Priory Tennis Club Centenary: Gordon’s serve and service during 64-year association

GORDON Whitbread was a member at Priory Tennis Club for a remarkable 63 years until his death four years ago aged 95.

The former pilot, who played until well into his eighties, served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

Gordon was raised in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, where he played tennis as a young boy as well as playing the violin in a local orchestra.

Gordon Whitbread

He married wife Monica, who was from Stalybridge, at St Peter’s Church and they set up home in the town.

Gordon applied for a new job as an accountant working for the railways in Nyasaland in Africa.

This was a great opportunity for them to start a new life away from the miseries of post war rationing and austerity in England.

In 1950 Gordon and Monica and their two children, Barbara and Michael moved to live in Africa.

On returning from Africa in 1954, Gordon and Monica bought a house in Stalybridge. It was then that Gordon joined Priory.

Gordon loved encouraging different members of the family to play tennis and several of the family have been members.

Gordon also made many friends at the club and he and Monica celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary at the club.

He always encouraged his family to join in with the many social events at Priory, birthdays including his 90th celebration which was held at the club as well as supporting the many quizzes and other social, fundraising events.

Over the years there have been many changes to the club and in his later years, as a trained accountant, Gordon offered his services to the club and became the resident accountant.

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