Club History

 

Established for more than a hundred years The Limpsfield Club has been proud of being the best family club for miles around. In the early days we played only tennis and, for a few years, croquet. Now, having celebrated our centenary, we also enjoy squash, racketball, badminton, table tennis, gym and much more.

 

We are grateful to our former club president, Hugh O'Neill, who has ploughed through the records and put much of the club history down in writing.

He joined the main committee in 1950 and it's thanks to him that we have got as far as we have.

 

The earliest records of 1899 show the grounds were leased from the "Loosen Gore" family and at that time there were a few grass courts for tennis and croquet and a thatched pavilion which remained thatched until 1951.

 

In 1910 people were obviously looking for year round play and some of the grass courts were converted to red shale and the badminton hall was created as an indoor sporting option.

 

Croquet was another sport taken very seriously at the "Limpsfield Lawn Tennis and Badminton Club" (the club's official name in 1923) and it's our best guess is it continued at Limpsfield until the 1930's.

 

During the First World War there were four tennis courts and two croquet lawns. Army officers were made honorary members.

 

In the 1921 minutes, one can see the increasing impact of the car: money was spent to provide a "motor entrance and yard, where cars could stand".

 

Over next 15 years more grass courts were converted to hard courts and site was changed from three levels to two.

 

In the Second World War, the club nearly closed when membership was down to just 14 family members and 14 single people. Tournaments did not take place because of the danger of bombing raids on Biggin Hill airfield just up the road.

 

In 1942 the badminton hall was used by Limpsfield School for their lunches and was only de-requisitioned in 1955.

 

In 1950 the land was bought for the princely sum of £1500 and by the mid 1950's we had 350 members.

 

In 1958 we merged with "North Downs Squash Club" but by 1959, it was realised that squash was getting so popular that we started to build our own courts.

 

By the mid-1960s (and within 10 years) the club had doubled its membership to 700. Squash was growing fast and by the mid-1970s we were close to maximum capacity for both tennis and squash. We now have six squash courts, one with a glass back, all cooled in the summer and heated in the winter.

 

Good players were associated with the club and in 1982, one of our members, Nicky Spurgeon, was part of the England women's squash team.

 

A big building project began in 1988 to create the sports hall for more badminton and to enable a table tennis section to be formed.

 

In 1991, another member, Janet Smith (now Janet Spicer) was playing as Scotland No 1. Janet is still with us, coaching table tennis to our juniors.

 

In 2002 the last of the grass courts finally disappeared giving 16 tennis courts all of which are hard playing surfaces - Tarmac, Astroturf and porous acrylic.

 

In 2013 permission was granted to erect floodlights for four more courts. We now have 7 floodlit courts.

 

In 2015 three of the porous acrylic courts were relaid with articial clay ("Red Advantage").

Also, due to the success of the junior tennis programme, four mini tennis courts were set up permanently, adding to the existing mini tennis court.

Then, following the popularity and maintainability of the Red Advantage Clay, two more tennis courts were converted to clay from porous acrylic.

 

In 2016, due to high demand, a further two tennis courts were converted from tarmac to the Red Advantage Clay, given seven Red Advantage Clay courts in total.

 

Truly it's a club to be proud of.