In the ‘good old days’, that is before 30th June 1954, the date the Globe LTC was officially founded, English tennis had not only tram lines, but also racial lines; meaning that colonials and people from minority religions were hardly ever admitted to tennis clubs. In those days, the excluded men and women were forced to get together and rent public courts. That is how it came about that a group of these ‘social misfits’ came together with some friendly natives to meet and play on what was then the Russell Nursery site of sixteen private to rent courts. It was decided to have a tournament and form a Club. Four courts were hired permanently and the initial membership consisted of 64 members from more than 20 different nationalities. The annual sub was £4.00.
What became apparently very quickly was that this polyglot membership formed a bond which went far beyond the normal intercourse one would expect between people who play tennis. The Globe became a family with a vibrant and close social life in addition to tennis.
The facilities were awful. The Clubhouse was a ramshackle wooden hut; for loos, we had the bushes. The mark of a gentleman in those days was a man who let his mixed doubles partner have her own bush.
Over the years, more and more demented souls insisted on joining and the Club had to hire ten courts at the weekends. The courts were old, the shale surface was breaking up, the bounce was ‘an act of God’ and to get a half decent game, the first twenty minutes were spent watering, rolling and brushing the courts. Needless to say, more and more people clamoured to join the club.
Then the Railway, that owned the land, sold it to the Council which in turn wanted housing not tennis. With luck, with skill, with ‘chutzpah’ and above all, with steely determination, the Club convinced the Council to give us the present site, which was developed with the aid of grants and loans on an indecently tight budget to flourish into the cosmopolitan club we know and love today.
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