Ashley Martin with his new book which will help raise money for the coastal tournament.

A new book celebrating the centenary of Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament has been written by long-standing committee member and event competitor Ashley Martin.

 Mr Martin, 60, a retired journalist of Peterborough, has penned Wimbledon-on-Sea: 100 years of the Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament.  

The 156-page book details  how the tournament started and its expansion into the largest tennis tournament in the UK, attracting around 1,300 competitors of all ages.

While there is evidence that midweek tennis competitions took place on the courts at the Recreation Ground prior to the First World War, it was not until peace time “local bigwigs” decided to organise an annual tournament as a social event.

The book records the early days of the tournament, anecdotes from newspaper cuttings, memories from players and details of winners of the five prestigious open events. It identifies the most successful players in terms of open titles won in the tournament’s history, and highlights the event’s royal connections.

Due to the pandemic, both last year’s and this year’s events were cancelled. Tournament secretary Chris Holt, who has been involved for almost 50 years, said it was with “great sadness” the decision was taken.

“Sadly, the pandemic coincided with the tournament’s centenary. Nevertheless, we have taken the decision to publish this very special book and sell it online via the tournament’s website.”

Mr Martin said: “From beginners to future Wimbledon champions (Ann Jones nee Haydon played in the tournament in 1955 and won the ladies’ singles at Wimbledon in 1969), the Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament has attracted all-comers over 100 years and remains a unique fixture in Britain’s summer sporting calendar.”

The book costs £7.99 from www.hunstantonltt.co.uk/centenary-book/

Proceeds go towards staging next year’s event on August 14 to 20 when it is hoped to hold the centenary celebrations.