EDGBASTON ARCHERY & LAWN TENNIS SOCIETY
THE OLDEST LAWN TENNIS CLUB IN THE WORLD
FOUNDED 1860

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THE 20TH CENTURY

Since those days the Society saw out the second World War with a flock of black faced sheep grazing on the grass courts - 'doing our bit' as it was then known!

Numbered amongst six clubs which were founding members of the Warwickshire Lawn Tennis Association in 1896, the Society has not only maintained its membership but other closer involvement over the years. Since the War many of the Society's officers have served on the WLTA Council, most notably Desmond Robinson and George Pearsall who have held the post of President. Following a second fire, the current pavilion was opened in 1964 by Pip Jones, husband of Ann - the 1969 Wimbledon Ladies Singles Champion. This provided better facilities for a membership enlarged by the arrival of a number of players from the Harborne Tennis Club (1883 - 1963), whose grounds in Tennal Road had been given over to residential development.

Between 1982 - 1986 the Society was the venue for the annual Prudential Junior Hard Court Championships of Great Britain and, in addition, has played host to many international players eager for pre-Wimbledon grass court practice including Jimmy Connors, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf.

Coaches come and go but one of the most notable to spend some time at Archery was Joaquin Loyo-Mayo. Joaquin had been a Davis Cup player for his native Mexico between 1965 - 1979, was world ranked No 1 at 18 years of age, had reached the last sixteen both at Wimbledon and the US Open and had won a record 10 singles and 7 doubles Mexican National Championship titles.

The 125th Anniversary in 1985 was celebrated in style with a costume tournament for members, many of whom played with antique racquets found in attics and at the back of wardrobes! Featured on local television, the event was attended by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham and the then M.P. for Edgbaston Dame Jill Knight.

With the advent of artificial grass in 1987 the Society was one of the first clubs in the region to convert two courts to this surface. Floodlit, these extended considerably the tennis playing season for the members. From that time membership has grown apace and a major redevelopment of the pavilion was completed in 1994.

In April 1999 a team from the Longwood Cricket and Tennis Club, of Boston, USA, were welcomed to the club on the weekend of the USA versus Great Britain Davis Cup tie at Birmingham's National Indoor Arena. Thus the oldest tennis club in America met the oldest lawn tennis club in the world - both keeping up the tradition of grass court play on their respective sides of the Atlantic! By 2001 the club numbered around 400 members with a strong contribution from Juniors who play in a myriad of different competitions. Also in 2001, the club became an all year round accredited Mini Tennis centre.

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