How Pauline negotiated club’s Sunday rules

Marton St Paul's Tennis Finals Day September 12, 1960. 'Pauline Wilson (nee Taberner) is on the front row second left. Her husband John Wilson is on the back row second left.
Marton St Paul's Tennis Finals Day September 12, 1960. 'Pauline Wilson (nee Taberner) is on the front row second left. Her husband John Wilson is on the back row second left.
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Never on a Sunday was the one rule which could not be broken at Marton St Paul’s Tennis Club - or could it?

According to Pauline Wilson (nee Taberner), who met her future husband John there, some of the members still found a way around it - by getting together for a Sunday afternoon game or two on the Stanley Parks tennis courts instead!

Pauline, of St Vincent’s Avenue, Marton, was prompted to share her memories and a photograph from the club’s finals day on September 12, 1960, after seeing last week’s contribution by Pat Marsh, who she knew from their time together at the club.

Pauline says: “I was a member there from the late 1950s until the late 1960s, when my husband and myself went to Blackpool Tennis Club, situated at the back of Marton Institute on Sedbergh Avenue.

“I have fond memories of Marton St Paul’s Club, as I met my husband John there and we were married in 1961.

“My husband was one of the good players of that time and played both with (doubles) and against Pat’s father Bert. In fact while partnering Bert in a match, Bert swung his racquet for a shot and hit John in the face knocking out his two front teeth!”

Pauline and John can recall all but one name on the photograph - the man who is fifth from the left on the back row. On the front row, from left, are: Brenda leeming, Pauline Wilson, Joyce Blezard, Kath Dewhirst, Vera Marshall and Susan Freer. Back row, from left: Cliff Tarr, John Wilson, David Mawdsley, Ray Ware, unknown, Brian Pinder, Des McBain, Liz Price and John Mawdsley.

The club was a church organisation and, according to an article by Philip Walsh in the book Marton: A Green And Pleasant Land, written for the church’s 250th anniversary and the centenary of the present building in 2010: “The tennis club was founded in 1919, the first court was marked out on the Vicarage lawn. The venue was then moved to Somerset Avenue, where the members paid rent, then finally two courts were laid down on unconsecrated church ground on Straits Road now Preston Old Road. A memorandum of agreement made on November 28, 1929 between the Vicar and Wardens and the Church Tennis Club laid down the conditions of lease for a period of 10 years initially.’’

And, of course, there was to be no Sunday tennis...

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