The culmination of four years of fundraising was celebrated at Rowledge Tennis Club, when the new clubhouse was officially opened by the mayor of Farnham, Alan Earwaker.

The new clubhouse was built by local builders Wey Developments and replaces the old, unsafe facility, which was proving detrimental to the future of this historic club.

The launch was held at the clubhouse and was attended by club members of all ages and Rowledge residents.

Also present was David Gill from Surrey Playing Fields who has offered invaluable advice and financial support over the past couple of years.

The ceremony took place on July 9, fittingly on a perfect summer’s day that coincided with the ladies’ finals at Wimbledon.

So it was appropriate the adults enjoyed some seasonal Pimm’s while the youngsters took part in some mini tennis drills led by head coach Matt Marlow from Return Tennis.

The money raised to rebuild the clubhouse came from a variety of sources including grants from Farnham Town Council, Surrey County Council, Waverley Borough Council, Farnham Institute and Surrey Playing Fields.

The Oak Tree and Acorn Company, a local supplier of beautiful gifts, has also been a very generous sponsor of the club over the past few years, and substantial sums were also raised through donations from members and the local community.

Finally, the shortfall was taken up with a loan from Surrey Playing Fields.

Rowledge Tennis Club chairperson Nick Rees said: “We are so pleased to be at this point and to have been able to build the clubhouse and ensure the future of the club.

“There have been several times over the past few years where we didn’t think it would be possible, but the committee and the members have worked really hard to raise the money and the support of local councils and Surrey Playing Fields has been vital.

“We are so grateful to everyone who has contributed towards this project.”

The club is in the heart of the village and is connected to many local residents.

With a membership of more than 200 people of various ages there are activities to suit everyone.

There is a strong focus on youth development and coach Matt Marlow has built a tennis programme that starts with youngsters from as young as five and develops them to playing matches and then on to the adult section of the club.

The club is also social with a mixed evening on a Monday and matches available for those who want to play.

Nick added: “Having the new building is breathing new life into the club.

“We have already seen an increase in our membership and lots of new enquiries.

“It is great to have a vibrant club at the centre of our village and we hope it will continue to be enjoyed for many years to come.”

By Sophie Penney