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Pitchero Club

The official Southport & Birkdale Sports Club app


Tennis Section

In May 1878 The Birkdale Archery & Tennis Club opened. They hired 3 courts for its first season, in the grounds of the Palace Hotel at the end of Weld Road. There was a membership of 43 and an annual subscription of 7/6d (37.5p) for men and 5/- (25p) for Ladies.

By 1923 the Club rented 7 grass courts and had an active membership of 120. There was a shortage of Gentlemen players, so in 1931, the Subscription for Men was reduced to the same as the Ladies at £2.7.6d, the entrance fee for Men was dropped, but Ladies continued to pay £2.2.0.

The Hotel was requisitioned by H.M. Office of Works during World War II. From 1942-45, the hotel was used by the American Red Cross for use as a rest home for US Army airmen. Only 25 members remained by the end of the war and the club faced financial difficulties.

1948 saw the rebirth of the club, and within a year the active membership was full, with a waiting list. In 1950 loans were obtained from the members to lay 2 Hard Courts, costing £1,050. The active membership was then 145.

In 1968, the hotel's final owners went into liquidation. The Club was informed that the land had been sold for building purposes, and the club was given 6 months to quit. The only suitable alternative at the time was to take a licence of certain courts, then used by the Public on Victoria Park. The Club moved there at the beginning of 1970.

1976 saw Birkdale Tennis Club enter a team in the Southport & District Tennis League for the first time, starting in 6th Division.

The tennis courts on Victoria Park were low-lying near the sea. As the courts were grass and with the low-lying position, the water table caused a lot of problems with flooding in wet weather. The tennis season was particularly short here due to the grass and the flooding. The Club decided it needed to look for a better venue to extend its season!

At the end of 1987 the Club decided it would approach Southport & Birkdale Cricket Club to see if they could possibly accommodate Birkdale Tennis Club with All Weather Courts. They agreed, but then it became necessary to raise the considerable amount of money to make the move possible.

From the end of 1987 to the end of 1988, the magnificent sum of £20,000 was raised, this was done by many generous donations from past and present members of the club, many raffles, supper parties at members houses, two dances etc, etc. An excellent grant from the Sports Council was obtained. There was enough money to lay four all-weather courts, which were officially opened at our current home at Southport & Birkdale Sports Club in October 1989.

80 members of the Tennis Club moved to Trafalgar Road. There was still only one Southport and District Tennis League team in 1990, playing down in the 5th Division.

The rest is history! Due to the recruitment of many new tennis members in the new surroundings, there were soon 2 sides in the league and many friendly members too.

We merged fully with Southport and Birkdale a few years later and now have a successful partnership with all the other sports sections within the Club.

We now have 4 league teams. We won the 1st Division title of the Southport and District Tennis League for Nine successive years and we also won the Prince Interclub in 2005

We were the Southport and District Tennis League Champions in 2011.

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