Tennis Club Archives 1904-1975

Club secretary Mike Butterworth stumbled across the club minutes books recently and has summarised below the twists, turns and changes of the club throughout the years.

Photo courtesy of Britain from above 1928.

In 1904, the field was purchased for £140 at an Auction Sale held in The Brunswick Hotel at Wetherby by; Mr Coates, Mr F Hoole, Mr J Hoole, Dr Hargreaves, Mr Heap and Mr Wilson. These six men formed themselves as trustees for a certain club called “The Castle Garth Lawn Tennis Club” and framed rules and regulations for the management of the club laying down that in the event of the premises being no longer required, or for want of adequate support, it shall be lawful for the Trustees to sell the land or alter or extend the objects or nature of the said club or may change the title. These arrangements were contained in a Trust Deed dated 1st October 1904 which set out the legal framework for the club and which still applies today. Originally, four grass courts and a pavilion (extract from Club Website)

There appears to be no further documented records until apart from a small accounts book 1902-1909 shows 30 members in 1902

1934 Agreed to purchase a Motor Mower to reduce labour cost

1935 Colonel D Quirk (Chairman) reported that the labourer Mr Metcalf was paid 30 shilling per week in the summer and 1 shilling per hour in the winter

1936 Subs increased to 37 shillings and 6 pence including balls and that members not paying subs by July 1st should be charged 2/6 extra

1937 Miss Webster elected to the committee as Tea Secretary. Teas were charged at 6d per head and Tea subscription cost 10 s

1938 Enquiries to be made with the butcher to enquire if there was any interest renting the adjacent field for sheep grazing

1939 Subs £2 courts open for play May 6th

1940 Military in the adjacent barracks to be offered temporary membership. Due to petrol rationing anyone living over 7 miles away will be given country membership 20 Full members 7 Country 1 Forces 3 Honorary

1942 After discussion agreed to open the courts for the full season, with members of the public using the adjoining field as a footpath some damage was suspected so a padlock will be purchased

1943 Membership drops to 14 members using only 2 of the 4 courts. Members of the ships company HMS Cabot also to be offered full membership at 10s6d on condition they provide their own balls

1944 REME Staff based at the Racecourse to be offered similar membership and those from RAF Marston could pay 6d per hour to play

1945 HMS Demetrius and RAF Thorpe Arch to be offered facilities

1946 Mr Johnson ( Chair) opens the club on May 18th but only 2 courts now fit for play

1947 Appears as though Dr Lodge and Mrs Lodge now form the core of the committee. Suggestion to use Geese to keep the grass short and that the Youth club could use the courts on Mondays

1948 Juniors to be allowed to play for 2 months of the year for 10 shillings

1949 Membership falling & 500 advertising cards printed

1950 Mrs Goodall elected onto committee. The gate was washed away in the flood

1951 Water pipes being laid around the club. Soft balls from the previous year to be sold in local shops for 1 or 2d each Yorkshire Electricity Board approach the club to repair the 2 courts or sole use by Electricity Board members for a period of 3-5 years. This doesn’t progress but the YEB pay for their staff to use the courts

1952 Open day arranged for May 3rd to encourage new members and to approach Wetherby Council School to use the courts during the week

1953 Dr Lodge elected as President. Members of the Junior Conservative Club and Youth Club be allowed to play on one court for a fee of 2 guineas. Advertise in the Wetherby news for 5 weeks. Dinner Dance to be held in Linton Memorial Hall with Mr Myers of Spofforth asked to bring his dance band. No alcoholic drinks will be allowed. Raffle tickets sold for the prizes of a gift token, half a doz eggs and a box of chocolates. 70-80 attendees.

1954 Discussion continues regarding a 3rd court to be built depending on membership numbers, Friendly matches to commence on Saturdays against local clubs. A club tournament to be held on 24th May

1955 It was proposed to change the club name to Wetherby Tennis Club this would be put to Dr Lodge. The AGM also voted against forming a tennis league.

1956 The proposed name change did not go ahead due to problems with the Title Deeds, Bank details and hence the name Castlegarth was retained. Mr L Smith replaced Mr Ingles as Chairman.

Three levels of membership introduced. Juniors to 16 years, Intermediate to 21 and Seniors. Subscription rates still £2.00

Club votes to join the Tennis league. Barkston Ash League entered into the following year

1957 Coaching is first introduced through the West Riding County Council. The council will provide the travelling expenses of the coach for 2hrs each week for 12 weeks and the club must provide 10 members at each session. Proposals discussed for a new clubhouse pavilion

1958 Club cancelled the coaching agreement as too expensive this year but also invited one Junior member to join the committee meetings as appropriate The coaching for juniors was to be undertaken by club captains. Owing to the closure of Thorpe Arch and the subsequent loss of members .

1959 A selection committee for teams to be pulled together. Subs finally increased by 5 shillings. Lengthy debates continue about where to hold annual dinner dance and the club withdraws from Barkston Ash league. Club opens May 2nd 1959

1960 A new net was purchased to allow 4 courts to be used at the same time, interest in the Dinner Dance dwindling.

1961 Membership woes continue and as a result there is serious discussion whether the club should continue as a result several members of committee resign at the AGM. Full page advert on the back of the Wetherby News for 2 weeks running. Miss P Sammons was the first Junior member on Committee. Dr Lodge announced that the attendance at the AGM demonstrated that there was obviously enough support to continue the club.

1962 Long term groundsman Mr Metcalf retires after 30 years service. Friendly matches arranged with Linton, Collingham, East Keswick, Boston Spa and Deighton. No league tennis. New groundsman Mr Hornsby sacked for inefficiency. The proposal was again made that if the membership was as low in 1963 then the club may have to fold. Dr Lodge to be consulted.

1963 All members at the AGM agreed they would rejoin and the key posts were filled however a meeting was called of all members on 21st April. Suggestion to reduce fees to attract members. Mr Gamble new groundsman resigns. The half acre of land adjacent to the club known as the field continues to be let out

1964 Yorks LTA to be approached for a grant to build a hard court. Juniors told not to play Cricket on the Tennis courts. Sephton Baxter our oldest trustee appears on Committee

1965 Mr Howarth takes over as Chair. Suggestion to convert Tennis court to bowling green was rejected. Following a robbery the previous year when all balls were stolen it was agreed the new subs rate should be £1-10 shilling for Seniors without balls. It was also agreed to push ahead for two hard courts as soon as possible and approach Brigadier Hargreaves for a quotation. Beginners night set as Monday.

A gift of £500 from the late Dr J A Hargreaves came with 3 conditions attached. A plaque to be put on the 2 new hard courts in memory of. No discrimination and the club open to all local people and thirdly that the club receive a grant from local authorities.

2 Hard courts est. £1,532 but it would reduce the fee by £280 if we provided labour from the Borstal. New Pavillion £2000 & 3 Grass courts.

Building commenced 18th August 1965. Mixed double trophy to be purchased Re enter Barkston Ash league Club debt £583 new Pavilion put on hold as the club was running an overdraft.

More tournaments appear on the calendar, Mens doubles, Start of season, Junior tournament, Open Invitation and a ladder competition for Men plus regular Sunday afternoon social competition.

The playing fields association offer to loan the club £1000 This put the Pavilion project back on the agenda. Mr Howarth resigns as he is leaving the district. Brian Duncombe new Chairman.

Hard-core from the 3 Tuns public house used to lay foundations for a car park .Nets sent away to EN Tous Cas to be refurbished

1967 Membership 39 Adults 32 Juniors with many enquiries coming in. Junior coaching restarts courtesy of Mr and Mrs Wood who also provided the Mixed Doubles trophy. It was also agreed to provide trophies for all other events that we now have in place. Changing the club name is raised again and the printing of newsletters commences. Concern that a rival club may be formed on the new school tennis courts . Extra coaching to be sought from the Institute of Further Education. Subs £2-10s (proposal to increase to £3-10s was rejected)

1968 Amendment passed to limit the membership to 80 Adults and 50 Juniors, how times have changed!. Member K Bowden commences building a new Pavilion despite having no approval from the committee. The work was allowed to proceed. Grass courts used very little. Subs £3

1969 A 3rd team was entered into the Barkston league and a Mens doubles team into the Yorkshire league. John Watson providing coaching services. Concern from the Trustees over the dilapidated state of the club. AGM brought forward from April to October. Fund raising event continue.

1970 1st team withdraws from BA and enter the new York Mixed double league. Wimbledon ticket draw held. Juniors teams who won the league.

1971 27 Adults 68 Juniors Sub committee created to look at extending the clubhouse £1470 and providing extra courts through Grants and loans

1972 A proposal from F Long and K Bowden to build squash courts and at the same time a new clubhouse were approved. Junior membership drops by 30 due to a Music centre had started on Saturdays and so Junior night was moved to Friday. A ladies team proposed but it was felt not enough members to make a team.

1973 Doug Howells offer to cut the grass was accepted. New pavilion completed. Membership increasing

1974 Courts re-surfaced. 57 Adult members Subs £4.50

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