Lord Wimborne, Sir Ivor Guest, opened the court at Canford in
1879 although there had been an earlier court built in the grounds of
the manor house dating back to 1541. The present structure is a
typical example of a Bickley court, with a red floor and black plastered
walls. The result is a very true fast bounce off the floor, which
in return rewards the cut shot.
Canford School was founded in 1923 and
pupils at the school have been able to enjoy the facility ever since. The
School has produced some notable Old Canfordian players including the
likes of Patrick Jenkins and Simon De Halpert and more recently: Rob
Nicholson, Ivan Snell, Peter Paterson, Ivan, Ben, and Matthew Ronaldson
(yes, there is an awful lot of that mob around!) The
best player to date is James Willcocks who is vying to be the World No1 amateur.
Canford are dominating the Henry Leaf Cup at the moment and look as if
they will continue to do so for some while yet.
Local enthusiasts have always been welcome to play
at Canford and in 1980 the Canford Tennis Club was formed. Rob Bartlett
was appointed as its first professional and he did a marvelous job in getting
the membership up to about 70 in a couple of years. Steve Ronaldson succeeded
Rob, and under his auspices the club has continued to develop and thrive. (Currently
the membership is about 155).
The amenities of the club have changed greatly since
the 80's. The
screen separating the court from false Dedans has created a very comfortable
social area, while the changing rooms have been upgraded and general environs
have been carpeted and smartened up.