Manchester Rackets Club (1), Miller Street, Salford
The proposal to construct two rackets courts was first made in 1874. The courts were built and The Manchester Racquet Club was opened in May 1876 in Miller Street on the corner of Blackfriars Road. The building was short-lived. In the following year the London and North Western Railway Company obtained a compulsory purchase order on the new Club so that they could build the approach road to Exchange Station.
MANCHESTER RACQUET CLUB - The racquet courts recently constructed for the use of members of the Manchester Racquets Club were opened on Monday, a large number of gentlemen being present. Unlike many other old English pastimes the game of racquet is but little known or practised except at the public schools and universities. The opening of racquet courts in this city is therefore a novel procedure, and will doubtless tend very much to popularise the game in this locality. It is not too much to say that the courts of the Manchester Racquet Club when thoroughly dry will not be surpassed - if indeed they will be equalled - by any in England. They are situated in Miller Street, at the junction of Blackfriars Street and Chapel Street, a few hundred yards from the Royal Exchange and Victoria Station, and are replete with every necessary convenience. There are two courts, each 60 feet long by 30 feet broad. On the ground floor are dressing and bath rooms and a refreshment bar. Galleries for spectators and reading and billiard rooms are also provided. The walls and floor are of Portland cement. The cost of the site was £3,000, that of the building and fittings £4,700. The money has been raised in shares of £50 each, and the premises are let to a club to consist of 150 members, each paying a subscription of three guineas per annum. The building is in accordance with plans prepared by Mr G T Redmayne, architect, Mr Southern being the contractor for the work. [Manchester Guardian 24 May 1876 page 6]
OPENING OF A RACQUET CLUB IN MANCHESTER. On Monday, the Manchester Racquet Club, situate at the junction of Blackfriars-street and Chapel-street, about five minutes' walk from the Exchange and Victoria Station, was formally opened by series of games being played by some of the best amateur and professional players in England. There was a large attendance of gentlemen to witness the games, and all expressed themselves highly delighted with the arrangements which have been made, and which will undoubtedly make this one of the most popular clubs in Manchester. Two courts have been provided, each 60 feet long by 30 feet broad, and in addition there are dressing rooms, bath rooms, and billiard and reading rooms, which are elaborately fitted up. There is a refreshment bar, and galleries at the end of each court from which the progress of the game can be advantageously watched. The cost of the land was £3,000, and the erection of the building cost £4,700, making a total of £7,700. This amount was raised in £50 shares, and the place has been let to a club, consisting of members, who pay an annual subscription of £3 3s. The courts are said to be the best in England, and the walls and floors are laid with Portland cement. The architect was Mr. G. T. Redmayne, the builder Mr. Southern, and the marker is Thomas Altread, of the Prince's Club, London. [Manchester Courier Saturday 27 May 1876 page 9] [also Manchester Courier Tuesday 23 May 1876]
Reference Manchester Guardian Saturday 6 February 1875 Page 10 (Contracts)
Reference British Architect 12 February 1875 Page 98 (Contracts)
Reference Manchester Guardian 24 May 1876 page 6 - opening