Torry Hill's 75th Anniversary

Mike Fenn reports:

On the 5th May 2000 the Charitable Trust held its twenty-second committee meeting at Torry Hill Estate, Sittingbourne, Kent as guests of the Patron of the EFA the Rt.Hon.Lord Kingsdown.

The invitation was to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the building of the Torry Hill Court, believed to be the only private court in England. A small ceremony was held at the court with speeches by Philip Curtis (Trust Chairman), Rodney Knight (Trustee) and Lord Kingsdown. After an excellent lunch Messrs Knight, Whitehead, Stringer and Fenn took to the court before all present retired to the house for tea.

The court, erected in 1924 at the suggestion of Lord Kingsdown's father Douglas Leigh-Pemberton himself a keen player, was built by a Mr Cullen and other estate workers. A diary of the time records "Tuesday 8th July 1924 "Took Cullen to Linton to see the Fives Court."(Linton is Linton Park near Maidstone, the home of the Cornwallis family." It is not known if this court is still standing). The records go on to state " Thursday 9th October 1924 - First game of Fives in Torry Hill Court with Eadon, Browne, Mitchell and Leigh-Pemberton."Eadon was the Land Agent of the Estate, Browne was the Rev. Mr Browne, Rector of Fruisted, Mitchell unknown."After October 1924 games were played pretty well every other Sunday."

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