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).

Tennis Players in Queens Park, August 1937. From The Keep archives.


Monochrome glass plate negative, Queens Park, 1938. Credit: Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove

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’.

Visit our gallery to see more old photos of Queens Park Tennis Club through the ages.

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.

An original Brighton Parks LTA lapel badge, donated to Brighton Pavilion Museum in 1932

Most wins:
Queens 22
Hollingbury 20
Hove 20
Rookery 9
Dyke 5
Preston 3
Saltdean 2
Stanford 1
De Haura 1

List of winners

1930 Rookery
1931 Rookery
1932 Rookery
1933 Hollingbury
1934 Hollingbury
1935 Rookery
1936 Hollingbury
1937 Rookery
1938 Hollingbury
1939 Hollingbury
1940 Queens
1941 Dyke
1942 not contested
1943 not contested
1944 not contested
1945 not contested
1946 Hollingbury
1947 Hollingbury
1948 Hollingbury
1949 Hollingbury
1950 Hollingbury
1951 Preston
1952 Hollingbury
1953 Hollingbury
1954 Hollingbury
1955 Hollingbury
1956 Hollingbury
1957 Hollingbury
1958 Hollingbury
1959 Hollingbury
1960 Queens
1961 Hollingbury
1962 Hollingbury
1963 Hollingbury
1964 Preston
1965 Preston
1966 Hove
1967 Queens
1968 Hove
1969 Hove
1970 Queens
1971 Queens
1972 Hove
1973 Hove
1974 Hove
1975 Hove
1976 Hove
1977 Queens
1978 Queens
1979 Queens
1980 Queens
1981 Hove
1982 Hove
1983 De Haura [*]
1984 Hove
1985 Queens
1986 Queens
1987 Queens
1988 Queens
1989 Queens
1990 Queens
1991 Rookery
1992 Queens
1993 Rookery
1994 Rookery
1995 Queens
1996 Hove
1997 Rookery
1998 Hove
1999 Hove
2000 Hove
2001 Queens
2002 Queens
2003 Hove
2004 Hove
2005 Queens
2006 Hove
2007 Hove
2008 Hove
2009 Queens
2010 Dyke
2011 Stanford
2012 Dyke
2013 Saltdean
2014 Dyke
2015 Saltdean
2016 Queens
2017 Dyke
2018 Queens
2019 Dyke

[*] 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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