Castlemaine Lawn Tennis Club from the archives
Barry Constable has been doing some research about the club's history. Thanks to Barry for sharing this snippet into the club's beginnings.
It is generally thought by many club members that the tennis courts have been on their present site since the late nineteenth century probably because the club champions board in the club rooms indicates that to be the case. The club did exist but not at its present site as the notes following show. The most probable site would have been the Camp Oval.
Photo: 1872-5 (from the Holterman collection, courtesy Ken McKimmie) shows the realigned creek. The Borough Council minutes of 9/3/1871 notes that "the completion of the Forest Creek channel will be considered for next year".
The completion of the channel walls effectively meant that the Western and Eastern reserves had unofficially been created.
The photo shows the two reserves separated by Wheeler Street. (The gas works is in the foreground.)
from the Melbourne Argus 7/5/1926
Replying to protests against Eastern Reserve, Castlemaine, being closed as a public reserve and leased to a tennis club, the Under Secretary for Lands (Mr H O Allan) said yesterday that a permissive occupancy had been granted to the Castlemaine Tennis Club on the recommendation of the Borough of Castlemaine. Such action had been approved by the Board of Land and Works.
The occupancy had been granted for 10 years on condition that the lessees improved the land. The club had to be open to all citizens of Castlemaine at a very low subscription. The Council had written to the department stating that the reserve was practically unimproved and little used and the council was unable to find money to improve it.
The reserve was not suitable for a cricket ground. Another area of land, known as the Western Reserve could be made into an excellent cricket ground and the tennis club had offered to put down a cricket pitch at its own expense for the returned soldiers.
Mr Allan added that the Minister for Lands (Mr Downward) had been asked to hold an inquiry into the closing of the reserve but had decided that the matter could not be reopened.