Club History Part two

For a time it seemed that the Club might have to wind up. Just when the outlook had assumed the worst outcome, an offer was received from the Johnsonville Town Board to make available to the Club an area of land forming part of the recreation reserve fronting Railway Terrace and Dr Taylor Terrace. This land, which was ideally suited for a tennis area, had been used by the Croquet Club which was unable to continue in active operation. The site was level, well grassed and spacious enough to permit the establishment of three courts. In addition, there was an existing club-house on the area. Needless to say, our Club at once agreed with the Town Board's offer and then turned to the business of transferring its property that was movable from the original site to the new, and of establishing as rapidly as possible on the new site the necessary facilities for tennis.

The forthcoming tennis season was close at hand and the urgency was great. A decision was therefore made to convert the existing croquet lawn into two grass tennis courts and to put down a third court in bitumen on the rougher area adjoining the croquet lawn on the eastern side. This decision was taken with a full realisation of the limitations of grass courts for use by small clubs but the paramount consideration was the immediate establishment of playing facilities so that there would be as little disription as possible in the continuity of activities.

With the certainty that a home was assured for many years to come (the Town Board had promised a 21-year Lease with right of renewal), an enthusiastic response was given by members to the appeal for working bees. Fences, etc on the site of the old courts were pulled down, the materials transported to the new area and re-erected. No time was lost in mowing lawns and bringing them into a fit state for play. All this work required a sustained and intensive effort by members and for six consecutive weekends they worked tirelessly. At the end of that time, stop fences had been erected, the area cleared and everything was ready to commence the season to play as soon as the state of the surface of the grass courts would permit.

A contract for construction of the hard-court was also let and this court was ready for play early in December 1951. In a remarkably short space of time, the Club thus succeeded in setting itself up in new surroundings which had provded to be ideal.

Even with the very large amount of work carried out during the transfer from the old site to the new, a great deal remained still to be done to bring the general amenities up to the standards of a modern, well-equipped tennis club. After a short breathing space, plans for further improvements were drawn up.  During the winter of 1953, two sizeable rooms, one a ladies' dressing room and kitchenette, the other a mens dressing room, were added to the original room and the total floor area of the Club-house. In all the Club had expended to date about £500 in improvements, additions and purchase of equipment for maintaining the grass courts.