Perth Lawn Tennis Club - the oldest in Scotland unveiled their new state of the art all-weather surface courts in July 2000. Victorian ladies and gentlemen were enjoying a game of tennis in the Fair City long before Wimbledon emerged in a London suburb, and the Perth club even pre-dates the creation of the Lawn Tennis Association. Today's players are determined to ensure that local facilities measure up to expectations.
Records reveal pioneers swung into action in the 1880's, after Perth Curling Club members secured the original patch of ground in Balhousie Street. Now with the stuffy old image of tennis undergoing a radical revamp at the national level, Perth Lawn Tennis Club is keen to promote the game across the age groups and lure more members to join the 100 currently enjoying access to some of the finest facilities in the land.
In recent decades the club has enjoyed a checkered history, with a distinct Bell's whisky flavour to the set-up in the seventies, eighties and nineties. But now members are standing on their own feet.
The club was sold to Bell's for a token £1 in the mid-seventies and Raymond Miquel Chairman of Bells also a playing member of the Perth club, ensured the company invested heavily in improving facilities. Previously the clubhouse was an old wooden hut which has seen better days. Raymond was the driving force behind changes which saw a new clubhouse built, along with synthetic surface courts. These served very well, lasting far longer than the projected 10-12 year life span.
It became clear that the club had to look to the future after the facilities were gifted back to us in 1996. Sadly we missed the boat as far as Lottery funding was concerned but members have worked hard to ensure that increasingly dilapidated courts were transformed.
During the Bells era, club membership was pegged at 60 but now there's an open door policy at Hay Street, which also offers a squash court.
The Perth club has enjoyed the services of several highly regarded coaches, dating back to the days when Jimmy Mackechnie was encouraging new talent to emerge in the city. One of his prodigies was Elena Baltacha. Another past coach, Kenny Wood, was Scotland's number one.
Whether you are interested in competitive tennis or social tennis, the club is delighted to welcome new members. While social members are the life blood of the club, it has also produced some quality players in recent years.
As of 29th October 2013, Perth Tennis Club is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO), registration number SC044375. For further information, go to Perth Tennis Club's entry in the Scottish Charity Register.