In 1924 The Northumberland Lawn Tennis Ground Company Limited was formed for the express purposes of purchasing, firstly, a permanent home for the Northumberland Open Tennis Tournament, and secondly, to provide a new permanent venue for Brandling Lawn Tennis Club, then the leading tennis club in the north east. 

As regards the Open Tournament itself, the event had grown in stature as part of the Newcastle summer season since the first event held in the 1880s, but the Tournament had no fixed venue, relying on the support of various club venues and cricket grounds for the staging of events. As tennis returned to popularity after the end of the Great War, the Association felt that a permanent venue was required to secure the future of the event for years to come.

At the same time, Brandling Tennis Club, which had a history as a thriving tennis club as long as the Open Tournament itself, was nearing the end of its lease on premises in Eslington Terrace and was obliged to seek a new venue in order to continue as a tennis club. In a far sighted move, the Association and the directors of Brandling Lawn Tennis Club came together to establish the Northumberland Lawn Tennis Ground Limited, a joint venture with the objective of purchasing a site as a permanent home for Northumberland tennis. That site had already been identified as St George’s field, then known to the local community as a cricket pitch, and now known as the Northumberland County Tennis Ground.

The Association and Brandling combined to arrange the issue of debentures of £25 each to subscribers in order to raise £25,000. This was the sum required to purchase the cricket field from the Trustees of the estate of Charles Mitchell, the builder and owner of Jesmond Towers, and owner of the land comprising St George’s field. The purchase was duly completed by the Ground Company, the courts were laid out and the facility was opened by the then Duke of York in 1926.

 

The Brandling Tennis Club, now established at its new home on the County Tennis Ground, continued to operate as a members’ club, leasing courts on the County Ground from the Ground Company for the next 50 years, as did a number of other independent clubs – some more successfully than others .

 
However, by the early 1970s Brandling and the three remaining clubs on the Ground (Osborne, Portland and the Junior Club) became increasingly financially unviable. A new initiative was felt necessary and the Association, together with leading figures in the Brandling and Osborne clubs came together to establish a new club. In 1974 the Northumberland Lawn Tennis and Squash Rackets Club (NLT&SRC) was opened and during the subsequent years, squash and badminton courts were added to the list of amenities on site.


41 years on, the Club has established itself as one of the finest and most charismatic tennis grounds in the country thanks to the efforts by many involved in the management of the Club and the Association.

It is a tribute to the vision and initiative of a small group of like minded people who 91 years ago were interested in developing and growing tennis in the area that the County Ground continues to this day, to meet the aspirations of its founding fathers.