Game, set and match Beeston!

I shouldn’t be writing this. I should, right now, be sitting in front of the telly with a glass of red booze, watching as men and women in Persil-bright white clothes whack a ball over a net while grunting.

Alas, another casualty of the virus is Wimbledon, that late June, early July distraction that sees Sue Barker and some former, gone-to-seed players try and keep viewers rapt at scenes of hurtling rain and disgruntled punters scowling under posh brollies.

Not this year. No French open, no US Open, no Queens, not even our own little Open over at the tennis centre that straddles the Beeston/Nottingham border. And with it, no crowding at municipal tennis courts.

It’s a familiar thing each year that coincides with the first strawberry served at Wimbledon: people dig out their dusty rackets, roll a wristband on and hit the courts that pepper the area: the ones on the Uni, the ones at Priory Island. Chilwell, Town Street in Bramcote. Perhaps, for the more committed, the excellent facilities of the two local tennis clubs in Chilwell and Attenborough.

“There is still much to do in getting it ready for the future Federers and neo-Novaks amongst us…”

Despite this, Beeston itself does not have a single court – or so many thought, and would have continued to think if those great folk down at Beeston FC hadn’t uncovered one beneath a thick woody blanket of ivy and bramble.

Beneath this overgrown mat, a fine, well surfaced and clearly marked court lurked, and when revealed was found to be usable. However, a net is fairly essential to play, and a little research by the team discovered the manufacturer of the correct one to fit the posts snugly.

There is still much to do in getting it ready for the future Federers and neo-Novaks amongst us, but for Beestonians the loss of watching the British seeds crash out in the first round down in North London is more than mitigated by the Rylands getting its own court. Game, set and match Beeston!



  • Matt, this time last year we felt really low about the future of Chilwell Tennis Club. I went down during the end of the first lockdown to find the courts such a bad state, following very wet weather in the winter, then a drought in April, no grounds maintenance completed, and issues with our planning application. I thought that this is the end , why bother. So, instead of the negative, we went positive. We made a plan, got the planning sorted, and built an all-weather artificial grass court to high standards with floodlighting for Tennis, Netball and other sports. We cleared up Meadow Lane ourselves to increase visibility and let the sun in. Then, went big and resurfaced the grass courts too: It was make or break. We have just been awarded the Nottinghamshire LTA Tennis Club of the Year for our work, and just started to see the benefits of all the work. We are now planning our full opening and hope facilities and costs will encourage new members.

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