A History of Blackhall Lawn Tennis Club
Blackhall Lawn Tennis Club was founded in July 1915 with two grass courts. Grass as a surface for courts in Scotland was not a practical option owing to the unreliability of the weather, and throughout the decades the surface has been changed several times, the first change, to red ash, being made in 1918.
In order for a club to be able to participate in the competitive Leagues run by the East of Scotland Lawn Tennis Association, it is necessary to have at least three courts at its disposal, and so a third court was built for this purpose. By 1924 the first pavilion had been built and opened. Up until this time there had been no playing of tennis allowed on Sundays, but in 1932 Sunday play was sanctioned for the first time.
Another big building job was undertaken in 1950 when the courts were repositioned in the form which exists today. The original clubhouse was replaced and the present one opened in 1972.
In the 1970's the surface was changed again, to hard courts, in keeping with the surface used by most of the clubs at the time and there was a further change of surface to artificial grass made subsequently in 1986, and this is the surface which prevailed in the majority of clubs throughout the next 25 years. A further improvement to the facilities was made when floodlighting was installed in the early 1990's.
In the late 1980's a very unfortunate incident occurred when the clubhouse was broken into, a fire started, and the archives and records of the club, including old photographs, were destroyed.
In 2012, the club switched to the Artificial Clay Court surface that remains used at BLTC today.
The competitive spirit has always been high in Blackhall and throughout the years many honours have been won on the tennis scene both by teams and also by individual players.
Both the Men's and Ladies' First Teams have at some time topped the First Division in the East of Scotland Leagues, and in the early 1970's the Ladies had a very good run in the Scottish Cup Competition, coming out as winners for several years in succession. The Competition for the Robin Welsh Trophy, where men and women combine to play in a Mixed Doubles Team, has been won by Blackhall on a good number of occasions; and in the Competition for the Ian Cameron Memorial Trophies, where the men and women play Singles (the Inter-Club Singles Competition), both teams have been victorious on various occasions. Further success was achieved in 2017 with our Ladies Team winning the Scottish Cup - and they mirrored that feat in 2018!
Over the years men, women and junior players have on occasion represented Scotland as members of teams or as individuals in tournaments both at County and even at International level.
On the administrative side, members of Blackhall Lawn Tennis Club have served two or three times as President of the East of Scotland Lawn Tennis Association.