Anyone for Tennis – Roy Thorn at 90

How do you think you would be spending Sunday Morning’s when you are 90 years old? Well if you are lifetime Chesham resident Roy Thorn the answer is the same as it has been for the last 75 years, which is put his kit on, pick up his racquet and go to play tennis.

He started playing at the age of 15 when with his two best school-friends, his cousin Gordon Darvell and Jack Gomm, he joined St Mary’s Church Chesham’s Tennis and Badminton Club. It was here that he met Mary Crowshaw, Jenny Robinson and Kari Wells three other long-time members of Chesham Bois Lawn Tennis and Squash Club.

In 1948 after demob he and his two friends joined Chesham Bois Lawn Tennis Club. This was situated on what is now part of Dr Challoners Boys Grammar School playing fields. There were six courts, three not very good grass and three red shale which always left a red coating on shoes, socks and anything else they came into contact with. The club house was a small wooden building with just changing facilities. Later the club moved to its present site and the facilities extended to provide the excellent environment that exists today.

Roy has now been a member for 66 years. In his younger days played for the teams as well as the club’s annual tournament and as a regular entrant to the annual local Barnardos’ fundraising tournament. In 2008, he along with an erstwhile mixed doubles partner, Jenny Robinson, was made an Honorary Member as part of the Club’s Centenary Celebrations. At the age of 90 Roy is remarkably playing twice a week, at club play on Sunday mornings, and midweek whenever the younger and more fragile of his four are fit!

To celebrate this milestone the Club held a celebration tea party on Saturday 8th August, organised by Mary Crowshaw and attended by some 40 family, friends and players including Keith Dewick another long-time member and President Bucks LTA. Roy regaled the audience with some tales from his life and is looking forward to playing for many years to come.

Peter Henry