History of RLTC
1930 to Present Day
This page is in memory of Alan Jackson, he created the clubs first website and devoted a lot of time to the club and its members.
1930s: Tennis was first played on the site when it was a church club linked to St. Edmunds Church in Lidgett Park Road. There was one grey shale court and five grass courts. During the war the grass courts were not maintained and the Girl Guides used them as a campsite!
1945: After the war only the shale court was used. A groundsman roughly cut the grass to keep it under control.
1946: Pre-war players returned and Roundhay Tennis Club was formed. Acceptance for juniors was 17 and prospective members had to be passed by the committee before they were able to join. All work carried out at the club was done by members but working party mornings are remembered as great fun. Grass courts 2 and 3 were converted to red shale followed by the resurfacing of No.1 to red shale. The maintenance of the grass was becoming too expensive for the club.
1950: The club first started to obtain Wimbledon tickets.
1952: Roundhay Tennis Club became Roundhay Lawn Tennis Club (Limited by Guarantee). Debentures were issued to club members to pay for alterations and were paid back over the years. Money was raised from a number of events such as whist drives, dances held at The Mansion and treasure hunts. The selling of cigarettes in the pavilion (for which a licence had to be obtained) proved to be a great money spinner. Most play took place at the weekends and tea was provided. The first A.G.M. was May 16th 1952.
1956: Electricity installed in the pavilion.
1959: Children were admitted to the club (for a trial period).
1965: A 'Saturday Morning Club' was started, mainly for children of members and their friends.
1966: Several male Temple Newsam players joined with a view to playing for Roundhay in the Yorkshire League which strengthened the teams.
1968: Following the closure of North Leeds Tennis Club on Old Park Road several more players joined Roundhay. Members and money was scarce and the club was in a dilapidated condition. Various fundraising events were organised mainly by Colin Wright and repair work was carried out by club members and a wonderful spirit evolved. Membership began to increase. Ron Jackson arranged for sessions of junior group coaching on Saturday mornings with the L.T.A. coach Mrs Barbara Webster (a former Yorkshire Singles Champion and Yorkshire County Player). Individual coaching was also introduced.
1978: Arthur Kasher took over the junior coaching and junior membership increased and many promising players began to emerge. This became so popular that more than 60 juniors attended every Saturday for coaching, games and the learning of court etiquette. Arthur surmised correctly that parents would happily pay for their children's keenness to attend. During the 70s/80s this brought in a lot of extra funding. The junior section went from strength to strength under Arthur's guidance.
During the 70s and 80s the social aspect of the club was important. At the weekends families and individuals would come down for the day. The tradition of afternoon tea continued organised by Joyce Warrington. A bell would be rung at 4.00p.m, all play ceased and tea would be taken. People took it in turns to look after the children whilst play took place.
Finance was a major problem and fund raising events took place all the time to help keep the club going. Events such as champagne and strawberry lunches were memorable. As was an Edwardian tennis day.
The club nearly closed or transferred a number of times and the general consensus is that it was Arthur and his very successful junior section that kept the club going.
1980: A proposed move to Roundhegians was considered. The Shaftesbury Avenue Site would be sold and courts built at Roundhegians. As a result of playing restrictions by the local residents the move was abandoned.
1982: A team was entered for the first time in the lower divisions of the Barkston Ash League. This was to give the younger players match experience. The youngsters eventually gained promotion to the First Division.
1983: A move to Chapel Allerton Tennis & Squash Club was under discussion, nearly took place, but was abandoned.
1988: In August the two grass courts were converted to all-weather. There were now 4 red shale and 2 all weather.
1989: Winter membership was introduced.
1990: A number of players from Moor Allerton Tennis Club joined. They had a team in the North Leeds Mixed Division which transferred to Roundhay and was very successful. As a result a second team was entered.
1995: A Sports Council Grant enabled the installation of floodlights over the now 3 hard courts and evening play commenced. For the benefit of local residents it was agreed that the lights would not be used after 10 pm.
2001: September 'End of an Era' tournament was held. Matches were played on the shale for the last time and a final buffet meal was eaten in the old wooden pavilion which was then replaced by a purpose built brick building and the shale courts replaced by all weather and the lower all weather by 'carpet'. A Sport England grant, a loan from the L.T.A. plus club funds enabled this work to take place
The club coach started working in inner city schools to help and encourage youngsters to take up and enjoy the game of tennis. Outreach programmes to local schools continue to this day.
2002: May 19th the new facilities were officially opened.
2004: November 6th Open Day to celebrate 10 years of lottery funding. Sid Rowe for many years as Club Treasurer is made an Honorary Life member
2005: The top courts are carpeted
2006: Brian Marshall and Jean Lawson become Honorary Life members, both in recognition of their stalwart services to the club. First charity tennis tournament organised by Catherine and Sean Brittain in aid of Breast Cancer Research.
2007: Will Murray made an Honorary Life member in recognition of many years’ service as Treasurer of the club
2008: Clubhouse alterations create a larger social room and new Pro-shop/office by moving the toilets to the changing rooms - where they should have been in the first place! Alan Jackson made an Honorary Life member in recognition of his efforts setting up and maintaining the club website which has attracted many new members.
2009: Ann Voss made an Honorary Life member, recognising past service as President through challenging times.
2010: Clubhouse refurbishment organised by Camala Marsh making it into a more social and attractive space.
2012: Terry & Sheila Wright made Honorary Life members, in recognition of everything they do for the club, particularly upkeep of the grounds.
2013: The LTA loan is paid off and the club has no debt. The first Junior Open was held alongside the Senior Open. The first member of the year award was presented to Bernie Biegnowski. This award is sponsored by and in memory of former Vice President Alan Jackson who sadly died earlier in the year.
2015: Sean Brittain is awarded honorary membership and Chris Harper replaces Sean as President. The 10th Charity Tournament takes place in April, all funds raised will be used to acquire a defibrillator.
2017: The club announce a new, state of the art LED lighting system will replace the current one. Work is completed in June. The cost is £41,000 and is funded out of club coffers and a loan from the YLTA.
2019: A new coaching programme is launched led by new Head Coach Paul Johnson.
2020: Chris Harper stands down as President and is made an Honorary Life Member. Rosie Nicholl takes on the role. Courts 4 & 5 are resurfaced with the rest of the courts getting a treatment. The Covid-19 pandemic closes the club for a number of weeks, during this time the clubhouse gets a refurbishment. A public box is bought and fitted for the defibrillator.