The Southport and District Table Tennis League was first formed at a meeting held on Monday the 1st November 1932. Mr. Bertrand Travis was elected as Chairman and Treasurer of the League with Norman Harrison as League Secretary.
The following week another meeting was held to formulate the League rules. It was decided that one division of 8 teams was to be formed. The eight teams being YMCA, Southport, Avondale, Holy Trinity, Red Triangle, Christ Church, Chapel Street and Church of Christ. From the League archives it appears the first season started in January 1933 and finished at the end of April that year.
The early League was played on the American Tournament System. Each team consisting of 5 players all playing one another for one game. One point was awarded for each game played and with 25 games at stake strange sounding match scores of 16-9, 17-8 and 6-19 were the order of the day.
During the following season, 1933/34, the League was affiliated to the ETTA and consisted of 2 divisions of 8 teams each. Unfortunately the league was disbanded at the end of this season due to lack of support from various teams.
After a one year interval the League was resurrected with the season starting in November 1935 and finishing in April 1936. The 1st Division consisted of 6 teams and the second had 10 teams. Southport TTC were crowned champions with YMCA as Runners-up.
The forerunner of the Town Championships was held in March 1936 at the Laverey Club rooms in Burscough. The League then carried on for another 3 seasons up to May 1939 and then the intervention of World War 2 put paid to the League’s activities.
After the War the first full season was 1946/47 when a single division of 10 teams was created. Each team was registered for the sum of 15/- (fifteen shillings or 75p) per single team with extra teams being 2s.6d (two shillings and sixpence or 12½p) each, with Registration forms costing 6d (sixpence or 2½p). Also Men’s and Ladies Town Teams were entered in the Lancashire League for the first time.
The season started in the last week of October 1946 with Southport TTC running out as champions. Towards the end of the season the Closed Championship were held in St. Andrews Hall with Mens Singles, Ladies Singles, Mens Doubles, Ladies Doubles, Mens Juniors and Mixed Doubles being contested. There was an entry of 64 individual entries producing the princely sum of £5 in entrance fees.
From this first post War season the foundations of the present league were formed with a maximum of five divisions being reached in 1977/78. The present League has over 150 members, comprising of 30 teams in 3 divisions, competing on a weekly basis throughout the winter months from September to March.
This League history was written from archives kindly provided by Dennis Hudson.
An incomplete record of winners - and, where known, runners-up - of all competitions in the Southport & District League stretching back to 1935-36 is on the Winners Archive page.
If you want to know what you could win (to keep for 12 months) in one of the many competitions, look at the Competition Trophies page