History-Darwen Tennis Club

Darwen Tennis Club


The club was originally formed in 1924 as Sunnyhurst Tennis Club. A team from the club entered the Darwen Tennis Tournament in 1926, at which time there were thirteen clubs in the town. In the thirties tennis appeared to be thriving.

Sunnyhurst Tennis Club                                  Whitehall Tennis Club

St Cuthbert’s Tennis Club                                Hoddlesden Tennis Club

Greenfield Institute                                         Lower Darwen Congregational

St James Tennis Club                                      Duckworth Street

Lower Chapel Tennis Club                                Cricket Club

Darwen Tennis Club                                        Olive Lane




1932 Clubs’ Tournament

Back row: J Watson, Miss A Turner, C Ashton, J G Rae, J L Halliwell, Dr J Craig, Jas Watson, Miss W Cartwright, H Jepson, W Horrocks

Front: Miss M Jepson, Miss S Halliwell, Miss R Turner, Mrs R S Catlow, Mrs A Riley

In May 1933 it became known as Lynwood United Methodist Tennis Club and this was when the old wooden Pavilion was replaced by a “new” one in 1935. The pavilion was 20 feet by 14 feet with a 4 foot veranda across the front and cost £25. 

By February 1946 the Secretary of the Trustees of the Church and school wrote to the secretary of the tennis club saying that the link between club and church had become so slight it may no longer be considered to be under the Methodist auspices. They asked that the club immediately change its name. The club reverted to being Sunnyhurst Tennis Club.

After the war in 1948 the Darwen Tennis tournament was revived and by 1950 the headline in the Darwen News, June 30th read “Sunnyhurst Dominated Tennis Finals”. Mr Bill Sumner won the mens singles, Keva Nowell won the ladies singles and with Mrs M Pollard won the ladies doubles, Mr and Mrs Sumner won the mixed championship and Mr Sumner completed the treble by winning the mens doubles with J Whiteside.




Finalists Darwen Tennis Championships 1949

Mr W Sumner, Mrs I Ashton, Miss M Jepson, Mr J Pollard, Mrs E Entwistle, Mrs, H Ellison, Mr D Hitchon, Mrs M Thorpe, Mr J Starbuck, Miss K Nowell, Mr E Jepson Miss D Pickup, Mr J Kay, Miss I Hacking, Mrs M Pollard, Mr E Crompton.

Again in 1953Sunnyhurst Win All The Senior Trophies”. Keva Nowell had become MrsPainter and won the ladies singles and the mixed with her husband and the ladies doubles with Mrs Pollard. Edwin Crompton won the mens singles for the fifth time and the mens doubles with Mr Painter.


Finalists Darwen Tennis Championships 1953

Standing: W. Telfer, D Painter, E Crompton, J Entwistle, G Hart, D W Holden, J G Rae

Sitting: Miss M Grime, Mrs J Pollard, Mrs D Painter, Miss H Villar, Miss M Bridge, Miss H Riley, Miss K Longworth 

“Women’s singles Champion for Sixth Successive Year”. “Keva Painter beat Mrs M Jones 6-3, 6-1 at Darwen Tennis Clubs’ annual tournament held on the Walpamur courts on Saturday” Darwen News July 8th 1955.