CLAREMONT TENNIS CLUB 
LEAGUE HISTORY - ONE HUNDRED YEARS
There are two distinctive periods of league history for the club. The years 1908 to 1965 and the years 1965 to 2008. There are very poor records and little evidence of any success in the first period and a huge contrast in the second period.
1908 to 1965 Claremont was regarded as a junior club in the eyes of the Western Province Lawn Tennis Association. The scant records showed that Claremont entered just one men's team into the Thurston Cup and one into the Thurston Cup Reserve League Entry into the Grand Challenge League was for "senior" clubs and pretty much a closed shop. Our performance arguably justified this and minutes of the Management Committee in 1932 referred to our performance as "an absolute disgrace". There was also a ladies team whose performance fared little better. Match practice was difficult to organise with certain stronger players being unwilling to play with those less talented. In 1931, the secretary of the ladies section, Mrs Smuts, was summoned before the Management Committee as complaints had been received from members regarding practice sets. Her response, which was recorded in the minutes, "If I have to play with all and sundry, then I may as well stay at home".
1940 In 1940, Claremont won the Thurston cup but were denied a place in the Grand Challenge Reserve which was given to Stellenbosch. Claremont Management were furious with WPLTA but to no avail. In the years shortly after the war, Claremont held the Thurston cup but the teams struggled overall. The ladies were relegated.
1949 And in 1949 only one ladies doubles was entered in the Thurston Cup. 
1950 In 1950, the men were placed in the Grand Challenge Reserve league and did reasonably well.
1953 The following year the ladies were too weak for the club to enter a mixed team at all. 1953, the fortunes of the teams improved and the ladies missed out on promotion to the Grand Challenge by losing the promotion playoff by 4 matches to 3. Our number  1 lady being unable to play that day. The men's team finished joint second in the Grand Challenge Reserve League. 
1954 In 1954 no ladies team was entered in the league at all but the mixed side and the men's first team fared well. However, the men's second team was relegated.
1956 In 1956, Claremont was successful in getting an amendment through WPLTA whereby the highest placed "junior" club could challenge the bottom team of Grand Challenge for promotion. After winning the "junior" league, Claremont only drew the promotion relegation match and lost most of its top players. As a result, moves were afoot to leave the WPLTA and join the Paragon League. Mr Wray strongly opposed this move and it did not materialise. Thereafter Claremont entered just one men's and one mixed teams in the league.
1957 - 1964 For 8 years, the club entered just one men's team into 6th league with little success. The ladies entered one team in the 5th league. One team was placed into 6th league for mixed with a second team entered into 7th league in 1964.
1957 - 1964 In 1967 the junior section, under the guidance of Jaroslav Houba and Philip Soderland, got under way with 43 junior members. The Centre was an immediate success and membership increased rapidly as years went by to well over 100. Our juniors very soon started making names for themselves in the senior section and it was not long before the men's and ladies champions came from the ranks of the Centre. Our juniors proved to be much better than expected . Due mainly to their presence, our men's 1st team progressed from the 6th league to the 1st league in 9 years. Our 1st mixed team rose from the 6th league in 1968 to 1st league by 1976. Our ladies 1st team also experienced rapid promotion from 1969. Mr Houba helped CTC to surmount the last hurdle to gain promotion to the Men's' top league. CTC had to play Three Anchor Bay in a promotion / relegation match. The school boys went on first and all won their matches. The opposition supporters realised we would win and didn't stay to see the finish! The win meant that CTC had broken what was a closed shop of 1st League Senior Tennis. 
1977 By 1977 CTC had 4 men's teams, 2 ladies teams and 5 mixed teams. The ladies (except 1st league) played on Wednesday afternoons. 
1981 The ladies 1st team gained promotion to the top flight and were able to play on a Saturday. This strengthened the ladies considerably and a third side was entered. 
1983 By 1983, WPLTA allowed all the ladies leagues to play on Saturdays. This caused problems with court availability as by 1988 CTC had 6 men's' teams, 4 ladies' teams and 7 mixed teams. With 4 courts required for the growing number of social players, school courts were hired to alleviate the problem.
1985 A record was set for league performance. 6 of the 7 mixed sides won promotion. The 1st side unable to climb any higher as they finished 4th in the Premier Division.
1988 In many ways this was a "peak" in our league history success. WPLTA changed the straight forward 1 to 10 leagues and introduced a 4 league pyramid system. The idea being to allow "new" clubs a way of reaching the top leagues sooner. This arguably did not work as the opposite also applied.  I.e. a team not doing well at the top dropped dramatically to the bottom league which resulted in many old clubs virtually folding. It must be noted that Claremont was the only club who opposed this change.
1990 WPLTA introduced a "Vets" league which CTC did exceptionally well in winning the top division no fewer than eleven times.
1991 - 2005 WPLTA made several changes to the league system to meet the requirements of the clubs including the abandonment of the pyramid system, bringing in "a" and "b' sections to leagues 2 to 6 and changes from the top league from Premier to 1st leagues.
2006 After 96 years of trying, CTC finally were crowned 1st league champions, an achievement they were to repeat in 2006.
2008 More changes by TWP, and CTC finished the Centenary with just 3 men's singles teams, and 1 doubles side, 1 ladies singles sides and 2 doubles side and 3 mixed teams. However, all these teams are placed high in the leagues with all first sides in the top flight. Since 1965, CTC has achieved 109 promotion teams and 50 relegation teams. A very impressive record for a very impressive Tennis Club.
LADIES MORNING LEAGUE
1976 - 2008 Following the ladies leagues elevation to playing their matches on a Saturday, the Midweek Ladies Morning group was formed by Irene Adley, who became the first Chairlady. The Housewives league (subsequently renamed the Ladies Morning League) was played between clubs in the Southern Suburbs stretching  from Fish Hoek to Camps Bay.

Initially this league was not registered with WPLTA, but due to its growing popularity, soon fell under their auspices. Claremont went from one team to six in a short number of years with considerable success. The 1st team won their league in eight consecutive seasons, while the other teams also did reasonably well. Since the mid 1980's, due to more ladies returning to work and the maturing of the players!, the number of teams have gradually been reduced to the current one, whose success fluctuates.

Author's

Comment

The above was compiled from old minute books and letters from Dave Scott and his daughter Lilian, and from the WPLTA booklets kindly supplied by Rob Louw. Many thanks to them, it was very much appreciated. I am confident of 99% accuracy, but realise errors on an exercise this large may creep in. Enjoy reading! 
                Richard Prosser   May 2009