This blog appeared in an article for the Inside Marple Magazine’s November-December 2022 edition.
Mellor Tennis Club is now 100 years old and retains its long standing traditions of being a local community hub. It was originally formed in the 1920s together with Mellor Cricket Club on what is now the recreation ground near the Devonshire Arms. Club tennis and cricket came to a halt in 1934 when that land was put up for sale, but four tennis courts were used for a while behind a scout’s drill hall (on Longhurst Lane next to the former Conservative Club). These seemed to have been little used and had been abandoned by 1939.
There were barren years when neither tennis or cricket was played at club level until the patch of land which is now Mellor sports Club was purchased in 1952, but it wasn’t until 1956 that two of the disused tennis courts were renovated and club tennis was once again enjoyed. Since then the tennis club has gone from strength to strength and with four all-weather, floodlit courts is now an integral part of Mellor Sports Club and an essential part of the community. It’s a friendly, easy going tennis club which welcomes and encourages players of all ages and abilities for social tennis, tournaments, and match tennis all year-round, and for social events in the modern well equipped club house.
The most recent event, as the last days of this year’s long gorgeous summer slipped away, was the inaugural Royal Oak Tournament. It was American style, consisting of eight ladies and eight men in a round robin mixed doubles competition, in which the participants got to partner everyone else. Timed rounds were played on a round robin basis, partners swapped after every round, and everybody’s individual tally of games noted. The overall winner was the individual with the greatest number of games at the end.
It was a glorious sunny day and the intense competition completed with great humour and incredible match play, it was a delight for all the spectators. It turned out to be an incredibly close fought competition. There was first, second, and third prizes for both the men and women with the highest scores and even a wooden spoon for the lowest score (though their name was diplomatically not recorded!)
The overall winner, and only by a single game, was presented with the Royal Oak Trophy by gracious sponsor and landlord of the Royal Oak pub Ian Gibson who like many of his predecessors followed the practice of generously supporting sport in Mellor.
Recent Jubilee tennis tournament (photo by Roger Holmes)
So, everybody is looking forward to next year’s tournaments and if you want to be part of it or just want to come and play social tennis in a relaxed friendly atmosphere go to https://www.mellortennisclub.co.uk/