History of Ridgeway Tennis Club (Founded 1922)
Ridgeway Tennis Club was founded in 1922 and is a sub-section of Ridgeway Sports and Social Club which was formerly called Ridgeway Memorial Institute. The memorial institute was founded after World War 1 with a building and land left in trust to the village by local benefactors.
The building was Kent House, which became the Memorial institute. The front garden provided a bowling green and a putting green, as well as the memorial itself. Land at the rear provided space for two tennis courts, and the adjacent fields provided a Cricket wicket, a football field and a general playing field for residents.
The tennis club played on grass courts that were sited behind Kent House, adjacent to the current pavilion, and continued until the Second World War when it understandably ceased to function.
It wasn’t until the late fifties and early sixties that the club was revived – one all weather court at first and a second one completed in 1969. The club then entered the Sheffield and District Parks League as an Associate Club.
In 1986 the club lost the use of the courts when the old community building, Kent House was sold and became a private dwelling. The old tennis courts can still be seen in the rear garden of this historic building
Despite the sale of the building and the courts, the tennis club continued to function and in the next few years played variously at Hollinsend Park, Eckington School, Westfield Campus and Graves Tennis Centre. The club continued competing in the Parks Leagues through the period when it was based outside Ridgeway and then until the Parks League finished its long history in 1998. Many of the clubs, including Ridgeway Tennis Club, who participated in that League have now joined the Sheffield and District League.
The present Village Hall, Bowling green and Tennis courts were built in 1992, funded by the proceeds of the sale of the original building and Grant money.
The facilities are in Trust by a committee of Local Trustees. The whole of the site is financially self-sufficient and money is received from local Councils. The Sports and Social Club (as it is known) is a Registered Charity.
In 2005 applications for funding towards the cost of re-surfacing the courts, colour painting and replacement of surround fencing were successful and £15,000 was received from Viridor Waste Management and Awards for All – a lottery based grant body.
The club has continued to compete in local leagues, as well as offering social tennis and coaching. It is a real community club.