Following on from a friendly match between men’s teams from the respective clubs earlier in the year, the inaugural match of what is hoped will be an annual competition between Bridge Tennis Club and Chilham Tennis Club took place on Sunday 27th April 2014.

The event was splendidly hosted by Chilham Tennis Club at a split venue, with half the matches being played at Chilham’s courts in Branch Lane, Chilham and the other half on the astro-turf courts in the beautiful setting of the grounds of the nearby Chilham Castle.

The Castle was also hosting an equestrian event at the time and thus the tennis was played against a backdrop of galloping horses and immaculately attired riders, complementing the atmosphere and adding to the sense of occasion.

Both sides fielded Ladies’, Mixed and Men’s teams and the title was keenly contested, with Bridge eventually winning the title 79 games to 69 and thereby becoming the first winners of the Trophy, which had been kindly donated by Chilham Tennis Club.

The teams then repaired to the nearby Woolpack Inn where our Chilham hosts had kindly provided refreshments, in the form of a sumptuous buffet and drinks.

Two wooden tennis racquets were ceremonially burned in the fire and the ashes collected and preserved in a purpose-made casket, designed and fashioned by none other than our own (and Chilham’s) Tony Blackall.

Individual trophies were presented to the winners, speeches made, photographs taken and an excellent time was had by all.

The “Ashes” will be presented to the Winners, who will retain it for one month before returning it to its home at The Woolpack Inn, Chilham, whilst the Ashes Trophy, (once suitably engraved), will be retained by the Winners for display in their Clubhouse for the rest of the year, until the next competition.

Both Chilham and Bridge Tennis Clubs are extremely grateful to Tessa and Stuart Wheeler for making their tennis courts and facilities available for the competition, and it is hoped that the competition will be granted use of the Castle’s beautiful setting in the future.

The Bridge team would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to Tony Blackall and Geoff Dear of Chilham Tennis Club, who have worked tirelessly and against a number of organisational difficulties to make the event happen, and to all of the Chilham Team for their hospitality and for making the occasion a day to remember.

Bridge Team:

  • Rhona Jardella (C)
  • Yvonne Liebenschutz-Jones
  • Teresa Rowe
  • Katrina Bromfield
  • Nigel Morley (C)
  • Kit Renwick
  • Gordon Liebenschutz-Jones
  • Kim Standen
  • Miles Standen

Chilham Team:

  • Gill Broughton (C)
  • Joy Gould
  • Liz Dear
  • Maggie Mansfield
  • Geoff Dear (C)
  • Pete Swan
  • Rich Baker
  • Darryl Ling
  • John Mansfield.