During the early part of 1959 a group of young men used to congregate around the fire of the snug in the Spread Eagle Hotel. The beer in the Spread at that time did nothing to inspire the lads and one evening, when it was particularly bad, the conversation once again turned to how the matter could be rectified and someone came up with the brilliant idea of forming a drinking club.
Shortly afterwards four of the men, including Martin Hampson and Peter Holt, attended the Bowdon 7’s. As the day progressed, they were amazed to find that the bar remained open and they decided there and then that this abuse of the licensing laws was the answer to all their problems.
Sports clubs could legally sell beer to their members and rugby clubs seemed to consume beer in great quantities but first of all they needed a team. As the winter nights of ’59 started to draw in, the plans began to formulate. An advert was placed in the Warrington Guardian requesting anyone interested in forming a rugby club to attend a meeting at the Spread Eagle on the 27th November 1959.
The response was excellent and an inaugural meeting was held at the same venue on the 14th January 1960. Twenty one people attended and their names are as follows:-
J Alexander, Ron Fairs, Roger Roberts, John Kermode, Bill MacMutrie, D. Storey, Peter Matthews, F. Normington, C. Clark, D. Ravenscroft, M. Clough, Fred Totton, D. Marshall, O. Connally.
The following were elected officers:-
Mike Thomason (Chairman), Peter Holt (Treasurer), Martin Hampson (Joint Secretary), Dick (Jesse) James (Joint Secretary). Ian Pitchford, Edgar Welbourne and Barry Sutton were also elected as committee members
Formed in 1960, we are still a relatively young club in rugby terms but in that time we have made our mark in more ways than one. Dave Berry’s excellent book ‘Out on a Lymm’ chronicles the history of the club from its foundation to season 1989/90.
Only a few copies now remain but it can be found at local Warrington Libraries. At the time of its publication, the club was going through a difficult period financially and serious thoughts were being given to selling up and moving. Thankfully this didn’t happen and we are still here at ‘Beechwood’, a club house that is dear to the hearts of all members past and present.
In the winter of 2005 two friends met in a bar (no this is not a joke… it was the start of Lymm HC). They discussed the possibility of starting a new hockey club in Lymm.
The objective: to have a Lymm based club capable of ‘surviving’ in the lowest possible league with whom people would enjoy playing, by supporting traditional sporting values on the pitch combined with a strong social element at the clubhouse..
Now Lymm Hockey Club had a team, it needed a pitch to play on and a clubhouse to call home. The leaders at Lymm High School were supportive of the clubs creation and soon their astroturf became the clubs home pitch, with Lymm Rugby Club welcoming the newborn hockey club into its clubhouse.
So the core of the club had been formed but with only 4 friends as players a recruitment campaign had to be mounted and by the summer numbers had doubled to 8 which as you will be aware is still not a full team and possibly more worrying was the fact that 5 from that first 8 had not played hockey before! However as more friends and contacts were persuaded to join the new venture a club gradually emerged as a slightly more competitive team that initially expected (thanks to David Antonelli and his high level hockey experience)
So it was that on September 10th 2005 the first friendly match for Lymm Hockey Club was played against Sale 3rd team.
Many of those original players have moved on to pastures new or retired from the game now, but their legacy grows on. None of those founder members would ever have believed that their small club idea would have generated so much interest in the local community. The ladies section began in 2006/2007 and attracted by the clubs enthusiasm and success, players just kept joining with a new team being added almost every year, as teams gained promotion after promotion working their way through the divisions to the top of the league. In 9 years the club had grown from one team of friends to 9 adult teams as well as mixed and vets teams and a whole host of junior teams for boys and girls of various ages.
Manor Road Tennis:
After World War II, two tennis courts were constructed in Manor Road on a piece of wasteland. At that time there were two rows of council houses in Manor Road and the council flats that are now opposite the courts were still a field.
Until the early 50s, the courts were under the control of Lymm Urban District Council (LUDC) and rented out by the hour to the paying public. By mid 1950s, the courts had fallen into disrepair and the shale courts were covered in grass and weeds. A group of tennis players who had become disenchanted with Broomedge Tennis Club (now defunct) decided to leave the club and start playing in Manor Road. The courts were rented from the Council and a local couple took bookings and collected the money. Because of the state of the courts and the fact that LUDC were not maintaining them, the group of players approached LUDC with a view to turning the courts into a tennis club (hereafter known as MRTC).
Following negotiations with LUDC, which is now part of Warrington Borough Council (WBC), the following was agreed:
1. MRTC members would maintain the courts, fencing and infrastructure.
2. MRTC would have use of the courts rent and rate free (as a charity). The only stipulation being that the general public would still be allowed to use the courts on payment of a token hourly fee to MRTC. This was to encourage all members of the community to play tennis.
MRTC continues to run the tennis club rent and rate free to this day. MRTC has recruited members over the years and now runs 3 men’s teams, 2 ladies teams, 2 mixed teams and 2 junior teams in the Warrington and District Tennis League.
MRTC are members of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and the Cheshire LTA.
Over the years, MRTC has tried to encourage children to play tennis and has provided cheap tennis (compared with other local clubs) to those who can least afford it.
In August 2020 MRTC officially became the Lymm RFC Tennis Section which begun a new chapter for the club culminating in June 2023 MRTC finally making the move to their new tennis courts within the walled garden of Lymm RFC.