Sidford Tennis Club celebrate 70th anniversary in style
PUBLISHED: 08:40 25 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:57 25 May 2018
Past and present members gathered at Sidford to celebrate the LTA's Great British Tennis Weekend and the club's 70th anniversary and helped provide a highly memorable occasion, writes Daryl Bass.
With an estimated 70-80 people attending on the day, the club committee would like to say a very big thanks to all those that helped make the event so successful.
The club’s three courts were bathed in glorious sunshine as the afternoon’s events unfolded – complemented by traditional scones, strawberries and cream.
It was good to see different generations mixing and sharing their fond memories of Sidford and tennis.
First up was Sue’s Cardio Warm-up, which got the energy levels raised with the players working out to a range of music through the last seven decades! This was followed by an enjoyable and competitive triples competition with 10 teams taking part.
The teams were divided into two groups and the winners of the groups, the ‘Has Beens’ and the ‘Sauropods’, played to a full crowd when they met in a closely contested final.
Displaying their experience with a range of solid baseline shots, combined with some delicate cross-court volleys, the ‘Has Beens’ ran out the winners to win the Sidford ‘Fun Cup’ trophy. Special thanks to Marilyn Barlow for making the runners-up Mars Bar cake, which continued an old tradition dating back to the ’70s, when a certain sports chocolate bar was competed for in its club tournaments.
Thanks to the generous donations of many club members and to the LTA for contributing two of the latest Babolat range rackets, the club was able to lay on an impressive range of raffle prizes.
This raised £240, which was received by Debbie Snellgrove on behalf of the local Sidmouth Hospice charity.
Marion Baker, local WI chairperson with a lifelong connection to Sidford Tennis Club, was the special judge for the cake competition – which saw some very impressive entries. Jessie Wiltshire won first prize with her fruity arrangement of a tennis racket and was closely followed by Marilyn Barlow’s tennis ball and Penny Tutty’s grass tennis court. Our thanks go to all entrants for their creativity, preparation and efforts in creating this close fought competition!
A further attraction on the day was a collection of wooden rackets which were fondly recalled by many and used to help educate the modern generations.
A wooden Dunlop Maxplay Fort racket with natural gut stringing, which was iconic in its times, was used by queues of people to try and get a ball through the mouth of Mr McEnroe.
Despite a rather large mouth, no offence JPR, no one was able to achieve this – though this wasn’t for the lack of trying and a range of different tactics were used ranging from a ‘hole in one’ to a Barnes Wallace style bouncing bomb approach.
An added bonus attraction was provided by Nicola Parkins to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the first production of a Morris car. This continued the ‘wooden’ theme with a classic Morris Traveller car – suitably adorned with celebration balloons.
As with all successful events, there was a team of busy bees and volunteers helping to decorate the club, organise the refreshments, reminisce with past members and join in the tennis. Many thanks to you all for your help – it was very much appreciated.
Special thanks too to Simon Tutty for his superb photography skills and cheery support throughout the day.
Sidford prides itself on being a community based club and it was great to see so many people joining in and taking part in such a very memorable day.
On behalf of the committee we would like to extend a very big thank you to the community for all your support.