Chiswick Tennis Past Times
Chiswick is well served by several tennis clubs, but there used to be even more. Thanks to Geoffrey Rippingale of the Acton Green Residents' Association for the then and now "Old Times" photos of the Fairlawn Park Tennis Courts (near Chiswick Park tube station).
"These tennis courts were surrounded by Fairlawn Grove, Fairlawn Avenue and Ravenscroft Road," says Geoffrey. The historical photo of the courts (above left) is believed to be dated 1907/08. The view is taken from Ravenscroft Road looking west (see map below). The tennis courts closed in the 1930s when the present maisonettes were built (see 2004 photo above right).
Geoffrey adds: "I would be grateful for any further contributions if anyone has any old pictures or articles relating to this particular corner of Chiswick." You can email him direct by clicking here.
Born in 1900, the late Sybil Pearce wrote three books about her life in Bedford Park. "The Years Between (1919-1939)" includes a photo of Sybil and three friends: "Finals Day at Bedford Park Tennis Club, 1933." She told how the tennis club - a social centre of Bedford Park - "stood on land between Esmond Road and Ramillies Road where there is now an ugly block of local authority flats" (see pic left).
Chiswick had other sports grounds, long since built on, as well as old tennis clubs transformed by modern developments like Esporta's Riverside Club, and the Chiswick and West London Bowling and Lawn Tennis Club in Airedale Avenue, which later became the Greater London Sports Club and is now better known as the Hogarth Health Club.
June 2007: Local resident and historian Jim Lawes adds: "Could I add...the importance of the Chiswick Park Club who had quality courts at the ground in Sutton Court Road from the late 1880's. Indeed the courts were of such a high standard that the Middlesex Championships were held there on occasions
An Ealing player called Dorothy Chambers played at Chiswick Park often and she won the Ladies Title many times at Wimbledon in the early 1900's. Dorothy has a blue plaque affixed to the wall of her old home - a vicarage at Ealing Common.
As you know the Chiswick Tennis Club in Burlington Lane was previously called The Riverside Club until the Barnes Bridge (Dukes Meadows) newcomers pinched its name!!
This orginal Riverside Club was founded in 1922 and was located in Hartington Road - opposite the Poly Courts - where the yacht basin is now. Indeed when the yatch basin was created, the Riverside Club was moved to Burlington Lane - to a barn type building suited for badminton, thus it's current shape. Mr Harry Woolley was a stalwart of the Club for over 50 years."