Galleries & History

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The Travels of Woody
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San Francisco Jan 2016

US Open - September 2014

Lake Garda, Italy - August 2014

Majorca - August 2014

 Woody loves to go on holiday, take him with you next
time you go and send us his holiday snaps.

It's all change at Woodlands,
well the court colour at least
May 2013

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Tennis is really "sweet"
 Promo photos for Gregg's Bakery
June 2011

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Images copyright Neil Phillips


A quiet day at Woodlands in 1949

More 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.

Left to right: Janet Britton | Patricia Maggs | Kathleen Burgess
Molly Hampson | Eileen Jefferies.
Click image to enlarge

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 April 2015

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.
Linda C - Downend