A Brief History of the Club

Early in the 20th century Ryde Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club was situated in the Terrace Garden in a ‘mead’ in central Ryde. The Club had only two tennis courts and one small croquet lawn. The committee wanted to lease a larger area in Ryde so that croquet players could have a full-sized lawn and tennis players could have courts running north/south to avoid sun in their eyes.

  • 1906 – A site of “three acres two roods and thirty-five perches” was found in Pell lane, next to Play Street Farm, and, on 21st October 1906, the Lord of the Manor of Ashey and Ryde, William Player Brigstocke, granted the Club a lease on the land for twenty-one years at a yearly rent of £21 1s 5d.
  • 1907 – There was a grand opening of the new Ryde Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club. A photograph of this event is displayed in the Clubhouse.
  • 1960s – The Club managed to purchase the land it had leased since 1906, mainly by issuing debentures. In 1961, work was completed to convert grass court 1 & 2 to all-weather courts of asphalt and clinker, at a cost of £1,100.
  • 1970s – Courts 1 & 2 were temporarily resurfaced in 1972 and professionally finished in 1977.
  • 1980s – In 1986 Tennis court 3 was converted from grass to porous macadam with a brick surround. The following year courts 1 & 2 were again resurfaced for £6,302. Times were hard for the Club and membership decreased towards the end of the decade.
  • 1990s – In 1992/93 there was extensive refurbishment of the Clubhouse, financed by a Debenture issue and a Council grant. This helped the Club retain its bar licence and host the tennis events of the Island Games in 1993 – played on the croquet lawns as the grass tennis courts were not good enough! Work began in 1997, to resurface the existing 3 hard courts and create 3 more, add a new toilet/shower block and enlarge the car-park. The original estimate had been £100,000 but inevitable hidden costs, including subsidence on court 3, previously the site of a farm duck pond, raised the final amount to over £150,000, met by various grants, Lottery money and a substantial sum raised by the Club itself.
  • 2004 – A tennis practice-wall was installed and a new sprinkler system was purchased for the croquet lawns.
  • 2005 – Flood-lights were installed on three courts to give members extended playing time all winter.
  • 2006 – Courts 4, 5 & 6 were resurfaced with Astroturf.
  • 2007 – The RLTCC  CENTENARY was celebrated.
  • 2008 – The club was awarded the LTA’s Clubmark, the first on the Island.
  • 2009 – Courts 1, 2 & 3 were resurfaced with Astroturf  and courts 2 & 3 were floodlit.
  • 2010 – The kitchen was completely re-decorated and re-fitted. The Club hosted two Croquet Association national tournaments – the Treasurer’s Tankard and the Ascot Cup.
  • 2011 – Men’s and Ladies’ changing facilities were completely refurbished and the exterior of the club-house repainted. The Club looked splendid inside and out for the Island Games held in the summer and for the Royal visit by HRH Prince Edward on June 30th. The Club hosted the Spencer Ell, another Croquet Association national tournament.
  • 2012 – New wrought iron gates were installed for the club with the letters RLTCC incorporated into the design.
  • 2013 – Courts 4, 5 & 6 were completely rejuvenated. The RLTCC played the Over 45 Club of Great Britain in the inaugural Ray Mason Rose Bowl competition. The Club hosted two more Croquet Association national Tournaments – the Musk Cup and the President’s Cup.
  • 2016 – A substantial grant was obtained from Sport England towards the cost of enlarging the Clubhouse to nearly double its original size. The clubroom was completely renovated with a new bar installed and a large patio area was created in front of the clubhouse to enhance viewing opportunities and provide a pleasant seating area. A new chalet was also erected at the far end of the grounds.
  • 2018 – With the help of a grant from the Croquet Association the clubhouse kitchen was redesigned and refitted to greatly improve catering facilities and allow more social events to be hosted.