Whickham Tennis Club
In the 19th century a group of enthusiasts hired some land on the Glebe and constructed 2 courts. They paid £2 a year rent to the Cricket Club and that is the only information extant today.
Watergate Colliery was in full production and the houses built for the miners were superior to the "Pit Streets." They were larger with more room for the big families. As was the custom, a Welfare Hall was constructed nearby. The council provided a bowling green and later three ash courts. For a nominal sum this mining community had access to bowls and tennis. .
In 1952 Mr. Alec Johnson decided to form a club, with rules and regulations. The emphasis would be on the social side and the encouragement of the young.
Members of the Watergate Welfare played for free.Outsiders paid 12 shillings and 6 pence. The club flourished for many years. Trophies were played for, Ladies and Men's Singles, Mixed Doubles and Juniors.
By 1958 the better players hankered for competition, they wished to play in the Local Leagues. This they did but the social element collapsed.
The Men's team did exceptionally well. They had Tuesday and Thursday nights for practice. Match day was Saturday. In time they reached the Top League in Northumberland and Durham.
Feeling that the club no longer belonged to them, vandalism grew and the difficulties, damage and expense, led to the rapid decline and finally the death of the club.
In Whickham Park, beside the excellent Bowling club, there are two hard courts, which are in a neglected condition, with holes in the wire netting and tennis nets hanging in a dismal state.
This does not mean tennis is unavailable for the people of Whickham. Near Blaydon Rugby Club, within the Derwent Park renovation area, a magnificent club has recently been opened. Lottery money has provided six all weather floodlit courts, a magnificent and spacious vandal proof club-house. There is coaching for juniors of all age groups, and everyone of whatever age or ability is welcomed. .
Swalwell Tennis Club
In 1934 Swalwell Tennis Club had 2 tennis courts and a wooden cabin, for changing on the grounds of Swalwell Cricket Club.
When the Tennis Club had to close through lack of members the tennis courts became a Putting Green charging one old penny a go. Later all this area became practice wickets.
Tennis Courts in Dunston Park
There was a booth where you went to book a court or to pay for a session on the Bowling or Putting Green.
The courts were very well used in the forties and fifties by local people of all ages.
In between games of tennis, players, whilst waiting for another court to become vacant, would go onto the Putting green for a game of Putt (which was the nearest most would get to golf in those days) or play Bowls.
As there was no refreshments available in the park groups would often remove to "Harrisons", on Ravensworth Road for ice cream, lemonade and conversation!
Dunston Lawn Tennis Club
Dunston Tennis Club moved into its premises between Woodside and Monkridge Gardens in the early 1930's.
At the height of their popularity they had 2 men's teams and 1 ladies team in the Northumberland and Durham Inter Club League.
In the forties two notable junior members were Decia Stephenson and Sheila Whitfield.
There also had a Table Tennis Section which performed with some success.
In the eighties the premises became a residents association.