Tennis players past and present gathered at King George V Pavilion to celebrate Ferndown Tennis Club’s 50th anniversary on 5 April.
Invited guests included Christchurch MP Chris Chope, the Mayor of Ferndown, Cllr Mrs Pauline Reynolds and town clerk Vanessa Ricketts and her predecessor Ian Jones.
The tennis club was founded 50 years ago by Len Hawker and Alan Deane and has its roots in Ferndown Sports Club. Len, now 87, was at the party with his wife Dot and they were joined by founder member, Betty Bunce, who was the tennis club secretary for an astounding 33 years. She was pleased to catch up with her successor, Viv Scott, who has been the secretary ever since.
Following a speech by chairperson Lyn Chong, a birthday cake was cut by Len and Dot before everyone enjoyed a buffet.
Head Coach Chris Biddle said, “There has been an overwhelming turn out with a different cross section of people covering the history of the club over the last 50 years.”
Len Hawker reminisced: “Peter Allis officially opened the pavilion for all sports and his late father, Percy was president of Ferndown Sports Club and donated the shield which was competed for annually.”
Len’s game was football, but others enjoyed tennis and he explained, “They first started playing tennis at a hotel in Dudsbury Avenue on a Friday evening. This was demolished many years ago. From there they played at Ferndown Secondary Modern School, now the middle school. Courts were eventually completed on the King George V Playing fields. There were four courts originally and two more were added at a later date.”
MP Chris Chope said, “The 50th anniversary of Ferndown Tennis Club is a great cause for celebration.”
To find out abut membership visit www.ferndowntennisclub.org.uk or ring Viv Scott 01202 876260.