Pat’s sideways glance at tennis in 1944

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EVERYONE is looking straight at the camera – except for one of those two little babies with their bonnets on, being held in the air by their proud mums on the back row.

Reader Pat Marsh (nee Cowling), who shares this photograph with readers, obviously cannot remember exactly what grabbed her attention at just nine months old.

But she wonders if she had perhaps spotted her dad Bert Cowling who was fourth from the left also on the back row.

Pat is in the arms of her mum Phyllis Cowling while her grandmother Jane Walch is the lady in front sporting a fine hat.

Pat says: “The picture was taken in April 1944 on the opening day of the season at Marton St Paul’s Tennis Club.

“Both of my parents were keen members and they won plenty of cups and trophies.

“It was a nice little club and they also played table tennis there.

“I was a junior member but much to my dad’s disappointment I was not as interested in tennis as he was and never really took to it,” says Pat, of Vernon Avenue, Marton, whose future husband Joseph Marsh was also a member.The setting was alongside the burial ground on Preston Old Road, close to the junction with Preston New Road.

Today the land once occupied by the club is better known as Birchtree Gardens, a short street of houses between the cemetery and Stanley Primary School.

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