Meadow Tennis Club

Meadow Tennis Club –A History

Dear Neighbour. 

Welcome to your new home, we hope that you will be happy in this part of Exeter. 

You may have noticed the tennis court at the bottom of Velwell Road and the Bury Meadow Tennis Club committee thought that you may wish, when you have got yourselves settled in of course, to make use of the facilities that the club provides. Even if tennis, petanque and croquet do not immediately appeal you will be very welcome to come and enjoy the Midsummer BBQ which we hold with the Residents’ Association on the nearest Saturday to the solstice. 

Anyway, you may be interested to learn how the club came into being, have you got a minute? 

There have been tennis courts on the site since the 1930’s and the most recent owner was Exeter College in Hele Rd. Some residents were staff at the college and they and their friends were able to use the courts. However, this was eventually curtailed because of the insurance risk and in 1993 a small group formed itself and took on a ten year lease of the area, resurfaced the court and established the tennis club. In 1996, less than halfway through the lease and without warning, the land was put up for sale. 

The Velwell gardens area is always considered vulnerable for development and residents could foresee that property developers would want to obtain the freehold of the site. Panic! Amazingly in a very short time some £36,000 was raised in the form of £1000 shares and with considerable help from those with some influence the land was finally sold to our local group in preference to a commercial organisation. The freehold is held by the Meadow Tennis Club Limited, a company limited by guarantee, on behalf of its shareholders and it is from this company that the Meadow Tennis Club has use of the land. 

This resource is not programmed or organised and relies on volunteers for maintenance and repairs. So, the tennis court, the boules pitch and the croquet lawn are all available for members to use as the spirit and energy moves. If you would like to know more about the Club do please talk with Graeme Peters, the club’s secretary, on Exeter 277773.