PIMMS, Prosecco and conversation were all in full flow last Saturday afternoon, when around 90 members past and present, gathered in the gorgeous grounds of Ledbury Tennis Club. They were celebrating fifty years of tennis at “Underdown” and extensive refurbishment of their courts and clubhouse.

BBC Midlands Today sports reporter Dan Pallett cut the ribbon to formally open the event and shared with the assembled crowd that he was born in 1971 - the very same year that the club moved from their old grass courts in Woodleigh Road. Dan passionately expressed how local community sports clubs are vital in bringing people together for exercise and enjoyment.

A ceremonial sweet gum tree was planted to mark the occasion and Dan erected a commemorative plaque. Thirty more saplings from the Woodland Trust will arrive in November to create a nature conservation area behind the tennis courts, as part of the “Queens Green Canopy” initiative in her Platinum Jubilee year.

Veteran players from the 1970s, Cyril Stone and David Millington-Jones, enjoyed sharing anecdotes with current members. Clive Hitchings told the story of how he and Mary Winfield encouraged Ledbury residents and businesses to “Save our Tennis Club” when it was threatened with extinction half a century ago.

A display of Roy Smith’s black and white photos from back in the day were greatly admired and it was a privilege for members to meet this man for the first time. Josh Griffin’s spectacular tennis-court themed cake went down a storm.

Master of ceremonies and club chair, Ann Hume, thanked everyone and said “it was just such a perfect day”.All photos were taken by David Wright and Hannah McNeil