Echoes of the past: Tennis tournament brings in crowds

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In this week’s featured photograph are members of the Park Church tennis club taken on July 3 1926 during one of its tournaments.

Park was not the earliest tennis club, one of the earliest clubs to be formed was the Victoria Tennis Club at Lightcliffe in 1883. The tennis courts at this club have long since disappeared and were actually situated in Hipperholme.

A clue as to where it was is Victoria Road at Hipperholme and a property quite close by Tennyson Bungalow. The property could be named after Alfred, Lord Tennyson but more likely be near the site of the original tennis court. The street name having been named after Queen Victoria.

Another clue as to its location is our second photograph showing a group of people having tea outside the clubhouse with some of Brooke’s stone work buildings in the background.

Although Clifton was seen very much as a bowls and cricket community there was some limited interest in tennis. Bailiffe Bridge had its own tennis courts as well on Birkhouse Road. At the time the courts were in use this street would have been known as Coronation Terrace.

Brighouse Tennis Club was started c1886 and was in the early days using a court in Brighouse Wood Lane. Following a surge in membership numbers the club then moved to a larger site in Church Lane. In May 1912 the Brighouse club moved again to an even better site at Lightcliffe Road.

During the 1920s the sport was on a high and saw the opening of two new courts in Lightcliffe which were presented to the Lightcliffe Tennis Club which sat alongside Lightcliffe cricket club in Wakefield Road.

Another club was the Park Church Tennis Club – returning to our featured photograph these are some of the members who took part posing alongside some of the spectators on summers day in 1926 and included: Frank Roberts, Alfred Halliwell, Leonard Hirst (Geoffrey Hirst’s father), Mrs Mabel Holdsworth, Miss Emily Colbeck, Miss Lucy Holland (in 1928 she married Leonard Hirst), Alfred Wood, Miss Edith Colbeck, Mrs Kitty Walton, Mrs Elsie Womersley, Mrs Emily Roberts, Mrs Rosa Stansfield, Jack Walton, Arthur Naylor, Willie Smith, Mrs Elsie Whiteley, Kathleen Shillitoe, Mrs Nellie Halliwell, Mrs Nellie Denham (nee Oade), Miss Edith Smith, Miss Hilda Roberts, Jack Brook, Lascelles North; Arthur Marsden, Philip Marsden, Mrs Arthur Marsden, George Brook, Willie Womersley the team captain, Jack Sibley, Frank Holdsworth, Bernard Shillitoe, Floyd Saunders and Clifford Durance.

In 1909 another sport attracting some interest was Lacrosse when an exhibition match took place at the grammar school cricket ground at Rastrick Common. The match between Yorkshire and Oldham, with two men from Rastrick on the Yorkshire side added some local interest to this event.

The final score was a draw. According to a match report in the Brighouse News the event was well attended and may have a future in the Brighouse area.