Radyr Lawn Tennis Club was founded in 1914 by 20 Radyr ‘Gentlemen’ with the help of the Plymouth Estates. It was first sited near the station but the courts were badly laid, so, again with the help of Plymouth Estates, the Club took up the turf from the three grass courts and re-laid them at its present site next to Christ Church on Heol Isaf.
The Club flourished and by 1921 a pavilion was built and in 1925 two hard courts were laid. Matches were arranged with other clubs in the area: the Men’s team joined the league and two generous members presented silver cups for the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ singles tournaments.
During the Second World War the courts were made available to members of the Services. The pavilion was used by many of the Emergency Services and an air-raid shelter was erected where we now park our cars.
Membership grew during the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. A licensed bar was provided in 1956 and in 1964 we celebrated our Golden Jubilee. During this period there was fear of losing our land and the Plymouth Estate obtaining Planning Permission for building. The officers of the Club fought a long and determined battle to secure its future and were eventually successful. By 1973 the Club was confident enough to rejoin the South Wales league and build another hard court alongside the pavilion. By 1979 more courts were needed and extra land was acquired from Plymouth Estates and two further courts were created, largely financed by the Sports Council and South Glamorgan County Council.
The ‘80’s and ‘90’s have seen tremendous progress. In 1983 the new pavilion was opened by the Earl of Plymouth, our Landlord. Then two more courts were built on the bank to the south side of the grounds, four courts were fitted with floodlights and the pavilion further extended.
The social life of the Club goes from strength to strength – just after the war it was bingo, whist drives and the odd supper; now it is discos, fancy dress parties, quiz nights, and not forgetting Saturday afternoon teas! Juniors play a much greater part in the life of the Club now, playing in matches and Club tournaments and keeping up the tradition of producing Welsh champions.
We currently have over 620 members (includes non-playing), of which approximately 350 are juniors (up to 18 years). All standards of player are welcome. The club runs 11 Summer doubles teams (6 Men’s and 5 Ladies) who play in various divisions of the Tennis Wales South Wales Leagues. The Juniors have many matches and tournaments, mainly in the summer.