Designer tennis outfits to feature in exhibition

TENNIS outfits designed by the legendary Ted Tinling will be part of a major exhibition celebrating the centenary of the Albury Easter tournament late next month.

The one-time English spy designed dresses for almost all of the great lady players throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

Among them was Albury’s Di Fromholtz, now Ballestrat, who has donated several of Tinling’s outfits to the Game Set Match: 100 years of Albury tennis exhibition at the Albury Library Museum.

Another of his creations, a gown worn by Margaret Court to a Wimbledon Ball, will also be on display.

Collections officer Chris Edgar said they had been able to uncover some rare gems for an exhibition which will also recognise the role of tennis in Albury’s formative years.

“There are the big four in Jack Crawford, who was denied in the grand slam in 1933 when he lost only at the US Open — we have trophies of his from Wimbledon, Davis Cup and a doubles title at the French,” she said.

“There was Culcairn’s grand slam doubles-winning Rex Hartwig, who also played a major role in Davis Cup wins.

“On the women’s side we have a range of memorabilia from Di Fromholtz and, of course, Margaret Court.

“But we also have some fabulous photos from the turn of the century, including one from the tennis courts in Mitchell Street from 1902, another of a woman in a long dress of the day and a wooden racquet — we even have the racquet that was in the photo.

“Tennis was a big part of life in Albury where there were a lot of clubs, many as they are today linked to various churches.”

Edgar said they had also spread the net to include the less famous.

“We have included a biography on Ida Ellis, who played tennis at the Albury grasscourts from a young age until she was in her 70s,” she said.

Organisers are still taking donations for the exhibition, which is expected to open on March 29.

“We have a cabinet of curiosities we put together for most exhibitions and already have a Wimbledon net measurer, tennis racquet shaped bottle opener and a pattern for a tennis dress,” she said.

“If people had other items — it might be a program from a tournament, a postcard, whatever — we would be interested.”

To help, phone Chris Edgar at the Library Museum on (02) 6023 8333.