of The Bohemians Tennis Club
For many years the Bohemians Lawn Tennis Club (LTC) has been associated with the suburb of West Derby, but its actual origins were based in the green land of Tuebrook. The now famous tennis club was founded March 1884 and had its own pavilion alongside a set of grass courts in the beautiful Victorian built Newsham Park.
In the early years the Bohemians LTC used the public tennis ground which you can see in the forefront of the map. The club moved to its own tennis ground and pavilion two years later.
The tennis ground shown in the foreground of the map is still in use today as public tennis courts.
The position of the Bohemians Pavilion can be placed by the Landing stage which has remained untouched for 115 years. The private tennis courts and pavilion have since been demolished.
As the club expanded, it sought new premises and in May 1923 moved to its present home in Sandfield Park which included five new shale courts, the fifth one being sited in the current car park area.
Being the oldest tennis club in Liverpool, the club has shared numerous parallels with the city over the last century. For example we have had our fair share of real characters whilst maintaining a happy and family orientated atmosphere but like Liverpool, the club has had its fair share of ups and downs! Thankfully, like the city, we are currently on the ‘up’ with our modern all weather floodlit courts; re-furbished, vibrant clubhouse and bar and a healthy and growing membership, including a very strong junior section. Therefore we look to the future with a proud history that deserves to be celebrated and a real optimism for the future.
The land on which the present courts and facilities stand was originally purchased by Sandforth Bohemians Ltd (a company formed specifically for the land purchase.) There were 7 initial shareholder members of the Bohemians Tennis Club. The company secured a mortgage on the “land and premise between Queens Drive & Sandforth Road” in the sum of £500 from the Working Men’s Permanent Benefit Society on the 3rd October 1924. The purchase took place following the relocation of the Tennis Club from Newsham Park where they previously had use of courts.
The tradition was continued when in 1933 a new company was formed: Sandforth Bohemians (1933) Ltd. Members of the Bohemians purchased shares in the new company and capital raised was used to purchase the land and premise from the original company thus ensuring the continuity of tennis on the site.
Sunday morning working party
From left to right: Ken Walker, Bill Longcake, Stan Draper, Peter Rowlands, Ken Carney, Harold Glover and Tony Brien (seated on roller).
Harold Glover later became President of The Liverpool & District Group of the Lancashire County Lawn Tennis Association. Read more about Harold Glover
Negotiation with a view to amalgamation of the Bohemians Tennis Club and the Collegiate Rugby Club began early in 1972 and continued through to the founding meeting of the new Collegiate Bohemians Sporting Club on the 17th May 1974. The date of foundation was for administration purposes taken to be 1st April 1972. At a meeting chaired by the late Trevor Brown it was agreed to accept a proposal to share the club house with The Collegiate Old Boys Rugby Club. The association lasted for over twenty-four years and was beneficial to both sides. This association was very important for the continued existence of the Bohemians Tennis Club.
At the request of the tenants Collegiate Bohemians Sporting Club the company agreed to building extensions in 1980. The tenants made 2 initial contributions to the cost and assumed responsibility for repayment of the loans acquired from the brewery to fund the project.
Under the chairmanship of Ray Unsworth In 1993 Collegiate and Bohemians mutually agreed to part company with Collegiate Old Boys Rugby Club moving to The Liverpool Cricket Club and the Bohemians Tennis Club remaining in their present site. At a meeting on (TBC 1993) chaired by (chairman) Ray Unsworth 29 tennis players got together and bought out the club forming a company called Bohemians 93. It was decided that the club would keep the name The Collegiate Bohemians Sporting Club. The Bohemians Tennis Club remaining as part of the sporting club. In 1996 new courts were laid changing the playing surface from shale to astra turf. 1997 (TBC) The Bohemians forged links with the Collegiate Old Boys Football Club and also with the De La Salle Old Boys Football Club. These relationships are still working to the benefit of all concerned. In February 1997 the Collegiate Rugby Club requested dissolution of the Collegiate Sporting Club. At an AGM of the Sporting Club that took place in May that year the request was approved and the Rugby Club severed their ties with the Sporting Club.
2003 saw the courts refurbished bringing them up to a very high standard and improving the enjoyment of all playing members.