Down memory lane September 7 2018

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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.

1921 must have been a strange year 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 take three wins.

The first and possibly only gentleman to see his christian name used, was the prolific 1950’s 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 who first made it onto the cup in 1992.

Early winners of the HMS Platypus Cup. 25_c35memorylane04

Australian depot ship HMS Platypus. NO_c36HMSPlatypus01

The HMS Platypus Cup. 25_c35memorylane08