The Roman officers helmet was chosen as the tennis club logo because of the associations with the game and the Bardsey area.

Tennis as a game originated in Roman times and often a court (Sphaeristerium) was attached to a villa.  When the modern game originated in 1874 it was called sphairistike before becoming lawn tennis.

In Roman times important roads running west to east between Ilkley (Olicana) and Tadcaster (Calcaria) to York (Eboracum) passed close to Bardsey.  Some early maps of the area indicate a Roman road called Ryknield Street running north through Bardsey at Pompocali - the supposed Roman Fort in Hetchell Woods.  A stone alter to Apollo and a part of a Roman quern have also been discovered near Hetchell pointing to a likelihood of a local settlement.  There was a large Roman villa at Dalton Parlours.  A less substantiated claim is that grooves in the stones at the side of Rigton Bank were made by the wheels of Roman Chariots!

Bardsey would have formed part of a larger area known as Elmet which was one of the last surviving Roman-British areas holding out until around 600AD.  During this great period of civilisation the two Roman legions protecting the area were the IX and later the VI.  By chance the two numbers add up to the first point score in tennis.

May 1986

Malcolm Lobley