History Timeline 1925-2021
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the following history of our club. If anyone has any additional information or images then please email Rachel Snowball: email@example.com
|Early evidence of Cirencester Park tennis|
|July 1884||The Cirencester Park Lawn Tennis club held its 3 day from Tuesday 29th July.
‘Favoured with fine weather for three consecutive days in a month which has been unpleasantly moist, the Tournament has been unwontedly fortunate, and the consequence is that the attendance throughout has been large and fashionable, including the principal families of a wide district in the counties of Gloucester and Wilts.’
|Wilts and Glos Standard
|July 1886||The Cirencester Park Lawn Tennis club held its 3 day from Wednesday 21st-23rd July. Afterwards ball was held at the Corn Hall.
‘Late in the afternoon play was interrupted by a deluging storm of rain, which soddened the ground and caused much inconvenience. The early hours of Thursday were bright, but a strong wind rendered play difficult and unpleasant, and a rain-storm supervening so hindered play that no event was completed.
|Aug 1889||The Cirencester Park Lawn Tennis club held its 3 day tournament. Afterwards ball was held at the Corn Hall.Evidence of courts been set up on cricket ground.
‘The admirably kept ground of the Cirencester Cricket Club as usual enabled a series of capital courts to be prepared.’
|Wilts and Glos Standard
|Establishment of Cirencester Lawn Tennis (Hard courts) Club-Stratton Location|
|Nov 1925||Decision to put 3 hard courts in field, adjoining the Rd leading from Cheltenham Rd to Stratton Mill on land donated by Chester-Master for use as member’s tennis club. If subscription funds sufficient then plan to put in 4th court.||Chelt Chronicle 07/11/25|
|Dec 1925||Work commenced for hard courts Cheltenham Rd||Chelt Chronicle
|Feb 1927||Harry simms, aged 39, a foreman contracted to install additional hard courts, dies of heart problems, whilst lodging in Stratton. He had been working on courts for a month and went home to Croydon at weekends.||Gloucester Citizen
|Oct 1927||Third open tournament. Heavy rain delayed mens singles final and players ‘mutually agreed to abandon game with honours even’||Gloucs Echo
|June 1928||American handicapped ladies doubles with 26 pairs.||Gloucs Echo
|Aug 1928||American tournament with 40 Mixed doubles on bank holiday Monday||Chelt chronicle
|May 1929||Open tournament ‘favoured with gloriously fine weather’||Glouc Echo
|Aug 1929||American tournament with 32 Mixed doubles on bank holiday Monday.||Chelt chronicle
|Aug 1929||Juvenile American tournament. Singles – 12 boy players and 9 girls and 14 mixed couples.|
There is a void of information about the club from the 1930’s through to the 1960’s.
|1970’s||By the 1970’s the site has a squash court in a wooden building and 6 hard tennis courts. Millman and Peter Ramsay in charge and it was run as a members club.
Ramsay sold it to a friend from London-Wallace Grace who in turn sold it to Peter Breton who had it for 4-5 years. George Hands ran it for Breton.
The club briefly exchanged hands again to a Kevin Langs and then to a young couple (the Daniels).
|Agreement in place with Stratton House hotel where staff and residents could access the courts|
|Green shield stamps sponsored the club for junior coaching and international events.|
|1982||The Daniels sold the club to Peter Beamish. Ramsay tried to rescue it.|
|1982-1987||Beamish built a new clubhouse on one of the tennis courts. This had 4 squash courts, ladies showers, a bar and a viewing gallery. He also built a larger car park on one of the courts, so only 4 tennis courts remained. He then built a swimming pool on one of these and it became more of a ‘country club’.
Floodlights were put on the 3 courts but one was used for football so only 2 left for tennis.
Membership was for both tennis and squash, the latter of which was more popular in the Winter.
Coach was Neale Reynolds.
|1984||Due to the diminishing facilities for tennis a breakaway group left and set up ‘South Cotswold Tennis Club’ using St Michael’s courts. Penny Allberry and Dudley Georgeson were an active part of this group.|
|1988||Beamish sold the site to Redrow to build a housing development. Redrow offered the club £20k to find somewhere to relocate to and several members worked hard in finding new locations but failed to get lottery funding.
Tennis club members objected to the sale and all very acrimonious. The site is now a cul de sac of modern detached homes in Phygtell Rd.
|CTC members managed to keep playing (including matches) by hiring the Agricultural college courts. Both the Ladies and Mens were in the premiership so couldn’t join the breakaway group SCTC as they would lose their position. Some joined SCTC to play socially.|
|Cirencester Park (current) location|
|1990||John Hardyment (JH), an active member of CTC approached landowners Lord Apsley ( Bathurst estate) and Wills Chester Master in search of land to purchase to build a tennis club on the edges of the town. Negotiations with Lord Apsley started October 1990. Lord Apsley was keen on a Sports club combining the cricket club (already present), croquet club, hockey and tennis so that the pavilion could be brought back to a good condition. The cricket club had played in Bathurst estate for 150 years.
CTC had 35 members.
|May 1991||Sewell, Mullins and Logie instructed to draw up draft lease. JH negotiated annual rent of £250 per court and 28- year lease.|
|Staurt Waller (SW)- (councillor) Chair of South Cotswold club wrote to CTC Committee meeting stating they were not in support of JH proposals to merge clubs in new location. SCC not happy with location as too isolated and access via a ‘narrow unlit road’. Second issue they had was the finances of lease with Lord Apsley as they objected to the annual lease payment (market led).|
|June 1991||On behalf of CTC, active member Nick Deacon, architect with Eric Cole and partners (Swindon) worked closely with JH and submitted application for planning to CDC for 6 courts with hard standing for parking in Bathurst Estate.|
|Throughout 1991 and 1992 JH worked tirelessly fundraising for the new club. Projected investment £49k inc vat. Members could raise £5k
Foundation for Sports and Arts £20,000
Sports Council £5,000
Cotswold District Council £1,000
Ciren sports Association £720
Gloucestershire playing fields £500
Ciren town council £125
In addition to loans:-
Sports council £10,000 (required 10 guarantors)
Gloucs Playing fields £500
|Feb 1992||Lease and grants/loans secured by JH.|
|Sept 1992||30th- SCTC AGM held at Nelson inn-members agreed to merge with CTC in new location on proviso that financial and legal matters should be resolved before final decision.|
|Oct 1992||21st-Joint special meeting between SCTC and CTC at Stratton House Hotel. Merger formally approved. Stuart Waller (SCTC Chair) appointed as new Chair and new club to take SCTC name. Agreed life membership at £600 to support fundraising.|
|Feb 1993||Work started on 8th Feb-Courtstalls were appointed contractor after tendering process.|
|May 1993||New courts available for play-first Wed club night 19th May. Shared cricket pavilion with cricket and hockey club.|
|Club had 3 women’s teams, 4 men’s and girls and boys teams
Constitution agreed 6th May 1993.
|Sept 1993||19th Sept Official opening organised by Penny Allberry . Lord Apsley made Vice President.
Concerns that Dress code was being abused as should be mainly whites.
Penny and Dudley were coaches.
|137 members inc 46 juniors|
|Oct 1993||Sunday club morning introduced 10am -12pm|
|Oct 1993||Submitted planning for floodlights for 3 courts -turned down|
|June 1994||Submitted planning for clubhouse in addition to floodlights on front 3 courts with planting of 3 stands of trees and more support stanchions to reduce light spillage. Clubhouse to be located on grass area to west of courts.|
|July 1994||Permission for clubhouse refused as not ‘architecturally acceptable’.|
|Aug 1994||Foodlight permission granted with conditions including operating times and landscaping. JH starts further fundraising to cover cost of floodlights (circa £20k).|
|1994||Newsletter entry re dress code-‘items considered not suitable and which have been seen on court include jeans, dungarees ,football shirts. Leggings and brightly coloured or patterned shirts’!!|
|Nov 1994||AGM-proposal to change name from SC tennis club to CTC was ratified.
New Chair Dudley Georgeson.
|1995||Membership 220. Team selection committee established.|
|Aug 1995||After several obstructions from CDC, planning re clubhouse style and material permission for pavilion granted (cost circa £10k) and fundraising continued for floodlights.|
|Lord Apsley delayed landlords permission to pavilion as he wasn’t happy about floodlights.|
|Feb 1996||Pavilion construction started. Supplied by Tewkesbury Garden products who initially installed the wrong size. Agreed to replace with correct size.|
|Ongoing Issue with relations with cricket club re access to loo as despite having keys for a new lock installed by CTC the inside lock often prevented access.|
|April 1996||Received £19k from Lottery sports fund and £2k from CDC to fund floodlights. Ongoing battle with Estate re light permission and CTC had to involve trustees using a clause in lease that prevented unreasonable blocking of club development. Sept 1996 strong letter from Lord Apsley.|
|June 1996||Club asked for minor amendment for 3 small stands of trees in initial application to more immediate planting around courts (south and partial sw and eastern boundaries) to provide wind shield and screen from public . Council rejected it as a minor amendment and requested full application.|
|Oct 1996||Edward Allsop from Bathurst Estate confirmed he was instructed and empowered by the Trustees to approve the specification.|
|Floodlights contracted by Floodlighting Ltd Oct 1996 and work carried out Jan 1997|
|Life membership was awarded to Nick Deacon and John Hardyment for their hard work in building the club|
|Dec 1996||First Delta tournament-7th Dec|
|Jan 1997||Floodlights installed by Floodlighting Ltd. Cost of £4 agreed for 1.5 hours.
Clubhouse completed and team captains and committee given keys. Extra keys available to members at cost of £5
|June 1997||8th -Full opening ceremony combined with Penn open day and BBQ. Organised by Penny and Dudley. Lottery sports fund plaque provided.|
|Shoe tags introduced.
Singles Board ladder introduced.
Winter membership introduced.
|1998||Water installed in clubhouse
Applied for floodlighting for 4th court-refused.
|1999||Portaloo trial started. Seen as a great success!|
|2000||Patio laid in front of clubhouse.|
|Nov 2001||At AGM 14th Nov Dudley made Life President.
New Chair Adrian Potter.
|Mar 2001||Foot and Mouth disease forced closure of club on 21st March. Club night held at Kingshill school until dusk (no lights). Coaching and team practices at St Michaels Park. Re opened 20th May after renegotiations with Bathurst Estate.|
|March 2001||Website set up. 350 members incl 140 juniors. Adrian Lees made honorary life member.|
|2003||Honours Board installed in clubhouse. Membership 305|
|2004||In the Winter Wed club nights became intra-club matches on front 3 floodlit courts. Teams of 3 pairs-strong/intermed/weak. Each pair playing all 3 pairs of other team. Limited evenings to 12 players so moved it to Mondays and carried on with club night on wed. Sun mornings continued.|
|2006||Extra court with floodlights (ND court) added. Initial opposition from Lord Aplsey but he supported. Interest free loan of £25k from LTA. Huge difference to matches capacity|
|2007||Head Coach Rob Negus|
|2008||7th court named after Nick Deacon who passed away in Oct 2008.|
|Nov 2008||New Chair Julian Smith|
|2009||Revision of membership structure to support long term financial security of club.|
|Jan 2010||Lord and Lady Apsley accepted offer of Honorary Membership|
|Nov 2010||New Chair Paul Harris|
|2011||Head Coach Adam Swan-ADS Tennis
|2012||Club awarded Gloucestershire LTA ‘Club of the year’
|2015||Negotiations with Bathurst Estate re lease renewal.
Nov AGM New Chair Adrian Potter.
Singles league set up.
Courts bookings went digital.
|April 2017||Lease renewed including permission for:-
-floodlights on back courts
-Larger clubhouse including toilet
|Aug 2017||Acting Chair Rachel Snowball|
|Nov 2017||Front courts resurfaced with Clayrite artificial clay by Fosse contracts-cost £59k plus VAT
Awarded Gloucestershire LTA Club of the year 2017
New Chair Rachel Snowball
|April 2018||Judy Murray runs a tennis clinic at the club due to generous auction bid from member Martin Leay. Day raised an additional £2372 for UNICEF.|
|Oct 2018||LED Floodlights installed on back courts by Luminance Pro. Cost £42k plus VAT with £5k LTA grant and £25k LTA interest free loan.|
|Jan 2019||Membership sub committee set up to review membership categories and fees etc. Key changes agreed included:-
-New young persons category 20-30
-Pro rata rate for first year
-Late payment fees
|Sept 2019||Installation of the toilet!|
|Nov 2019||AGM-constitution updated to accurately reflect Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) status and bring it up to date with LTA guidelines, including ensuring committee responsible for setting fees.|
|March 2020||Coronavirus lockdown forces temporary closure of club:-
23rd March 2020 to 13th May 2020
5th Nov 2020 to 2nd Dec 2020
4th Jan 2021 to 29th March 2021
|May 2020||Cirencester College, owners of access road upto caravan park, relocated access road despite objections from the club. Ongoing issues with blind bends, congestion and unrealistic speed limit.|
|Sept 2020||New LED lights on front courts to replace old halide ones by Luminance Pro-cost £25k plus VAT.
Head Coach John Mellowes-Phoenix Tennis
|March 2021||Bathurst Estate tighten up security around Park including the introduction of electric gates at vehicle entry points and plans for pass-holder scheme. Planned introduction of electric gate on access road just beyond caravan park.|
|July 2021||Numerous problems with new access lane as often congested at busy periods. Currently appealing to planning authorities and college to urgently address issues. Additionally negotiating with Bathurst estate to delay planned operation of electric gate until access improves.|
British Newspaper Archives-archive limited from 1950’s
Paper records courtesy of John Hardyment
Contributions -David Soutter, Christopher Hall, Jane Muncer.
Meeting (01/12/2019)-John Hardyment, Martin Groombridge, Peter Stone, Ken Shortridge, Jane Muncer, Steve Lamble, Adrian Potter (notes).