Basford Lawn Tennis Club

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Exhibitions For Charity


North Staffordshire was the centre of interest in the lawn tennis world today, when Britain's leading players visited Basford to give exhibitions.

The visitors were Fred Perry, the world's champion; H. W. Austin, the outstanding stylist of recent years; G. P. Hughes; a first-class doubles player; C. M. Jones; Kent's leading player; Miss Kathleen Stammers, who now ranks jointly with Miss Round as Britain's No. 1; and Miss Nancy Lyle, another member of the British Wightman Cup team.

The party also included Miss Freda James, another English international, who did not take part in the event, and Mrs. Austin, who before her marriage was Miss Phyliss Kongstam, the film star.

The exhibitions, which had been arranged by the Staffordshire Lawn Tennis Association, had a dual object. It was arranged in connection with the coaching scheme of the Association and in aid of the hospitals in Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford and Wolverhampton.

The opportunity afforded of seeing such a galaxy of talent had never previously occurred in Staffordshire and, as the event was favoured with brilliant weather, there was a huge crowd of enthusiasts at the Basford club.


Prior to the exhibition, the tennis stars were entertained by the Staffordshire Lawn Tennis Association to luncheon at the North Stafford Hotel, Stoke.

Lord Harrowby, patron of the S.L.T.A. who was accompanied by Lady Harrowby, presided, supported by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Stoke-on-Trent (Alderman and Mrs. J. H. Dale), the Mayor and Maroress of Newcastle (Alderman and Mrs. S. Myott) and the High Sheriff of Staffordshire (Mr. H. Downing) and Mrs. Downing.

Others present were Mr. J. Fielding-Taylor (president of the S.L.T.A.), Mr. and Mrs. H. T. Heatley, Mr. B. Mawdesley (President of Basford Tennis Club) and Mrs. Mawdesley, Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Bullock, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Shirley, Mr. and Mrs. F. J. Alsop, Mr. and Mrs. A. P. Ford, Mr. F. T. Jacks (Secretary, S.L.T.A.), Mr. J. A. Moore (Coaching Secretary S.L.T.A.), Mr. C. C. Bullock (Match Secretary S.L.T.A.), Mrs. A. J. Lewis, Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Mitchell, Mr. A. Donald Harber, Mr. J. H. Domenet, Mr. A. C. Swann (Assistant Secretary S.L.T.A.), and Mr. H. H. Dickin.


Mr. J. Fielding Taylor, in a welcome to the players, said that lawn tennis had become such an important international game and such a very healthy form of recreation, that the Lawn Tennis Association were making every effort to improve the general standard of play. Those efforts are being supported strongly by the Staffordshire Lawn Tennis Association and is was with that object in view that they were operating the coaching scheme-which the L.T.A. inaugurated some years ago-promoting inter-club championships, junior championships and various other competitions.

In arranging the exhibition between their visitors to-day, they had also thought it would be a further education to the young players in the county, besides being of considerable assistance to the hospitals. As a result of the effort, he was hoping that fully £150 would be raised. He continued:

It is the greatest day in the history of lawn tennis in Staffordshire. No eulogies can possibly flatter the achievements of Mr. Austin, Mr. Hughes and Mr. Perry, first in their chase after the international Davies Cup, and since then, for the past three years, in defence of the trophy.

Our lady visitors have all done a great deal to uphold the prestige of Great Britain in international lawn tennis, and Miss Lyle and Miss James have only recently returned from a tour of South Africa.


Among the apologies received were those from the Earl of Lichfield and Sir Francis Joseph.

Reading a letter from Sir Francis, Mr. Taylor said that the president asked him to present the visitors a little gift of pottery as a memento of their visit. Sir Francis wrote, "Our pottery is equal to their tennis. There is nothing to beat it."

The gifts of pottery, which consisted of musical mugs, were presented by the Earl of Harrowby.

The order of play in the exhibition was Miss Stammers v. Miss Lyle; Fred Perry v. H. W. Austin; Perry and Austin v. Hughes and Jones; and Perry and Miss Stammers v. Hughes and Miss Lyle.

Evening Sentinel, 11 May 1936
Courtesy of The Sentinel News & Media

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