The meaning behind the name…

Major Harry Gem was a trailblazer who was both the founder of LLTSC and of lawn tennis itself. In the mid 1800’s, Major Gem felt that the only version of tennis that existed at the time – real tennis – was not accessible enough for ordinary people. It was expensive to play and had complicated rules, so he decided to take a simplified version of this sport outdoors, initially playing it on a friend’s front lawn in Edgbaston, Birmingham. This friend was Augurio Perera and the game, at that time, was called Pelota.

In 1872, both Perera and Gem moved to Leamington and continued playing their new game (now called Lawn Tennis) on the lawn of the Manor House Hotel, opposite Perera’s house on Avenue Road. It was at this location, later the same year – along with Perera and two local doctors, Frederic Haynes and Arthur Wellesley Tomkin – that Major Gem founded the World’s First Tennis Club that ultimately came to be known as Leamington Lawn Tennis & Squash Club. The club has moved location a couple of times since then, but has remained in its current location in Guys Cliffe Avenue for over 70 years and looks set to stay for many years to come.

We therefore feel the new name, The Hidden Gem, is the perfect testament to a man who’s legacy continues to grow in popularity the world over, nearly 150 years since its initial inception. Plus…we don’t think anyone can dispute the fact that our new members clubhouse bar is most certainly a ‘hidden gem’, tucked away behind an ordinary wooden fence on a busy residential street. We’re proud of our club and proud of each and every one of our members, all of whom have been instrumental in helping us create such an ambitious and beautiful space.