raising a second Team so there would be 3 Divisions of  8, 8, 7/8.

Child Protection Officer Tricia informed representatives of changes to the C.R.B checks which would be posted on the website for clubs to comply with.

   Roe Green organized an excellent Dance using a home grown band of musicians which not only entertained us but provided great music to “dance” to. Perhaps jigging around and gyrating describes it better. Treasurer Derek thanked Roe Green for a generous donation to the League from the Raffle profits.

   Chairman Bernard thanked the members of Claremont for all the many years they had hosted the Annual General Meeting at their Club. The League was indebted to them.

League Championship Results

Division  1Leigh  AWalkden ShieldTyldesley  A
Division  2Claremont  BAlbert Cooper TrophyMonton
Division  3Claremont BAlan Pickering TrophyAstley  C

Knock Out Competition Results

Div. 1  LadiesLeigh  ACupGuildhall  A
Div. 1  Gents.Guildhall  ATom Oldfield TrophyTyldesley
Div. 2  LadiesMonton Eileen & Derek Gee TrophyParrfold  B
Div. 2  Gents.Claremont  BJohn Collier TrophyParrfold  B
Div. 3  LadiesGolborneJayne Gerrard TrophyGuildhall  C
Div. 3  Gents.CulchethBernard Pennington TrophyClaremont  C



    The Annual General Meeting opened with a feeling of achievement as the Walkden League had survived for 9 decades and was still flourishing with 3 Divisions. Two new Clubs, Markland Hill (2  teams and David Lloyd (Bolton), had joined the League. Unfortunately Leigh D withdrew from the League as did Culcheth due to lack of players. Two weeks before the season started Golborne  had to find a new venue . Luckily courts available at Birchwood Leisure and Tennis Centre and the problem was solved. In order that Markland Hill’s teams could be in different Divisions Astley Club very sportingly agreed that their team in Division 3 would remain there in spite of being runner –up at the end of last season and were expecting promotion if possible to Division 2.

Clubs in the League:-  Astley,  Claremont,  David Lloyd (Bolton),  Ellesmere,  Golborne,  Guildhall,  Kearsley,  Leigh,  Markland Hill,  Monton,  Parrfold,  Roe Green,  Tyldesley,  Walkers,  Winton

 All the Officials under the guidance of Chairman Bernard were re-elected and thanks to a profit on last Season’s Presentation Dance Raffle subscriptions remained at £8.00 (£9.00 if late) per team. Very good value for the money.   Secretary, Marjorie purchased 1,000 new match cards having finally used up the 4,000 she inherited from Alan Simms about 20 years ago !!!

      A Double Bank Holiday to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Wedding Anniversary meant that no matches were arranged for that week.  The build –up to the London Olympics encouraged players to train harder to improve fitness and ability and to uphold the maxim “Inspire a Generation”.  Everyone was willing Andy Murray to win the Men’s Singles and all our athletes to be successful. The sore throats and lost voices from cheering and shouting were rewarded when he won the Final and stood on the podium with the Gold Medal around his neck as the Union Jack flag was raised and the National Anthem was played. The occasion compensated him for his disappointment at being Runner – Up at the Wimbledon Final earlier in the year. (maybe success next year)  There were many more medals to come for the Great Britain competitors in a very wonderful Olympic Games.

   The news headline on the Website for the first weeks of the 2012 Season was “WET! WET! WET” as Match Cards were returned stating “Rained Off”. (Must have been a record.)  Luckily the weather improved. Some disagreements occurred as to whether  (courts and rain outlook)  were suitable for play . Chairman Bernard commented that players should be able to make a decision on the night for themselves in a sportsmanlike manner.

    Clubs were informed Match Cards must be returned. Telephone and E mail results were not   acceptable as players names were needed in the event of any complaints.

    Marjorie Deakin, long standing member and player for Monton (until she was 83) opened their refurbished Courts (courtesy of a generous donor) by cutting a red ribbon.

   Some Trophies are in need of repair. Tricia to price the same. Idea to sell the 2nd Division silver Trophy and fund a new replacement. To be discussed.

    Secretary Marjorie reported that she had decided to compile the  History of the League. She had started to collect information from 1900 from the Farnworth Journal to set the scene of tennis in the Walkden area and the Country. She intended the History to be put on the website and hoped to have it finished in time for the Centenary of the League in2022. Any help or information would be welcome. Chairman Bernard was delighted and thanked her for taking on the task

League Championship Results

Division  1Guildhall  AWalkden ShieldNo records available
Division  2David Lloyd  AAlbert Cooper Trophy          ?
Division  3David Lloyd  BAlan Pickering Trophy          ?

Knock Out Competition Results

Div. 1  LadiesRoe Green  ACupNo records available
Div. 1  Gents.Roe Green  A Tom Oldfield Trophy           ?
Div. 2  LadiesLeugh  AEileen & Derek Gee Trophy           ?
Div. 2  Gents.Claremont  BJohn Collier Trophy           ?
Div. 3  LadiesLeigh  CJayne Gerrard Trophy         ?
Div.3  Gents.Astley  BBernard Pennington Trophy         ?

SEASON 2013             0.B.E. HONOUR FOR CHAIRMAN BERNARD              


   Chairman Bernard welcomed everyone to the A.G.M. and thanked Claremont for the use of their Club.  All the League Officials were re-elected.

   Chairman Bernard was congratulated on being awarded an O.B.E. in the New Year’s Honours List.  The honour was endorsed by the meeting with loud clapping and cheering.

   There were no applications to join the League. Markland B resigned from the League.  Markland A won the 2nd Division last season but did not want to be promoted as they felt the team was not good enough for the 1st Division and did not want to put the players into a stressful situation as some of them were quite young. Therefore no one was relegated from the 1st. Division. Guild Hall Club changed its name to Ellesmere now that all the members played there. Alas, Guild Hall ceased to exist.

    The teams available were placed in 3 Divisions Div.1 and Div. 2 – 8 teams each and Div.3 – 7 teams. Clubs were reminded that Match Results must not be sent by telephone or E.mail as the names of players were needed in case of complaints. The resignation of Golborne, just prior to the start of the season, left Division3 with only 6 teams so fewer matches were played by the team. Fortunately, the weather was better the usual on Wednesdays which helped.

 Approval was given to replace, to repair or to re-plate some of the League Trophies:-

1.  Re-plate 1st. Division Shield
2.  Replace two smaller shields (no room left on them) ( the  Eileen &   Derek Gee Trophy)  with two larger ones.  
3.  Straighten the Alan Pickering Trophy.
4.  Replace the missing Tom Oldfield Trophy with one no longer in use add a new base and engrave it.
5.  Replace the 2nd Division Cup with a new one and keep the old silver one with other silver Trophies no longer in use and consult Salford Museum about housing them with their history.  (Salford Museum said they could not house them as they already got a room full of such items and nowhere to put them.) The total cost £504.00 being met from League Funds.

A new idea was to be tried during the 2013 season. No League matches during the Bolton Tournament week in July but teams whose members were not involved in the Tournament were to play their Cup match on the Wednesday.  Teams unable to do this were given a designated Friday to play their matches. This worked well and most Cup matches were played in good summer light.

    A lengthy discussion was held regarding a proposal by Parrfold and Kearsley and seconded by Roe Green:-

“Boys no older than 14 should be allowed to play League Matches when no girls were available.”

The League Officers was felt that should be with conditions:-   Limited to 2 boys, – Trialled for 1 year,

– Would not apply to the first Division.

Reasons for  –  Better to turn out a full team, – Clubs had more boys than girls.

Reasons against  – Some young coached boys standard extremely high,  – unfair advantage against young girls and novice ladies who will turn out to help a Club.

    The proposal was rejected following a close vote.

It was with great regret we heard on 6th June 2013 of the death of Alan Pickering.  A condolence card was sent to his wife Doreen and daughters Dianne and Melanie. Alan was a great lover of the Walkden and District League and a staunch worker.  He began playing in the 1940’s for WalkdenMoor (renamed later St Andrew’s). On its closure for M.E.L Tennis Club and finally on its closure for Parrfold. He retired at the age of 73 having earned the nickname “King Crab” at the net appearing from nowhere placing accurate net shots.  

Alan had worked hard serving the League in every Official Position very efficiently. When it was decided to honour members who had over the years had been stalwart workers for the League by naming the trophies after them, the League voted to call the 3rd. Division Championship Trophy,    “The Alan Pickering Trophy” as a token of our appreciation.

    In 2012 Leigh Club had organised a very successful Presentation Dance.  The profit from the Raffle was shared between The League and Leigh Club.

    It was Winton Club’s turn to do the honours for 2014 and they put on a fantastic night when the trophies were presented.  It was decided at the A.G.M. that all the Trophies must be collected on the night by the winning Clubs. Failure to do so would result in the Trophy remaining with the Trophy Secretary until the end of the following season.


Division  1Ellesmere  AWalkden Shield
Division  2David Lloyd Albert Cooper Trophy         
Division  3LostockAlan Pickering Trophy         


Div,  1  LadiesClaremont  AShield
Div.  1  GentsEllesmere  ANew Trophy         
Div.  2  LadiesMontonEileen and Derek Gee Trophy         
Div.  2  GentsDavid LloydJohn Collier Trophy 
Div.  3  LadiesLostockJane Gerrard Trophy         
Div.  3   GentsLostockB. PenningtonTrophy         


At the A.G.M. Chairman Bernard was pleased to welcome everyone. Officers were re-elected.

13  Tennis Clubs providing 20 teams split into 2 Divisions of 10 teams ratified at the A.G.M.

Astley,  Claremont,  David Lloyd,  Ellesmere,  Kearsley,  Leigh,  Lostock,  Markland Hill,  Monton,  Parrfold,  Roe Green,  Tyldesley,  Winton.

 Report on the Season

For a change the weather was great this year – SUNNY AND WARM!  Only a few games were “rained off”, which was wonderful.    Just after the start of the season, Astley “A “ team withdrew from the League as they did not have enough players.  The “B” team opted to stay in the 2nd Division as they did not wish to be in the higher Division. Having Divisions of 9 and 10 teams made it a long season of League matches and meant that Cup Competition Matches ( apart from the first round) had to take place on a Friday (not a popular night!).  The First Division Men’s Cup Final between Ellesmere “A” and Roe Green “A” could not be arranged due to unforeseen circumstances until the end of the league season and then it was “rained off” twice.  The light during the evenings at the end of September was not good enough to complete a match in a satisfactory manner and players on both teams were on holiday so the Cup Final was postponed and the trophy was not presented at the Dance. It is hoped to play the Match during the early weeks of the 2015 season.

The Presentation Dance was organised by the Astley Club and held at their Social Club.  Following a supper of Indian Cuisine ( tasty and delicious), everyone was spiced up and ready for the Quiz.  The first round of questions involved recognising famous tennis stars from photographs taken in their early years.(Quite tricky and causing much hilarity).  There were several rounds with a variety of questions – music, films, history etc. The winning team was from Monton by a narrow margin. They received their prize and a big cheer. The evening finished with the disco and was thoroughly enjoyed by all who were there.       Well done  Astley!

The League members were sorry hear at the end of the season of the death of Phyllis Royle from  the Roe Green Club.  Phyllis was in her nineties and had been playing all her life at the Club and was still playing right up to her death.  She provided valuable information about the early years of the League particularly before World War 2 for the League History memories. She was a real champion. She passed on to the League the St. Marks Minute Book which is in the League’s collection of memorabilia along with all the League’s Minute Books. (Very interesting reading.)

Our sympathies were expressed also to the families of Jenny Ridgeway and John Booth.

Jenny was a stylish player who made every shot look easy and beat the opposition convincingly.  She played for Monton in the Walkden League and Markland Hill in the Bolton League.  

John, known as “Big Easy” by his friends played in the Walkden League for 50 years and 30 years in the Leigh League for Kearsley.  What an achievement!

 In September Chairman Bernard stepped down from his position as a Salford Councillor – disillusioned by the new elected mayor system. Maybe he will spend his extra time playing more Tennis and doing more landscaping on Victoria Beckham’s garden, not just mowing the lawn which he has done for many years. Good luck Bernard!

League Championship Results

                         Winners                                  Runners  Up

Division  1Ellesmere  AWalkden ShieldLeigh  A
Division  2Lostock  AAlbert Cooper TrophyMonton

Knock Out Competition Results

                       Winners                                  Runners-Up

Div. 1  LadiesClaremont  ACupEllesmere  A
Div. 1  Gents.Not Played. Rained Off twice & poor lightTom Oldfield Trophy (Not presented)Not Played. Rained Off twice & poor light
Div. 2  LadiesMontonEileen & Derek Gee TrophyMonton
Div. 2  Gents.LostockJohn Collier TrophyLostock

Final league positions

Division 1Division 2
148Ellesmere A154 Lostock 
235Leigh A246 Montom 
333Leigh B3 33Leigh B 
431 Roe Green A431Ellesmere  
527Parrfold A5 28RoeGreen B 
616Tyldesley6 25Kearsley 
715David Lloyd7 16Astley B 
813Claremont B8 16Winton 
93Markland Hill9 12Parrfold B 
 10 5 Claremont C 


   Chairman Bernard opened the A.G.M. by thanking everyone who had played during the last Season. It was one of the best Seasons weather wise for some years and players revelled in the warm dry evenings.  

Bernard regretted that the number of players in the League was dwindling He was disappointed that no one had come forward to replace Secretary Marjorie. Under the circumstances Marjorie agreed to stay on for another year to give more time for a volunteer to come forward. All the Officers were re-elected. Alan Brooks said he would take on the task of Match Secretary and deal with the Match Card Results and enter them on the computer (A job he had done for the Bolton League ).

   There were no applications to join the League and 1 Resignation from Markland Hill.  18 Teams were divided into 2 divisions of 9 teams. Subscriptions remained at £8.00 per team. During the Winter trophies had been repaired and 1 lost trophy replaced.  It was hoped the winning clubs would remind their players about taking more care of the trophies in their care.

   At the end of the 2015 Season Claremont organised the presentation Dance. They did sterling work providing good music for dancing, a raffle and even preparing the Meat and Potato Pie Supper themselves (delicious). All for a fiver !  It was a great end to the Season.  Sadly attendance was poor which was a great pity because League members missed a really good social occasion.  It was decided to itemise the attendance matter at the 2016 A.G.M.

League Championship Results

                         Winners                                  Runners  Up

Division  1Claremont  AWalkden ShieldEllesmere  A
Division  2Claremont  BAlbert Cooper TrophyRoe Green  B

Knock Out Competition Results

Div. 1  LadiesEllesmere  ACupTyldesley
Div. 1  Gents.Roe Green  ATom Oldfield TrophyEllesmere  A
Div. 2  LadiesClaremont  BEileen & Derek Gee TrophyLeigh  B
Div. 2  Gents.Claremont  BJohn Collier TrophyLeigh  B



   Chairman Bernard opened the A.G. M. with the sad news that Ken Edge, a long-standing League Member and all-round local sportsman had died. A Minute’s silence was held in his honour.

   The Club representatives were informed that Joan and |Derek Matthews had retired from their League positions. Bernard thanked them for the 40 years of  service they had given to the Walkden League. Joan had been Minute Secretary until tonight when she would take the minutes for the 2016 A.G.M. for the last time. Derek  had been League Auditor from 1980 taking over as League Treasurer in1980. Marjorie took an Azalea bush to Derek and Joan’s home to plant in their garden by way of thanks for their service to the Walkden League.

  Bernard expressed thanks and our good wishes in their new home to Tricia and Alan Brookes for their contribution to the Walkden League.Tricia had been Trophy Secretary and more recently Safe Guarding Officer. Alan became the Match Secretary in 2015 collecting all the Match  Results and putting them on the Website. A Garden Centre gift voucher and a letter of thanks was sent to their new address and they responded that they would buy a plant for their garden to remind them of all their good friends and their time  in the Walkden League.

The League Finances were healthy and subscriptions would remain at £8.00 per team.

  Eighteen teams were divided into two divisions of 9 which meant Cup Matches had to be played on Friday.

   The Election of League Officials produced new faces on the League Executive. Stan Bleakley (Parrfold) agreed to take on the Office of Treasurer. Phil Owen (Guildhall a non-playing member) became the Safe Guarding Officer. Pauline Ashton (Parfold) became the Match Secretary. The position of  Minute Secretary was vacant. Sue Bleakley kindly agreed to take the minutes for the A.G M. and later was persuaded to take on the Official Post. The job of Secretary was still vacant. There had been no volunteers and the idea to split up the work involved was suggested and would be investigated.

  The poor attendance at the end of Season Presentation Dance was discussed. It was felt that it was better to honour the winning teams by an official presentation rather than just give it to the respective winning team at the end of a match.  Once stopped it would be hard to start it up again.  Members not attending must be encouraged to come and enjoy a good social night even if their Club did not win anything.  The dates of other Presentation Events in the area must be checked and avoided.  The Dance must be well advertised and Clubs must pay for the number of tickets ordered.  Cancellations and expected refunds on the morning of the Dance were not acceptable. It was always intended to “break-even on the Dance. To make a profit was not necessary. Any loss would be covered by the League.   Ellesmere offered to organise the 2016 Dance when David Lloyd said they were not in a position to arrange this year’s Dance at their venue.

The 2016 Dance held at Ellesmere was a success.  More Clubs than usual attended. Everyone had a good time. Some Clubs really “ let their hair down” with some fantastic dancing encouraged by Disc Jockey, Trevor Burtonwood.  The Wimbledon Quiz provided an interesting challenge. The Hot Pot was excellent and the gateaux scrumptious. A raffle was held.  Overall the evening was kept in the red with a 35 pence profit !!!   Thanks, Ellesmere.

   Marjorie had been asked to present information about the Walkden and District League at a Salford Heritage Promotion held after the end of the Season. It was a good way to promote tennis in the area. Quite a lot of those who attended did not know that there was a Tennis League in Walkden and that it was nearing its centenary. The past and present League Trophies were on display and looked very impressive along with the History of the League Marjorie was working on ( hoping to be completed) by 2022.

League Championship Results

Winners  Runners-Up
Division 1Ellesmere A Roe Green A
Division  2LostockAlbert Cooper TrophyEllesmere B

Knock Out Competition Results

Div. 1  LadiesEllesmere  ACupTyldesley
Div. 1  Gents.TyldesleyTom Oldfield TrophyEllesmere  A
Div. 2  LadiesKearsleyEileen & Derek Gee TrophyLostock 
Div. 2  Gents.LostockJohn Collier TrophyKearsley

2017, 2018 and 2019 to follow soon.