The Travels of Woody
link opens in a new browser window)
Francisco Jan 2016
- September 2014
- August 2014
Majorca - August 2014
to go on holiday, take him with you next
go and send us his holiday snaps.
change at Woodlands,
well the court colour at least
images to pause)
is really "sweet"
Promo photos for
images to pause)
A quiet day at Woodlands in 1949
aerial views of Hanham can be found here
Bristol Evening Post Article (abridged) 02/07/2002
John Conway writes:
WOODLANDS Tennis Club started back in 1941 when members
of Redfield Tennis Club were looking for a venue to
form a new tennis club. An orchard in a field in Hanham,
owned by Mr Moon, came on the market for £250 - it was
situated at the end of the lane running between Bibury
Crescent and Martins Road.
Kleen-e-ze regularly put cinders down to keep the
lane dry. The area was quiet and peaceful with just
chickens and sheep grazing in the fields. The players
decided to each put in £10. One member said he would
lend £50 if the others could raise the further £200.
This was a tremendous undertaking, as back in 1941 the
average wage was only £3 per week.
They purchased the orchard, cleared the trees, laid
new turf and put up a 10-foot chainlink fence. The local
milkman's horse - with sacking on its hooves - was used
to pull the heavy roller, and sheep were brought in
to keep the grass short.
The club had been running for over 12 months, but
had no name. A meeting was convened in the chicken hut
on September 30, 1942. The name Purlieu Tennis Club
was suggested but the club was eventually named Woodlands,
after the bungalow at the end of the lane in Martins
Road which is still there today.
to right: Janet Britton | Patricia Maggs | Kathleen Burgess
| Eileen Jefferies. Click image
Sixty years on and Woodlands have improved their
facilities no end, with two coloured macadam courts,
16 floodlights, carpeted clubhouse and kitchen.
This year (2002), in order to bring it into the 21st
century, the club has extended the clubhouse to include
the outside privy, another changing room and cycle stands
for the members.
Coaching also plays its part in the future of the
club ensuring a steady flow of new juniors and adults
supporting both the club nights and the league teams.
Woodlands last year (2001) won all their respective
leagues - winter and both the men's and ladies' summer
leagues. My pleasure is seeing three of my original
juniors now earning their living as full-time qualified
coaches and another three training to be future coaches
working in local comprehensive schools.
Abridged email received on 24th
On a cold evening on 9th April 1970...
I went along to Woodlands, perhaps there had been a recruitment drive, I don't remember. Only one other person turned up (his friend had let him down) so we were 'paired off' together. His name was Roger
and he lived in Mount Hill Road. I lived in King's Drive. Roger had a bright turquoise mini and offered to take me home. We were both aged 18 and the rest is history!
We continued playing tennis each week, through all weathers, I can remember the purple knees.
We were married on 5th April 1975 and had bought our first home in Yate. We joined The Ridge Tennis Club (which I don't think exists now) and made friends who I still keep in touch with. We gradually started a family and moved to Downend in 1979.
When Richard, our eldest, was 5 years old he joined the Downend and Fishponds LTC on Cleeve Hill (Andy Hutton was the coach) and four years later Matthew, our other son, also joined. Richard was more sport orientated than Matthew and went on to play squash. We never promoted racket sports to our boys, they naturally went that way in preference to other sports. Richard represented Avon at squash and played all over the South West. He also became the youngest ever squash coach at 16 years of age. He is currently employed by Wesport, based at UWE as a Sports Development Manager and is the permanent coach at Lansdown Squash and LTC Bath. He is now a dad to 2 year old twin boys who even have mini rackets!
Sadly, Roger died suddenly in March 2000 a week before our Silver Wedding Anniversary. It would have been our 40th Anniversary on 5th April this year (Easter Sunday) and we would have met 45 years ago on 9th April this year.
On the night of 8th April I had a dream about Woodlands (I suppose because emotions were running high) and it was uncanny when I saw the Woodlands advertisement (in
the Bristol Observer for "Over 55 sessions")
the next day - 9th April. This was what prompted me to contact
the club as I wondered whether some of the original members still existed.
C - Downend