Tyne and Wear HER(15788): Newcastle, College Street, Rackets Court - Details
Newcastle, College Street, Rackets Court
Racket Sports Site
Designed by Hubert Laws and opened in 1888. Built for members of the Union Club on Westgate Road. Rackets (or racquets) was a cross between real tennis and squash. An earlier uncovered court measuring 112 feet x 62 feet had been built in Newgate Street in 1823. The College Street court conformed to the new standard 60 feet x 30 feet, established by the Prince's Club in London in 1853. The balls were made of compressed cloth covered in white sheepskin. The court is a plain unadorned brick building. It has a viewing gallery on the fourth side, accessed by an ornate spiral staircase. The Newcastle court is only one of two surviving in the north. The other is the Manchester Tennis and Racquet Club, dating from 1880. Squah has since become more popular and the College Street court has also been used for badminton, judo and a creche. It has lain empty since 2010.
Lynn Pearson, 2010, Played in Tyne and Wear - Charting the heritage of people at play, p 16