DOWN MEMORY LANE
Open 11am to 4pm every Monday to Thursday until September
The inscriptions on a silver cup, which records its first tennis aces in 1919, detail some of the vanished names of Kintyre. A century ago, in 1918, when racquets were made of wood, strung with animal gut and required presses to stop them warping, the captain and officers of Australian depot ship HMS Platypus presented a cup to Campbeltown Lawn Tennis club. The following year the HMS Platypus Cup became the club’s mixed doubles’ championship’s coveted trophy and names began to be inscribed. As with any weather dependent sport there were years when the championship was not played or perhaps there were not enough ladies and gents to run a mixed doubles’ competition. If the teams were always picked from a hat, the method used currently, it would explain why partnerships did not endure, unless by luck, though one strong player may win successively. The cup’s first winners in 1919 were: Mrs Chapman and Mr R Y Maxtone, the following year Mr Maxtone partnered Miss B Strang. The year 1921 must have been a strange one for mixed doubles. The winner is inscribed as P S MacNair without a partner. Sometimes it can be a struggle to get teams, so perhaps MacNair played singles against a doubles pair. In 1922 honours were taken by Miss C K MacNish and Mr E Armour. In 1923 a different pair emerged, Miss J I McKersie and Mr A G MacKelvie. Miss B Strang returned, partnered by Mr L Edwards in 1924. In 1925 a Christian name is inscribed for the first time when Bella Strang, taking her third win, was partnered by Mr C MacTaggart. Mrs W McKersie and Mr C McTaggart won in 1926 and Miss S Colville and Mr R W Greenlees in 1927. Mrs Mary MacFadyen was the next winner to gain the Christian name honour in 1928 and she did not have to take three wins. The first and possibly only gentleman to see his Christian name used was the prolific 1950s’ winner, Rev G Stuart Cameron. He was part of the winning duo five times. Ann Ogilvie began a run of success in 2007 and this year Dorothy Gray was a finalist and she first made it on to the cup in 1992.
Australian depot ship HMS Platypus.
Early winners of the HMS Platypus Cup.
The HMS Platypus Cup.