Tennis

 The following report occurs in the chapter of the Deanhouse Workhouse but I have duplicated it here because it is the first reference to a tennis court that i have been so far able to find. It supports the fact that tennis had been played in the village for many years and that there had been a club with tennis courts, location unknown but best guess is that it was off New Road in the area now known as the Oval – see later in this chapter.

 In August 1921 , members of the two House committees of the Huddersfield Board of Guardians ( Crosland Moor and Deanhouse ) played bowls on the tennis court at Deanhouse for the Silver Rose Bowl trophy which had been offered by Miss Siddon several years before. Deanhouse had won the trophy for the last three years but this time Crosland were the victors by 373 points to 363. 

The following photograph ( no date ) shows people playing tennis on a grass court with what looks to be other people playing bowls. Is this the court mentioned above at Deanhouse or was it taken at Thongbridge?

Tennis court with bowling green on the left. 1920s? Deanhouse ?
Tennis court with bowling green on the left. 1920s? Deanhouse ?

The members of the Tennis Club held a whist drive and dance in the National School in February 1923. A few months later a Holme Valley Lawn Tennis League  was formed with seven teams, the nearest club  was at Thongs Bridge and it’s likely that its membership would have included players from the Netherthong club.

 In July 1924 the paper reported the opening of the Club’s New Pavilion which had been erected by John Batley & Sons. Cllr. Batley presided over the event and he handed Cllr. Gledhill a silver key, suitably engraved, to unlock the door and declare the pavilion open. A public tea was served in the United Methodist Sunday school and more than 120 sat down. After the tea an enjoyable evening was spent at the courts with various tournaments being played. The funds benefitted by £45 but much more was needed to pay off the cost of the pavilion. It would appear that the courts were located off New Road down from the Church. The photograph below which could be of Harold Wimpenny holding the racket could be the courts mentioned above.

Tennis court with Harold Wimpenny ? holding the racket.
Tennis court with Harold Wimpenny ? holding the racket.

To aid the funds the Club organised a whist drive, supper and dance in the National School which attracted a large attendance. The music was supplied by Preston’s Orchestra.

The next fund-raising event was in January 1925 when they promoted a fancy dress carnival in the National school which proved to be a great success. The judges were Mr.& Mrs. Gledhill and the Bijou Orchestra  provided the music for dancing.

Although the Netherthong club never joined the local league they did play a number of friendly matches and, in July,  they entertained at home  a team from Holme Bridge . The final results gave Netherthong 10 sets and 84 games against Holmes Bridge with 6 sets and 62 games. All the games were played as doubles and some of the local players were Mr.C.R.Wood & Miss Buckley  ; Mr. G.Charlesworth & Miss E.Bray  : Mr. H.Wilkinson & Miss B.Porter : Mr.A.Shaw & Mrs. Stuart.

 The 1926 AGM was held in April in the Pavilion with Mr.G.Charlesworth presiding. The treasurer,H.Wimpenny, reported that there was a credit balance of £24 13s 8d. Cllr. W.Gledhill was re-elected as President. The next report in the Express was that a whist drive and dance had been held for club funds. Supper was followed by dancing to Mr.H.Preston’s Orchestra. A further report in March 1928 was that the Club had organised a whist-drive, supper and dance in the National School. In April 1928 the Holme Valley Tennis League was dissolved until the first week of 1929 due to lack of support  but at the same time the Dearne Valley Tennis Club was thriving with six clubs. The next report was in March 1934 when they held a military whist drive in the Zion Methodist schoolroom in aid of funds.

No further reports appeared in the Express so one can only wonder what happened to the club , the court and the pavilion.

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