Beecroft-Cheltenham History Group

 

Lawn Tennis in Beecroft and Cheltenham.

Introduction

Surprisingly, lawn tennis is a sport where its international history is only slightly longer than the local story.

While tennis has been a game played for many centuries, the playing of the game in an outdoor setting is a comparatively recent innovation. This form of the game is first mentioned when Major General T H Gem and his Spanish friend Mr J B Perera teamed with some local doctors to form a lawn tennis club in 1872 at Leamington Spa, England.[1]  A competition at Wimbledon was first held in 1875 and the earliest Lawn Tennis Association was formed in the United Statesin 1881.[2]

 This international popularity, which happened at the same time as the rise of recreation clubs from the 1870s,[3]was also reflected in the colony of New South Waleswhere, during the final years of the nineteenth century, tennis was becoming increasingly popular as a social pastime. Here an intercolonial tennis tournament was played at MooreParkin 1889 and an Australasian Lawn Tennis Association was formed in 1904.[4]

 In the then rural villages of Beecroft and Cheltenham, in 1895 a group of residents formed the Kennedya Tennis Club and played on the court of Mr Henry Perdriau in Copeland Road Beecroft. In the neighbouring villageof Carlingforda public meeting was called at Harpers Post Office Store in September 1896 to form a public tennis club.[5]The following year saw Edward Terry open some tennis courts at the Recreation Club Grounds at EastCarlingfordPark.[6]Later, in 1905, another Lawn Tennis Club was formed at the two tennis courts of Mrs W Shields, Mobbs Hill (also now forming part of Carlingford).[7]

A large number of private residences had, and a number still do, an adjacent tennis court.

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