Perran Tennis – History

Perranporth Tennis Club: It’s Rise and Fall and Rise Again

Article by Steve Luck featured in Issue 4 of The Tennis Historian (Official Journal of The Tennis Collectors’ Society), courtesy of the editor Bob Everitt.


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Recent History

2011 – Club about to fold with under 30 members. Parish Council considering a multi-sports area or car park
Steve Luck appointed as Club Coach and committee member
2012 – Events and coaching introduced. New website built
Mike Payne appointed Grounds Man
2013 Project 1 – Resurfacing and colour coating of the hard courts, flood lighting and power to the clubhouse – funding from Sport England and S.I.T.A. Cornwall Trust
2014 Project 2 – Refurbishment of the interior of the pavilion and toilets – funding from Cory and S.I.T.A. Cornwall Trust
2015 – Perran Tennis receives County Community Club of the Year award
Project 3 – Refurbishment of the exterior of the pavilion including a new roof – funding from Tennis Cornwall and Tennis South West, Rob Pippin appointed Project Manager
2016 – Perran Tennis receives County Club of the Year award
Membership shows 1000% increase over six years (325)
2017 – Perran Tennis receives South West Region Club of the Year for 2016 and is shortlisted amongst six other clubs for the national award
10th April 2017 during a management meeting a car was driven into the rear of the pavilion causing £16,500 worth of damage, fortunately only minor injuries were sustained by those present
Repairs to the pavilion completed and a new barrier installed with parking signage
2018 Project 4 – Courts 1-3 are dug up, levelled and re-seeded – 25 tons of top soil are hand sieved by members – new gates are installed together with disabled access – funding from Tesco  and L.T.A.
2019 – Further work to grass courts 1-3 including overseeding, new road signage for members and visitors and general improvements to the environs.


Mrs Turner of St George’s, the wife of the manager of Nobles Explosive Works, proposed the forming of a tennis club to ‘foster a social feeling among the residents who might otherwise have few opportunities of meeting together’. Mr T. H. Pill of Droskyn consented to give his field, known as the ‘Lawn’ for the first year free of cost provided that a suitable number could be found to join the club.

The first meeting was held in the Odd Fellows Hall on 11th May 1896 at 7 o’clock and about two dozen persons assembled at the appointed time.The courts were opened on Saturday 23rd May.


Mr Pill again agreed to the club having the ‘Lawn’ this year at the rent of one penny. Conditions imposed by Mr Pill included ‘the club to arrange to protect their property when Mr Pills cattle are turned into the field one day each week’


‘The old pavilion having been blown down, it was decided to build a new one, 20′ x 7′ with rustic boarding at the ends.’


It was recorded the ‘dealing with rabbits was left to the committee’. It was also decided to ‘purchase a rat proof canvas tent for use as a Ladies changing room’


The club was affiliated to the Lawn Tennis Association.


The pavilion was completed and still stands today.

1915 – WW1

A meeting was recorded as ‘somewhere in Perranporth (beware the censor)’


It was agreed to allow the Munitions workers to play on the courts on condition ‘that the ground is put into satisfactory order for play (at least 4 courts to be prepared) and maintained in such order by them.


First hard court was laid.


There were 8 grass courts and 1 hard court.


It was agreed that ‘ shorts or other reasonable innovations in attire, particularly for ladies, could not be reasonably objected to’.


The club prospered holding tournaments and teas, dances and socials and made contributions towards the Promenade extension scheme and the Royal Cornwall Infirmary extension fund.


It was agreed to offer members of Her Majesties Forces Club hospitality at reduced rates.


Oxford House School requested the use of the courts on 2 days a week. This school had been evacuated from London and washoused in Perran Bay.


The author Mr Winston Graham was voted to the Chair. The courts were purchased.


Concerns were voiced over the state of the courts and the dwindling numbers of members & in 1961 it is recorded that discussions took place regarding handing the courts over to the council. Members felt they shouldn’t think of giving up such a valuable asset. In1965 the courts were handed over to the Parish Council.

Club members Sonia Harvey and Paula Nancarrow became junior doubles tennis champions of Cornwall in the tournament held at Perranporth


Membership increased and regular club tournaments were held.


The hardcourt was resurfaced.


The club entered teams in both the mens and ladies county leagues


All three hard courts were resurfaced


The centenary of the club and season long celebrations were held.


The club celebrated 110 years