Ex-tennis star pays care home a visit
Memories of a golden era for British tennis came flooding back to residents of Woodbridge Lodge care home when they welcomed a VIP guest to open their autumn fair.
Christine Truman Janes, still playing tennis at the age of 77 near her home in Aldeburgh, opened the event at the Kingsley Healthcare run home in Burkitt Road, Woodbridge, where her husband Gerry is now a resident.
More than 100 people attended the fair, and the former darling of Wimbledon was quickly the focus of much reminiscence about her mercurial successes in the late 1950s and early 1960s. After becoming the youngest French Championships winner in 1959 at the age of 18, she went on to be runner-up in the US Championships in the same year.
Victory at Wimbledon was always to elude her but she came tantalisingly close in 1961 when she suffered a heavy fall on the grass while leading in the final, ultimately losing in three sets to Angela Mortimer.
After retiring from tennis in 1975 she remained a familiar figure at Wimbledon in the BBC commentary box.
Christine, whose husband was also a top sportsman playing rugby for Wasps, says: “I was delighted to be asked to open the fair. My husband and I enjoyed listening to Suffolk Phoenix Brass Band who were playing at the event.”
The couple have strong ties to Suffolk having retired to Aldeburgh more than 20 years ago.
Christine, who was still a commentator at Wimbledon up to five years ago, says her love affair with the area began as a child when her parents took the family on holiday to Thorpeness.
The fair at Woodbridge Lodge included a range of craft and cake stalls and there was also a raffle, a buffet and aromatherapy treatments on offer.
Nearly £100 was raised which will go to the residents’ fund to pay for an outing to a local Christmas market.
Christine Truman Janes (centre) with her husband Gerry and Woodbridge Lodge manager Donna Minshull.