The following timeline highlights major milestones and events in the Club’s history since the club was formed in 1994.
Where images are included they can be viewed in full size by clicking on the relevant photograph.
An annual ‘birthday’ tournament started in 1995 and continues to be held each year in September – a list of the tournament winners can be accessed via the following link.
The land upon which the courts now stand was leased to the Parish Council by Mrs Anne Kemp for the use of adults and children in the local area. The courts were constructed by Four Seasons Tennis Courts Ltd. and formally opened in August 1994. Trottiscliffe Tennis Club was formed by the following founder members (Tunstall, Wallis, Swain, Hamer, and Goodworth) with David Tunstall in the role of Chairman.
Clubhouse & First LTA Shield Trophy
The first Easter Tournament was held in 1996 and in the same year the club’s Midweek Mixed Vets team acquired its first Kent LTA shield trophy having won the division in which they competed.
December 1996 saw the purchase of a small summer house which served as the clubhouse until 2008 when a much larger version complete with sanitation was constructed.
In February 1997 the Club held its first formal Dinner Dance which was held at the Post House Hotel, Wrotham. The first Easter Tournament was held in 1997 and a Christmas Juniors Tournament was held on Sunday 21 December 1997 with Robert Piper and Chris Goodworth in the winning line up. David Goodworth was appointed Chairman of the club.
At the start of 1998 the Club held its first New Year’s Day Tournament and on the 11th July the club hosted the junior section of the annual Stansted & Fairseat Tennis Tournament. On 28th December a working party planted the hedge that now surrounds the courts on the rear and left sides – the Benge family seem to be enjoying sausage rolls whilst the others do the work!
A Trip to the Seaside
A club dinner dance was held at West Malling Golf Club in February 1999 and September saw the second of two club organised juniors trips to Dreamland in Margate, with both adult members and juniors enjoying the rides, candy floss, and seaside fish and chips. Sue Piper and Maxine Kennedy were the only adult members to brave the Skymaster!
The new millennium ushered in a busy year with a New Year’s Day tournament, a dinner-dance, summer BBQ, and an annual tournament in September with both adult and junior sections. In the autumn floodlights were installed allowing evening play throughout the year. An ‘All White on the Night’ Party was held in October to celebrate this milestone in the Club’s development.
60’s Night Social Event
Spring 2001 saw the arrival of running water and a kitchen sink in the clubhouse, the patio was also relaid and extended. A dinner dance was held at West Malling Golf Club and a 60’s themed social evening was held in the Goodworth’s barn in October. As can be seen in the photograph, member’s produced a colourful selection of period clothing and adopted suitable dance moves!
TTC was one of the first non-commercial tennis clubs in Kent to develop its own website and thanks to Tony Piper’s efforts was launched in early 2002. Email was also adopted to communicate with members. Fencing was installed between the court areas and the village hall / recreation ground and the courts were repainted.
This year saw the introduction of regular tennis squads running on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings. These proved very successful and currently run on each weekday evening throughout the year. Thanks to Audrey Goodworth’s efforts the club was fielding six teams in the LTA League in 2003 and this has increased over the years with eleven teams competing in the summer season 2019.
2004 represented the tenth year of the tennis club’s history and a celebratory Anniversary Ball was held on the 15th May at the Goodworth’s Barn. The theme was tennis and the predominant decorations matched the Wimbledon colours.
Steve Stowell took over the role of Chairman.
2005 / 2006
The club organised an impromptu fundraising event in conjunction with Cobham Tennis Club and donated £200 to the Sumatra Tsunami Appeal. A French themed social evening was held in January 2006 featuring the ‘Trottettes’ and 2007 saw the arrival of ‘Saturday Night Fever’ with Brian Taylor leading the dancing as John Travolta.
2007 / 2008
Sunday Club Afternoons were introduced with the aim of encouraging social tennis. In July 2008 major maintenance work was undertaken with the courts being resurfaced, and a brand new larger clubhouse erected complete with WC facilities. 2008 also saw the first club organised tennis holiday to Mark Warner Lakitira, Greece. John Bennett took over the role of Chairman.
2009 / 2010
Mexican Hat Dance
To improve security new fencing around the clubhouse, patio, and viewing areas was installed in 2009 together with a main entrance gate from the car park. A Mexican Evening was held in November 2010 with music by the ‘Chillbillies’ and a special performance of the Mexican Hat Dance featuring Audrietta Goodworth and Franchesca Bennett complete with guitar backing from Tony Piper and Nigel Cazaly.
2011 / 2012
With the increase in teams and players in the Kent League teams a Selection Committee was introduced. An occasional ‘tea & cake’ rota was introduced to make Sunday Club Afternoon more of a sociable ‘event’. February 2012 saw a successful ‘Valentines’ event in the village hall with the proceeds donated to the Kent Air Ambulance.
2013 / 2014
Lakitira Beach BBQ
In 2013 John Bennett and Tony Piper undertook some DIY building work to modify the clubhouse walls facing the courts to create additional internal space. May 2014 heralded the club’s 20th anniversary with a black tie dinner dance at Bradbourne House, East Malling, and a member’s tennis holiday to Lakitira, Greece, took place in July complete with a beach BBQ.
2015 / 2016
Tennis for Kids
New nets were fitted in 2015 and a small team of members pruned the trees along the boundary with the Village Hall and School. A defibrillator was purchased and a selection of members trained in its use. In May 2016 the club hosted ‘Tennis for Kids’, an LTA initiative and part of the Davis Cup legacy, designed to promote the game of tennis.
Advanced coaching for adult team members was introduced on Wednesday evenings and in November 2017 the clubhouse was repainted inside and out and a new laminate floor laid. A Sixties Night social event to celebrate four lady members 60th birthdays was held in Ryarsh village hall and featured a live band ‘Not the Rolling Stones’. Everyone entered into the spirit with a fantastic array of 60’s regalia.
The club launched a series of policies in 2018 covering health & safety, welfare & diversity, and data protection. A strategy of encouraging junior membership was launched in late 2018 with Lee Friend and Louise Hounsell (LoveSport) joining the club as coaches. With their help the club has subsequently seen a significant increase in junior activity and membership.
New Court Surface
January saw a major change with the courts resurfaced using Matchplay 2, an outdoor carpet dressed with sand. On Saturday 4th May the Club hosted a dinner-dance at Kings Hill Golf Club to celebrate the club’s twenty fifth anniversary. In late May the ash tree overhanging the car park was removed and several other trees were either removed or cut back.