HISTORY


HISTORY OF THE CLUB


1881 - the Club was founded and was known as the Berrylands Lawn Tennis Club. There were 200 members and 11 grass courts. The original Club colours were chocolate with a thin red stripe. The building at the entrance to the ground was the pavilion in the early years.
1900 - the original clubhouse was built.

1904 - The Surrey Grass Court Championships were inaugurated at the club.
1931 - the Club suffered financial problems and the Surbiton Urban District Council bought the land for £500. It leased the land back to the Club for 60 years until 1991.
1932 - the Club enlarged the lounge and installed electric lighting.
1937 - 2 Squash Rackets court were built.
1937-8 - the Club's Squash Rackets Championships started. In the following season the Club for the first time entered a recognised Squash Rackets Competition and the Men's Team won the Surrey Cup.

1939-45 - the Club remained open throughout the war, thanks almost entirely to the efforts of Mr. Leslie Perry, the Honorary Secretary at the time. The lower grass courts were dug up for allotments.

1946-48 - major reconstruction of the grass courts. The lower courts were re-laid. Three of the hard courts were also re-laid following the removal of the wartime shelter and water tank.

1953 - the old wooden stands were demolished. A new concrete stand was completed for the 1954 Surrey Grass Court Championships and temporary stands were also used during tennis events.

1956 - a new roof and major alterations to the lounge, bar, kitchen and ladies' changing room resulted in the creation of a new bridge and committee room.

1963 - Mr E B Ames, the President, celebrated the 60th anniversary of his membership of the Club. During most of this time, he had served in an official capacity.

Famous players visited the club from time to time including Fred Perry and Dan Maskell (pictured right). The Club was always well represented in county sides and at the Wimbledon Championships. Players included Mrs Sterry who joined the Club in 1894, Mrs W M Simmers (Gwen Sterry), Mrs E G Johnson and H G N Lee between the 2 wars. More recently, Sue and Roger Ambrose played in the mixed doubles and were still there in the 2nd week.

1967 - the third Squash Rackets court was built.

1969 - the lease on the freehold was extended until 2010.
1973 - the fourth Squash Rackets court was built.

1975 - the changing area was re-built with better facilities for both ladies and gentlemen. This was the first stage in providing a covered walkway from the clubhouse to the squash courts.

1975 - the Club was re-named Surbiton Lawn Tennis and Squash Rackets Club.

1979 - the fifth and sixth Squash Rackets courts were built.

1980 - the Surrey Grass Court Championships were taken away from the Club and moved to a northern venue.

1981 - the Club celebrated its centenary and a ladies tournament was held for one year.

1985 - 1995 - A Health and Fitness centre was introduced with the conversion of squash court 2 into a gym.
The Junior International Tennis Championships were held at Surbiton and young, unknown players such as Stefan Edberg, Pat Cash and Jim Courier fought it out on the grass courts. It is now a national junior event.
The gym was revamped and moved to its present position in squash court 4. We purchased new equipment in 1997 and the gym has been thriving ever since.
1997 - the Club was re-named Surbiton Tennis, Squash & Fitness Club.
1997 - the Club once again became host for the Surrey Grass Court Championships. Players from all around the world returned to play on the grass courts of Surbiton. Tim Henman, Boris Becker and Michael Chang played exhibition matches. 1998 saw rain and for almost three days without a ball hit. The sun returned on the third and fourth day, play resuming on the lush grass courts.
1999 - the Club was granted planning permission to build a new two-storey clubhouse, gym, aerobics and swimming complex. 

1999 - the Club was re-named Surbiton Racket & Fitness Club.

2002 - the lease on the freehold was extended to 2075.

2005 - with the aid of grants and loans from the LTA, we built an air dome containing 2 indoor tennis courts, finally guaranteeing tennis in all weathers from Oct - March.


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