As a seaside resort, Selsey has been blessed with many tennis courts for its size. The first and longest serving official tennis club in Selsey is the Crablands Bowling and Tennis Club. This was established on farmland bought by local celebrity Edward Heron Allen in 1920. During World War I tennis courts were played on in a private capacity, including by members of the Clayton and Jewel families. Meanwhile, the Bowls Club, established in 1911, moved to Crablands to join up with the tennis by about 1920, when the first clubhouse was built. There were private grass tennis courts at at Trees Hotel (near St Peter’s church), the Marine Hotel and Selsey Hotel, Kirklands, Mill House, Beacon House and Bill House, and also in front of the bungalows at Park Crescent on East Beach.
A map in a 1953 guide to Selsey only shows the tennis courts at Crablands and ‘the Golf Club’ available to the public. By 1934 tennis courts were also available for use by visitors to the Broadreeds Holiday Camp, which was then taken over by Pontins from 1962 until 1988.
At some point during the 1920s or 1930s, six grass tennis courts were made at the Selsey-on-Sea Golf Club, founded in 1904, after which it became known as the Selsey Golf and Tennis Club. In the early 1980s Little Spain Holiday Chalet Complex purchased the club, now known as the Selsey Golf and Country Club, and began a general upgrade that included hard tennis courts and a bowling green, with tennis still on offer at two tennis courts off Golf Links Lane: ‘Take advantage of being able to play either Tennis or Basketball even if the weather isn’t quite so glorious and have a game on our well maintained multisport all-weather courts area’ (https://www.selseycountryclub.co.uk/country-club). There are another two courts on the road to Green Lawns Holiday Park, apparently for private use.
Anon. n.d. ‘Crablands Bowling and Tennis Club’. Selsey Life.
T.A. Langford Sainsbury. 1953. Selsey Ancient and Modern. Chichester: British Legion.