A HISTORY OF THE WALKDEN AND DISTRICT TENNIS LEAGUE FROM 1900 – PRESENT DAY…….. PREFACE ………….SETTING THE SCENE 1900 – 1910
Why compile a history of the Walkden and District Tennis League?
Because it is the right thing to do.
An organisation which has been ongoing for 90 years deserves to have its life recorded and remembered. (Tempus fugit – time flies) If it is not done now so much personal information about the League since it reformed after World War Two from present players will be lost. Already the details of how and when the League formed in the first place rely on dates and names inscribed on remaining trophies and competition cups, which are old and in some cases have nameplates missing, and on match reports in the archives of the Bolton and Farnworth Journal. Sadly the Minutes of those early years are lost. The pioneers and founders of the League are no longer with us nor are those who died in the two World Wars. Even the few surviving members of those who revived the League in 1948 are now themselves octogenarians. As for myself and others of my era, who have played tennis in the League for the last 50 years, we are now Senior Citizens and have qualified for our bus passes!!
I am trying from research, available records and personal memories to capture a picture of this great League over the past 90 years from its roots, through two World Wars into a new technological millennium. The IT age and our Web Site provide an ideal opportunity to publish the history of the Walkden and District Tennis League and must be used as a cornerstone for further success. My hope is that all those who will play tennis in the League in future years will have as much pleasure and enjoyment from this wonderful game and make as many treasured friends as I have done over the past years.
MARJORIE McCORMICK (Hon. Secretary) April 2012
SETTING THE SCENE
In 1873 Major Walter Clopton Wingfield patented a game called SPHAIRITIKE (from the Greek meaning “skill at playing with a ball”) which was quite complicated to play, but was the forerunner of the game we know as Lawn Tennis. In 1877 the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club changed the format and rules of that game and consequently, Tennis became a more popular and available sport. Tennis courts became a facility included in the planning and building of Public Parks.
In Walkden St Mary’s Park (1894) and Parrfold Park (1906) had shale tennis courts. Wealthy families in the area built private courts alongside their houses. More people were interested in playing and were prepared to make the effort to do so. Tennis was considered to be a suitable and acceptable social pastime and was quickly embraced by churches in the area especially among the Methodist fraternity.
DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE D.I.Y. TENNIS COURT BUILDERS? READ ON ABOUT THE NEXT DECADE TO FIND OUT……1910s