Approximately 15 years ago Bridget Lyne and Gill Johnson joined the Nutley Charity Tennis Ladder having been encouraged to join as it sounded like a fun way to play friendly matches, to meet new people and to visit other clubs and homes with tennis courts.
The aim of this ladder was almost the same as WCTL is today. All couples paid a small amount to play each season with all money raised going to local charities nominated by the ladder members. The main criteria was to help small, local and varied charities or worthy causes which needed extra funding rather than the larger charities where it was felt that the relatively small amounts of money raised would be a mere drop in the ocean and possibly be swallowed up by administration costs.
After a few years, Fiona Dibley, who was one of the original organisers of the Nutley Charity Tennis Ladder, had to move out of the area due to work commitments. The only person willing to take on the running of this ladder made the proviso that all monies raised would go to the RSPCA. Although this is a worthy charity, many of the ladies felt that this was not what the ladder was about so Fiona suggested to Bridget and Gill that they set up another charity ladder nearer to where they lived.
After much thought they decided to do this, and hence the WCTL was set up in 2000. Sue Slade helped with the organisation and offered the use of her lovely house and gardens, for an annual lunch. An annual tea was held at either Gill’s or Bridget’s house. Lunches and teas raise more money for good causes. In recent years, thanks to the generosity of Comptons Chairman and Committee, these events have been held at Comptons Tennis Club and we now run an ‘Open Tournament’ in conjunction with The Club.
In Spring 2000 we had 60 ladies playing in five groups (ladders) and numbers have increased steadily since then, fluctuating at times with occasional injuries, holidays, retirement etc but peaking at 90 ladies. A phenomenal achievement!
Sue ‘retired’ after about 5 years and Bridget shortly after, although Bridget still plays in the ladder. Liz Roberts then stepped in to help with the admin side, and Gill continued to organise the groups and collate the scores.
In 2013, the admin side was taken over by Jill Bowden.
The WCTL still operates in its original format and we continue to support small charities or worthy causes that do not benefit from major funding. Any of our members can nominate a local charity or good cause to receive financial help, and if there are too many suggestions we have a discussion and a vote at our annual lunch.
For a full list see Donations page.