Priory Tennis Club Centenary: Change of racquet sports for Tony and Pat

FOR Tony and Pat Jenkins joining Priory Tennis Club in 1984 marked a change of racquet sports.

Until then the couple became members along with son Peter, they had been accomplished badminton players representing Ashton Armoury in three different leagues.

Tony said: “As we approached our 40th birthdays, we needed something a little less energetic and joined the tennis club in 1984.

Pat and Tony Jenkins

“Having played badminton, we were always comfortable with volleys and overhead shots and had to learn how to play ground strokes.

“There was an influx of new members and we enjoyed social tennis on Saturday afternoons with Jan Tierney, Alan Balmer, John and Judith McKenzie, John and Andrea Coates who all joined around the same time.

“At this time Priory only played in the Tameside League and I remember being very nervous when I played my first match on old cinder courts at Glossop. This was probably in 1985.

Left to right – Kath Gross, George Catlow, Pat Jenkins, Harry Cowell, Phyllis Lamb, Judith McKenzie in the mid 90s

“With many of the newer members interested in team tennis, it was decided to find another league to play in. Initially we could not get into the North East Cheshire League as their rules restricted membership to clubs within an eight-mile radius of Bramhall Station.
“We therefore entered the Oldham League which was for teams of four men and two women.”

Eventually Priory were admitted into the North East Cheshire League, at this stage a number of local clubs had closed for various reasons (Albion Ashton, Ashton Cricket, Mottram and ICI Hyde) and the Tameside League was in decline and eventually also closed down.

Pat, 76, still plays social tennis, though Tony, also 76, has had to stop playing because of health issues.

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