History

Tea Tree Gully Tennis Club has been around in some form for over eighty years. The earliest records show that tennis in Tea Tree Gully played at Angove’s Court near the winery. It was a private group of people led by Miss Jo Angove and consisted of Frank & Arthur Hall (sons of Geo. Hall drinks), Gyp & Pearce Heitmann of Heitmann’s Bakery, among others, around 1920. A match was played between this TTG group and Golden Grove at the Sandpit Flat, near the store at Golden Grove, on a dirt court. 

The mid 1920’s saw quite a few clubs being formed, among those being Hope Valley, Paracombe, Hermitage, Northfield, Chain of Ponds and Tea Tree Gully.  Matches at this time were arranged between the secretaries of each club. Teams consisted of six men and six ladies. Matches were also arranged with clubs from Adelaide stores and business houses. These were regarded as ‘picnic matches’ for the city visitors. On some occasions, district players coming to the hills for a picnic afternoon and tennis game were very surprised to find themselves beaten by the locals. Tennis continued to be played in this manner for a number of years. It was a period of good social afternoons with sumptuous afternoon teas being as important as the match itself.

Social tennis at Tea Tree Gully continued to be played on a dirt court at Walter Street, Tea Tree Gully, near the institute until in 1931 two courts were laid at Memorial Drive, Tea Tree Gully. For two years these were dirt (or clay) courts which had to be watered down and lined before playing. Lindsay Cooke, Jessie & Avis Tregeagle were among the founders of the Memorial Drive courts, which eventually led to the formation of the present club. Mrs John Jackson (Snr) & Mr Kennedy were among club members who switched on sprinklers at 10am and 3pm on the courts over this early period. During the depression years the courts had bitumen laid, all labour was done by players except the laying of bitumen. During this time Mr Lindsay Cooke was Club Captain.

Mr Bert Colebatch previously of Hermitage, was the school teacher at Tea Tree Gully in the early 1930’s and was also a keen tennis player. The involvement of the school children in tennis on the nearby courts and Mr Colebatch’s enthusiasm led to teams being formed to play against other clubs in the district whenever it could be arranged.

In September 1947 it was decided to call a meeting of one person from each club with the idea of forming an association. This association became known as the North East Hills Tennis Association. Tea Tree Gully Tennis Club was a foundation member of this association and at that time played on the courts in Memorial Drive, Tea Tree Gully until being moved to Shelley Street in 1963. The club continued to grow and in the late seventies the club moved its facilities to Elizabeth St, Banksia Park which we now lease. After many many years of fund raising and planning, members come and gone the dream of a club house was fulfilled and also the dream of having more courts at a central location was realized with six extra courts being built at Banksia Park making a total of twelve courts.

Tea Tree Gully now has a fully furnished clubroom, bar and canteen, and was for six years the host venue for the Junior ITF Championships in Adelaide. 

Interesting Facts

  • Tea Tree Gully’s first premiership was B grade, Captained by Ron Whiting 1950-51, when teams were 6 ladies 6 gents, 4 balls were used, and transport to matches away from TTG was on back of George Cooke Snr’s truck.
  • In 1964-65 season the club entered a total of 4 senior teams (consisting of male & female).
  • In 1986-87 there were 10 senior & 18 junior teams, rising to 17 teams in the 1994-95 when male and female were in separate competitions and consisted of four/five players.
  • The association had changed to North East Tennis Association which includes the present day clubs, and the Hills have their own association.
  • Today TTGTC has over 200 members playing junior, senior, mid-week ladies competition and social night tennis.
  • Junior activity within the club commenced in 1964 with coaching being conducted by Dennis Neale and Jeff Aistrope. This coaching was then conducted by Ron Crossley from 1970 to approximately 1982. The club tournament has been running since 1964.
  • In 1932 two dozen tennis balls cost one pound eleven shillings (about $3) and an average wooden tennis racquet cost around five shillings (50 cents).
  • In 2010 two dozen balls cost about $50 or more and racquets are anything from $40-$100 for a beginner (aluminium) to $300 + for top of the range (graphite).
  • Fees in 1932 were between five shillings & sixpence and seven shillings & sixpence (under a $1), in 1966 $7 for seniors and $2.50 for juniors.
  • In 2010 senior membership is $70 per year plus $160 for competition per season and junior membership $45 per year plus $110 for competition per season. Mind you wages were probably only a $1 a week (or less) in 1932, and approximately $5 a week in 1966, compared to $500 plus (depending on occupation) now.