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The Club History

Mrs Yvonne Mercer has established the fact that the club was founded in 1928. Some years later the Bowling Club was founded, on 29th April 1939.  Prior to this bowls were played in the garden of 105 Millisle Road, but the bowlers had no premises and so shared a pavilion with the Tennis Club.  Originally in 1928 there were 6 tarmac courts, but 3 became the site for the  bowling green in 1939.

oldcourts

(picture taken sometime before 1939)

During the 2nd World War a refugee shelter was built on the side of the club(picture below-extension on the right of the tennis club). When the war ended, the shelter was then converted into the Bowlers’ pavilion and the bowlers ceased using the tennis club premises. 

prerefit

(picture showing the club sometime before the 1997 refit)

The tennis courts were converted to hard courts in 1983 and the club got their flood lights.  In 1997 the club had to close for a season whilst the pavilion was renovated and new all-weather Astroturf courts laid. 

postrefit

(picture taken post refit in 1997)

Martin Brown was, until his recent passing, the longest serving member of our Club, when living abroad he came home each summer and played. Martin was a regular player on both Club nights and in representing the Club competitively. His outstanding displays of gentlemanly conduct were an inspiration to many of the younger players. Martin is greatly missed. Brian and Pauline Mawhinney joined the club approximately 40 years ago and are our longest serving couple. 

The Tennis Club celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2003, former members were invited and played a few sets with the current members.

 

Past Presidents
1983-1984 -The Late Alderman John Scott J.P.
1985-1986- The Late Albert walker
1987- David Monson
1988 Malcolm Elliot
1989-1990 The Late Mrs Pat Walker
1990- Present day- Mrs Yvonne Mercer

Novelty Tennis
During the 1980’s an annual tennis match between Donaghadee Rugby Club and Donaghadee Tennis Club was played on a Friday evening during the festival week.  This was followed by a disco in the rugby club and a light supper. 

Club competitions
Dating back to 1960 the following annual competitions took place.
Men’s singles
Ladies singles
Men’s doubles
Ladies doubles
Mixed doubles
The event was handicapped, ranging from -40 to +15 depending on what team you played for and partner you had drawn. A finals day was held in September when all 5 finals were played and non competing players came to watch, followed by tea.  These cups were last played for in 1994. 
The Courts competition also ran every Tuesday evening.  Four games were played and then partners changed.  There are 2 cups for this competition, last played for in 2000. 

Open Day  
Commenced in 1977, Ards Borough Council provided the plaque and balls.  Clubs as far away as Coleraine participated.  This event was open to any club; play commenced at 10 in the morning. 
1983 Donaghadee won this event with a pairing of Peter Ferguson and Sharon Scott.
1987 and 1988 Alan Hutton from Bangor and Sharon Scott from Donaghadee won this event. 
1990’s Donaghadee won this event with a pairing of Stephen McCausland and Margaret Jardine. 

Tours
Donaghadee participated in 3 tours, (Friday to Sunday).
1980’s, possibly early 1990’s.
A tour to Stranrear Tennis Club
A tour to Greystones Tennis Club
A tour to Wicklow staying in the Kilturnan Sports Hotel
All 3 were very successful. 

Successes
Most successful season was 2001.  The A team and mixed team were promoted to Division 3 and the Men’s Evergreen Team promoted to Division 1.  Our men’s singles A team has also been very successful in achieving division 1 status which they still hold.

America.
In 1997 Stephen McCausland attended the Nick Bolleterie Tennis Academy, sponsored by Donaghadee Tennis Club and other sports clubs in Donaghadee.  He shared a room with a 15 year old called Roger Federer.  Also being coached there at the same time were Venus Williams, Mary Pierce and Thomas Enquist. 

Junior Tennis development
During the last 10 years the Club has provided the opportunity for children to learn to play tennis all year round. The main driving force behind this was Jonathan Rea who put much of his own time and effort into developing our present junior team. We now have many promising young players as well as coaches Stephen McCausland and Trevor Octave.