History of Lunesdale
The club is now over 100 yrs old. The inaugural meeting was held during January at Escowbeck on the outskirts of Caton, which was the home of Keith Wigmore who was a playing member of the club for many years.
We had a big event on the 90th anniversary of the club held at Halton Manor (the house that you can see on the hill on the other side of the river from the club) this is the home of the Bowrings. Mr Bowrings was the president at the time. They were keen playing members in the years before the Second World War and were prominent members of the “county set” who were much in evidence at the club during the 1920-1930 period.
The special thing about Lunesdale is that we are still playing on the same courts that were set out for use in 1905. Grange tennis club is older, they were formed in the 1880s and are one of the oldest clubs in the country but they have moved at least twice during the intervening years. Kendal tennis club will be 100 in 1908 but again are not at their original venue.
Allan Bowers joined in 1960 from Bowerham and he was invited to come along to play at Lunesdale. It was the end of what we refer to as the striped blazer brigade era. You more or less had to be invited and approved to be able to join. The other member who hoped to join from Bowerham was not invited to become a member.
The club was showing signs of declining as the aging brigade members turned their attention to golf. The club went through a sticky patch in the 1960s and a motion was proposed that the club be wound up, Allan was at that meeting and at the time on the committee. Tim Jenkinson put much effort in along with his committee to save the club from closure.
What helped to save the club was the new influx of academics from the newly opened university and St Martins College. This brought new faces of people of the right age group who were keen to get involved not just in playing but by supporting the club in many ways.
Lunesdale has always been different in that its membership is drawn from a wide area, it has never really been a village club until very recently when it has strengthened its village links. When Allan joined, the club had just started to play in the local league, until then it had fixtures with its own old established clubs. It remains still as an enigma with its grass courts, which were in the early days used for county matches in recent years the case for retaining the grass courts was strong despite the LTA not really wishing us to have them.
(Many thanks to Janet and Allan Bowers for their input)