Welwyn Garden City tennis club’s £68k revamp

PUBLISHED: 13:21 27 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:25 27 April 2017

Peter Williams, Adam Reid, Gavin Johnstone, Miriam Mohns, Elspeth Heywood, Michael Sanders, Dave Wesson.

Peter Williams, Adam Reid, Gavin Johnstone, Miriam Mohns, Elspeth Heywood, Michael Sanders, Dave Wesson.

Archant

An 80-year-old Welwyn Garden City tennis club has enjoyed a much-needed £68,000 overhaul.

Orchard Lawn Tennis Club before the refurbishment.Orchard Lawn Tennis Club before the refurbishment.

Orchard Tennis Club in Blakemere Road was beginning to look its age and had leaking taps, toilets and a leaking roof.

But thanks to Lottery funding (£55,000) distributed by Sport England from the Inspired Facilities scheme and £13,000 from club funds, a major refurbishment was carried out.

The budget has allowed for a new layout, new wiring, insulation throughout, a new kitchen and bathrooms.

Refurbishment project manager Elspeth Heywood said: “The upgraded lighting – a combination of LED lighting and vintage style pendants – along with a large ‘picture window’ overlooking the courts has transformed the ambience of the pavilion from a dark and dreary space to a bright, inviting area.

Orchard Lawn Tennis Club after the refurbishment.Orchard Lawn Tennis Club after the refurbishment.

“The tongue and groove panelling and the painting white of the dark wood ceiling has given the pavilion a complete face-lift whilst retaining its 1930s charm.

“The refurbishment project team have dedicated a great deal of thought, care and time to the project.

“They were a hugely effective team and through their efforts and motivation, the club has been given a new lease of life.”

The finished product was launched to existing members in early April and the club is holding an open family fun day on Sunday May 14 to coincide with the Great British Tennis Weekend, a national event promoting tennis at venues all around the country.

Orchard Lawn Tennis Club before the refurbishment.Orchard Lawn Tennis Club before the refurbishment.

It will be the first time the club has opened its doors to the public since 2008.

There will be free tennis and coaching on the synthetic grass courts, a live band, BBQ, beer tent, free physio advice, face-painting, bouncy castle, tombola, plant and cake stalls and various other fun games and sideshows.

The free play sessions and free coaching sessions will be led by the club’s head coach, Julia Howard, and her team.

The club hopes that children and adults of all ages and abilities, whether complete beginner, improver, rusty player or experienced player, will take the opportunity to come along and see what the club can offer.

Orchard Lawn Tennis Club after the refurbishment.Orchard Lawn Tennis Club after the refurbishment.

All standards and abilities will be catered for and welcomed and racquets will be provided for beginners.

The fun starts at noon and runs until 4pm.

All membership details can be found on the club’s website www.orchardtennis.co.uk


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