16 April, 2021
Clifton Open brings back treasured memories
It’s been a long time between drinks for Mick Fogarty who competed in the annual Clifton open two weekends ago, a good 46 years after his last competition in Clifton.
The competition was the first time Mick has played in Clifton since winning the Pennant Men’s and Mixed Doubles at the Closed Tournament in 1975.
Mick said it was a real pleasure to be able to compete so many years later and see Clifton tennis still going strong.
“The 1950 to 1980 era was the high point of Clifton Tennis with about 30 teams playing in four grades, with teams travelling to all areas between Cambooya, Leyburn, Victoria Hill, Pilton and Goomburra,” he said.
“Unfortunately like most country sports the numbers of people playing these sports has decreased but it is great to see Clifton Tennis still moving forward.
The Fogarty family have had quite the involvement with Tennis in the region, especially after 1948, the year the Clifton Tennis Club was formed.
The Fogarty family club called “Wondervale” at Headington Hill farm was formed after the antbed court was built so they could play in the Saturday afternoon fixtures.
The antbed was brought from Gatton and the fence poles were sawn near Leyburn.
A lot of this work was done by the Davis Brothers from West Haldon.
Before this, the family played on a straight black soil court between the house and dairy shed.
In 1953 the family team of Dad (Tim) Mum (Hannah) Judy, Denis and Mick won the A2 fixtures. Cousin Brian Buckle was included to complete the team as Kevin and Tim were away at boarding school.
During the 1950s and early 1960s the family dominated the Junior and Grade event winners at the Closed Tournament.
In 1955 Denis won five different titles.
This appeared in the 2004 ‘Peeps into the Past’ highlights.
In 1963, with the family of ten all grown up, Tim Fogarty moved to Cambooya but Mick continued to return and play in fixtures with East Greenmount.
The Clifton Rep side would play against Dalby, Oakey, Millmerran, Warwick, Stanthorpe and Lockyer.
East Greenmount won the Pennant Fixtures on a number of occasions up until 1975 when Mick moved to Central Queensland.