In 1945, the residents of what was then called Stoneygate Rise (the area adjacent to Granville Avenue and Grosvenor Crescent) decided to form a social club to perpetuate the spirit fostered during the war and culminating in the many street parties which erupted on VJ Day to celebrate victory. The old Meadowcourt Tennis Club had ceased to operate during the hostilities but the changing rooms and clubhouse had been used by Portland House School the PAY Corps and the ATS.
The owner, Mr L Browning, was approached and on 18th January 1946 a committee was formed and it was decided to call the new club ‘Granville Private Club’. Membership was to be restricted to residents of Stoneygate Rise and the aims were to provide a social and recreational facility for those residents, with tennis very much the secondary consideration. The landlord agreed to maintain the buildings and the five main courts, but not the three ‘green’ courts which ultimately fell into disrepair and became an area of scrub.
In those embryo years the social calendar was full of whist drives, solo drives, old time and modern dancing (with lessons) and children’s parties. A billiard table and piano were purchased to encourage the use of the clubhouse. On the recreational front there were very successful cricket and mixed hockey teams, and our own drama group performed well-known plays.
By the end of the first decade the tennis activities had increased and teams were entered in the Leicestershire Leagues with some success. However, in 1955 a resolution was passed to reduce the club’s involvement in league teams from two ladies and two mens teams to one of each. About this time the residency qualification was being phased out, but prospective members had to be proposed and seconded and undergo a tennis proficiency test. Later on, although the test remained, the prospective members was interviewed by the committee to assess his suitability.
The name of the club had now changed to ‘Granville Tennis and Social Club’ and ultimately to its present title to give it more of a recognisable local identity. In 1976 membership requirements were relaxed (the test was abolished) to allow families to join and put more emphasis on the social and social tennis sides which had been in danger of sinking beneath a surfeit of competitive play. In 1977 this vibrant membership succeeded in raising enough money to buy land, and five years later, by superhuman effort to build (literally) a new clubhouse and changing rooms to replace the old wooden structures which had been in use since before the war.
Since then we have installed floodlights and created an additional court. New and improved surfaces are part of an ongoing program to update our facilities, not forgetting our many and varied social activities which are reported on in our newsletter, keeping us all up to date with what is going on.