At the moment four locations have been discovered for Tennis Court locations in Rishton. These are:-
- Station Road (Cricket Club)
- Brook Street
- Cutt Wood Park
- Norden High School (now Sports College)
- Parish Church Courts on what is now Westwood Avenue (behind the Parish Church)
The Council surveyor was instructed to prepare draft plans on the 2nd September 1937, for a bowling green, tennis courts, bowl house, shelter, public conveniences, and other such offices that may be required, but the location of these is unknown.
If any Tennis Courts existed in Rishton during the 2nd World War, these were turned over and used for growing crops, under the "Dig for Victory" campaign, started in October 1939.
The Council Surveyor, in consultation with the Town Planning Officer, was to consider and report on a suitable site for the establishment of a park, bowling greens and tennis courts, on the 2nd March 1944.
On the 20th April, 1944, the Council gave permission for Rishton Cricket and Tennis Club to use the Council Chambers for their meetings. This was again approved on the 15th April 1946.
By the 15th November 1951, material was being cleared from the old Council yard to the new and prices were being obtained for the provision of a Tennis Court.
The Council proceeded to consider whether two tennis courts or one tennis court and gardens should be provided, and it was Resolved that the Surveyor was instructed to obtain estimates from two firms for the provision of one tennis court and ornamental gardens on the 22nd May 1952.
Two tenders for the construction of a court and ornamental garden having been submitted by the 10th July 1952, it was Resolved, that the scheme and tender of Messrs. Maxwell M. Hart, Ltd. be accepted at a cost of £935 subject to a maintenance period being agreed between the Council and the Contractors. By the 18th September 1952, The Contractors were proceeding with the construction of the Court, and garden. The Gardener was authorised to purchase suitable rose trees for planting on this site. It was decided to consider the opening of the Court at the next meeting of the Committee.
The Surveyor reported on the 20th November 1952, that he had enquired from neighbouring authorities regarding winter play and had been informed that this was not permitted. It was Resolved, That play be not allowed on the local court during the winter months, and that the question of opening the court be considered at the February meeting of the Buildings and Highways Committee.
On the 12th March 1953, it was decided that the court be opened for play on Easter Saturday and the hours of opening daily be from 9 a. m. to dusk; that the charges for play be 1s. 6d. per hour per court for singles and 2s. 0d. per hour per court for doubles; that tickets be issued during normal office hours by members of the staff; and that outside office hours Mr. A. Blakey was appointed attendant at a rate of pay to be agreed by the Chairman of the Council, the Chairman of the Buildings and Highways Committee and the Clerk. Sunday opening was deferred until requested by the public.
The Parish Church Tennis Club requested the Council to cut the grass on their Courts on the 18th June 1953, this was carried out with payment for the labourers time and hire of the mowing machine.
It was Resolved by the Council on the 17th September 1953, that the Tennis Courts should be kept open throughout the winter months, during the hours of daylight and while the Council Offices were open; these conditions were to operate after 30th September. The Surveyor was requested to draw the attention of the Contractors to the netting round the Tennis Court and to report to Council in Committee. A week later, on the 24th September 1953, The Surveyor submitted a reply from Messrs. Maxwell M. Hart & Co., disclaiming liability for the condition of the netting, but that they were prepared to supply, free of charge, the necessary quantity of bitumastic paint. The offer was accepted, and the Surveyor was instructed to have the painting carried out as soon as possible.
By the 19th November 1953, the Council had decided to close the Tennis Courts until further notice due to the small amount that the courts had been used for during the winter opening. They were reopened on the 16th April 1954.
I am told that the Courts on Brook Street closed around 1964, when the bungalows were due to be built1.
In 1992 Norden school paid £40,000 for new floodlights to cover the tennis courts at the back of the school. This was part of a multi-thousand pound package to improve the school for community use.
Council Minutes (various Years)