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Campbeltown Courier - - DOWN MEMORY LANE - Spon­sored by Camp­bel­town Her­itage Cen­tre

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.

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Early win­ners of the HMS Platy­pus Cup.

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The HMS Platy­pus Cup.

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