Hamstead serve

This Saturday sees Hamstead Lawn Tennis Club, http://hltac.co.uk/, host a free Open Day from 12pm - 3pm for adults and children of all abilities with cardio tennis, double tennis, family team games and the opportunity to join with 'Wimbledon joining discounts' and 9 months free coaching on joining.  If you've been inspired by Wimbledon or Birmingham hosted AEGON classic, http://birminghamcentral.blogspot.com/2013/06/balls-in-birmingham-cricket-and-tennis.html, then this is a great chance to try your hand at tennis.

Hamstead Lawn Tennis club is one of the oldest tennis club's in the country and is part of Birmingham's rich tennis history.  Tennis can itself be traced back to Birmingham.  Thomas Henry Gem, known as Harry Gem, met Juan Bautista Augurio Perera, a Spanish born merchant, through Bath Street Rackets Club after which they created a new set of rules for a rackets game, a forerunner to lawn tennis.  In summer of 1859 Gem and Pereira began to experiment with a version of lawn tennis on the croquet lawn of Pereira's manor, Fairlight, in Ampton Road, Edgbaston (p.178, Tennis: Cultural History, Gillmeister).  

A Birmingham Post article from 1995, reproduced from: http://www.theharrygemproject.co.uk/, notes the history of the house where tennis was born.

Named Pelota in homage to Perera's Spanish ancestry both Gem and Perera moved to Leamington Spa around 1872 where they helped found the world's first tennis club in the grounds of the Manor House Hotel.  Edgbaston Archery Society, which Gem had been a member of, recognised the popularity of lawn tennis and some three weeks before the All England Croquet Club added lawn tennis to it's title changed it's name to Edgbaston Archery and Lawn Tennis Society in 1877  , http://www.theharrygemproject.co.uk/edgbaston-archery-lawn-tennis-society/.


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