In the second half of the 20th Century small villages like Graffham saw a reduction in employment opportunities, and an increase in the mobility of parishioners. These changes together with demographic ones exerted downward pressure on support for Village Sports Clubs which had, hitherto, relied on sufficient residents to play football in the winter, and bowls, cricket, stoolball, and tennis in the summer.
This portrait of Graffham Tennis Club from the early 1960’s onward captures the “ups” and “downs” of one such club as it met the challenges of the times, and its eventual emergence as a vibrant and sporting and social asset to the Village.
The Authors, Mike Dimmer and Chris Major have researched and written this booklet from Club records, and in Mike’s case from meticulous personal records and reports formulated over the last 20 years. Mary Butterworth Editor of the Village Parish News has provided additional photographs and overseen the preparation of an abridged version of this document for inclusion in Graffham: Memories Articles Photos, a book on the Village produced by members of the Thursday Club.
The History of the Tennis Club highlights the importance of introducing young people into the wonderful game of tennis; played in a sporting and competitive manner. It also pays tribute to the many who have served the Club with great enthusiasm over many years – factors that will surely continue as the Club’s future unfolds.