Our History

The golden age of tennis as a leisure activity flourished in the 1920s and 1930s. Hadleigh Park Tennis Club was formed in 1931 when some members of Hadleigh and Thundersley Football Club created a small tennis club to provide a social  and recreational facility for the local residents.

From those humble beginnings and a membership of 15 players, competing on two grass courts, the club has prospered and grown to its present level of around 100 members.

In the early days the land on which the club stood was rented from a local builder.  After the war, during which play had been at a low level with many on active service, the grass courts were in poor condition and the decision was taken to lay hard courts and to re-build a larger pavilion.  Much of the building work was carried out by members and by 1951, helped by a loan from the LTA, the club had one new hard court and a new pavilion. During that year, the club won the Benfleet and District League for the first time.

In 1955 a second hard court was laid out at a cost of £255, with the help of the LTA.  The club continued to be successful in the Benfleet league but was not eligible to compete in the Southend and District League unless it could provide three identical courts.  Once again, the LTA came to the rescue with financial support and the club then enjoyed some success in the Southend and District League, later going on to play in the Leigh and Westcliff (1963) and the Essex League (1965).

At this time, various improvements were made to the clubhouse and running water and flushing toilets were installed by members in 1966.  What luxury!

In the late 60s, competition from other clubs with better facilities led to a loss of members and uncertainty regarding the club’s sustainability.  It therefore became essential to purchase the land in order to secure the future of the club.  However, this was not achieved until 1983.

The club continued to play in local leagues with over thirty titles won from 1990 up to the present time.

In the late 90s the courts were showing significant signs of wear and needed to be replaced. Because of their even bounce and low maintenance, new style carpet courts were gaining popularity and, in 2000,  all three courts were re-laid with synthetic carpet which can be used in all weathers.

In 2008, it was decided by a ballot of the entire membership that our old clubhouse, which was dilapidated, poorly insulated and below the standard of the other clubs in the area so the committee set about planning and fundraising to replace it.

Subsequently, with generous grants from the waste operator, Veolia and the Essex County Councils’ Community Initiative Fund, the new pavilion was completed during 2013.  The splendid new clubhouse boasts facilities more in keeping with the expectations of today’s tennis players and should ensure that the club continues to prosper.

In 2013, The club won the winter Leigh and Westcliff First Division Championship for the first time since 1991.

In 2020, despite the pandemic the club continued to flourish and grow. We provided an online booking system in response so people could avoid the use of the clubhouse and arrange games in advance.

In 2024, Hadleigh Park was awarded "Essex LTA Club of the Year"