Broomhill Lawn Tennis & Squash Club
- Glasgow

History

Read the FULL CLUB HISTORY

Around 1920 two brothers, Tom and John Inglis, members of Drumchapel Lawn Tennis Club decided that as there were an ever growing number of tennis enthusiasts in the West-end of Glasgow and a shortage of courts, they would build a new club at Broomhill.

A field of the Scotstoun Estate was in a good position on Crow road and was bought by them, and thereafter four blaes courts were laid by Messrs Stutts of Paisley. A basic wooden clubhouse was built, and in 1922 Broomhill Lawn Tennis Club was formed and was officially opened by Baillie William Paterson.

The club was run as a going concern by Tom Inglis until his death in 1947. At that time the members approached Mrs Inglis with a view to buying the club and she generously offered it at a nominal price of £1,400. This amount was collected by the issue of 4% Term Loans from the members, and in 1948 the clubhouse and grounds – including Glasgow Corporation bus seats which provided the main seating – became the sole property of the members. At that time the Men’s 1st team was in Division 5 and the 2nd team in Division 11. There were two Ladies teams, with the 1st team in Division 3.

The courts by this time had increased to six in number with a membership of nearly two hundred and fifty. With a very go-ahead committee, dances, whist drives, and fetes made sure that the Loans were all paid back within three years.

In 1956 Broomhill introduced the first full-scale floodlighting of a tennis court in the West of Scotland. The lighting, which was a copy of a scheme built by a London club, was erected at a cost of only £120! The winter of 1956 saw tennis being played at night and right through into the New Year, when also a third men’s team was formed.

By 1963 the first threats of a Compulsory Purchase Order for the approach roads of the Clyde Road Tunnel were looming. Thereafter it was confirmed that the Club would lose a substantial piece of ground, resulting in the loss of two match courts, and the re-siting of the remaining four. Regretfully, we have no plans for the courts’ location, prior to the building of the new club house in 1973, but all six courts faced north to south (similar to the current courts 3 & 4) and were all adjacent to one another.

This gave the Club a chance to think about upgrading the facilities. In the winter of 1965 when the Club was on its annual week-end tennis outing at the Largs Recreation Centre the members played some matches on the new En-Tout-Cas Tennis-Quik courts. It was decided then, what was good enough for the National Sporting Centre, must certainly be good enough for Broomhill. The ‘older members’ of the Club who remember these annual outings have suggested that there are sufficient stories of the activities at these outings to compile a ‘social sequel’ in addition to the Club’s official history!

The estimated cost for four courts, with two fully floodlit, was the then frightening figure of £8,800. After long and involved meetings with Glasgow Corporation, a settlement for the loss of the ground and the subsequent reinstatement was reached, and which together with a grant from the Scottish Education Department, and the Club’s own funds made up the sum required. In June 1967 at a General Meeting of the members the scheme was given unanimous approval.

The new courts were officially opened with an Invitation Floodlit Tournament in January 1968, which consisted of a couple from each of the teams in the men’s Division 1, with newly promoted Broomhill’s men’s team hosting the Tournament.

In 1969 the Club, headed by the then president, Ian Ross, initiated a project to build a new clubhouse. After a great deal of work and effort from the Management Committee, and also the Building Committee under the chairmanship of Jimmy Hunter, the Club raised funding of £7,000 from Scottish and Newcastle Brewers, £2,000 from the Lawn Tennis Association. Also with internal funds including fire damage settlement for the old clubhouse, the Committee found the necessary £17,000 required in order to build the new clubhouse and two squash courts. The Clubhouse was officially opened at the start of the 1973 tennis season with a Mixed Doubles Tournament and also an Invitation Squash Tournament. In his opening day speech, President Ian Kydd categorically denied having anything whatsoever to do with the fire which caused the old clubhouse to burn down, but admitted to being on the short list of some 311 suspects!

In 1994 President Stewart Walker changed the address of the club from 2 Mitre Road to 399 Crow Road. The entrance at Mitre Road had been in existence since the club was formed in 1922 but in 1972 when the Clyde Tunnel slip road was built Mitre Road became a cul-de-sac and the original entrance closed down after the new clubhouse was built. Thereafter for over 20 years members were entering by Crow Road that had no official address and which caused problems for visitors and delivery men who were looking for the non-existent 2 Mitre Road!

During 1996 the Club had a windfall, following H.M. Customs and Excise legislation allowing retrospective repayment of VAT on members’ subscriptions for prior years. This gave the Club some £15,000. The then President, Stewart Walker, thereafter put forward proposals to use this money towards totally revamping the Clubhouse and Grounds. A Special General Meeting was convened at which the full plans were given approval to proceed. The Club raised a further £15,000 loan from the Lawn Tennis Association, which together with a £20,000 grant from the Sports Council Lottery Fund, and the club’s own resources of some £20,000, meant that the £70,000 necessary was raised to carry out the work. This included the relaying of Astro turf on Courts 1 and 2, replacing Tennis fencing, creating a new Short Tennis court, installing and extending double-glazed picture windows overlooking the Tennis Courts, creating a new full-length Bar, re-positioning and upgrading the Junior room, and providing new curtains, carpets and chairs.

The refurbishment was completed in time to host Broomhill’s first Grand Prix Squash Tournament on March 1997.

In 1997 the Club celebrated its 75th Anniversary by holding a 1920’s style fancy dress Tennis Tournament and Barbecue, with all the competitors playing with the obligatory wooden racquet. The ‘good old days’ it was not, with most complaining of ‘tennis elbow’ by the end of the afternoon!

Following its heyday in the 1990’s the Club, similar to other smaller clubs throughout Scotland, saw a decline in membership, caused mainly by the opening of Sports and Fitness clubs, and the larger clubs offering Gym facilities etc.

In the first decade of the millennium the club maintained a steady membership that ensured regular annual profits, which were given a boost when in 2006 the O2 Telephone Company agreed terms to build a phone mast in the corner of court 4. The rental income for the club was £5,000 per annum and while the rental has decreased over the years this still makes a welcome yearly addition to the club’s bank balance.

In 2011 a major upgrade to the tennis courts was undertaken. £90,000, totally from club funds, was spent on renewing the 40 year old floodlights on courts 1 & 2, replacing the 40 year old cement underlay on courts 1 & 2 with porous macadam and then relaying both courts with new artificial grass. The cost of this was not the least helped by the £25,000 received from the phone mast rental over the previous 6 years.