The History of Queens Park Tennis Club
Queens Park Tennis Club (previously Queens Park Lawn Tennis Club) was founded in 1939, although there were a couple of courts and a club house (built in 1931) on the site before the club was established. According to the 2017 Conservation Management Plan for Queens Park, the first tennis courts were built in 1911.
The earliest known photographic record shows tennis players in Queens Park in August 1937 (below).
The first hand written club records show that there were 71 members when the tennis club was established in 1939 (see list below). At that time there were two teams which took part in a Saturday league and a Wednesday evening league. QPLTC were runners up in the Saturday league and came third in the Wednesday league. That year a profit of £5. 5s 1d was made.
Numbers dropped significantly the following year with just 42 members, due to the war. The finances resulted in a loss of 14s 6d. The numbers continued to fall in 1944 (the Parks League was suspended 1942-1945), down to just 16 members but happily the funds were healthier with a profit of £1.2s.5½ d
Until the early 70s the membership level was always below 50. In more recent years the club has expanded, with current full adult membership of 240. At present a there is a waiting list to join (June 2021)
Brenda Jewell (see above, third from the left, and below) was a familiar face at the courts where for over 50 years she took an active part in the club as well as with the LTA. She acted as secretary and treasurer for QPLTC, and was the lead organiser of the Brighton & Hove Parks League. In 2005 she was presented with an award by the LTA for her lifetime’s work with the organisation. The national trophy is only presented to one person each year and winning it was one of Brenda’s proudest achievements.
Brenda died in January 2008 and a commemorative bench now overlooks the courts inscribed ‘Brenda Jewell Loved and respected by Queens Park Tennis Club’.
Each year trophies which date back as far as 1961 are awarded for the following categories:
– Men’s Singles Champion
– Ladies’ Singles Champion
– Men’s Doubles
– Ladies’ Doubles
– Mixed Doubles
– Tony Hyatt trophy for Most improved player
– Most league points
– Brenda Jewell Memorial Trophy
– Mike Haines Trophy
– Friends of Queen’s Park
These trophies tell a story in themselves e.g. The cup for the men’s singles champion is called the Men’s Open Singles Challenge Cup and was presented by Messrs E & N Friend. The winner in 1961 was JC Pierce. Jack is remembered each year when the Jack Pierce Trophy is presented to the player with the most league points. George Jewell won the Men’s Singles Trophy on the following dates 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966 and 1968.
The Brighton Parks LTA competition began in 1930, the inaugural winners being Rookery Withdean. Queens Park joined the competition when they were established in 1939, winning Beckett Challenge Shield (A Team, mixed) for the first time the following year. World War Two then interrupted the competition until 1946. Since then, Queens Park have gone on to become the most successful parks club, winning the BHPLTA shield a record 22 times.
De Haura 1
List of winners
1942 not contested
1943 not contested
1944 not contested
1945 not contested
1983 De Haura [*]
[*] De Haura Tennis Club, Shoreham-by-Sea, no longer competes in the Brighton & Hove Parks LTA.
nb. Rookery sometimes referred to as ‘Rookery Withdean’ and now playing in Patcham
Queens Park Tennis Club, 2018 Parks League, Division 1 & Division 2 champions:
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