New Floodlights for 2016
Bognor Lawn Tennis Club is thrilled to have three new floodlights, together with the two floodlit courts that members have been using for at least 30 years. Having five floodlit courts will allow us to extend our weekly team practices and expand our junior and adult coaching courses.
French Exchange 2014
The Club Vie au Grand Air invited twelve members from Bognor Lawn Tennis Club to play in a one-day tournament on Friday May 23rd 2014 at their club in St Maur des Fosses, Bognor’s twin town on the outskirts of Paris.
The French and English intermingled for partners and several sets were played. After an enormous lunch, provided by the French hosts, BLTC was represented by Phil Butler and Mary Swanton for the final match. At a reception that evening Malcolm Ridley, chairman of BLTC, thanked the St Maur hosts for their generous hospitality, presenting them with a BLTC pennant.
On the following day the tennis players enjoyed a day out in Paris with their hosts, including a boat trip on the river Seine. Plans are already afoot to invite them back to Bognor Regis for a return tournament next year.
History of Bognor Lawn Tennis Club
Bognor Lawn Tennis Club was founded in the 1880’s on the site of a meadow by Church Path in Lyon Street, where St Mary’s School in Bognor Regis town in now situated. The Club allowed visitors to use the four courts, which could be hired by the hour from a Mrs Cox, who would also provide equipment. In July 1887 an American visitor wrote that the young men “swaggered about in shirts and white flannels or knickerbockers, held up by a silk handkerchief round the waist, like a bullfighter, and wore a rather jaunty little cap pulled over one eye. The girls wore woollen dresses or thin white muslin gowns.”
In 1908 the Club was transferred to premises in the Upper Bognor Road, where it remained until 1912. Meanwhile, Mr Reginald Booker had formed the Nyewood Tennis Club in Nyewood Lane and in 1912 the two Clubs amalgamated to form Bognor Lawn Tennis Club. This Club had Sir Christopher Feesdale, an Aide de Camp to Queen Victoria, as its President and Dr. Conway as Treasurer. Tennis at that time took place an four grass courts and has been played at the Nyewood Lane grounds ever since.
Historical evidence that the Club was flourishing over 75 years ago is provided by the Honour’s Board, which is still on display at the Club. The earliest entries record that the Ladies’ Singles title of 1923 was won by Miss G Armstrong, and the winner of the Roper Cup (Men’s Singles) in 1932 was Mr G I Bayley.
As the Club expanded four further grass courts were added to make a total of eight courts and for many years the grounds were renowned as the venue for the West Sussex Championships. In the early 1970’s three macadam hard courts were laid adjacent to the grass courts and, by the end of the decade, a separate block of two hard courts had been added. Several years later these two courts were equipped with floodlights. In 1983 an area the size of four grass courts was relinquished to allow the building of an Indoor Bowls facility. The Club currently maintains five tennis hard courts and has in the region of 100 adult members.