Port Sunlight Lawn Tennis Club

History

History of Post Sunlight Lawn Tennis Club

The Port Sunlight Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club was first mentioned at a special meeting of the Port Sunlight Village Council on May 3rd 1897 where it was decided to form a tennis club for Lever Bros. employees and their families.

The first courts were in Bolton Road, Port Sunlight, where the the current bowling greens are now situated.

The club affiliated to the LTA in 1908.

After the First World War, in July 1919, Lever Brothers acquired the former Bebington showground and in 1920 created a new sports facility, now known as The Oval.  A number of grass tennis courts and eleven shale courts, with an advanced overhead sprinkler system, were provided.

From 1921 tournaments were held and the club thrived with a membership of 90% Lever Brothers employees and their families.  A 10% maximum of non employees were permitted to join but only with committee approval.  A series of annual events took place and cups, rose bowls and other prizes were presented to the club by noteable personalities, including the then Lord Leverhulme.

The success of the Port Sunlight Lawn Tennis and Croquet club continued up to the Second World War, survived the war years and the next twenty years. In 1966 the Oval was sold to Wirral Borough Council, but Lever Brothers had already constructed the Green Lane sports ground which provided facilities for several sports, including eight shale and four all-weather tennis courts.

Port Sunlight Lawn Tennis club continued to operate in these new facilities, sharing a large common clubhouse with the rugby, football, hockey and cricket clubs.

In 1984 Lever Brothers leased the entire sports complex to Wirral Borough Council for ninety nine years.  The Borough Council in turn leased back to each sports section its facility thus effectively making each one a private club. Therefore, as a private tennis club, P.S.L.T.C. was responsible for its own generation of funds to maintain and operate the twelve courts, which at that time were in drastic need of upgrading.  The club committee, with the support of its members, created the funds to replace four shale courts with new ‘DOE’ all-weather surfaces in 1987.  When further funds were available in 1991, a further four shale courts were given ‘DOE1 all-weather surfaces with the addition of floodlighting.

In 1994, in order to provide its own identity, the tennis club converted some old locker rooms in what is now the Rugby Club clubhouse into its own club room and bar.

In 2000 the Tennis club moved across the courts to its present clubhouse in a converted ‘temporary’ structure adapted for club use.

Clubmark and Lottery/Sport England accreditations
Port Sunlight Lawn Tennis Club
Leverhulme Sports Field
Warren Lane
Bromborough
Wirral
Cheshire
CH62 3QQ
Contacts and map
Port Sunlight Lawn Tennis Club logo